Podcast: What happens to you after 40 days with no natural light?
Fifteen volunteers spent 40 days in a cave with no natural light or clocks. Most of them want to go back.
Around two months ago, a group of 15 people – scientists, explorers and medics – travelled deep into a cave in the south of France. The expedition descended to a point so deep that natural light could not reach them, and there the team stayed for 40 days and 40 nights without clocks, phones or anyway of telling the time.
The project’s goal was to understand what happens to our brains and bodies when we’re deprived of an external measure of time and they hoped to discover how a group of people could adapt to such an extreme situation.
Just two weeks ago, that team emerged from the cave, and Christian Clot, the expedition’s leader and the designer of the DEEP TIME mission, joins editor Daniel Bennett on this week's episode of the Science Focus Podcast to talk about what the experiment discovered, how the expedition changed him and what ultimately happened when the team returned to the surface.
Let us know what you think of the Science Focus Podcast by filling out our survey. By submitting it, you enter the prize draw to win one of seven £100 Voucher Express Gift Cards. It should take no more than five minutes. UK residents only. Full T&Cs.
- Take part in the survey
- Subscribe to the Science Focus Podcast on these services: Acast, iTunes, Sticher, RSS, Overcast
- Read the full transcription of this episode [this will open in a new window]
Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast:
- Why realistic humanoid robots need to learn to lip-sync
- The psychology of the sea shanty: Why work songs are such earworms
- Mental health and your brain: What happens when it goes wrong
- Why you can’t multitask (and why that’s a good thing)
- How to maximise your motivation, according to a neuroscientist
- Prof John Drury: The psychology of lockdowns