Arthur Gehrke, the Human Hibernator


Arthur "Turkey" Gehrke of Watertown, Wis., had an odd habit. Every November he would go to bed and stay there until the following April. He told the press, "I hibernate and don't get into trouble; while I may miss some fun, I also miss a lot of disagreeable things." He also said, "If more folks went to bed all winter, there wouldn't be so much trouble and confusion in the world."

Strangely, his business didn't suffer because of his sleep habits. He owned a bar, the Turkey's Roost. He hired a temporary bartender to replace him during his hibernation, and the publicity because of his hibernating actually attracted extra business.

Gehrke began his habit of hibernating in 1913 and continued it until his death in 1942.

Here's some sources where you can read more about him: The Milwaukee Journal - Sep 29, 1935, Watertown History, and the Wisconsin State Journal.
Posted By: Alex - Wed May 07, 2014
Category: Eccentrics, Sleep and Dreams, 1930s



Comments
I fully understand! It just ain't good weather until June!
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 05/07/14 at 09:34 AM
I'll bet he was just a huggable teddy bear of a man.
Posted by KDP in Madill, OK on 05/07/14 at 02:29 PM
That pic must be pre-hibernation, not post-hibernation.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 05/07/14 at 08:27 PM
How did he live without food, water, and elimination of bodily waste?
Posted by Judy Walker on 05/08/14 at 09:45 AM
How did he not go out of his mind with boredom? You can only sleep so long before conciousness just won't go away. Too bad it's too late to check him for sleep disorders.
Posted by BHicks on 05/08/14 at 08:12 PM
And he lived to the ripe old age of 29. Maybe this didn't turn out to be the healthiest of habits?
Posted by George in Seattle on 05/09/14 at 03:37 PM
@BHicks you really need to get better at reading.
Posted by random on 06/05/14 at 02:10 AM
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