Alex Hinds


A morbid curiosity - why do people do extreme caving?


I quite like to induldge the YouTube algorithm sometimes and see where it takes me. Recently, I was served a video of the Nutty Putty cave incident. I went down a rabbit hole.

I'm not really into caving. I'm claustrophobic, although I have been in a few tight caves previously it's not something that I've ever really enjoyed. So this YouTube adventure was more of a morbid curiosity than anything else.

This is the video:

It's a 20 minute or so account of the incident. It's a pretty harrowing story.

That led me to this video on the Veryovkina Cave:

Which led me to (this one actually has a generally postive ending):

Which led me to this now in cave diving. Which is a whole other level of crazy:

Why do people do this?

I don't really get it. I mean I kinda get the risk and adventure lens to some extent but really nothing about this feels even remotely sane - which maybe is why I couldn't help but watch more. It's uncomfortable, it's claustrophobic, and at the end you're left in pitch dark, freezing cold - and then you turn around.

People die doing this. The Nutty Putty incident just feels so pointless.

I don't know why it's stuck with me, but maybe because I've got young kids and quite a few of the cavers (always young men) tend to have families too and are putting themselves in needlessly risky situations. Anyway just thought I'd share here.

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