Here at Cracked, we love badasses. Either because we recognize a kindred spirit when we see one, or possibly because we adore the things that we can never be. Judging by all the crying and non-karate in here, it's almost certainly the latter. But as we quietly sob witty retorts we didn't have the balls to say at the time into our moist, shameful pillows, it gives us hope to see evidence that anybody can be a badass. Even children.
Holy shit, especially children:
#6. Tibetan Steampunk Kid
This looks like a screencap from the Bollywood version of The Road. It looks like somebody got their Lone Wolf and Cub mixed up with their Mad Max. This photo looks like the immediate aftermath of something the steam-powered men still whisper about at night, in hushed voices around the campfire. This is what would happen if Joss Whedon invaded Tibet. This image is such a perfect amalgamation of the ad-hoc tech of steampunk, the thousand-yard stare of hardened war veterans, and the quasi-mysticism of the Far East, that it simply has to be staged. It's some snotty sophomore's art project or a promotion still from an indie apocalypse movie, right?
This is a photo of a real Tibetan father and son, on a pilgrimage to Mt. Kailash, before ultimately attempting to illegally cross the border. And sure, the father is probably the bigger badass here -- with his Road Warrior eyewear, vintage sniper rifle and pith helmet -- but then he's the adult.
He's had decades to grow that immense pair of balls. But the little kid - with his mad scientist goggles, yak fur sash and presumably wise-cracking horse - is still holding his own, even in the company of a man who looks like he's going on robot safari. As children, we complained when our GI Joe didn't come with all of the packaged accessories, and here's this little kid, jury-rigging mountain-gear so he and his post-apocalyptic sniper/father can cross the Tibetan mountains in fucking Chuck Taylors to escape a brutal occupying regime.
If I were China, I would be intensely worried by this picture, because it is quite obviously prophetic. One glance, and we all know how this is going to play out: At some point the father will sacrifice himself, likely while shoving a clockwork handgrenade down the throat of a screaming Chinese steam-yeti, and the son will be forced to grow up half-feral in the merciless mountains, periodically emerging to fire-bomb guard outposts while delivering sermons comprised of equal parts howls and headshots.
#5. Youngest Female Black Belt in the World
Update: The old entry in this spot, "angry sports kid," has been replaced, due to...ah...is there a fancy editorial term for "just plain got my shit all wrong on this one?" No? Okay, let's go with "conflicting sources" then.
This is Varsha Vinod from Purakkad, India, and that is not a picture of a child in pajamas being violently hucked into the face of a passing Caucasian. That picture is exactly what it looks like: A 5 year-old girl (now seven,) the youngest female black belt in the world, delivering a gravity-mocking jumpkick to the mouth of a full grown man, presumably after he commented on her adorable little pigtails. Varsha started her martial arts practice at two years old, and showed such talent for it that she blew through eight belts in the next three years. She's a master of several deadly weapons as well, including the yawara stick, nunchaku, and temper tantrum.
But all this still leaves one question unanswered: If the guy in the back isn't, in fact, hurling that little girl across the room like a precocious ninja star, what is he doing? Well, he could be doing anything - practicing his own forms, or advising the unlucky opponent in proper defense strategies, or just sneezing at a hilariously inopportune time - but we all know that's not the case. He's just doing exactly what we'd be doing in his place: Flawlessly executing the Chris Tucker "aw! You got knocked the fuck out!" maneuver.
This is Enal. He swims with sharks.
If you need more information than that, perhaps you should take a step back from the computer and contemplate how fucking spoiled modern-day media has made you - that a boy gleefully riding a shark like a little Thai Aquaman is somehow not "enough" for you.
But okay, fine, details: This image was not taken out of context, and it was not a once in a lifetime thing. Enal begins every single day by slapping on a pair of goggles, slipping into the penned area beneath the Indonesian fishing community he's a part of, grabbing the nearest shark by the tail, and then steering it around like a murderous jet-ski. There is no further purpose for this action - it's not training for anything, it's not a show for tourists - the only benefits that daily shark-wrangling provides Enal are a quick and energizing way to wake up, and presumably an unflappable sense of invulnerability that borders on madness.