You’ve probably never heard of Agafia Lykov.
Most people haven’t, and that’s intentional: Agafia is a hermit who lives miles from the nearest town, in the Siberian wilderness.
Agafia’s homestead was built across much of the 20th century by her family — its only residents since about 1937. That was the year that Agafia’s father, Karp, set off with his wife and two children into the Siberian wilderness.
Agafia is now in her seventies, still living in the Siberian wilderness by herself, and she’s tough as nails. This is Agafia in 2013:
What’s it like living in remote Siberia, with no access to running water, electricity, or any of the other benefits of modern civilisation? Vice put out a documentary about Agafia in 2013 that shows it’s even harder than you’d imagine.
Karp and Akulina Lykov were part of a sect of Christianity known as 'The Old Believers.' It rose to prominence with some Christians in the 1660s.
Over 300 years later, Agafia still practices the beliefs her parents brought to the Siberian wilderness.
At 72, Agafia is spry and energetic. But living in the harsh Siberian wilderness by herself is incredibly difficult.
Hunting is outright too much for her. She asked documentarians visiting in 2013 to bring a goat and a chicken!
When the family was first discovered back in the 1970s by a team of Russian geologists, the family's tools were wearing out.
Agafia's mother, Akulina, died of starvation in the 1960s -- she reportedly chose to feed her children over herself.
Despite Agafia's hermetic existence, she thankfully has two adorable pets to keep her company. Here is her cat, 'Little Drawing':
When Taiga barks aggressively, it's a good indication of a nearby bear. Agafia usually uses her rifle to shoot blanks into the air when she sees a bear:
Hilariously, during the height of the Soviet space program, it was common for complex technology to literally fall from the sky into Agafia's family's backyard.
In 2016, Agafia was suffering from leg pain and was airlifted to the nearest hospital. She quickly returned to her hermetic existence soon afterward.
A 2013 documentary from Vice visited Agafia to document her lifestyle. It's beyond worth your 30 minutes:
If you do happen to speak/read Russian, there's an even earlier documentary on the Lykov family that you can watch right here.
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