Over the past week, people have been debating whether they would stay in the catacombs of Paris for a cool $10 million.
The debate is entirely hypothetical, started by the account "creepy.org" on Twitter. $10 million is a lot of money, so why aren't people keen? Well, as well as concerns about respect for the dead, it might be because of the fear of piles and piles of skulls and bones that are down there.
In 18th-century Paris, the cemeteries were overflowing. Having used several large central graveyards for centuries, Louis XV ordered in 1763 that no more bodies be placed inside the capital, given the incredible stench coming from the cemeteries and the rotting flesh they contained.
While a good step, the problem wasn't over. The church continued to bury people within the city until an alternative could be found. As well as this, the bodies that were already interred remained within the cemeteries, really stinking up the place, with no plans to move them.
In 1780, some of these bodies were freed once more. After months of heavy rain, an undergound wall separating the infamous Les Innocents graveyard from a cellar of a house collapsed, causing many bodies to spill into the house. After an outbreak of disease, more effort was put into finding a place to reinter the city's 6 million corpses.
The solution was to rehouse the city's corpses in old abandoned mines and tunnels just outside of the city. The grim job – that nobody but the poorest laborers would accept – resulted in the catacombs.
At first, the tunnels were a disorganized mess of bones and skulls, before further work was commissioned in the 19th century to organize the catacombs into a mausoleum, including the walls of skulls and femurs seen in the tunnels today.
Incredibly, some people do want to spend the night in the catacombs. In 2015, Airbnb launched a Halloween competition to let two lucky guests have a sleepover with the millions of dead. Brazilian Pedro Arruda won the competition and stayed over with an unnamed guest, telling AP News, “I’d be much more scared if they were alive."