Incredible story of 'leather-shoe eating' Russian family cut off from world for 40 years
Washington, Feb. 5 : A Russian family has been rediscovered who were cut off from all human contact for 40 years and did not know about World War II and ate leather shoes to survive in Siberia.
The Siberian taiga, where the family was found, is one of the last remaining wildernesses on earth, thousands of square kilometres of dense pine forest.
According to the Smithsonian, in 1979 a Russian helicopter pilot was searching for a spot to land a team of geologists when he spotted the little clearing high up on a mountainside some 150 miles from the nearest human settlement.
The pilot discovered the home of the Lykovs, a family lost in time, somehow surviving in the brutal country without seeing another human being in over 40 years.
The Lykovs were Old Believers, members of a fundamentalist Russian orthodox sect, which had been persecuted since the days of Peter the Great in the early 18th century.
When the Bolsheviks swept into power following the Russian revolution of 1917, many Old Believer communities fled to Siberia to escape religious persecution.
Things were to get even worse during the Stalinist purges of the 1930s when Christianity and other religions were outlawed.
One day a young Karp Lykov was working in the fields when a communist patrol arrived and shot his brother dead.
It was then he made the decision to flee into the forest with his family.
So on a day in 1936, Karp, his wife Akulina, their nine-year-old son Savin and two-year-old daughter Natalia gathered their meager possessions and a few seeds and headed off into the wilderness.
Over the years they retreated deeper into the forest, building themselves a series of wooden cabins until they found a secluded spot 6000ft up on a mountain side. It was there they made their home.
In 1940 son Dmitry was born, followed two years later by daughter Agafia. They would not see another human being for 40 years, the report added.