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Woman leaves cave after 500 days underground with no contact with outside world

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A woman has emerged from a cave after spending 500 days underground.

Extreme athlete Beatriz Flamini entered the cave in Granada, Spain, on November 20, 2021, as part of a science experiment, and has since had no contact with the outside world.

"I'm still stuck on November 21, 2021. I don't know anything about the world," she said after exiting the cave.

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When Beatriz entered the cave, Queen Elizabeth II was still alive, Russia hadn't invaded Ukraine, and the much of the world was still in the midst of the Covid pandemic.

She was also 48 at the time and spent two birthdays alone in the 70m (230ft)-deep cave.

Her support team revealed she spent most of her time exercising, drawing and knitting woolly hats.

She also reportedly drank 1000L of water and read 60 books in that time.

The bizarre exercise was part of an experiment to learn more about the human mind's capabilities and circadian rhythms, and Beatriz was monitored by psychologists, researchers and speleologists, who are experts in the study of caves, throughout her time underground.

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However, none of these people made contact with her and Beatriz didn't speak to a soul for nearly a year and a half.

Today (Friday, April 14) Beatriz was shown on the Spanish TVE station climbing out of the cave smiling and hugging members of her team.

Speaking to reporters at the scene, she said: "I've been silent for a year and a half, not talking to anyone but myself.

"I lose my balance, that's why I'm being held. If you allow me to take a shower – I haven't touched water for a year and a half – I'll see you in a little while. Is that OK with you?"

She later told reporters she began to lose track of time after about two months.

"There was a moment when I had to stop counting the days," she said before adding she thought she'd been underground for "between 160-170 days".

Beatriz said all the time spent alone had caused her to suffer what she called "auditory hallucinations".

"You are silent and the brain makes it up," she said.

She also added one of her most difficult moments was when the cave was invaded with flies, leaving her crawling with bugs.

But despite the hardship, she branded her experience "excellent" and "unbeatable".

Scientists have used Beatriz's stint underground to study the impact of social isolation on people, as well as the effects of extreme temporary disorientation on people's perception of time.

It is thought she may have broken a world record for the longest time spent in a cave, but the Guinness World Records has yet to confirm whether there is a record for time spent voluntarily living in a cave.

It previously awarded the "longest time survived trapped underground" to the 33 Chilean and Bolivian miners who spent 69 days 688 m (2,257 ft) underground after the collapse of a mine in Chile back in 2010.

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