In a world where information travels from one person to another in a matter of seconds, it’s hard to imagine how a European citizen would not be aware of WWII – especially if they were born in 1944. This is the case of Agafia Lykova, a 70-year-old Russian woman who was born and raised in southern Siberia, 240 km (150 miles) away from the closest city.
Up until January 16th, when she the hospital in order to treat her cartilage deterioration, Agafia was not aware of how the ‘outside world’ looks like. For the first 35 years of her life, she didn’t see any human beings other than her three brothers and parents. Her father, Karp, was part of the 350-year old sect called the Old Believer. His strong religious beliefs made him take his family and move to a remote small house away from civilization and technology.
The only kind of information Agafia had access to were a couple of bibles and religion-based books. When the press found out about the Lykovas’ way of living, back in 1970, the Government of Russia arranged a tour of the country for the woman. That was the first time she’s ever seen money, cars, milk or bread. Before this trip, she has never tasted salt.
However, she went back to her old lifestyle, in a house where there were no objects made of metal. As for the 70 years lived in total isolation, she never regretted that either. The only thing that seemed to bother her were bears who often came to the house looking for food.
Ever since 1988, when her father died, Agafia Lykova has been living alone and hasn’t spoken to anybody in ages. When she called the hospital, doctors could reach her location only by helicopter. The woman will remain in hospital until she gets cured.