As the Chilean mine rescue continues, questions are surfacing about how the men actually survived for more than two months underground; namely, what in the world did they eat?
Many attribute shift boss Luiz Urzua's ability to ration and administer the very limited food supply during the first 17 days (in which there was no word from above) as instrumental in the miners' survival story.
So, what exactly were they rationing?
The miners rationed themselves to two spoonfuls of tuna, two biscuits, a bit of peach, and a half-full glass of milk every 48 hours. It sounds like a minuscule amount of food -- but it was enough to keep them going.
When the rescuers finally located the miners after 17 days, they began sending them hydration gel and soup through tiny drill holes, and later switched to more substantive items including meat and rice. The trick was to keep the men thin enough to fit into the evacuation shaft, which, as we can see from TV, is really quite narrow (only two feet around).
Just a few days before the rescue began, the miners were proscribed a special diet recommended by NASA that included saltwater supplements and aspirin to prevent hypertension and other stress-related injuries that could occur during the dramatic extraction.
And now that their rescue is imminent, the miners have been telling relatives to have their favorite foods at the ready -- requesting everything from seafood stew and spaghetti to empanadas and fish fry.
No doubt they'll never want to look at tuna fish again.
Image via Rescate Mineros/Flickr