February 1, 2023

Raven Tribune

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After 40 days in the dark: Volunteers leave the cave

After 40 days in the dark
Volunteers leave the cave

No cell phone, no meetings – and no daylight: 15 volunteers spent the last 40 days in a cave in the Pyrenees on a scientific service. Now they are out again, but you have to get used to it first.

After 40 days in a cave in the French Pyrenees, 15 volunteers returned to daylight on Saturday. Women and men between the ages of 25 and 50 wore sunglasses. Said one participant in front of cameras near the town of Tarascan-sur-Ariz in southwestern France. “We went out.” The purpose of the experiment, conducted by Swiss researcher Christian Clot, was to examine the consequences of losing time and space.

Participants and Clot lived in the “Deep Time” program at 10.5 degrees Celsius without a clock, telephone and daylight and in the Lombrevs Cave with almost 100 percent humidity. They had to produce electricity with a kind of exercise bike and had to fetch drinking water from a depth of 45 meters. Got food for 40 days. “Humidity has a huge impact,” Claude said Saturday. As time progressed further, participants grew more hungry. Volunteers were fitted with sensors to monitor their behavior by affiliates in France and Switzerland.

The rehearsal was particularly surprising with the complete loss of tracking: “I thought it was a real shock, five or six days,” said 29-year-old Emily Kim-fu. Others announced a change in sleep wake times. While some participants are now awake, others are asleep. The grotto is divided into three parts: one to sleep, one to research and one cave to stay.

The next big task for everyone involved is to synchronize with the outside world, Cloud said. In addition, it is not easy to separate from others after spending all the time together.

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