Siberian Hermit Woman Lived Entire Life in Wilderness Until Airlifted to Hospital

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siberian
(Photo: CEN)

 

Agafia Lykova, 70, has lived her entire life isolated from the outside world in the Siberian wilderness. Her family was so isolated, in fact, that WWII came and passed without the family even knowing about it.

She recently used an emergency satellite phone to ask for medical assistance for leg pain caused by the bitter cold. She was airlifted to Kemerovo, an industrial city in Oblast.

She is the last member of a religious family that fled civilization in 1936 because they feared persecution from Russian dictator Josef Stalin's Communist government.

Agafia was born at the cabin and grew up there. Gradually all of her relatives died. She is the only survivor of the family of five. For the first 35 years of her life, she had absolutely no contact with anyone from the outside world. 

Life, for her, has been barbarically difficult. Growing up, her family made do without metal, pots or cutlery. Temperatures often went well below minus 40 degrees Celsius and they had to catch their own food. Multiple times they were forced to eat their own shoes. 

In 1978, a group of geologists accidentally encountered the family. They described them as speaking a strange language, "distorted by a lifetime of isolation."

Over time, she came into contact with local authorities, but did not feel comfortable leaving her isolated cabin, though she frequently has to fight off foxes and bears looking for food. 

The hospital fully expects her to return home once she is well. 

 

 

Emmy Weikert |

Emmy is a native Nashvillian and former Vanderbilt cheerleader who describes her time at Vandy as having a lot of ups and downs, quite literally (she spent a lot of time up in the air or flipping upside down). She wakes up in the mornings for big hair, good eyelash days, baby animals, sparkles and her dog Bella. When she isn’t writing for Womanista, Emmy can be found making art and doing real and imaginary workouts.