split image of Lukasz in ice box

A man from Poland has made history by becoming the first person to stand in a box of ice for over four hours.

Łukasz Szpunar, 53, broke the record for the longest duration full body contact with ice with a time of 4 hr 2 min, surpassing the previous record by 50 minutes.

To achieve this record, all body parts besides the head and neck must remain submerged throughout the entire attempt, and no clothes other than swimming trunks can be worn.

Łukasz also wore a mouthguard to protect his chattering teeth from damaging themselves.

Łukasz said he experienced discomfort at the beginning, which slowly dissipated before coming back again towards the end.

His body temperature and state of consciousness were constantly monitored while he was in the ice box, and after he passed the unprecedented four-hour mark, safety stewards decided to bring an end to the record attempt.

Lukasz said he decided to break this record out of his love for “walruses”, a term used to describe cold-exposure enthusiasts.

He was a runner up at the most recent Polish Walrus Championships, where he sat for over four hours in a tub of near-freezing water.

Lukasz standing in ice box

“Because of my love for the cold, I wanted to test myself this time in sitting in the ice itself,” he explained.

Łukasz says that extreme challenges make him “feel alive”. In the past, he’s climbed four of Poland’s highest mountain peaks wearing only shorts.

Łukasz is also a co-organizer of the ‘Lake of Angels’ campaign, in which he and fellow walruses take a dip in Lake Tarnobrzeg once per month at sunrise before donating to the House of Angels Hospice for children with cancer.

The record for the longest duration full body contact with ice has been monitored since the year 2000, when extreme athlete and motivational speaker Wim “The Iceman” Hof achieved a time of 30 minutes.

Wim broke his record several times over the next four years, increasing it to 1 hr 8 min.

The record then began changing hands as new contenders emerged from Brazil, China and Germany, but Wim took back the title every time he lost it.

After breaking the record 15 times in total, Wim’s final attempt came in 2013; he achieved a time of 1 hr 53 min. 

The record has been dominated by Poland in recent years, with the last three male record holders and the current female record holder coming from the country.

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