Have You Heard Of The Iceman Wim Hof?

The Iceman Cometh

No, we’re not talking about some abominable snowmen or an ice summoning superhero straight out of a comic book. We’re talking about 57-year-old Dutchmen Wim Hof, born in Limburg, Netherlands, whose incredible ability to withstand the extreme temperatures has made him famous worldwide. Haven’t heard of him yet? Let me give you a brief rundown on his modest *cough* achievements so far.

Wim Hof in ice bath
“Ice? more like nice…”. Wim Hof (Note: May not be an actual quote from Wim Hof). Image: Aad Villerius/Wikimedia Commons/CC2.0 

Wim Hof’s Achievements

  • In 2007, he climbed past the “death zone” altitude on Mount Everest (~7,500 metres) wearing NOTHING BUT FREAKING SHORTS!
  • In 2009, Hof completed a full marathon above the polar circle in Finland, in temperatures close to −20 °C (−4 °F). The man was dressed in nothing but shorts and finished in 5 hours and 25 minutes (still over 3 hours more than the world record, but I guess he can be excused because IT WAS IN THE MOTHERLICKING ARCTIC CIRCLE AND HE WAS ONLY WEARING SHORTS).
  • Hof holds the current Guinness World Record for the longest ice bath, now set at 1 hour 53 minutes and 12 seconds. Bet you feel a little ashamed for squealing like a trapped pig last time the hot water ran out while you were taking a shower now don’t you? I know I do.

More Of Wim Hof’s Feats

But hey, if you’re not the type of person to be so easily swayed into blind admiration by a few modest *louder cough* feats of 100% certifiable and undeniable superhuman resilience, then feel free to read on…

  • In 2011, he ran a full marathon in the Namib Desert without water. The run was performed under the supervision of Dr. Thijs Eijsvogels. Again… he ran a full marathon in the desert, where’s the no water… without water.
  • Wim can run at altitude without suffering from the effects of altitude sickness. Now read that sentence back to yourself.
  • In the same year, he was injected with toxins under medical supervision and demonstrated that he could effectively control his autonomic immune response. Wim was able to raise his cortisol levels and lower his blood concentrations of cytokines (inflammatory mediators) using solely his meditation and prep techniques.

Want To Know More About Wim Hof?

A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America also claims that by consciously hyperventilating, Wim can increase his heart rate, adrenaline levels, and blood alkalinity. He’s also believed to possess much higher levels of brown adipose tissue, which aids in cold resistance. In short, the blokes pretty much an exception to the rule that extreme cold will deliver hypothermia; extreme heat leads to dehydration; AND BEING INJECTED WITH DEADLY PATHOGENS STRAIGHT INTO YOUR MOTHERFUCKING BLOODSTREAM WILL KILL YOU!

Mind equals boggled. Even more boggled than the fact he’s only got 141,000 followers on Instagram. The Rock has 84 million. Sure he can ad-lib a one liner like a boss, but let’s be honest, who’s more impressive? Geez, society…

This man deserves another article, or at the very least a TED talk. If you want to learn more about this master of metaphysiology and modern medical anomaly, stay tuned for part 2 coming next month (or just Google him maybe).

Feature Image: Aad Villerius/Wikimedia Commons/CC2.0 


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