A lot of people don't know this, but there are mole people who are rumored to be among us. They're rumored to exist in American cities such as New York, Chicago, and Las Vegas, and other cities throughout the world.
A mole person is someone who's homeless and lives in the ground underneath large cities, usually in unused subway tunnels, but they can also live in sewage tunnels and heating shafts. The name "mole people" has been used for decades now and started when there was an urban legend back in the '30s of a group of outcasts and oddballs who supposedly created their own society in the underground of New York. Some of them had been cast out of society, and others wanted no part of society and decided to live outside of it. That's the other thing about mole people: they're thought to have their own societies and their own rules.
They also can be referred to as "tunnel people." Many estimates say that in New York City, there could be as many as 6,000 people living below the subway, and these people aren't necessarily unemployed. In fact, some are said to be educated and with college degrees. These are people who aren't forced to live underground; they choose to do so. But other mole people are thought of to be rather insane and quite dangerous.
Here are 15 things you didn't know about mole people.
15 Mole People Live Beneath Las Vegas
Many mole people in Las Vegas are thought to live in something called "The Flood Tunnels," which are a series of tunnels that go over 600 miles. Vegas can be a rough town if you're homeless, so many people have decided that it's easier underground. There's said to be as many as 400 people who live underground there. Most of them are people who just come down for a little while, but some have chosen to make it their permanent home. If you think about it, having a bed and safety underground is a better situation compared to some people sleeping on a bench or in a homeless shelter above ground. Things can be scary and unsafe for a homeless person, and many in Vegas find the underground more welcoming.
14 They Don't Think They're Homeless
While to you and me, this sounds like an awful way to live, many of the mole people choose their way of life and don't think of themselves as homeless. The New York Times said, “These men and women may be the most stable homeless settlement in New York City, although some of the old-timers would not describe it that way. After fifteen years in the tunnel, they do not consider themselves homeless. They have plywood shanties and cinder-block bunkers with rugs, beds, nightstands, kerosene lamps, wood and gas stoves, paintings on the walls, pets in the yard.” That sounds pretty cozy, doesn't it? Just kidding, it sounds super weird, and you know it.
13 The Shanghai Tunnels
Sometimes, in American history, there have been things built underground that have a legitimate purpose that mole people have been rumored to live in. One thing such as this is the Shanghai Tunnels in Portland. Oregon. They were originally built to move goods to the waterfront but have been rumored to have been used for gambling and for prostitution as well. You know the old saying: out of sight and out of mind. While there haven't been many rumors of huge societies living there, some think that some mole people still use the tunnels for shelter from time to time. After all, it's Portland Oregon, which is the hipster capital of the world, and what could be more hip than being a mole person?
12 There are Hundreds of Them In Romania
When many children were released from orphanages in Romania, they had no place to go but underground, where many of them remain. According to Vice, "An entire generation of children has grown up in the sewers." This is according to an investigation carried out by ABC News last year. The study goes on to note that the occurrence is a tragic remnant of the destruction of Romania's Communist regime. "The underground community is said to be largely made up of children who were released from the country's infamous orphanages in 1989 and who had nowhere to go but beneath the city streets." Many of these people have serious drug and alcohol problems, and some have been there for so long that they now have children of their own.
11 Bruce Lee - King of the Mole People
Some of these mole people have entire societies, and one of them is in Bucharest, where the leader of one group of former orphans is a man who goes by the name "Bruce Lee." He says, "I’ve been living in the sewers since I was a child. I am the terminator. I am the only one who succeeded in achieving something for the homeless. I turned darkness into light. Under my rule, everyone has their own money; they have what to eat. They have all they need – after a fashion. Light, heating, understanding, and parental advice." Well, I guess that's cool and all, Bruce, but the thing is, you and your whole crew are mole people that live in the sewers. I don't know if that really is something to be all that proud of.
10 Someone Wrote a Book About It
Jennifer Toth wrote a book called The Mole People: Life in the Tunnels Beneath New York City, in which she explored the underground and reported on what she saw. She said that most of the people down there are either alcoholics, addicts, or mentally ill and that they live like animals. She also reported on many of them having actual communities down there. A lot of people have come out and said that her book is full of lies and exaggerations, but I've read it and found it interesting. She eventually said she had to leave New York out of fear for her life because of all of the things that she exposed, which doesn't do a lot for her credibility at all when it comes right down to it.
9 Mole People in New York
While there are rumored to be mole people around the world, most of them are said to live in New York. While there are stragglers here and there, it's said that some live in huge communities, featuring electricity and even cable TV. These communities are occasionally evicted by officials or Amtrak, but they just spring up in other places. Many of the mole people even have jobs, going to the outside world and working during the day and then returning home, while others are "runners" who go to the outside world and pick up needed supplies. Still more never leave the tunnels ever and never see the light of day. I don't know about you, but that sounds rather depressing. Then again, what do I know? I'm not a mole person after all. As they say, don't knock it until you've tried it.
