They cook, they cycle on an exercise bike and they play chess, as can be seen for the first time in the pictures. Participants are also required to complete daily questionnaires and sleep with probes over their heads connected by wires to devices. We can also see how some people have to descend tens of meters with cables and ropes to fetch water with buckets and tons; something they have to do on a daily basis.
Outside the cave, scientists are watching the team. They want to know how people and their bodies react to “extreme lockdown”.
Christian Clot explains in his audio message that it is sometimes difficult to work together. There is no sunlight in the cave and there are no bells. No one again because of what time it is. “Sometimes I wake up and the others just go to sleep. So you can’t just make a date with somebody and say, ‘we’ll see you over breakfast.’
The fifteen cave dwellers are not experienced explorers, but “ordinary” French people. There is a nurse and an unemployed person. They only had a short training before leaving for the cave.
“It’s actually a crazy experience,” psychologist Delphine Traber said at the start. “Participants have to take risks. They come to live in spartan conditions. It’s extreme for the body and extreme for the mind. But it’s for a good cause, it’s for science.”