Living in the Sahara is undoubtedly a very difficult affair, with most not wanting or even thinking of such a scenario. Something that Mauro Prosperi did not calculate much and managed to stay alive after nine days in the warmest desert in the world.
According to grunge.com, The Sahara Marathon has been described as one of the toughest races on the planet, as participants cross 250km in six days in the Sahara Desert in southern Morocco.. In all respects, it is an exhausting journey for which one must be very well educated. Participants must carry whatever they need on their backs, except for the water, which is given at various checkpoints.
The Italian who managed to survive in the Sahara desert for nine days
In 1994, the then 39-year-old Mauro Prosperi, an Italian police officer and former Olympic pentathlete, decided to take part in the Marathon. Things went smoothly until the fourth day, when an eight-hour sandstorm occurred.
Prosperi decided to continue his fight, ending up sleeping during the sandstorm. When he woke up, he did not believe he was lost but soon realized he was wrong. Those in charge of the fight, on the other hand, knew that Prosperi would be in danger if he was not spotted quickly. However, no rescue team was able to locate him.
Somewhere in the middle of the desert, Prosperi was still walking. He had with him a knife, a compass, a sleeping bag and some food. What he lacked, however, was water. According to Medical News Today, the human body can survive without water for about three days, reports grunge.com. But how did Prosperi survive his ordeal?
Although Prosperi was not convinced that he was in danger – he thought he would be found relatively soon, which did not happen – he urinated in a bottle of water cautiously, remembering the story his grandfather had once told him. So he and the other soldiers during the war did exactly the same thing when they were left without water.
The Italian athlete did not give up even when he realized that no one was coming to save him. He kept walking. According to grunge.com, Prosperi ended up finding refuge in a Marabut (Muslim shrine). There, he drank his own urine and cooked with it. He ate and drank the blood of the bats he found, with the anti-diarrhea medicine he had with him preventing him from getting sick and losing more fluids.
The suicide attempt and his salvation
After failing to be spotted by a helicopter he spotted flying, Prosperi was disappointed. So he wrote a farewell letter and cut his veins. However, he did not die because his blood was so thick from dehydration that he had not run. Prosperi took it as a sign that he had to continue. He left the marathon and continued walking on desert for days, killing snakes and lizards and eating them raw.
He was eventually rescued when he fell on a small shepherd community. He had ended up in Algeria, had lost 35 kilos and it took him two years to fully recover. As soon as he succeeded, however, Prosperi took part again in the Sahara Marathon, while he continues to compete in other desert marathons.