#2. King Zog of Albania Finds Assassinations a Mild Inconvenience
If you thought that de Gaulle's 31 assassination attempts was some kind of world record, it's not even close. The fantastically named King Zog of Albania is the undisputed champion in that field.
Actually, that's King Zog I, Skanderbeg III of the Albanians to you. But his given name is the still awesome but less video game villain sounding Ahmet Muhtar Bey Zogolli. King Zog was a remarkably hard man, just as anyone bold enough to choose a name like that should be, and survived a whopping 50-plus attempts on his life.
There's something about tiny mustaches that just enrages armed men.
In one instance, the assassin managed to shoot him twice from close range as he was entering the Assembly Hall. Zog let his guard subdue the dude and, unflinching, walked on into the hall and took a seat at his desk, blood spurting from his wounds.
After a while, he noticed that everyone else was understandably freaking the hell out. So he stood up, covered in blood and riddled with bullet holes, and delivered them a little shruggy speech that basically said "Yeah, this happens quite a lot. You get used to it."
"Multiple gunshot wounds ain't nothin' but a thing."
His one and only foreign trip, perhaps taken in the hopes that he would find fewer assassins abroad, led to an even more ridiculous attempt. While Zog was in Vienna in 1931, an assassin struck as he was getting into his car after an opera. Zog's reaction to the impending doom was characteristically impressive. He turned to face the assassin -- and pulled a big-ass gun and opened fire right back at the guy.
And yes, if you were wondering, that made him the only member of royalty to ever unleash a can of whoop-ass back at an assassin, chasing him away.
King Zog remained unharmed by his enemies until his final days. He died in exile in 1961, 100 percent death-by-assassination free.
#1. Frane Selak Lives in a Final Destination Movie
No one was trying to assassinate Frane Selak. Why would they? He's a mild mannered, chubby music teacher from Croatia. He has never angered half a nation with his politics or been targeted by the mob. Yet his place on this list is probably the most deserved; his adversary seems to be Death itself. For over three decades, the world has tried its level best to kill Frane Selak in increasingly creative and desperate ways.
His first brush with disaster was in 1962, when he escaped certain death in a train crash. Sorry, did we say "crash?" We meant "The train mysteriously jumped the rails and plunged into the icy river below, killing 17 passengers." Frane Selak got out of the sinking train and swam to the shore, despite a broken arm.
And, we like to imagine, wearing that exact same unitard.
A year later, he had to travel again. This time, he wisely opted for a different mode of transport -- flying. A malfunctioning door caused his plane to crash. Frane Selak was blown out of the open cabin door just prior to the crash and landed safely in a haystack below.
Adding airplanes to his rapidly expanding "fuck that" list, Selak decided to stick to buses from then on. That is, until 1966, when he found out the hard way that trains aren't the only thing that can lose control and plunge into a river. Again, Selak managed to swim to safety and crossed out yet another method of transport.
This left pretty much no other options but driving everywhere himself, so that's what he did. That is, until 1970, when his car spontaneously caught fire on a motorway and exploded. Selak, in yet another movie-worthy scene, managed to run to safety mere seconds before the fuel tank caught fire and went boom. Although we understand if you'd prefer to picture him walking away slowly as the vehicle exploded in the background.
Even that wasn't enough for him to hermit up in his house and refuse to go near any kind of transportation, so he got himself another car. This one didn't explode. Instead, it turned into a flamethrower, as a faulty fuel pump sprayed gas all over the engine. The ensuing flames blasted from the air vents at Selak, who lost most of his hair and, somehow, absolutely nothing else.
Nothing starts the day off right like a face full of fire.
Now officially flamethrower-proof, Selak was now freaked out enough to lay off the driving. This served him well for years, until 1995, when death finally realized that he wasn't going to go near vehicles anytime soon. And the next thing you know, Frane Selak was hit by a bus. Again, he survived with minor injuries.
Now back in the driving business, because at least that way you have some protection, Selak managed to enjoy a whole year of glorious "everything is not trying to kill me for once" time. Then, death pulled out all the stops.
In 1996, Selak was driving his Skoda on a mountain road when a huge United Nations truck came screaming at him. The impact sent Selak's tiny car flying through the crash barrier and straight into the 300-foot gorge below. Only Selak wasn't in it.
Somehow, the now out of shape, elderly man had leaped from his skidding car seconds before it fell off a cliff and landed on a tree near said cliff.
The United Nations, dedicated to global unity and killing the unkillable.
After Selak had pulled that off, Death and he apparently reached an understanding. Maybe they finally found out they had been the same person all along, or maybe there is just no point in trying to off a guy who can pull the kind of cliche last-second rescues even Hollywood would call cheesy. Whatever the reason may be, no further attempts at his life by the universe have taken place. Another telling sign of the newfound truce is the fact that in 2003, Frane Selak won the lottery.
For more badasses throughout history, check out 5 Soldiers Whose Horrific Injuries Only Made Them Angry and 5 Real Life Soldiers Who Make Rambo Look Like a Pussy.
And stop by LinkSTORM to learn how to make yourself hard to kill. (It involves watching Hard to Kill.)
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