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Extreme athlete who lived in a cave for 509 DAYS reveals how she is ‘still getting used to the outside world’ a year later

An extreme sportswoman who lived in a cave for 509 days as part of a science experiment has revealed that a year later she is still struggling to adjust to the outside world.

Beatriz Flamini, 51, started her challenge on November 20, 2021 – before the outbreak of the war between Russia and Ukraine and the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

She had no contact with the outside world for a year, four months and 22 days as she lived 70 meters underground in a 10 meter high cavity in Granada, Spain.

And when she emerged on April 14, 2023, back to the real world – and the prospect of a hot shower – it wasn’t quite the feeling of joy she’d expected.

Speaking at The Explorers Club’s Global Exploration Summit (GLEX) In Portugal, Flamini admitted that she did not want to leave the cave and that the “first six months after her departure were very disturbing.”

Beatriz Flamini, 51, began her challenge in Granada, Spain, on November 20, 2021 – before the outbreak of the war between Russia and Ukraine and the death of Queen Elizabeth II

During her speech at The Explorers Club's Global Exploration Summit (GLEX) in Portugal, Flamini revealed that she did not want to leave the cave

Beatriz Flamini, 51, started her cave-dwelling challenge in Granada, Spain, on November 20, 2021 – before the outbreak of the war between Russia and Ukraine and the death of Queen Elizabeth II

For a year, four months and 22 days, Flamini had no contact with the outside world as she lived 70 meters underground in a 39 meter high cavity in Granada, Spain

For a year, four months and 22 days, Flamini had no contact with the outside world while living 70 meters underground in a 10-meter-high cavity in Granada, Spain.

Because Flamini generally enjoys spending time alone, she says she didn't find the challenge of living in a cave daunting

Because Flamini enjoys spending time alone in general, she says she didn’t find her cave living challenge daunting

Flamini explained in a video interview that after being isolated for so long, she felt like she no longer fit into society.

On how she feels about things now, the adventurer continued: ‘I’m still getting used to the outside world, but I still feel like I don’t fit in.

‘You learn so much about yourself.

“You are your own company, no one judges you, you don’t judge yourself.”

Because Flamini generally enjoys spending time alone, she says she didn’t find the challenge of living in a cave daunting.

After entering the underground dwelling, she quickly structured her days into a vague routine.

Recalling her daily routine in the dark, she said, “You know, when I woke up, the first thing I did was eat breakfast.

‘Then I would perform my hygiene routine in a place in the cave where there was no light.

After arriving at the underground dwelling, she quickly began to structure her days into a vague routine

After entering the underground dwelling, she quickly structured her days with a vague routine

She explained in a video interview that after being isolated for so long, she felt like she no longer fit into society.

She explained in a video interview that after being isolated for so long, she felt like she no longer fit into society.

‘I went downstairs to leave my rubbish and then, out of necessity, I knitted, wrote, read, drew, [I] just be there, that’s what I would do. [I] tried to keep the cave clean.

‘Psychologically speaking, being in the cave was nothing for me at all. It was very easy.

‘When they came to tell me to get out, I actually didn’t want to leave. I did not want to.’

Flamini was a guest speaker at The Explorers Club’s Global Exploration Summit (GLEX) and was described in the program as an “extreme athlete and mountain climber… known for her self-isolation and self-reliance.”

Her caving pursuit was part of a project called Timecave, which was designed to explore what it would be like for someone to go solo underground for so long.

Flamini documented her experiences with two cameras and placed the recordings at an exchange point in the cave.

Her teammates brought food and other supplies to the pickup site and cleaned up anything she left there.

Because she had no sense of time, she said she stopped counting the days after she calculated she had been there for about 60 days.

Her caving pursuit was part of a project called Timecave, which was designed to study what it would take for someone to go solo underground for so long.

Her caving research was part of a project called Timecave, which was designed to study how someone would fare staying alone underground for so long

With no sense of time, she said she stopped counting the days after calculating she had been there for about 60 days

With no sense of time, she said she stopped counting the days after calculating she had been there for about 60 days

A group of psychologists, researchers, speleologists and movement trainers from Timecave studied the recordings, but had no direct contact with her.

They investigated the impact of social isolation and extreme temporary disorientation on people’s perception of time, the possible neuropsychological and cognitive changes people undergo underground, and the impact on circadian rhythms and sleep.

In images provided by Timecave, she talks about her stay in the cave: ‘Caves are quite safe places, but they are also very hostile to humans and the brain. You don’t see daylight, you don’t know how time passes and you don’t get any neurological stimulation.

“It’s not that time goes faster or slower, it just doesn’t because it’s always four in the morning.”

The top athlete, who twice celebrated her birthday while alone underground, is said to have broken the world record for the longest time spent in a cave, according to her support team.

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