Hawaiian Alison Teal took her surfboard 40 metres underground to surf the Catacombs of Paris to highlight the importance of keeping our waterways clean for future generations.
At times she had to crawl through the passageways and then, on her surfboard, Alison paddled in the water under the city. It was shocking that there was a maze of over 6 million skeletons beneath the city.
Alison was in France to promote the cleaning up our oceans and freshwater sources. She also gave a speech at the Environmental World Forum while she was there.
To highlight the issues Alison took the eerie pictures in the Catacombs and also paddled around some more scenic spots including the river Seine in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.
The Catacombs are a series of mines and ossuaries below the city stretching over 200 miles and containing the bodies of over six million displaced skeletons from cave ins and overflowing cemeteries.
It was a shocking and very serious experience
“It was a shocking and very serious experience” Alison told Wavelength. “I hope this inspires the city to offer proper burials to those skeletons who have been piled up there.”
“‘We were taken down this secret passage way. It was very James Bond style.”
‘The caves got narrower and narrower until we were crawling on all fours to get through. It was so suffocating, there was minimal oxygen and you couldn’t see far.”
After capturing the shots, Alison and her support team were shocked to discover the water level had risen.
“We got down to one of the lowest levels when all of a sudden water started flooding the tunnels. It was time to surf.”
“After we took the paddling shots we couldn’t go back the way we came. We had to go through the water to the other side to get out.”
“Skulls lined the walls and it smelled horrid. As soon as someone turned a corner, you had no idea where they went.” She added.
This isn’t Alison’s first brush with danger and you may even recognise that pink board and bikini from a dicey deal when she surfed the erupting Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii.