Stories

Meet the family that lived 42 years in isolation from the outside world

In 1979, a group of Soviet scientists who were on a scientific course to study the Siberian wilderness came across a family of 6 who seemed to have wandered in the woods. Later researchers discovered that this Russian family had lived in isolation from the outside world and civilization for a full 42 years, and they were not even aware of the outbreak of World War II, so continue reading with us to learn about the story of this strange family

In 1979, a Russian helicopter landed a team of geologists in a small, barren area near a mountain range. This point where they landed was about 300 km from the nearest population, and there they discovered the presence of the (Lykov) family that had been living in the harsh Siberian taiga without any contact with other humans for a full 42 years.

آل ليكوف على اليمين.
The Lykovs are on the right.

The Siberian taiga is famous for its extreme danger, with its forests stretching hundreds of miles of pine trees and trees, and its short summer and extremely cold, dry and harsh climate, not to mention the hungry wolves and bears that spread in abundance.

These conditions make the Siberian taiga an almost impossible place for humans to live in, so when in 1979 a Russian helicopter saw a human facility in the middle of the taiga, they were stunned.

The helicopter pilot was searching for an area where the team of geologists would be descending, and at this very moment he saw a barren area amidst trees. In the ground were small trenches that could only be made by human hands.

The pilot wasn’t aware at the time, but he was on the verge of the first person to discover the Lykovs.

This family went to the harsh Siberian wilderness in 1936 and stayed away from civilization for 42 full years.

The Lykovs belong to what is known as the “Old Believers”, and in 1936, their religion was persecuted by the Bolsheviks, and when a communist patrol shot and killed Karp Lykov’s brother, he decided to flee to the forest with his wife and two children, and there he was found there. An isolated area at an elevation of 6,000 feet in the mountains, and made it their home.

كوخ آل (ليكوف) في التايغا السيبيرية.
The hut of the Lykovs in the Siberian taiga.

The Lykovs were “old believers”, which means that they belonged to a fundamentalist Russian Orthodox doctrine. This religion has been the target of persecution and persecution of the government almost since the time of Peter the Great in the 18th century. After the Russian Revolution in 1917, when the Bolsheviks came to power, the Old Believers found themselves in danger again, and Stalin’s terror in the 1930s made the situation worse by making several religions out of law, many Siberians fled the country to avoid religious persecution.

One day when a young (Karp Lykov) was working in a field, he saw a group of armed men belonging to the Communist Party shoot his brother, putting him dead. This scene made him decide to take his family away to safety, so one day in 1936, Karp fled his home with his wife (Akolina) and his two children (Savine) and (Natalia).

Safin was nine years old at the time, while Natalia was two. The family had nowhere to go, so (Karp) decided to penetrate deep into the frozen forest in order to keep his family safe from the brutality of persecution.

The family continued to penetrate deep into the forest over the years. Eventually they settled on a secluded area between the mountains and made it their home, and there they built a hut at an altitude of 1,800 meters.

In 1940, Karp and Akolina gave birth to their son Dimitri, and two years later they had their youngest daughter, Agavia. The family stayed in this isolated forest without coming into contact with anyone for a full 42 years.

The Lykovs have cut themselves off completely from the outside world since 1936, and their members have had to survive on the food they found in the woods. Once, during a harsh winter, they had to eat their leather shoes because of their hunger, and when the research team found them and offered to help them get out of the woods, they flatly refused.

آل (ليكوف).
Al (Lykov).

After hearing the pilot’s observations, the team of geologists decided to investigate the matter, so they brought with them some gifts in order to give them to anyone who might meet him in this remote area, and while they arrived at the desired area, they noticed the presence of some traces of human activities in the area, such as a corridor Small with footprints near a stream. In the end they reach the (Lykov) hut.

When strangers see them approaching his house, an old man approaches them. After he left the hut, he was barefoot and was wearing clothes made of bags. At first he did not respond to their greetings, but it wasn’t long before he invited them into his hut.

Geologists remember that the hut consisted of a single room lit by one small window, and sticks of wood scattered across its dirty floor. Seeing the guests entering, Agavia and her older sister (Natalia) were terrified.

Slowly, geologists were able to understand the story of the Lykovs’ survival in the harsh wilderness of Siberia, Karp told them that in 1936 when they decided to escape, they brought with them some necessary tools such as kitchen utensils and clothes, and he said that over the years those clothes became worn and torn, The tools became unusable.

The family’s diet consisted of potatoes mixed with baskets and hashish seeds, but when a very harsh winter came in 1961, a frost wave struck the area and wiped out the plants they were growing in their small garden. In that harsh winter the family was forced to eat their leather shoes due to the severity of hunger, and in that harsh winter, Karp’s wife Akulina died of starvation.

Initially, the Lykovs did not accept any gifts from the geologists, except salt, and gradually they accepted some other items such as knives, kitchen tools, and grains. However, they flatly refused to help them out of the woods and return to the civilized world.

Sadly, in 1981, shortly after geologists visited the Lykovs, three of their children died. It is believed that their death was a result of their contact with the modern diseases that strangers brought with them and that their bodies had no immunity to, while the youngest daughter of the (Lykov) family, Agafia, is still alive and now she lives in the same place where her family lived, and she is now in the seventies. Of her age.

صورة (آغافيا ليكوف).
A photo of Agavia Lykov, the last living member of the Lykov family.

A few years after the Lykov family was discovered by geological researchers, three of its sons lost their lives. Savin and Natalia suffered from kidney failure, while the boy (Dimitri) had pneumonia that took his life.

When the geologists discovered that Dimitri’s health was poor, they offered to take him by helicopter to the hospital, where he would receive appropriate treatment, but he refused and said: “This is not allowed for us. Man lives the age that God gives him. ”

It is believed that the discovery of the Lykovs by geological researchers and their contact with strangers from the modern world put them at the mercy of modern diseases and epidemics that their bodies were not prepared to fight.

The research team asked Karp and Agavia to leave the forests and reunite with their relatives in Russia, but they insisted on staying in their home and small world.

(Karp) gave his last breath on February 16, 1988.

Agavia, who is now in her seventies, still lives in her family’s hut in the woods to this day even after all of her members have died.

She had only gone out of the woods six times during her 70 years, and the first time she left was in the past 1980s when the Soviet government gave her a paid trip across the Union for a month of time. On this flight, for the first time in her life, she witnessed airplanes, horses, cars, and money.

After that, she left the jungle in order to receive health care, meet adherents of the “Old Believers” doctrine, and spent time with her relatives.

In 2014, she wrote a letter that was posted on the Internet asking people to help her because her health has become very poor, so donors visited her regularly in her hut to help her with housework.

In January of 2016, she was taken by plane to hospital due to a pain in her knee, and then returned to the prairie as soon as she recovered.

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