By Chad Love
For a number of years following the end of World War II, Japanese soldiers would occasionally emerge from the jungles in the Pacific theater, either unwilling to believe or unaware that the war was over. The last verified Japanese holdout came out of hiding in the Philippines and officially surrendered back in 1974. It's an incredible story, but a piece in this month's Smithsonian magazine tops it, in both longevity and in the sheer harshness of the landscape in which it occurs. In 1978, Soviet geologists discovered a family of six eking out a desperate existence in the depths of the vast Siberian taiga. They had been living there, completely cut off from all human contact, completely unaware of events like WWII, since 1936.