I came across the following post on Facebook (original text is on Portuguese, translation and emphasis by me):


The former Buddhist monk and coach of the twelve boys stuck in a cave in Thailand taught them how to meditate so they don't panic. The group was at the cave for 18 days before the first rescue. The coach fasted in order to leave more food to the boys. The solidarity of the Thai people is impressive. 92% of the population is Buddhist.

Three boys meditating inside a cave

Although the post comes from a very unreliable source, some information seems to be almost accurate (like the fact that 92% of Thai population is Buddhist).

So, my question is: did the coach actually teach the boys how to meditate? Is the highlighted part of this caption accurate?

(I couldn't find better tags for this question, feel free to edit them)

  • 1
    Since it is unlikely the boys had a chance to change clothes while in the cave, it might be enough to find publicly available images that are able to be verified as authentic and compare their faces and clothing to that of the boys in the photograph under question. (Keep in mind that shades can vary, because of the lack of natural lighting, so green and blue could be confused, but long/short pants, or clothing designs, or shoes, and so on, could be confirming indicators.
    – ErikE
    Commented Jul 14, 2018 at 23:55

1 Answer 1


According to an Australian news site the assistant coach Ekkapol Chantawong was a novice monk who began coaching the team after leaving the monastery he had lived in since the age of twelve. The site states:

Weak from malnutrition after denying himself food, the former monk novice has kept the trapped boys calm in their subterranean prison by teaching them meditation.

However, I am unable to find any images of the soccer team that match the picture accompanying the Facebook post. So the story is apparently right but the image may be wrong.


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