27 February 2014

40 Years Alone on the Taiga

OK.  Deep breath.
I came across this article in the sidebar as I was reading the Smithsonian article from my previous post about the cranes.  I saw the headline, "For 40 Years, This Russian Family was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of  WWII."  It sounded like a headline from some half-rate tabloid rag.  ...but it was from Smithsonian.  I caved in and clicked on it.  And from that point on my mind was completely blown.  Maybe I don't read enough about different cultures, subsistence existence, hermits or something.  I can't stress at how many different points of reading this article that I was forced to stop, think and try and wrap my head around it.  ...When the patriarch was nonplussed about our ability to put satellites into space because he'd been observing the night sky, when the son was hunting animals by running them to death by exhaustion...in the winter...barefoot...overnight, when the family's existence hung on the durability of ONE rye sprout....and their harvest was 18 seeds.
I don't want to spoiler the article so I'll just say, if you like it, to read this article as well, about a gift one of the family send Medvedev.
It probably sounds crazy but this article totally unsettled me.  I was so excited and tense while I read it.  A combination of shock, disbelief, admiration and weirded out was running through me.  Visions of "Castaway" and "My Side of the Mountain" and the Native Americans were running through my head. 
I want to spend more time reading things like this.  Articles like this change how you think.  How you rationalize.  What you understand about the world and humanity.  I think this may tie in with my twitter post.  I want more like this and less like "Burger King Receipt Makes Grandma Cry" [actual headline on cnn.com under "Top U.S. Stories"].  Headlines like that make me what to cry.

[Edit. 1: Turns out there are books and documentaries about this family.  I will have to explore more.]
[Edit. 2: Why do the pictures suck so bad in the article? ]


  1. watched the documentary-incredible.. but I wanted North Face who funded the documentary to leave her some boots, coat, hat, gloves, skiis..lantern, compass,the whole shabang.

  2. That gave me chills. Great story!