If you’ve ever been to Las Vegas, then you have probably seen the famous strip. Along that busy thoroughfare, you’ll find all sorts of ways to stay entertained and to keep yourself busy. Not only are there abundant casinos and bars to keep your buzz going, but you can also see some of the best shows on the planet. While Las Vegas is known for its abundant party scene, there is actually a whole other part of the city just beneath the surface that leads an entirely different kind of life.
In the subterranean pits of Las Vegas, you’ll find a group of people living out their lives. They have founded a semi-secret city of hundreds of people living in the city’s shadow underneath the streets. That’s because these people have built a life for themselves inside some 200 miles of city infrastructure and sewer lines. And since Las Vegas was built in a desert, those lines remain dry almost all year long.
In the images below photographed by Austin Hargrave, you’ll see the side of Las Vegas that the marketers and casino magnates don’t want you to know about. But that’s all changing thanks to this renegade urban photographer.
Because there was so much infrastructure left behind in the bowels of Las Vegas, people have decided to turn them into permanent dwellings. They even have running water and other necessities that they’ve hooked up from various lines under the city. They’ve created living rooms and bedrooms in the corners of the sewers and managed to salvage furniture and other materials to keep themselves comfortable. Many of the materials were being thrown away by the hotels and casinos, which were located above.
Las Vegas likes to keep things opulent. But with opulence comes waste. That means these scavengers managed to collect what they needed to live a good life in the sewers of Las Vegas. Because of all the junk being tossed out by the hotels and casinos, it is easy to be homeless in Las Vegas. There is so much to scavenge that the city draws people who otherwise have nowhere to live.
Although there are people living beneath the surface of Sin City, tourists would probably be clueless as to their presence if it weren’t for urban explorers and photographers like Austin Hargrave, who has made it his mission to capture the truth of the City of Sin.
Because people are living beneath the surface of the Earth, they don’t have to deal with the extreme heat and dryness of the Las Vegas desert. That means the lifestyle underneath the ground of this western city is rather temperature controlled. They also don’t have to worry about annoying things like bills or figuring out how they’re going to afford their next meal. It’s all decided for them by what the hotels are tossing into the garbage that day. And for those who do decide to hold down a job, they get to collect money without having to pay a mortgage or rent.
What do you think about the subterranean population of Las Vegas?
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