Peter Freuchen: The Arctic Explorer Who Was Burried in a Blizzard and Used His Frozen Poop to Escape
Lorenc Peter Elfred Freuchen was a 6’7” tall Danish explorer and old-school 1900s explorer who rode a dogsled 1,000 kilometers across the Greenland ice cap in the 1910s, killed a wolf with his bare hands and escaped a Nazi death warrant at the height of the Third Reich.
In 1926 during one of his Arctic expeditions, Freuchen was caught in a blizzard storm, so he took cover beneath a dog sled. But the snow and ice overtook him and he was trapped for days in the shelter.
Soon he started to run out of food and the shelter became a cocoon of ice so tightly packed around him that he could barely move. His breath began to condense into ice.
His escape plan?
Mold his own frozen poop into a chisel and use it to carve through a solid wall of ice and out from his freezing shelter.
Once outside, he realized one of his legs was no longer working so he crawled for three hours back to base camp. By the time he made it to the camp, gangrene has set into his toes. So he amputated his own gangrenous toes with a pair of pliers and no anesthesia.
His badassery doesn't end there.
When the Germans took over Denmark, Freuchen was part of the Danish Resistance. He hid refugees, subverted Nazi operations, and pissed off Hitler so hard that the Germans arrested him and sentenced him to death.
Freuchen escaped, fled to Sweden, and continued undermining the Nazis. Because if an icy coffin isn’t going to kill him, the Nazis weren’t either.
Peter Freuchen died of a heart attack in 1957, just three days after completing his final book. He was 71 years old. His ashes were scattered over Thule, Greenland.
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