Police in Umea, Sweden, are reporting that they pulled a man from a snowed-in car after he'd been trapped inside for two months. So how did he survive for two months with no food in freezing temperatures? According to one physician, he just hibernated.
Yesterday, police reported that, while digging trapped motorists out of the snow, they came across a man lying in a sleeping bag in the backseat of his car who said that he had been trapped there since December 19th. The rescue team insists that they have every reason to believe that the man's story is true, and that the car had, as far as they could tell, been trapped there for a very long time.
The man is recovering at Umea University Hospital, and apparently doing quite well, all things considered. And, yes, according to physician Stefan Branth, this sort of hibernation is possible:
"A bit like a bear that hibernates. Humans can do that," he said. "He probably had a body temperature of around 31 degrees (Celsius) which the body adjusted to. Due to the low temperature, not much energy was used up."
No word on what he did for water. Was urine recycling involved, or so Swedes keep extra stores of water in cars in case of being snowed in? Edit: Several people are pointing out that he was surrounded by snow and I'm a moron. I don't know where I got it in my head that he was so trapped that he couldn't open the windows, but there you have it. Snow.
It will be interesting to see how this one pans out. The man was, as one would expect, quite weak when he emerged from the vehicle, so it's possible he got the date entirely wrong. But maybe we can add hibernation to the list of possible human superpowers.
Image by Life As Art.