Nicknamed ‘the pickers’ by anthropologists, they communicate only with grunts and beeps, and appear to live a very basic hunter-gatherer existence – hunting out cardboard boxes and gathering them into piles.
They appear to shun all forms of modern technology. Although everything from Plasma TVs to electronic toothbrushes are available to them in the warehouse, they seem content to keep them sealed within their cardboard boxes – when researchers indicated they should open one of the boxes and explore the contents inside, they reacted with fear, as if there was some great taboo, perhaps the fear of reprisals from a vengeful god.
They are known to walk great distances every night in their box hunts, the going is tough, and many do not survive. A survey in early January this year showed their numbers had fallen by around 15,000 in just over a month.
Health concerns are a huge problem for the ‘pickers’. They may not have developed immunity to many western diseases such as man-flu, and they are known to suffer terribly from mental illness – having had no exposure to the banality of modern western lifestyle, it is feared that a single episode of X-Factor could be enough to kill.
Despite the obvious distress that many of these ‘pickers’ are in, Amazon expert Jeff Bezos claims that the best way to protect them is to prevent outside influences from interfering with their lifestyle or their meagre salaries.