‘I Didn’t Want to Come Out’ – Spanish Woman Emerges From Cave After 500 Days

Photo Credit: JORGE GUERRERO / AFP / Getty Images
Photo Credit: JORGE GUERRERO / AFP / Getty Images

Spanish mountaineer Beatriz Flamini has emerged from a cave after spending 500 days without human contact. The year and a half spent below-ground in Granada could have set a new world record, and Flamini’s re-entering a society that’s vastly different from the one she voluntarily left back in 2021.

Beatriz Flamini emerging from a cave
Photo Credit: JORGE GUERRERO / AFP / Getty Images

The 50-year-old entered the 70-meter-deep cave on November 20, 2021, as part of a project dubbed “Timecave.” Throughout her time below-ground, she was monitored by researchers, psychologists and speleologists, who never made contact with her, as they were studying the effects of prolonged isolation on the human psyche.

Flamini entered the cave with two GoPro cameras. She reportedly spent her time exercising, reading books, knitting, painting and drawing. Along with going through 1,000 liters of water, she also managed to read a total of 60 books. She reportedly lost track of time after about two months, and actually believed she’d only been underground for between 160-170 days.

The mountaineer emerged from the cave on April 14, 2023, at around 9:00 AM local time. When asked about the experience, she told members of the media, “I didn’t want to come out,” adding, “When they came in to get me, I was asleep. I thought something had happened. I said, ‘Already? Surely not.’ I hadn’t finished my book.”

Beatriz Flamini and others holding a newspaper
Photo Credit: JORGE GUERRERO / AFP / Getty Images

Throughout her time in the cave, Flamini never once thought about pushing the panic button she’d been given to signal to the team that she wanted out, an impressive feat, given she had to deal with an intense fly invasion and auditory hallucinations. In fact, she called the experience “unbeatable” and “excellent.”

“For me at least, as an elite extreme sportswoman, the most important thing is being very clear and consistent about what you think and what you feel and what you say,” Flamini told the media. “It’s true that there were some difficult moments, but there were also some very beautiful moments – and I had both as I lived up to my commitment to living in a cave for 500 days.”

Beatriz Flamini emerging from a cave
Photo Credit: JORGE GUERRERO / AFP / Getty Images

To remain centered, Flamini ate well and became one with the silence that surrounded her. “I didn’t talk to myself out loud, but I had internal conversations and got on very well with myself,” she joked with local media. As a way of keeping her spirits up, the team sent down clean t-shirts, avocados and fresh eggs.

She did, however, admit to having an intense craving for roast chicken with potatoes during her prolonged isolation.

While Flamini did remain isolated for 500 days, she didn’t spend the entire time below-ground. At one point, the team did make her come out of the cave for eight days to await repairs to a router she used to communicate. She spent this time in a tent, to avoid contact with any of the researchers.

Members of the media standing around Beatriz Flamini
Photo Credit: JORGE GUERRERO / AFP / Getty Images

The world has changed in many ways since Flamini first entered the cave. Outside of spending two birthdays alone, she also missed the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian War, the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the release of ChatGPT, OpenAI’s new artificial intelligence chatbot.

She may have also set a new world record, but this has yet to be confirmed by Guinness World Records. According to the team behind the book, the “longest time survived trapped underground” is attributed to 33 Bolivian and Chilean miners who became stuck 688 meters below-ground when a copper-gold mine collapsed in Chile in 2010. They spent 69 days trapped before being rescued.

There’s also a record dating back to 1987, in which Italian sociologist Maurizio Montalbini spent 210 days in a cave – one of his many below-ground excursions. In 2016, a Serbian individual spent a reported 460 days underground.

Beatriz Flamini placing her hand on a relative's face while others watch
Photo Credit: JORGE GUERRERO / AFP / Getty Images

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When asked what she was looking forward to most now that she’s back aboveground, Flamini revealed that she couldn’t wait to take a shower and share some chips and fried eggs with her friends. She’s also promised to make herself available to doctors, to see how the experience impacted both her body and mind.


Clare Fitzgerald is a Writer and Editor with eight years of experience in the online content sphere. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from King’s University College at Western University, her portfolio includes coverage of digital media, current affairs, history and true crime.

Among her accomplishments are being the Founder of the true crime blog, Stories of the Unsolved, which garners between 400,000 and 500,000 views annually, and a contributor for John Lordan’s Seriously Mysterious podcast. Prior to its hiatus, she also served as the Head of Content for UK YouTube publication, TenEighty Magazine.

In her spare time, Clare likes to play Pokemon GO and re-watch Heartland over and over (and over) again. She’ll also rave about her three Maltese dogs whenever she gets the chance.

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