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The Chilean miners' life underground: Porn, pot, and other details
A new book offers insights into the 69-day ordeal the 33 trapped Chilean miners underwent
The "live" broadcast of the miners' 22-hour rescue reportedly was not entirely live, a new book alleges.
The "live" broadcast of the miners' 22-hour rescue reportedly was not entirely live, a new book alleges.
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ccording to a new book-length account, the Chilean miners who were trapped underground for 69 days last year turned to pot and porn while they waited to be rescued. In 33 Men, journalist Jonathan Franklin writes that rescuers and the families of the trapped men went to great lengths to make the miners' ordeal "more bearable" and keep their spirits high. Here, five new revelations:

1. Some miners smoked pot — but didn't share
One of the trapped miners, Samuel Avalos, says he repeatedly noticed a group steal away to smoke pot that they'd presumably received in letters from their families. But the smokers "never even offered" him any. Franklin writes that the weed "created more tension than it relieved," and officials considered using sniffer dogs to stop the drug-filled letters from reaching the men. Be that as it may, the marijuana-using miners are "heroes to stoners everywhere," says Adrian Chen at Gawker.

2. The miners asked for sex toys
Some of the trapped men asked for blow-up sex dolls and condoms — and planned to set up "a separate room for 'conjugal visits' with the plastic women." Ultimately, the supplier who offered to donate 10 sex dolls was turned down over fears that his contribution would create resentment. "I said 33 or none," says Dr. Jean Romagnoli, as quoted in the Daily Mail. "Otherwise [the men] would be fighting for inflatable dolls: Whose turn is it? Who was seen with whose fiancée? You are flirting with my inflatable doll." The men were sent pinup posters and pornography instead.

3. They contemplated cannibalism
In the first (and most isolated) stage of their confinement, the men shared their food equally, even as their supply dwindled to the extent that each man received a mere spoonful of tuna every couple of days. After praying (in vain) that their tuna supply would miraculously double, the starving miners reportedly considered cannibalism. "They told me that they had a pot and a saw ready," Franklin says, in an interview with 60 Minutes. Luckily, on day 17, rescuers drilled through and a new food supply became available.

4. And considered suicide
Miner Victor Zamora says he and the others thought about ending their own lives by poisoning themselves with carbon monoxide. "I said to a friend, 'Well, if we're gonna continue suffering, it would be better for us to all go to the shelter, [and] start an engine...,'" says Zamora in an interview with 60 Minutes.

5. The Chilean government faked part of the rescue broadcast
At one point during the 22-hour rescue operation that brought the men to the surface, the shaft became unstable and a rockfall cut the rescue cable. Franklin says that the Chilean government interrupted the live television feed, and re-aired earlier video while emergency repairs were made. "A billion viewers around the world were ... tricked," Franklin says.

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