[Yahoo Homes editor's pick, 2013: Every December, we look back at our most popular stories of the year. We've had some terrific ones recently, like the amazing artist who hand-carves soaring, swirling caves where none existed before; and the architect who, hit by foreclosure, built a tiny house for $11,000; and the architect who put the world's "biggest public toilet" in a glass cube in the middle of a clearing. But our most popular story of the year was this one, published way back on Jan. 24, 2013.]
For many people, the idea of living under a rock might seem like the punchline of a joke. But for one Mexican couple, a hut wedged below a 130-foot boulder in Coahuila, Mexico, has been home for the past 30 years.
A reporter recently visited the couple, Benito Hernandez and Santa Martha de la Cruz Villarreal, in their primitive desert home 50 miles south of Texas. Hernandez is a farmer who plants and collects the Candelilla plant used in making Candelilla wax.
He first saw this boulder 55 years ago, when he was 8, and decided to make it a home one day. Twenty years later he was able to secure rights to the land.
"I started coming here when I was 8 years old to visit the Candelilla (harvesting) fields, and I liked it here. I liked it and then I continued visiting every three to four months. I wasn't married and I didn't have a family yet, but I liked it and I had to keep coming to put my foot in (on the property) because lands here are won through claiming them," Hernandez told Reuters.
The home, made of sun-dried bricks and cement, has a dirt floor, a wood stove, and no plumbing. Electrical service is said to be unreliable. A nearby stream supplies fresh drinking water. In winter, though, the water source freezes over.
"It gets very cold here and we struggle to get food. We have to work hard here on the Candelilla (fields). That's the only job we have. That's what we live from," said Hernandez.
The couple have seven children, six of whom are married and live nearby.
More 2013 editor's picks from Yahoo Homes:
• Soaring, swirling caves hand-carved by one man
• Architect's big idea: tiny $11,000 house
• World's "biggest public toilet" is a glass cube in the middle of nature
• Stunning conversion of abandoned public bathrooms into a posh home
• Young artists quit jobs to build glass cabin in the woods