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Science of Survival Ep 1 Mar 7, 2016

Frozen Alive: A Survival Story

"You start feeling these sensations of extreme warmth, and the hypothermic person will take off his clothes thinking they’re overheating," says Stark. (Martins Zemlickis/Unsplash)

This thrilling re-creation of the classic hypothermia feature by Peter Stark brings the listener through a series of plausible mishaps on a bitterly cold night: a car accident on a lonely road, a broken ski binding that foils a backcountry escape, a disorienting tumble in the snow, and a slow descent into delirious hypothermia before (spoiler alert!) a dramatic rescue. "I started thinking about how one little mistake leads to another and another in an accumulation of mistakes that leads to an untenable situation," says Stark. "Frozen Alive" is a fascinating, accurate description of our physiological response to extreme cold, deepening listeners’ respect for how the human body metamorphoses when cooled. 

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