An Australian man who was missing for 28 days ate butterflies, mussels and fruit to survive.

According to Courier Mail, Stephen Currie was discovered by local residents in a remote area outside Tableland, surprising authorities who had called off a search for him three weeks ago.

Currie, 40, lost 33 pounds and was discovered shoeless and shirtless, the report said.

He was reported missing on Dec. 29, sparking an extensive air and land search, which included the area's caves.

Mareeba Police Detective Sen-Constable Vince Marcel said Currie made bedding out of bark and slept in the sand covered with paper bark.

"Each day he would go for a walk and see if he found a track and eventually he was found by one of the locals out on one," Marcel said.

Local landowner and councilor Alan Pedersen said a river located near where Currie was found saved his life.

"A lot of the water this time of year is saturated with bacteria,'' he said. "We had nothing for weeks and the water in the creek went black and that stuff would kill you."

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