WITH A SMILE on her face and wearing dark glasses to protect her from the daylight, Spanish climber and elite sportswoman Beatriz Flamini emerged on Friday morning from a cave in Spain’s Granada province after spending 500 days completely cut off from human contact.
Flamini’s achievement, which had been kept under wraps until yesterday, sets a new world record for the amount of time spent underground with no contact with the outside world.
The experience was recorded and will be used for a documentary, and will also be the basis for scientific studies.
‘When I saw the light I didn’t feel anything, because it felt like I had only just entered,’ she told reporters at a press conference on Friday. ‘For me it’s still November 21, 2021, I have no idea of what’s been going on in the world,’ she added.
Flamini later told the Cadena SER radio network that one of the biggest surprises for her was the news that Queen Elizabeth II had died.
The climber spent her time in the 70-metre-deep cave reading, writing and painting, among other activities, and was being closely monitored by a team that ensured her safety.
She could communicate with the outside world via the internet but could not receive any information.
According to Europa Press, the 500-day experience required 1.5 tonnes of materials and food, as well as a thousand litres of water.
The previous record in Spain for such an experiment was 103 days, while the world record was 269 days, set in 2007 by Italian Christine Lanzoni.
Other isolation experiences such as this one have mostly been carried out in underground laboratories, with some kind of communication with the outside world.
In the case of Flamini, she didn’t even have a watch or a clock, and ate, drank and slept according to the ‘sensations of her body’.
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