How To Escape From An Avalanche

Ananova comes through with another incredibly believable story, this time about a Slovak man who claims that he freed himself from being trapped under an avalanche by peeing his way out. Thankfully he had 60 bottles of beer with him to help him in this endeavor. He was sitting there, trapped in his car beneath the snow, so he cracked open a beer, and then the brilliant idea came to him: I can pee my way out! They quote this guy as saying: "I was scooping the snow from above me and packing it down below the window, and then I peed on it to melt it. It was hard and now my kidneys and liver hurt. But I'm glad the beer I took on holiday turned out to be useful and I managed to get out of there." I would classify this as nothing more than 'pub talk', the kind of tall-tale that pub patrons make up to amuse each other. But for some reason it's being reported as news. (thanks to 'dvidiod' for sending me the story)

Folklore/Tall Tales

Posted on Sat Jan 29, 2005


Wouldn't he die of alcohol poisining or at the very least, pass out before he got out?
Posted by Glamcat  on  Sat Jan 29, 2005  at  10:34 AM
If I ever get trapped under an avalanche with 60 bottles of beer, I'll try it and let you know!
Posted by thunder  in  England  on  Sat Jan 29, 2005  at  11:26 AM
Obviously untrue.. he would have passed out or died from alcohol poisoning first.. and wouldn't it have been easier just to pour the beer on the snow? Hope they were twist-off caps!

Another great piece of "news" that I saw on Ananova first, then can't believe Drudge picked this one up!
Posted by David  on  Sat Jan 29, 2005  at  11:50 AM
"...and now my kidneys and liver hurt." HUH? If I remember my biology classes from decades ago, there are no pain receptors inside the body, so the kidneys and liver never hurt. Unless this is a bad translation of "... and now my kidneys and liver are damaged." this phrase alone indicates it is a fake. Plus, the blurb does not say how long it took for this guy to get out, an hour, a day, a few days, whatever. If it happened over a long period of time, then alcohol poisoning would be less likely. But, who takes 60 bottles of beer on vacation? Unless the brand is something special and not at the lodge, that is another tipoff to me.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Sat Jan 29, 2005  at  01:09 PM
Looks like he pissed out before he passed out.
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Sat Jan 29, 2005  at  02:02 PM
"...there are no pain receptors inside the body, so the kidneys and liver never hurt."
All I can say is, you have clearly never been blessed with a kidney stone. If you ever do get one, unimaginable new dimensions of pain will be opened to you.
When I had mine, the emergency room triage nurse told me she could tell from my face that it was a kidney stone, because nothing else comes anywhere near hurting as much-- this from a woman who sees people with gunshots, severed limbs, open head wounds, cancer, etc., every day. Several mothers later told me that kidney stones hurt more than labor and giving birth.
Posted by Big Gary C  on  Sat Jan 29, 2005  at  03:29 PM
If there are pain recveptors inside the body, does this mean I can sue the San Diego schools for teaching me wrong? Learn something new every day, at least I try, and sometimes succeed.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Sat Jan 29, 2005  at  04:41 PM
no internal pain receptors? have you never been hungry sir?
Posted by Nick  in  Merrie Olde Englande  on  Sat Jan 29, 2005  at  04:58 PM
I was taught that hunger is different from pain. And, Nick, I have been hungry and in pain and I do not think they feel the same.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Sat Jan 29, 2005  at  05:03 PM
Real survival tactics state that when trapped in an avalanche, spit--not to melt the snow (yeah, like pee would actually melt hardened snow THAT much), but rather to tell which direction you're facing. If the spit lands on your face, you're facing upwards; keep digging. If it falls down, you're facing the ground; turn around.

I think I've heard of people who urinated rather than spit for the same effect, but like everyone said, this is obviously fake due to the whole beer aspect.
Posted by Sarah  on  Sat Jan 29, 2005  at  09:57 PM
Couldn't he also have eaten the snow & then had a little tinkle? I've never actually seen snow, so I don't know if this would work. But if it were like eating a snow cone, minus the yummy flavored syrup of course...I could see that working. He'd be getting rid of the snow in 2 ways at once.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Sun Jan 30, 2005  at  06:33 AM
Maegan- I think that if he ate that much snow he would have given himself hypothermia.

