Extreme Echolocators

Ben Underwood – The Echo Locator

Last Updated on June 14, 2020 by Darshan Modi

Ben Underwood
Ben Underwood


Ben Underwood lost his sight but was able to locate different objects and move around just by making clicking sounds with his tongue.


Ben Underwood was born on 26th January 1992 in Riverside, California.

Early Life

Ben Underwood was born a very normal healthy and happy child.
A month after he was born, Ben Underwood’s mother Aquanetta noticed a certain strange glow in his right eye and just three days after she noticed this, Ben woke up with his right eye pupil white. It was then that his mother noticed that he could not see with his right eye.
In 1992, when Ben Underwood was two years old, he did not at all complain about his right eye. Either way, his mother decided to take him to a pediatrician. She was immediately referred to an ophthalmologist.
A number of tests were done on Ben and the results revealed that he had Bilateral Retinoblastoma, which in simpler terms means cancer in both his eyes.
The cancer had consumed his right eye really bad that it had to be removed. The doctors tried to save his left eye with a series of chemotherapy and radiation but this however did not work. The left eye too had to be removed.
Later on, Ben Underwood was taught how to echolocate at the age of 5 and was from then able to locate objects by using his tongue to make clicking sounds.

About Ben Underwood

When Ben later came home, his siblings helped him do things around the house. They would help him put on his clothes and socks correctly and whenever they went somewhere; his younger brother Isaiah described their particular surrounding just to make sure Ben pictured everything.
His mother always brought him to where she was going most of the time and each time, Ben would always put his hand in his mom’s back pocket in order to keep up with her.
As early as 4th grade, Ben started writing a novel. He could type on a normal keyboard at an average speed of 60 words per minute. He also hoped to invent his own video game.
Ben Underwood played video games, climbed trees, went skating, biking and even played basketball just like other kids. In fact, it was as if he had never lost his sight at all.
Ben was featured in Peoples Magazine where he had been given the opportunity to swim with the dolphins in Sea World.
He had also started learning Japanese which he really loved and wished to study in Japan.
Ben Underwood died on 19th January 2009 from the same cancer that he had suffered before. He was 16 years old.

ALSO READ ABOUT:   Daniel Kish - A Master Of Echolocation

Genetic Or Learned

Ben Underwood was diagnosed with retinal cancer when he was two years old which had his eyes removed. From then on, he was taught how to echolocate.

Names Known By

Ben The Echo Locator

Official Website



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