A Spanish excessive athlete has emerged from a cave after spending 500 days with no human contact, in what may very well be a world document.
When Beatriz Flamini entered the cave in Grenada, Russia had not invaded Ukraine and the world was nonetheless in the grip of the Covid pandemic.
It was a part of an experiment carefully monitored by scientists.
“I’m still stuck on November 21, 2021. I don’t know anything about the world,” she mentioned after exiting the cave.
Ms Flamini, 50, entered the cave aged 48. She spent her time in the 70-metres (230 ft) deep cave exercising, drawing and knitting woolly hats. She acquired by way of 60 books and 1,000 litres of water, in accordance with her assist staff.
She was monitored by a gaggle of psychologists, researchers, speleologists – specialists in the examine of caves – however not one of the specialists made contact together with her.
Footage on the Spanish TVE station confirmed her climbing out of the cave grinning, earlier than hugging her staff.
Speaking shortly afterwards, she described her expertise as “excellent, unbeatable”.
“I’ve been silent for a year-and-a-half, not talking to anyone but myself,” she mentioned, whereas reporters pressed her for extra particulars.
“I lose my balance, that’s why I’m being held. If you allow me to take a shower – I haven’t touched water for a year-and-a-half – I’ll see you in a little while. Is that OK with you?”
Ms Flamini later advised reporters she misplaced monitor of time after about two months.
“There was a moment when I had to stop counting the days,” she mentioned, including that she thought she’d been in the cave for “between 160-170 days”.
One of the hardest moments got here when there was an invasion of flies contained in the cave, leaving her lined, she mentioned.
The excessive athlete additionally described “auditory hallucinations”.
“You are silent and the brain makes it up,” she mentioned.
Experts have been utilizing her time in isolation to check the influence of social isolation and excessive non permanent disorientation on folks’s notion of time.
Ms Flamini’s assist staff mentioned she has damaged a world document for the longest time spent in a cave, however the Guinness Book of Records has not confirmed whether or not there’s a document for voluntary time living in a cave.
It has awarded the “longest time survived trapped underground” to the 33 Chilean and Bolivian miners who spent 69 days 688 m (2,257 ft) underground after the collapse of a copper-gold mine in Chile in 2010.