A man who was panning for gold under his kitchen floor, chasing a literal dream that a valuable ore was waiting for him, died after falling into the hole.
João Pimenta da Silva, a 71-year-old Brazilian resident, plunged into the 130-foot well he had been digging for a year on January 5.
Neighbors told local media that João was prompted to start digging after a “spirit” visited him in a prophetic dream and told him that there was buried treasure located under his house.
Arnaldo da Silva (no relation) told O GLobo: “João had I spent over a year digging the hole and hired many people to do the excavation work.
“He started by paying 70 Brazilian reais (about $19 Canadian) per day when the hole was still shallow, but the deeper it went, the more the costs increased.
Arnaldo said João “sold everything he had in search of this gold,” including several real estate properties.
Photos shared on X (formerly Twitter) by local firefighters show a hole which goes down as far as the eye can see.
The 2nd sergeant of the Minas Gerais Fire Department, Luís Filipe de Miranda, told Estado newspaper that João was He was probably an experienced excavator. and would have had professional help.
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He said that although the equipment used was “archaic” and “homemade”, the vertical cut of the tunnel was “perfect”.
“This the tunnel looks like something extraterrestrialwith the perfection with which he dug it: a very small diameter, a very perfect cylinder, 40 meters deep,” Miranda said.
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Arnaldo told O Globo that he was uncomfortable with his neighbor’s plans and repeatedly tried to advise him to stop digging.
However, he added, in recent days João had started looking for dynamite to blow up a rock that was obstructing the excavation.
Firefighters reported that João died after fall from the access seat – what they believe to be a repurposed children’s swing – in the well. O Globo reports that he was working on remove mud and water when dead.
In total, João and his team of rotating assistants managed to dig a hole the equivalent of 12 stories deep and about 90 centimeters in diameter before dying.
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