Is it possible to survive as the last man on earth? In literature, Robinson Crusoe is probably the most famous character. But some real-life people have actually been separated from humanity for extended periods of time – if not the remainder of their life. These include the likes of Thorgisl, Grettir Ásmundarson, Fernão Lopez, Juan de Cartagena and, Pedro Sánchez Reina, Gonzalo de Vigo, Marguerite de La Rocque, Jan Pelgrom, Wouter Loos, Miskito Will, Alexander Selkirk, Philip Ashton, Pedro Serrano, Ada Blackjack, Jesus Vidana, Salvador Ordoñez, Lucio Rendo, Leendert Hasenbosch, Chunosuke Matsuyama, Charles Barnard. Some lived isolated for a few months, others for years! What unites these involuntarily castaways is their tremendous drive to return to humanity. In contrast, some also select to be alone for extended periods of time, such as Gerald Kingsland, Lucy Irvine or Tom Neale (the latter spent 16 lonely years on the Cook Islands – by his own choice).
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