This past month Slate wrote about the “most isolated man on the planet,” the sole remaining member of an Amazonian tribe, living a solitary existence in the jungle. Obviously, dozens of people may be choosing to live in remote locations by themselves — the difference is that this man’s isolation is not a conscious decision. Rather than seeking contact, Brazilian authorities are managing the surrounding area so as to prevent outside influence from disrupting his way of life — the whole scenario is slightly Truman Show-esque.
The most isolated man on the planet will spend tonight inside a leafy palm-thatch hut in the Brazilian Amazon. As always, insects will darn the air. Spider monkeys will patrol the treetops. Wild pigs will root in the undergrowth. And the man will remain a quietly anonymous fixture of the landscape, camouflaged to the point of near invisibility.
That description relies on a few unknowable assumptions, obviously, but they’re relatively safe.