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and you think you have it bad … Cabin fever throughout history

 During Montana’s infamous winter of 1886-’87, snow began falling Christmas Eve and continued for 60 days. Cattle froze in place on the range and residents of small Montana towns, mostly trapped in their homes, ran short on coal, flour and wood and paid exorbitant prices for other supplies, according to “It Happened in Montana” by James A. Crutchfield.

 In 1915, polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men made camp on a drifting ice floe for three months after their ship sank. The 28 men lived in crowded tents. Shackleton later wrote: “Day by day goes by, much the same as one another, We work; we talk; we eat.  …  The two subjects of most interest  …  our rate of drift and the weather.”

 In the early 1990s, researchers lived together in Biosphere 2 in Arizona, an artificially closed ecological system. They grew irritable, feuded with one another and felt rage toward tourists who tapped at them through Biosphere’s transparent walls.


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