‘Unbelievable’: Swedish Man Survived Two Months in a Snow-Buried Car

A Swedish man has survived being trapped in his snow-covered car for two months without food, police say.

The man, aged in his 40s, was rescued after a passer-by on a snowscooter noticed the top of the car on the deserted and snowfilled forest road, not far from the northern town of Umea, just south of the Arctic Circle. After clearing off some of the snow he peered inside and saw an emaciated man huddling inside a sleeping bag. Photo: Joe Loong/Fkickr

Peter Skyllberg, a 44-year-old man from Sweden, survived two months trapped in his snow-covered car due to a “natural igloo” that formed from the air trapped in the vehicle, The Huff Post reports.

“We received word on Friday that a person had been found in a snow-covered car deep in the woods, nearly a mile from the main road,” Ebbe Nyberg, a duty officer in the northern Vaesterbotten county, told The Telegraph.

“He saw movement and realised there was probably a person in there and called the police,” he said.

A passer-by on a snowscooter noticed the top of the car on the deserted and snowfilled forest road, not far from the northern town of Umea, just south of the Arctic Circle.

The BBC reported the temperature in the area had recently dropped to -22F (-30C).

The man, who was laying in the back seat in a sleeping bag, said he had been in the car since December 19.

“Just incredible that he’s alive considering that he had no food, but also since it’s been really cold for some time after Christmas,” a rescue team member told regional daily Vasterbottens-Kuriren, which broke the news.

“He was in a very poor state. Poor condition. He said he’d been there for a long time and had survived on a little snow.

The man was emaciated and too weak to utter more than a few words. “He said himself he hadn’t eaten anything since December,” Mr Nyberg said.

Police saw no reason to doubt that the man had been stuck in the car for a very long time.

“We would not make something like this up. The rescue services were on site too and saw the same as us,” Mr Nyberg told Vasterbottens-Kuriren.

The man is now recovering at Umea University Hospital – where staff say he is doing well considering the circumstances.

According to MSNBC, doctors at the hospital said humans would normally be able to survive for about four weeks without food.

Besides eating snow, the man probably survived by going into a dormant-like state, physician Stefan Branth told Vasterbottens-Kuriren.

“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.”

“Starvation for one month, anyone can tolerate that if they have water to drink,” Doctor Ulf Segerberg, the Chief Medical Officer at Norrland’s University Hospital, said. “If you have body fat, you will survive even longer, although you end up looking like someone coming from a concentration camp.”

Segerberg recognized that Skyllberg’s survival was against the odds.

“This is a case in a lifetime. Every winter we have people who have frozen to death. But a case like this, with someone caught outside for such a long time, is very rare, because it’s very rare that you are not missed by anyone, which seems to be the case in this instance.”

Why the man ended up under the snow in the forest remains unknown, police said.

So far Skyllberg has declined to be interviewed, the paper reports, and only wants everyone to know that he is doing better.

“Just incredible that he’s alive considering that he had no food, but also since it’s been really cold for some time after Christmas,” a rescue team member told regional daily Vasterbottens-Kuriren, which broke the news.

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