Benito Hernandez Has Lived Under a Rock in Mexico for More Than 30 Years

Mexican Family Turns Rock Formation Into Home
Mexican Family Turns Rock Formation Into Home

We've all heard the expression, "Have you been living under a rock?!" But there are very few people who can genuinely respond: "I have." Benito Hernandez, of Coahulla, Mexico, is one of them. For more than 30 years, he, his wife and their seven children have been living under a 130-foot-diameter rock. The rock acts as the roof of their sun-dried-brick home, located in the remote desert town of San Jose de Piedras, about 50 miles from the Texas border.

From the outside, the home itself is barely discernible. The rock hovers, mushroom-like, over the tiny home. Inside, the dwelling is humble: a low rock ceiling, dirt floors, simple wood furnishings. The family supports itself by harvesting a variety of local desert plants, cooking on a wood-burning stove and drawing water from a nearby spring.

Despite the primitive conditions and harsh winters, the Hernandez family wouldn't have it any other way: They spent 20 years fighting to gain title to the land they live on. Many might wonder: Why? Hernandez says that it all started with a childhood dream. "I started coming here when I was 8 years old [to visit the candellila fields]," Hernandez told the BBC. "And I liked it. And I had to keep coming."

Living under a rock in the Mexican desert might be a little extreme, but it's hardly the strangest living situation we've heard of. There's the couple who turned a school bus into a home -- a totally rent- and mortgage-free one at that. Then there's the underground missile silo home we visited in upstate New York. Our favorites, though, might be the totally off-the-grid communities around the globe that we discovered in our "Off the Grid" series.

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