She Lost Track of Time After 2 Months in Cave— 440 Days Ago

Beatriz Flamini emerges from cave she entered in November 2021
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2023 11:26 AM CDT
Updated Apr 16, 2023 12:20 PM CDT

"I'm still stuck on November 21, 2021. I don't know anything about the world." So said Spanish extreme athlete Beatriz Flamini after exiting a cave outside Granada on Friday where she passed the last 500 days with zero human contact. The BBC describes it as both a possible world record-setting feat and an experiment that was monitored—from a contactless distance—by psychologists, speleologists, and other scientists. Now 50, Flamini passed the time in the 230-foot-deep cave by reading (finishing a book roughly every 8 days), knitting, drawing, and exercising. What she didn't do: shower. "I haven't touched water for a year-and-a-half," she said after emerging, beyond the 1,000 liters she consumed. More:

  • She says that about two months in she lost track of time. "It's not that the time passes more quickly or more slowly, simply that it doesn't pass, because it's always four in the morning," Flamini she said in a video record while still underground, reports CBS News. "When they came in to get me, I was asleep. I thought something had happened. I said: 'Already? Surely not.'"
  • Reuters details the world as she last knew it: "She began her challenge on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021—before the outbreak of the Ukraine war, the resultant cost of living crisis, the end of Spain's lengthy COVID mask requirement and the death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II."
  • She describes her support team as "like gods," saying they were responsible for hauling out her waste and delivering things like avocados and clean T-shirts.
(More caves stories.)

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