8 Some Live in the Catacombs in Paris
Okay, now we're getting really creepy. Some mole people are thought to live in the catacombs in Paris, which are basically underground passages that hold the remains of numerous bodies, which is about as creepy a thing as one could imagine and is not the type of place that you would think someone would want to live. But it seems like people are down there. Things, such as working lights and telephones, have been found down there, and notes have been left saying things like "Don't try to find us." I have to tell you, if there are people living in the catacombs underneath the earth, trying to find them would be pretty much the very last thing that would be on my mind. They can stay down there as long as they want.
7 Some Live In China
Not all mole people are scary; some are just kind of odd. The mole people of the Loess Plateau in China have been living underground for thousands of years. They dig directly into the ground to make tunnels to make their homes. But one would call them more cavemen then the mole people whom we're talking about in this article. To them, the goal is to live outside of civilization, and they do so mostly without interruption. It's kind of a zen thing with these people. They want to live in harmony with the Earth, so in reality, it's much different than the mole people who live underneath large cities. No matter how you slice it, though, the whole thing is super weird. They live in the ground, for crying out loud!
6 The City of the Gods
There are some places that were lived in by mole people in the past but not the same kind that we think of today. A good example of this is the City of Gods that was discovered in 1978 and exists beneath the pyramids of Giza. The City of Gods is a huge network of tunnels and chambers that are a marvel of perfection. While no one knows for sure, it's highly unlikely that outcasts and addicts lived here. Instead, it was probably the very top of society. I suppose there isn't anything wrong with living underneath the ground as long as you put some thought into it. This whole scene is a lot different than people just wandering down a dark subway tunnel with a blanket and a sandwich.
5 A Town For Mole People In Australia
There's a place called "Coober Pedy" in Australia that's known as the opal capital of the world. When people came along to mine back in 1915, they soon realized that the heat of the outback was too much to deal with, so as miners who were used to being underground, they built their own town there, one still having around 1,600 residents as of today. The town even has some shops, pubs, and even a motel because it's a bit of a tourist thing these days. All that sounds cool and all, but hey, all of you people that live in Coober Pedy, I'm not sure if you're aware, but you're living beneath the ground. Sometimes, these mole people really don't get these things unless you explain it to them.
4 The Reality of It Isn't Easy
I know that I'm not making being a mole person sound super easy, of course, but the reality of it is even worse. One man talks of the effects of floods in the tunnels in Vegas: "The reality of tunnel life has made even 'taking it day by day' difficult. Sometimes, water floods the tunnels and washes John and other dwellers' belongings away. John called this 'flushing the toilet' and told me that water routinely came over his head. 'When you think it's going to rain, you have your stuff at the end of that tunnel, ready to move.'" This really brings the whole thing home. Living in the tunnels as a homeless person is one thing, but being flooded out is another.
3 They Try and Make Homes
Sometimes, couples try and make homes out of their makeshift places underground. One such couple is Rick and Cindy. She says, "[I'm] just cleaning up the place. These two chairs are actually from the last flood, and they survived in the rushing water, holding on by their wheels." Rick built a kitchen area equipped with a camping stove, and Cindy decorated the place with Insane Clown Posse murals. "When Rick was in jail, I wrote, 'I Miss You.'" It really is amazing how some people in our society live. Most of us are extremely lucky and have no idea what it would be like to be homeless, in particular, being homeless underground with a loved one, trying to make some sort of a home out of it.
2 No One Knows How Many Mole People There Are
One of the things about this type of situation is that no one really knows how many mole people there are that actually exist in the world. It isn't that they come out and tell people about it, and census takers aren't exactly going through the tunnels looking for someone to talk to about such things. So, how many people really are there in this world who are living below the streets underground in tunnels? There's no way to tell. Some of it's just a big urban legend, but there's been enough research done to know that a lot of it is factual as well. All we really know for sure is that mole people are out there, and we also know that we're all lucky to not have to be one of them ourselves. Because that would be a total drag.
1 Some Of Them Like It
As crazy as it might sound to the rest of us, some of them actually like it. This is a quote from a mole person in New York City: “'I’m good here,' he says. 'No taxes, no rent, no nothing. There’s no hassle compared to the streets, you know what I’m saying? Here I don’t get bugged by kids. It’s a safe place. I can do what I wanna and I don’t have to take nothing from nobody.'" Well, yeah... there may be no hassle, and you may be safe, but once again, you live underground! It truly is an amazing and very sad thing that someone would rather live in a tunnel under the earth than live up above with the rest of us, but then again, none of us know how bad they had it, or what it's really like to be mole people.
Sources: vice.com; Wikipedia
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