The city of Las Vegas has been the subject of global news headlines recently because of the horrific tragedy that took place at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and the Route 91 Harvest music festival. This was the most traumatic and deadly shooting in the county and definitely the most terrifying event to occur in Las Vegas, a city known for drinking, partying, and gambling.
Unfortunately, this tragic event will be all that people think about when they hear about Las Vegas for quite some time. What people do not necessarily know about Las Vegas is that there is a community of homeless people known as "mole people" who live beneath the city in the flood tunnels. While tourists are in casinos gambling away their money, drinking expensive alcohol, and eating gourmet food, the mole people are living below them in the wet tunnels intended to save the city from flooding during rainstorms.
The mole people have established a rather sophisticated home for themselves underground. They reportedly have furniture, beds, and there are even claims of illegal electricity being hooked up. Hundreds of people belong to this underground community of mole people and unfortunately many have drug problems, alcohol dependencies, or gambling issues. People living in Las Vegas are exposed to tempting things like gambling, wild nightclubs, and bars every single day of the week. Many people are completely unaware that these mole people even exist beneath the lively, luxurious tourist town of Las Vegas. Here are 15 unbelievable facts about the mole people living in Las Vegas.
15 Mole People Created An Underground City After Flood Tunnels Were Built In The 1990s
Before gambling was legalized in the thirties, only a few hundred or a thousand people lived in Las Vegas at most. It is a man-made city is in the middle of a harsh desert. The population exploded after the construction of the Las Vegas Strip and it became a tourist destination for travellers around the world. The mole people did not always live underground in Las Vegas. It was only after the construction of the flood tunnels in the 1990s, which provided them with a place to live.
There are anywhere from 500 to 1000 mole people living underground the city of Las Vegas at any given time. These people live hidden from society beneath the city that literally never sleeps. Some of them work in the city and some of them steal from the tourists. They have 24/7 access to gambling, drinking, drugs, and escorts. Needless to say, it is not a home one would strive to have.
14 Their Dwellings Get Destroyed By Desert Rain
One of the biggest threats that mole people have to deal with is actually the rain. It does not rain very often in the desert city but when it does it can be destructive to the mole people's "dwellings." The flood tunnels were put in to specifically prevent flooding in the streets of the city on the rare occasions that it rains, not for homeless people to live in.
Some people have even died, drowning underwater in the flooded tunnels. The mole people have developed their own system of trying to communicate with one another when rain is coming but obviously, it does not always work. The makeshift homes they set up for themselves are often completely destroyed after a rain storm but it comes with the territory of living in a flood tunnel. People are often living in constant dread of rain.
13 Many Mole People Are Mentally Ill
There is a disproportionate amount of homeless people who are mentally ill and this is the case with the mole people of Las Vegas as well. Many are using street drugs to self-medicate and should be hospitalized, not living underground in a flood tunnel. Some can be a danger to themselves or others.
Many of these people are mentally ill adults who have been left to fend for themselves and are not able to. They live underground in the tunnels because it is a cool sheltered area away from the outside heat. They often feel they have nowhere else to go. Many of them are incapable of getting their own jobs or supporting themselves financially. These tunnel dwellers do not have much hope of getting out unless someone helps them.
12 Mole People In Vegas Often Have Gambling Problems
Living in the city of Las Vegas, the mole people are constantly tempted with gambling at casinos for as far as the eye can see. With the little money they make, or beg for, or steal, these homeless people hit the playing tables to try and win a bigger amount. Often, even if they end up winning some money or find some in the casinos, they will gamble it away. If they end up winning enough to take some out of the casino, they are likely to spend it on drugs or alcohol. Either way, they remain living underground in the tunnels because they do not have any money left to pay for somewhere to live. They continue this vicious cycle of finding or stealing money and gambling until they get out of the tunnels or until they die. Either way, they remain living underground in the tunnels because they do not have any money left to pay for somewhere to live.
11 Mole People Decorate Their "Homes" With Graffiti
Mole people want to decorate the place where they live just like any normal person with a home. Over the years, they have decorated the walls of the flood tunnels with spray-painted graffiti art. It looks similar to any street art you would see in the city of Las Vegas up above. Some of the homeless people are starving artists or just lost souls who use graffiti art as a way to express their feelings.
This just shows that no matter where a human is living, they still do what they can to make it their own. The graffiti artwork gives the person living in that space a feeling of comfort, possession, and home. In fact, the graffiti is probably the only thing that does not wash away when the tunnels are flooded with water during the desert rain storms.
10 Some Mole People Have Completely Furnished "Apartments"
When you think of homeless people, you are probably thinking of people sleeping on the ground or in on a cardboard box. However, some of these mole people have created their own little apartment-like spaces underground. They either found or stole furniture like couches and mattresses and divide up their space with sheets or curtains.
Some of these mole people who plan to be living underground for some time will make pretty in-depth homes for themselves, which only emphasizes why they hate the rain. Some have created their own solutions to protect their belongings from the rain, like placing a mattress on grocery carts or boards of wood but sometimes, it rains so much that the tunnels flood to the top, destroying the furniture.
9 There Are Mole Children Living Underground, Too
Believe it or not, some of these homeless people living underground bring their children to live down there with them. Some feel they have nowhere else to go and have no other choice. Mole children are notoriously hard for the authorities to track down and find. However, evidence of mole children exists because they have found things like children's toys and baby food in the mole people's dwellings.
