For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of World War II. They were discovered in 1978, and it’s a fascinating read of a real life “unaware of the rest of the world” story.
That was in 1936, and there were only four Lykovs then—Karp; his wife, Akulina; a son named Savin, 9 years old, and Natalia, a daughter who was only 2. Taking their possessions and some seeds, they had retreated ever deeper into the taiga, building themselves a succession of crude dwelling places, until at last they had fetched up in this desolate spot. Two more children had been born in the wild—Dmitry in 1940 and Agafia in 1943—and neither of the youngest Lykov children had ever seen a human being who was not a member of their family. All that Agafia and Dmitry knew of the outside world they learned entirely from their parents’ stories. The family’s principal entertainment, the Russian journalist Vasily Peskov noted, “was for everyone to recount their dreams.”
Just imagine how terrified you’d be if someone appeared after you hadn’t seen another soul in decades, with strange devices and technology. Other details like how their language diminished into “blurred cooing” and how they had no replacement for metal (and how cooking became more and more difficult) are fascinating.
Something to think about the next time you think of leaving all technology behind and just living in the woods :)