EXPIRED:  09/19/09 – Maurizio Montalbini, 56, Italian sociologist lived solo in caves to see how humans cope with isolation. Overall he spent 32 months underground and was next hoping to do 3 years straight much to the chagrin of his wife.

Montalbini was mainly interested in how isolation affected circadian rhythms, the immune system and human psychology. To figure all this out, hewent underground, deep underground, in caves in the Apennine Mountains. So we’re not just talking isolation, we’re pretty much talking desolation.

There he lived on “pills and powders and other astronaut fare”, supplemented by honey, chocolate, and walnuts. But he sure didn’t go overboard here – for one subterranean jaunt, which lasted 235 days, Montalbini’s goody bag contained, according to the death notice in the (UK) Telegraph, “four kilos of honey, two kilos of walnuts, and one and a half kilos of chocolate.”

You might think this was death by chocolate – but no. He died of a heart attack, the same kind that most of the Italians who live above ground die of every year.




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