Michel Siffre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Michel Siffre
Michel SiffreP1010680mod.jpg
Michel Siffre on 27-5-2009 at Saint-Benoît
Born (1939-01-03) 3 January 1939 (age 83)
Nice, France

Michel Siffre (born 3 January 1939) is a French underground explorer, adventurer and scientist. He was born in Nice, where he spent his childhood. At just 10 years of age, he explored the Imperial Cave Park, and discovered a passion for caving.

He received a postgraduate degree at the Sorbonne six months after completing his baccalauréat. His many achievements include the creation of the French Institute of Speleology in 1962.[citation needed]

Main achievements[edit]

  • In his youth, he became interested in the space race and decided to find a way to contribute. Imagining situations faced by astronauts, he noticed that some of them could play out in a deep cave. This motivated him to start his experiments.
  • The experience of time, two months cloistered in the abyss of Scarasson (Punta Marguareis) without time cues on a glacier, from July 1962.[1] He then organized several similar underground experiments for other speleologists. In 1972, Siffre went back underground for a six-month stay in a cave in Texas. He found that without time cues, several people including himself adjusted to a 48-hour rather than a 24-hour cycle.[2]
  • The notes of his experiments were used by NASA. Several astronauts reported experiences similar to those experienced in underground experiments such as loss of short-term memory to being isolated from external time references.


  • Hors du temps. L'expérience du 16 juillet 1962 au fond du gouffre de Scarasson par celui qui l'a vécue, Julliard, 1963
  • Des merveilles sous la terre, Hachette, cop. 1976
  • Stalactites, stalagmites, cop. 1984
  • L'or des gouffres: découvertes dans les jungles mayas, Flammarion, 1979
  • Dans les abîmes de la terre, Flammarion, 1975
  • La France des grottes et cavernes, Privat, 1999
  • A la recherche de l'art des cavernes du pays Maya, A. Lefeuvre, 1979
  • Découvertes dans les grottes mayas, Arthaud, 1993
  • Beyond Time, Translated by Herma Briffault, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1964

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Michel Siffre et son horloge de chair". Le Monde. 22 July 2004. Archived from the original on 19 May 2009.
  2. ^ "Caveman: an interview with Michel Siffre". Cabinet Magazine. No. 30, summer 2008. 2008.

See also[edit]


  • Schut, Une histoire culturelle de la spéléologie, L’Harmattan.