Have you ever thought about living in the wilderness? Now what about survival in the wilderness for over 40 years, living in isolation? It was the summer of 1978, and a group of geologists landed in a seemingly uninhabited part of the Siberian taiga, not far from Mongolia, and 150 miles away from the closest known human settlement.
Geologists stumbled across Karp Lykov and his family — Old Believers and members of a fundamentalist Russian Orthodox sect who had been persecuted by the Tsars and Soviets, who had escaped to live in isolation and live in the wilderness. The Lykov’s had fled to the forest of Siberia in 1936 with their two young children, later giving birth to two more in the next few years.
For over 40 years, they were able to live in isolation and survive in the wild and only heard about the outside world from their parents. They completely missed World War II and were unaware of its actual occurrence until geologists chanced upon finding them in 1978.
According to Smithsonian.com, the family had lived completely off of their own resources, like growing food in their garden (and almost starving,) re-patching clothing until it fell apart and later, replacing patches with hemp cloth that they grew. Sometimes, when weather or nature was especially tough, they would eat tree bark and shoes.
The Lykov family slowly but surely began accepting modern gifts from the scientists-such as salt, cutlery, pens, paper, and flashlights. They sometimes visited the scientists at their camp and were captivated by television.
In 1981, and only a few short years after making contact with the Soviet geologists, 4 of the 6 family members died (two died of kidney failure.) In 1988, one son died of pneumonia and the father died in his sleep. The last surviving daughter retreated into the Serbian forest to live with isolation and survive in the wild.
Inquisitr readers: Have you ever wanted to live in isolation and live in the wilderness? Do you think you could survive for more than 40 years living in the wilderness?
[Images via Smithsonian.com]