Happy 69th Birthday Agafia Lykov, from Your Friends at VICE
Agafia Lykov, our favorite Siberian hermit, turned 69 today. Born on the Erinat River in Siberia in 1944, Agafia has lived all of her years in the Siberian taiga, roughly 160 miles from the nearest sign of other humans. But she’s no Nell. In fact, she had a moderately sized family growing up—both parents and three siblings, who have all since passed. The family wasn’t officially "discovered" until 1978, when Agafia was 34 and a group of geologists (read: prospectors) spotted the family's cabins from a helicopter. In February we spent a week in Siberia with Agafia and her neighbor, a one-legged geologist named Yerofei who moved into a cabin downhill from her in 1997.
Although the landscape was buried in snow, Agafia had no problem skiing and hiking all over the the place, and quite frankly, we struggled to keep up with her. She’s tough as nails, and we can only hope we’ll be as spry as she is when we’re approaching the seven-decade mark. Happy birthday, Agafia!
The photos above are extras shot by Peter Sutherland that we couldn't squeeze into the mag article about our trip, and below is the full-length video for all the commenters complaining about having to watch free content in parts.
New Fiction by PEN/Faulkner Award-Winner Akhil Sharma
Photos by Donald Weber
This Short Is Three Smoked Cigarettes Long
My Archive of Unmentionables
Filmmaker David Ridgen Cracks Open a 40-Year-Old Cold Case