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Some Teens Got Lost in the Paris Catacombs for Days

Search parties eventually found them in the pitch-black tunnels amid the ancient skulls and bones.
Image via Michael Reeve/Wikicommons

Two teenagers spent a whole 72 hours lost in the underground Paris catacombs amid the ancient remains of more than 6 million people like some terrible Dan Brown plot come to life, the Guardian reports.

Paris police tracked down the pair with the help of rescue dogs who tracked the kids' scent, before they were quickly rushed to the hospital for hypothermia. The 16- and 17-year-old had apparently been wandering around in the dark, cold 170-mile maze of tunnels for about three days, looking for a way out.

"It was thanks to the dogs that we found them," a Paris fire department spokesman told the Guardian.

The Paris catacombs, which stretch out beneath the city's streets, are lined with centuries-old human skulls and bones, transferred there in the 1780s to deal with overflowing cemeteries. Getting lost for days in the claustrophobic, pitch-black passages would probably be a nightmare.

Only a small portion of the catacombs is open to tourists, but it's no huge secret that you can access the underground tunnels through spots around the city. Plenty of urban explorers have been known to sneak down there and creep around forbidden zones, sometimes with journalists in tow.

The identities of the two teens have yet to be released, and it's still unclear whether or not they were on a guided tour when they got lost, or if they'd just snuck down on their own for some Robert Langdon LARPing. Whatever the case, they're now thankfully back above ground with the living.