David- why not just pour the beer on the snow? Because the beer was probably almost frozen itself, and the man had to put it through his body to warm it up to 100 degrees or however warm pee is.

Glamcat- if he spread this drinking out over the several days it sounds like it took him to get out of this avalance, he would not neccecarily have gotten alcohol poisoning. Especially if he was planning on consuming these 60 beers over the weekend anyways!
Posted by Katey  on  Sun Jan 30, 2005  at  03:42 PM
The body has pain receptors scattered throughout. If your school informed you that there are no "pain receptors" (nociceptors and possibly many other receptors involved in signaling pain) inside the body, they did indeed give you the wrong data. The only place that is completely insensitive to pain is the brain. Kidneys and bladders do hurt, as anyone with a disorder, cancer or disease of these areas can attest.

In any case, the peeing oneself out of an avalanche sounds suspect. The alcohol would probably assist this individual with succumbing to hypothermia. The time to process this amount of beer without dying of alcohol poisoning is probably longer than it would take for cold and lack of air to kill him. Avalanche snow packs pretty hard, akin to concrete.
Posted by Ru  on  Sun Jan 30, 2005  at  11:35 PM
Obviously tommyrot - but I can imagine someone being able to drink 30 litres of Slovak beer (much of it is not very strong, and it's probably go through you pretty quick). On the other hand, who would bother? The stuff is frankly piss anyway.
Posted by paul in prague  on  Mon Jan 31, 2005  at  01:57 AM
I don't know about this story. It doesn't say how deep he was buried or how long it took to get out, does it? Maybe he wasn't too deep.
I don't understand what he says here "I was scooping the snow from above me and packing it down below the window, and then I peed on it to melt it." How was he scooping it from above him without it falling into the car. And what does he mean he packed it down below the window? Wasn't he buried in solid snow? I'm having trouble visualizing this.
Any thoughts?
Posted by Glamcat  on  Mon Jan 31, 2005  at  05:03 AM
Sounds to me like thats the story he told his wife after coming home blitzed on beer.
Yeah honey, I had to drink 60 beers,and that hooker happend to get buried with me.
Posted by ACE  on  Mon Jan 31, 2005  at  05:10 PM
when i get hungry, it hurts. plus, i've had an ulcer before and it hurt like heck! my doc. told me that the nerve endings inside the intestines are few and far between and not as sensitive. he said that if they are irritated it would hurt, but if he were to cut me open, and slice and dice them on a table i wouldn't be able to feel much. weird.
just wanted to put my 2 cents in....
Posted by thephrog  on  Mon Jan 31, 2005  at  10:27 PM
The article was posted today in our newspaper in Belgium...

Is it realy a hoax? :|

Posted by GyZmo  on  Tue Feb 01, 2005  at  09:10 AM
Hey phrog...great bedside manner your doc has! Imagining my doctor describing to me how he could slice and dice my organs, and it would not hurt one bit! OWWWWWWW 😊
Posted by eiramenna  on  Wed Feb 02, 2005  at  12:01 PM
Sarah, "when trapped in an avalanche, spit [...] to tell which direction you're facing". I think that should have read "when trapped in an avalanche with 60 bottles of beer you just drank, spit to tell which direction you are facing". I can't imagine any functional sober person who could mistake "up" for "down" while digging in the snow.
Posted by Gutza  on  Fri Feb 04, 2005  at  06:57 AM
exactly how much would a person have to drink before their liver packs up and dies
Posted by lexi  on  Wed Oct 19, 2005  at  09:50 PM
Are you serious about this? first of all, he would need a couple of days to finish that beer, then you'd have to think, how much snow can be melted with such a small quantity of water, warm as it may be... not to mention the fact that his car didn't turn into a pancake when the avalanche hit it.
Posted by Detox  on  Mon Jun 04, 2007  at  01:43 PM
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