In totally normal news, an experiment in France has 15 people locked in a cave for 40 days to see how they cope without daylight and the inability to tell time.
The expedition, known as Deep Time, is inspired by the impact COVID-19 lockdowns have on humans.
The project’s website (which has been translated from French) says:
The truism is that there is a need to help humans in these times when time and the principle of normalized life are changing without any levers of control.
The way to answer this question is to lock people in a cave so they can experience ‘deep time’.
“Losing time is the greatest disorientation there is. And it is this aspect that the mission Deep Time wants to understand better. Because to this day, we do not know how our cognitive system understands and manages this indefinite continuity.”
Why is this study happening?
The study aims to monitor the impact of unnatural and confusing new living conditions on the human mind and body. The Deep Time website says that in order to do this, it’s not enough to just simulate these environments.
Instead, test subjects must be placed in real-life situations.
The experiment is claiming to be world-first in its methodology and principle.
So what’s the purpose of this controversial project? Apart from an attempt to see if mole people are real.
The questions Deep Time is attempting to answer are:
- How to manage disorientation, when we are subjected to a totally new situation
- How our brain conceives and manages time without any indicator
- How can a human group manage to synchronise, to function together when it finds itself in totally new living conditions?
Deep Time will apparently provide useful research on how humans can adapt to long periods of confinement without a basis for time – such as submarines or mining, and even long space missions.
How does it work?
The team is made up of 7 men and 7 women volunteers, along with the Deep Time founder Christian Clot. The ages of participants range from 27-50 and span all different occupations.
The group have been placed deep in the Lombrives cave in France. There they will go 40 days in isolation without any natural daylight or any means of knowing the time. Sure does sound like the worst lockdown ever.
In terms of collecting data, each participant is fitted with sensors that the external team of researchers can monitor. The team entered the cave on March 15 and are due to exit on April 22.
The question is, will they even know it’s April 22?