What is the longest a human can survive without food? How long does it take for hypothermia to set in? Can a human go into a form of hibernation?
All these questions and more are addressed in the new documentary Alive! Sixty Days Under the Snow coming brand new to Discovery at 9pm Sunday 25th March.
We tell the story of Peter Skyllberg who defied the weather, biology and human science by surviving for sixty days inside a car buried under a snow drift with only a few snacks. He was forced to live off nothing but snow from Dec 19 2011 until he was finally rescued on February 17 2012.
Skyllberg was rescued by chance as a man on a passing snowmobile stopped thinking he had found a crashed car, after digging through a metre of snow to peer in he saw Peter wrapped in a sleeping bag in the back seat.
When Peter was pulled out of the car he was suffering from hypothermia, starvation and was barely able to speak and now the questions as to his survival have begun.
Temperatures fall as low as -30°C for much of the Christmas period in Northern Sweden and scientists have speculated that 44-year-old Peter may have gone into a form of hibernation that slowed his metabolism enough to enable him to conserve vital energy and create body heat.
It is also thought his sound bound car may have created an insulating ‘igloo effect’ as he sat trapped inside the vehicle on the remote forest track.
Alive! Sixty days under the snow tells the story of Skyllberg's incredible survival and explores the implications it holds for the future of medical science and our understanding of the very limits of human endurance.
Watch Alive! Sixty days under the snow on Discovery Channel at 9pm Sunday 25th March.