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Austrian man breaks world record for longest time spent submerged in ice

How long could you last in a box of ice? One minute, maybe two? This extreme athlete just lasted more than two full hours. 

Austrian athlete Josef Koeberl broke the world record for longest time spent submerged in ice Saturday. He lasted more than two hours in the box, wearing nothing but a swimsuit. 

With a time of two hours, eight minutes and 47 seconds, Koeberl beat the previous time spent in direct, full-body contact with ice of one hour, 53 minutes and 10 seconds. The record was previously achieved by Chinese athlete Jin Songhao in Xiamen, China in 2014. 

Koeberl took on the challenge in front of Vienna's main train station, fully submerged up to his shoulders in a clear box filled with ice cubes. Over the course of the two hours, his temperature was monitored, and afterward, his health was checked by medical officials in an on-site ambulance. 

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Austrian ice swimmer Josef Koeberl stands in a box filled with ice cubes during his world record attempt of "Longest Duration Full Body Contact With Ice" in Vienna, Austria, on August 10, 2019. Herbert Neubauer / AFP/Getty Images

"I do not think the question is whether this makes any sense," said a bystander watching the spectacle Saturday. "It is just a crazy idea to do such a thing and to put yourself in a box with ice and try a world record, this is fascinating." 

It's not the first time Koeberl has spent a significant amount of time covered in ice. He recently tried to sit in a box of ice during on television for the Barbara Karlich Show for one hour. After successfully completing that challenge, he decided to go for the world record.

After the event was over, Koeberl said he could have stayed in the icebox longer, but "I didn't need to." 

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Austrian ice swimmer Josef Koeberl stands next to a box and bags filled with ice cubes as he and his team prepare for his world record attempt of "Longest Duration Full Body Contact With Ice" in Vienna, Austria, on August 10, 2019. Herbert Neubauer / AFP/Getty Images
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