Woman survives after spending 500 days alone in a dark underground cave
| Last updated
Ever emerged from under your covers after a heavy night out and felt like you've spent 500 days alone in a dark cave? Well, Beatriz Flamini can now tell us whether that feeling's accurate or not.
The 50-year-old athlete, from Madrid, bid goodbye to the outside world when she headed down 70 metres below the surface, to the place that would become her home for the next 500 days.
Cast your mind back to 20 November 2021. You probably can't remember what you were doing, but between the invasion of Ukraine, Rishi Sunak's appointment to Prime Minister and the infamous Will Smith Oscars slap, a lot has happened since.
Throughout all of that, Flamini was by herself underground, heading towards what is thought to be a world record for the longest time a person has spent alone in a cave.
She was hoping to learn about how the human mind and body can deal with extreme solitude and deprivation, and when she emerged on Friday (14 April), it was time to share her findings.
No, she didn't even get to shower first.
At a press conference, Flamini explained that she'd lost track of time after 65 days, and passed the time reading, drawing, knitting and even managing to keep fit, all the while documenting her journey on cameras for an upcoming documentary.
“I got on very well with myself," she said.
The 50-year-old - who was 48 when she entered the cave - never spoke out loud to herself, and focused on living in the present.
She told press: "I was where I wanted to be, and so I dedicated myself to it.
“For me at least, as an elite extreme sportswoman, the most important thing is being very clear and consistent about what you think and what you feel and what you say.
"It’s true that there were some difficult moments, but there were also some very beautiful moments – and I had both as I lived up to my commitment to living in a cave for 500 days.”
Some of those difficult moments included a fly invasion and an intense craving for roast chicken with potatoes - I can relate - but Flamini refused to give in, not even keeping up to date with what was going on in the outside world.
Her team delivered food to a collection point, and in return she left them her poo to be picked up. Not exactly the best trade, but all for the good of science.
With no way to keep track of time, Flamini was confused and half asleep when her team came down to the cave to tell her time was up.
"I thought something had happened. I said: ‘Already? No way.’ I hadn’t finished my book," she said.
Even when she emerged, Flamini didn't have a rush of joy over seeing the sunlight because it felt like she'd 'only just gone in'.
With her mission accomplished, Flamini added: “I still haven’t showered. But then, I’m an extreme sportswoman. I could go another 500 days.”
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/beatriz_flamini
Topics: World News