The damp, dirty flood tunnels are no place for a child to grow up. This is not only unsafe but unhealthy. Some parents have been caught with their children underground the city of Las Vegas but the majority of them get away with sneaking their family around. Some of these parents suffer from drug addictions and do not have jobs so they cannot provide for their children properly, but they manage to make a bit of money, panhandle or steal in order to feed their kids.
8 Mole People Collect Money Dropped By Tourists & Some Steal From Them
Tourists in Las Vegas can be careless. Many are drunk throughout all hours of the day and night, dropping cash out of their pockets, forgetting chips on the gambling tables, leaving money on the bar, etc. The mole people know this and often prey on people in the casinos as a way to get money to buy food.
However, some mole people are not so kind as to wait for these tourists to leave some loose change behind at the casinos. Instead, they target tourists and pick-pocket their wallets, grab dollar bills out of their purses, and steal credit cards out of ATM machines. These people can collect a large sum of money every day by going around and stealing from tourists in the gambling city.
7 The Flood Tunnels Make For Cool Shelter
Again, these flood tunnels were not made for people to live inside them. Despite the fact that they are in the hot desert city of Las Vegas, it is actually very cold down in the tunnels. Sometimes, it gets to be so cold that the homeless will buy packaged meats and put them on the floor to keep them cold.
However, the tunnels do provide shelter for the homeless to protect them from the brutal sun and dry air. Most of the time, the tunnels are a cool, comfortable temperature and it is nice for the mole people to live in compared to the scorching temperature outside. It can sometimes soar past 100 degrees Fahrenheit in Las Vegas. It can be as much as 25 degrees cooler down in the flood tunnels.
6 Mole People Often Have Drinking And Substance Abuse Problems
Like many other homeless people around the world, the homeless individuals living underground in the flood tunnels of Las Vegas often having drinking and drug problems. People do not just choose to live in a flood tunnel. For some, getting another bottle of liquor or their next hit is more important to them than saving up for a place to live.
People living in the tunnels obviously do not have to pay rent. All these people have to worry about it getting enough money for the drugs or alcohol they want. Some do not even care to get food or water for themselves and are in terrible conditions but there is no one to help them down there. Police do not seem to care about the mole people living underground or the hard drugs they are doing down there.
5 The Police Don’t Care About Mole People Living Underground
You would think that the police would be constantly raiding the underground tunnels and forcing the mole people to get off the city's property. However, there are rarely any reports of police bothering the mole people at all. Even the people whose job it is to make sure the tunnels are functioning properly for flood prevention in the city do not seem concerned with the fact that there is an entire underground city existing there.
Even after a book was written and a foundation was created to raise awareness about the mole people living underneath the city of Las Vegas, the police seem to be uninterested in doing anything about them residing there. If this were the case in a city like New York, authorities would have teams of police swarming in to remove the homeless people residing there.
4 Most Mole People Live Underground Short-Term
The majority of the mole people living underground do not plan on staying there for very long. Most end up living in the flood tunnels after they've lost all of their money, lost their job, or hit rock bottom and have nowhere else to go. Most of them are trying to find a job or make money in the casinos in order to get out from the tunnels.
Some of these people have the qualifications to be able to get a decent job in Las Vegas but for whatever reason, have been out of work for a while and cannot afford housing for themselves. People do not exactly strive to live in underground tunnels and the majority of them have not described the conditions as very sanitary, so it makes sense that they would want to make their stay short.
3 There’s A Foundation Dedicated To The Mole People In Vegas
Matthew O'Brien wrote a book about the mole people living underneath the city of Las Vegas called Beneath The Neon: Life And Death In The Tunnels Of Las Vegas. Shortly after, he created a foundation to bring attention to the homeless people living underground and provide them with some kind of assistance.
The Shine A Light Foundation has funded some of the homeless people's art projects, like providing paint for their graffiti on the walls of the flood tunnels. The charity is one of the only groups that are dedicated to helping this specific set of less fortunate individuals. A few years ago, O'Brien managed to raise $15,000 for the mole people in less than 24 hours. Despite his dedication and devotion to the mole people, they apparently are not too fond of him for bringing attention to their dwellings and would prefer to be left alone.
2 Mole People Often Live Off Of Unclaimed Gambling Chips
Mole people take advantage of the fact that they are living in one of the biggest gambling cities in the world. They know that drunk or tired tourist gamblers sometimes leave their chips lying around so many of them dress up to go to the casinos specifically to look for lost or unclaimed chips.
Some mole people have admitted to finding close to $1,000 in unclaimed chips in a single day. That is enough for a mole person to buy food and necessities for a very long time. Unfortunately, a lot of people end up gambling with their newly claimed chips and may or may not end up with more money than they initially found but more often than not, they end up losing money.
1 There Are Mole People Who Have Lived Underground For Decades
There is a small number of mole people who have lived underground for years. They may be drug addicts, gambling addicts, or mentally ill but for whatever reason, they cannot afford a normal place to live. These people do not plan on ever leaving the tunnels and feel comfortable living in hiding, away from society beneath the city.
Many of these people are anti-social with problems they cannot solve. They have established homes for themselves with a bed and furniture and do what they can to protect their stuff from the rain. But the tunnels are home for some of these homeless people and it will continue to be as long as the city of Las Vegas allows them to reside there.
Sources: thelivingmoon.com, theguardian.com