We all know Bear Grylls is fond of looking like a badass on TV, as he "escapes" numerous wilderness areas, sleeps inside a dead camel and drinks his own urine (or at least he did, before he got his ass fired). But we also know that while he's jumping over lava and running through the wilderness, someone else is doing most of the same things while also carrying a camera.
That's why every single person on this list puts Bear Grylls' tales of "badassery" to shame ...
In 1808, a trapper named John Colter and another trapper named John Potts (the two would go on to inspire the name of the '80s hospital drama Trapper John, M.D., according to a lie we just told) set out in canoes on a trapping expedition near what is now Three Forks, Montana. Suddenly, they were surrounded by 800 Blackfeet Indian warriors on the shore. Colter decided that 2 vs. 800 were hopeless odds and surrendered, but Potts disagreed and started shooting at the Blackfeet. It was an inspiring moment for underdogs everywhere; Potts was basically Rudy.
Except the Blackfeet quickly killed him, ripped out his guts and threw them in Colter's face. In that way he was less like Rudy, and more like nightmares.
Though judging from his outfit, he might have just seen the intestines as an accessory.
Rather than killing Colter outright, the Blackfeet decided to make the kind of miscalculation that you would think only happens in movies. They asked Colter how fast he could run, to which he replied "Oh, like, totally slower than Native Americans" (we're paraphrasing a bit). With that knowledge, they stripped him naked, spotted him a 100-yard head start and told him to run. They were literally turning his impending death into a race, with the prize being Colter's scalp.
One problem, though ... Colter lied. He was actually a very fast runner. After two and half miles, he had left all the Blackfeet behind except for one. He then stopped and waited for that man to catch up. When the Native American lunged at him with his spear, he grabbed the spear point with his bare hands, broke it off and impaled the man with it. But the Hollywood movie style exploits were just getting started.
And thus, the first three-legged race was born.
After hiding out in a beaver lodge for a few hours, Colter swam five miles downriver, only to find that his would-be killers were still looking for him, likely shocked that someone would be so crass as to lie about how fast he could run when faced with an unspeakably painful death. The only way out of the valley he was in was through a narrow pass that was probably being guarded. So he decided to do the last thing they would expect and climbed over a mountain (still naked, we have to assume). After scaling sheer cliffs by hand, he spent the night on top of the mountain in the snow before coming down the other side the next day.
After that, there was nothing left to do but walk. And walk and walk and walk and walk. After 11 days, he finally reached Fort Raymond. He was half-starved, his feet were torn and bloody and his limbs were swollen. All told, he had run, walked, climbed and swam 250 miles. After watching his good friend get murdered.
Immortalized by his home town in this incredibly disturbing graphic.
Suck it, Bear Grylls.