A teenage boy from Italy has managed to do the impossible: survive underwater for a total of 42 minutes.

The 14-year-old boy - alias Michael, given by the Italian newspaper the Milan Chronicle - was diving with his friends off of a bridge into a canal, but he never resurfaced after his foot had caught an unidentified object.

Firefighters and other responders spent nearly an hour to try and pull him out from beneath the surface. Even though Michael was on life support for almost a month, he is now awake and is doing well, TIME reported.

While the story may seem strange, surviving underwater for long periods of time is something that is not unprecedented as well, said Dr. Zianka Fallil, a neurologist at North Shore-LIJ's Cushing Neuroscience Institute in New York.

Fallil admitted that he thought the teenager's miraculous recovery was something "quite remarkable."

He explained that there are two physiological processes that may happen when a person is underwater with no oxygen for long periods of time.

The first is the "diving reflex," which is a physiological response that is common among aquatic animals but happens in humans as well. The second is the "selective brain cooling hypothesis," a process wherein one is most likely to survive underwater if the brain cools down as quickly as possible, according to Live Science.