A British TV reality show stranded some of its contestants in the Scottish Highlands for months after the show was canceled.
Ten of the original 23-person cast of the Channel 4 program "Eden" spent an entire year in the wilderness because the producers did not pull them out, notes Variety.
The social experiment, scheduled to last one year, was about the adults creating their self-sufficient community while being cut off from the rest of the modern world.
According to the TV show's description, the contestants had to "decide on their own rules and laws, build their own shelter, grow their own food and raise their own livestock."
Only four episodes of the series, filmed by a crew of four, were broadcast in the summer of 2016. The show's ratings dropped from 1.7 million to 800,000, which led to its cancellation.
Thirteen of the 23 cast members reportedly quit the show during its run because of hunger, personality conflicts and sexual jealousy.
The remaining contestants, who were left in the wilderness, reportedly ate chicken feed, fought with one another and were bored.
The contestants made it back to civilization in late March to learn the UK had voted to leave the European Union, and that President Donald Trump won the U.S. election.
Channel 4 issued a statement, but did not specifically address the stranded contestants:
The appeal of "Eden" is that it was a real experiment, and when filming began we had no idea what the results would be and how those taking part would react to being isolated for months in a remote part of the British Isles. That’s why we did it, and the story of their time, including the highs and the lows, will be shown later this year.
Local residents said some contestants had cheated by smuggling in booze and junk food. There were also allegations that some contestants were treated by a dentist after they ate chicken feed with grit.
Margaret Green, a local resident, told The Press and Journal in August 2016 about the show:
The local rumor is that four have left so far. I’ve also heard that holiday-makers who went on the beach have been asked to post letters for the participants but the visitors were told by the camp’s [public address system] to get away. And as for the midges [tiny flies that bite], they are the worst I’ve known in 20 years.
Hugh MacPherson, a fisherman, recalled his contact with the contestants:
They are out in their boat most days. I spoke to a few of them when they were fishing for mackerel but they have been warned by the TV company not to say too much. I said to them that if the midges don’t get you, the cleggs [horseflies] will. They just laughed.