Jon Brooks 6 min read

13 Crazy Facts About Iceman Wim Hof That Nobody Talks About

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Iceman wim hof white walker
The author of this post and HighExistence co-creator Jon Brooks, creates articles and podcasts about the best ideas in ancient Stoicism at The Stoic Handbook. Join his newsletter here.

Iceman Wim Hof, is best known for his astounding feats of cold endurance. He currently holds 26 world records, such as remaining in ice for 1 hour and 52 minutes and running up Mount Everest in a pair of shorts.

Iceman Wim Hof breaking ice record
Iceman Wim Hof breaking ice record

Recently he has shot into the limelight for his media attention and his course that teaches ordinary people how to learn his techniques.

But is there more to The Iceman than ice?

That’s what I intended to find out when I began listening to Wim’s podcasts and reading through his interview archives.

Below I will present my argument that Iceman Wim Hof really is superhuman, even without his feats of cold endurance.

Some of the things Wim claims below may sound hard to believe. But before you call him a charlatan or a liar, remember that he has a proven track record of staying true to his crazy word, even under the scrutiny of science.

Below I list 13 little-known facts about Wim, including the how Wim Hof Eats and how long he can hold his breath.

1) Iceman Wim Hof learned to speak 10 languages, without using Duolingo once

In Wim’s interview with Tim Ferriss, Wim revealed that he learned to speak 10 languages. Tim, himself a language hacker, was curious to know Wim’s elaborate system for learning so many languages and asked how he did it. Wim’s answer was quite surprising:

Just be open and love to learn, and that’s it. I had no real teachers. You know, people in the street and sometimes I had to look for a teacher like a Japanese teacher here in Amsterdam. And a Hindu teacher. So yeah, I was just interested. If you are interested in life, you get to know. And you never stop learning because you love it.

2) He raised his four children single handedly

While Wim is a positive, carefree Iceman, his life has not been without terrible tradgedy. In this video Wim explained:

Four children I had with my wife, and I was to be with her forever. She was the love of my life. She died. She suicided. It’s a black hole within yourself. It breaks your heart, and you don’t know why. But the train of daily life is going on, and you’ve gotta catch up otherwise you lose it. So I had to be there for my children. And yes, we created a new nest. My children made me survive in that time, but nature healed my wounds.

This left Wim to raise his children, some of them very young, single handedly. In my opinion, this is perhaps the most impressive feat on this list.

3) He is willing to get injected with malaria for science

In Wim’s interview with Joe Rogan, Joe asked, “You’re able to deal with malaria?”

Wim’s response: “Absolutely, man, I’m open for any research and investigation.”

4) Wim can hold his breath for about 10 minutes

Iceman wim hof can hold his breath for 10 minutes

5) Wim is advanced in yoga

Iceman wim hof doing yoga
Iceman Wim Hof doing “The Shelf”

6) Iceman Wim Hof had intense surgery and recovered without taking anti-biotics… after giving himself an enema with a fountain jet

In the “BecomingTheIceman” subreddit, a user asked how Wim got the scar over his belly button. He received this reply:

About fifteen years ago Wim was swimming at a fountain in Amsterdam and decided to give himself an enema on the nozzle of the jet. He says he has done it before, but a few weeks earlier the city altered the jet to have a more powerful spout. So when he sat on the hose the water cut through his colon and intestines like a water knife. His son Michael (who he was meeting at the park) took him to the ER. Wim has pretty good ability to resist pain so the hospital did not triage him to surgery immediately because they didn’t understand how serious the injury was. After a few hours he fainted and they realized how bad it was. The doctors stitched him up but rightly feared the risk of sepsis. It took him a long time to recover. He says that he used no antibiotics during recovery.

How do I know this? I’m scott carney, author of a book about Wim. I didn’t include this story in the book because how on earth do you tell it and not lose track of the main story?

7) Iceman Wim Hof can control his erections at will

When wim was asked on Reddit, “Are you able to prevent yourself from getting a boner at will?

He responded:

Yes, of course. Somebody tried to seduce me whilst I was naked outside and she was touching me. When I do my yoga, no one can distract me. I am completely in control.

I wish I knew Wim in high school.

8) He ran a full marathon without training… or water… in a desert… then rehydrated with beer

wim hof desert

9) He is a really friendly human being, despite being mocked for most of his life

Iceman Wim Hof is a pretty weird dude. I mean this in best possible sense, of course. But he is not your average Joe, and many of the things he claims to do sound more like a magic tricks than a biology experiment.

Now Wim has his hordes of followers who are following his incredible method each day, but for most of Wim’s adult life he was ridiculed, mocked, and thought of by the scientific community as either a charlatan or at very best a genetic freak.

It’s fair to say that most people who have to endure such hostility and cynicism would turn resentful. This is why it’s so incredibly refreshing that Wim is such a friendly, positive force in the world. His goal is less about showing how amazing he is, and all about empowering others to become healthier, happier, and stronger.

10) Wim Hof Diet: He’s eaten just one meal a day for the last 38 years

You might be wondering, what does Iceman Wim Hof eat?


I just eat once a day, in the evening, after 6pm. I have done for 38 years, and I’m doing really well, because I know how to bring about energy through better breathing.

— Iceman Wim Hof

11) Wim learned to control his heart rate in university, and it wasn’t even part of his curriculum

When the reddit user FuttBucker2424 asked Wim when he learned to control his heart rate, Wim replied:

“In university, by measurement.”

Can you picture it? When most students were desperately trying to make their way through an economics textbook, or recover from a grueling hangover, Wim was spending his days learning to control his heart rate.

Good ol’ Wim. Never change.

12) Wim has trained with Kung-Fu masters in Beijing, and they respected him very much

13) Wim doesn’t need psychedelics because he can trigger his own DMT gland

In Wim’s AMA, he was asked:

Hi Wim. Do you or have you ever used any type of drug to find deeper consciousness in order to control your autonomic nervous system?

His response:

No, not at all. I can trigger my own DMT, a hormone driven from the pineal gland – I know how to get there and can do that all the time. You have a better control over the hormonal system – you don’t need drugs to be drugged by yourself in a natural way.

Bonus: Iceman Wim Hof has a twin

Okay, this is a bonus because it’s not superhuman to have an identical twin. The reason why I’m including it here though is because Wim’s twin can’t do any of the things Wim can. It’s as if mother nature herself gave this man an identical twin to show the world that the stuff Wim teaches really works. It’s not genetics!

The author of this post and HighExistence co-creator Jon Brooks, creates articles and podcasts about the best ideas in ancient Stoicism at The Stoic Handbook. Join his newsletter here.
Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is a Stoicism teacher and, crucially, practitioner. His Stoic meditations have accumulated thousands of listens, and he has created his own Stoic training program for modern-day Stoics.

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