The human body is a miracle; though you may disagree if you're sitting there in the throes of an allergy attack or a hangover.
The truth is your body can take a lot of abuse, and we've all heard amazing stories of people living through hacked off limbs, extreme temperatures and even falling out of airplanes. So how much punishment can the human body take? Well, under certain circumstances you can apparently survive...
When you work on the railroad, you probably know that something terrible can happen. Maybe you'll break a bone, or lose a limb. Or maybe you'll lose the entire lower half of your freaking body
That's what happened to Truman Duncan, who, after falling off of a moving train, was dragged underneath the wheels. They severed his body in half at the waist, incredibly leaving him alive and conscious to hear the machinery grinding his body in two as he was dragged 75 feet.
Truman decided that screaming like a little girl was neither manly nor helpful and instead pulled out his cell phone and dialed 911 from right there under the train. Then, because it took rescuers 45 minutes to get him out from under the train, he placed a few calls to his family as well.
Jesus, how do you start that conversation?
Doctors are unsure how he managed to survive the accident but suspect that the weight of the wheels may have kept him from bleeding to death (though not very well--he lost about half the blood in his body). It may also have been due to his Kryptonian ancestry, but we're just speculating. Still, it took 23 surgeries over four months before Truman could leave the hospital, minus his legs, pelvis and a kidney.
Today, Truman is back at work at a desk job. He says he can still do the things he did before the accident like swimming, playing with his kids and screaming, "Fuck you!" at every train he passes.
Despite what the NRA would have you believe, guns do kill people. Just not all people.
After all, we've seen Bruce Willis get shot like five or six times in four movies, so clearly you can shrug off a couple of slugs. Rapper 50 Center got shot nine times and lived to rap another day. So how many shots can a man take before we declare him to be either a superhero or a zombie?
How about 19?
New Yorker, Joseph Guzman, took that many slugs and walked away (alright, he didn't exactly walk). Joseph's problems began back in 2006 when he was out at a bachelor party with some friends.
According to Joseph, his friends had left the party reading quotes from the bible to each other and were on their way to assist the homeless. According to the police, the group was shooting off flamethrowers and wheeling a giant cannon down the street toward an orphanage. The truth is probably somewhere in between.
One way or another, the cops started shooting. And once you get started with the shooting, well, it's kind of hard to stop. Fifty rounds were fired at Joseph. Thirty-one of them missed, but the police probably figured that the ones that hit home were more than enough to do the job.
"Another one? Anderson, are you throwing the bullets
back in here just to fuck with me?"
Joseph was rushed to the hospital where doctors discovered the 19 bullet-holes in his body. The attending physician later testified that Joseph was "probably in severe pain." Dr. Obvious likely went on to say that the red stuff pouring out of Joseph's body was "probably blood."
After they determined that he was indeed bleeding, the doctors found seven bullets still inside him. He had been hit in the legs, chest, abdomen and one bullet shattered his cheekbone. A liter and a half of blood was drained from his chest and then he was given a tetanus shot, which is something we wish we could take credit for making up.
By the way, not only did he survive the shooting, Joseph was still strong enough to be described as "combative" when he was wheeled into the hospital, possibly due to the doctor asking him if he was in any pain. Today, Joseph walks with a limp and a cane, but fortunately shows no signs of tetanus.
If you've watch news coverage of a war--or seen a war movie--over the last couple of decades you probably saw the bad guys using the above Rocket Propelled Grenades, which is a kind of shoulder-fired missile about the size of the head of a baseball bat.
They're designed to take out tanks and jeeps and other things made of metal. You can imagine what happens when one of them hits a human being, unless that human being is living in the video game universe or is named Channing Moss.
We believe that's an "I survived a bazooka to the torso" awareness wristband
Moss was in the army busy putting his boots far up Taliban asses, when his convoy was caught in an ambush. In addition to the machine gun fire, the enemy also unleashed several of the ever-popular RPGs at the Humvee he was riding in. Moss felt something hit him in the side and when he looked down saw that he had a fucking smoking rocket jutting out from his body.
Because there was a policy against evacuating people with bombs inside them, due to the whole explosion problem, his commanding officer told the helicopter crew the RPG was just some shrapnel.
When the doctors at the field hospital found out he had a whole, working rocket inside him, there was the usual panic and screaming until someone finally calmed down enough to try and save his life. This was despite the fact that the army manual called for him to be dumped far away from everyone and treated last. Seriously, nothing makes you more unpopular to a group than having a live bomb inside you.
Upon closer inspection it turned out Channing had a bit of luck on his side, in that the exploding warhead part of the rocket was not in his body, just the rocket and detonator. So instead of the big exploding part, there was only the little exploding part left inside of him. A note on his file also states that the rocket propellant was "mostly expelled."
Doctors finally sawed the fins off the rocket and then pulled the tube out of him, along with the wads of clothing and equipment that had been crammed into his guts by the impact. Incredibly, the huge projectile missed his vital organs and Channing lived.
We mentioned Bruce Willis earlier; what's great about Channing's story is if in Die Hard 5 you saw John McClane take a missile to the abdomen and walk away good as new, you'd be screaming bullshit so loud they'd have to drag you out of the theater.
Come on, you knew we couldn't leave this one out.
Number one on the list of things you don't want blasting a hole through your skull and brain is a giant cannon ball. However, a very close second on this list is a large metal spike. Just ask Phineas Gage.
Gage worked on a railroad crew back in the old-timey days. Part of his job was to blast holes in rocks with dynamite. Because this wasn't considered dangerous enough, the procedure also called for packing dirt in the holes with a metal pole after the dynamite was inserted, maybe to get the dynamite good and angry or something. The pole was called a "tamping iron" because calling it a "pointy suicide stick," while more accurate, tended to scare the employees.
"Nothing can ever go wrong with this."
Probably to no one's surprise, one day this practice of smacking a metal bar against live dynamite caused an explosion. This resulted in the tamping iron, which was three-feet, eight-inches long and weighed about 13 pounds, being shot through Phineas's cheekbone and exiting through the top of his skull.
Looks bad but you probably don't feel much after the first 12 inches
Sometimes people get impaled by objects but miss the vital organs. Phineas was not this lucky, unless you consider the brain to not be a vital organ. When they found the tamping iron 30 yards away it had pieces of bone and brain stuck to it.
Because medical science was about on par with the science of blasting holes through rock at the time, the only treatment Phineas received was having the huge tunnel through his brain cleaned out and wrapped in bandages, with the occasional draining of pus. Amazingly, five months after the accident Phineas was back to leading a fairly normal life, except for the giant hole in his head and probably a lot of new hats.
His friends and family also reported that he was kind of a dick after the accident, and scientists have come up with all kinds of theories about the damage affecting his impulse control. But, holy crap, some of us turn into dicks after missing morning coffee. Can we not cut a guy some slack after surviving a fucking spike through the skull?