Science

Group of volunteers spent 40 days in isolation in French cave … and some want to return as soon as possible

A group of fifteen French volunteers recently spent 40 days in complete isolation as a scientific experiment in a cave in Lombrives in southwestern France. There they had no sunlight or clocks. Now a few weeks later, some of them would prefer to return as soon as possible.

The Deep Time experiment wanted to investigate how our brains deal with time. In addition, the scientists also wanted to study the synchronization capacity of a group. To find out, they sent a group of 15 people between the ages of 27 and 50 on an expedition into a cave for 40 days.

In that cave the volunteers slept in tents, made their own electricity and had no contact with the outside world. There was also no sunlight and no clocks.

“Was simple in that cave”

When the group was released on April 24, the volunteers turned out to be surprisingly optimistic. They all said they were surprised that the 40 days had already passed. In the cave, time seemed to pass more slowly than in reality. Two thirds also said that their stay could have been longer.

Now, almost two weeks later, that feeling is still alive in some of the volunteers. According to team leader Christian Clot, there are at least three members of the group who would like to go back to the cave. He said that recently in an interview with Insider. “It was so simple in that cave,” he explains.

Watch the liberation from the cave here

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