The article does not describe the monk as 'alive' despite the misleading title they have given it. His body is simply imperishable, it is a mummification of sorts according to the article, yet his soft tissue has remained, seemingly as has the water content of the body. Seemingly cartilage has not however, and his nose appears to be well gone.
Upon further examination it would appear that those at the temple decided to keep him buried in salt for a period, his removal from the salt appears to be evident in the photo here:
Although obviously, the white parts cannot be verified to any extent as being salt... But it would seem likely.
All the same the article is fascinating. Thanks for posting it Chris, how incredible.
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven BodhesakoNanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma
| Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca