6 Tales of Amazing Survivors (Who Were Babies)
There are few things more terrifying than seeing a helpless baby in danger, partly because they represent the continuation of our species, and partly because they're dang cute. However, maybe we should give the little bastards more credit: There are babies out there who have survived dangerous situations that would have likely killed a grown man, sometimes because their smallness actually protected them, and sometimes because we're pretty sure they're just indestructible.
Tornado Snatches Baby Girl from Mother's Arms, Deposits Her Safely in Mud
Everyone knows that the best way to avoid being harmed by a tornado is to hide in your closet where it doesn't see you. That was the course of action that Amy Crago and her 10-month-old daughter, Aleah, took in May 1999 when things took a turn for the windy in Oklahoma City. Unfortunately, this wasn't one of those polite "stops right outside your house" tornadoes -- it was one of the relentless, record-breaking bastards that did this:
Those used to be houses.
Crago's closet didn't offer much resistance when the tornado broke through the wall, threw her to the floor, ripped the baby right from her arms, and made away with the helpless bundle. Again, the tornado just swooped by and threw the baby into the air in what must have looked like one of those Rapture scenes from This Is the End, only considerably more terrifying.
As soon as she didn't have an angry vortex of wind screaming at her, Crago got hold of the closest deputy and begged him to find little Aleah for her. She would have done it herself, but she was a little busy being taken to the hospital. And so, Deputy Robert Jolley got the heartbreaking task of searching for a blown-away baby through the brutal devastation, knowing full well that all the laws of nature and probability said he was looking at a complete downer of an afternoon.
But then, as seen on this dashboard camera video from his patrol car, Jolley spotted a little something next to a tree:
"Wait, the mom said a 10-month-old; this one's clearly 11. Oh well, back to the tree."
Against all odds, he found Aleah about 100 feet away from the house, covered in mud and resting peacefully like a, you know, baby (one that didn't just get thrown 100 feet by a tornado). Other than a hairline fracture and a cut on her head, she was completely intact -- in fact, she only started crying once Jolley freed her of all the dirt on her face, presumably because it had just gotten warm and cozy.
Today, Aleah is a perfectly healthy teenager who says tornadoes are "cool," although she doesn't sound very impressed by them from her description: "I like how they work and how they can destroy so much but they're just wind going in a circle."
Well, she'd know.
Baby Survives Deadliest Tsunami Ever ... Sleeping on a Floating Mattress
What's even worse than a tornado? An earthquake? A tsunami? How about an unholy combination of both that lasts 10 freaking minutes (we shit our pants if a tremor lasts more than five seconds) and literally shakes the whole planet? Because that's exactly what hit the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004, killing 230,000 people, devastating thousands of miles of coastline on two continents -- and leaving one 20-days-old baby completely unfazed.
Thulasi Suppiah was taking a well-deserved nap after an intense morning of pooping in her diapers, some whining, and a lot of being adorable in a general baby-like fashion. That's when the tsunami hit her parents' restaurant in northern Malaysia, pushing the adults right out of the building before they could reach the baby, who slept in a bed in another room. If being rudely kicked out of your property by a massive flood of water already sucks balls, imagine how terrifying it must be when you combine it with the fact that your baby is still in there.
The worried parents managed to "claw their way back to the badly damaged building" later that day, and what they saw inside was even more impressive than the overwhelming act of nature they'd just witnessed: their baby, lying on a mattress, floating in a 5-foot pool of water.
They have since removed the indoor pool God gave them as a Christmas gift.
Yes, all the furniture in the building had been abruptly rearranged by the tsunami, but little Thulasi was technically still exactly where they had left her. Had she rolled to the side, she would have fallen into the water, but thankfully the view of the ceiling proved interesting enough to stare at until her parents came back. And, although she was crying at the time they found her, we suspect that had less to do with the tsunami and more with the fact that babies are grumpy when awoken.
Now, Thulasi might very well be indestructible, but anyone would understand if, like Bruce Willis in Unbreakable, she was terrified of water. Nope: The now 10-year-old loves to swim. In the ocean.
Only a true badass turns her back to someone who already tried to kill her.
Melbourne's Babies Keep Getting Run Over by Trains, Escaping Unharmed
We're not sure if there's some scientific basis for this, but it appears that the babies of Melbourne, Australia, are train-proof. Seriously, how the hell else can you explain the fact that two babies in the city fell underneath trains, seven months apart, and in both cases came away with nothing more than a few minor scrapes and perhaps a newly minted turd in their pants?
Which is exactly what we dropped when watching the security footage.
Again, that baby is still in one piece.
That happened in October 2009, when a 6-month-old baby boy in a stroller rolled onto the tracks in Melbourne just as a train pulled into the station, to the shock of all present. But then, after the train stopped, workers realized that the baby was still fine underneath, with a bump on his head but otherwise in pristine condition. The baby was taken to the hospital but released the same day, presumably because his skin broke all the needles when they tried to inject him.
The stroller, sadly, did not make it.
The fact that the baby landed at the precise spot to survive being run over by a train was a stroke of luck that could never happen again ... until May 2010, when it totally fucking did. This time, a 15-month-old baby in a stroller rolled onto the tracks, but landed in such a way that the train merely pushed it "for a short distance" without harming it. Oh, and this also happened in Melbourne.
In each instance, authorities urged parents to be careful, because they don't want to give away Australia's superhuman breeding program quite yet. Unfortunately the people of Melbourne aren't really bothered, if this 2012 video of a baby rolling onto a train track is anything to go by. That particular baby was rescued from the tracks before any trains arrived -- or rather, as it's Melbourne, the baby was removed from the railway before any trains were damaged.
Canadian Baby Gets Frozen Solid, Unfreezes Back to Life
While babies are particularly fragile, there are certain temperatures that should be avoided by anyone of any age who isn't wearing most of what used to be a reindeer. That's why things didn't look good for 13-month-old Erika Nordby back in 2001 when, in the early hours of the morning, she crawled out of bed and, due to a faulty door latch, was able to make her way outside. In Canada. In February. While wearing just a diaper.
Even the moose said "Fuck it, I'm staying in" that morning.
Erika had been outside for at least three hours, lying in the middle of her yard at around 4 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 Celsius), when her mother found her. She called the paramedics, who determined that Erika was suffering from a number of potentially fatal symptoms, like already being clinically dead. She was so cold that her lips were frozen together and it was impossible to insert a breathing tube. By the time she got to the hospital, her heart had not been beating for around two hours. She was, at that point, little more than a Popsicle shaped like a human.
In most parts of the world, when you get a baby in that condition in your emergency room, you start drawing straws to decide who's gonna give the bad news to the parents. But this was Canada, where, as one doctor put it, "We don't declare somebody dead until they're warm and dead." And so the doctors put Erika under a warming blanket, presumably out of habit, only for her body to do what scientists have called "pulling a Captain America" -- she just unfroze back to life.
The bandages are to stop her from giving the finger to any other laws of nature.
Erika's heart started beating again and she was acting normally within a few days. It was described as a "one in a million chance" by her pediatrician.
An 11-year-old Erika and her mother gave an interview in 2011, and while the whole experience appears to be very emotional for her mom, Erika herself is much more nonchalant about it: "It was really cold and I walked outside," she said, glossing over the whole "and became lord of the elements" aspect. Today her tale has joined the legends of that mysterious land up north, and she even has her own folk song.
She seems pretty chill about it.
Baby Is Born During Hollywood-esque Car Accident (and Survives)
Childbirth can be a pretty shocking event to witness, as we learned from that one eighth grade health class we'll never forget. Sure, the mother gets the shittier end of the deal, but it's still a traumatic experience for those whose genitals aren't currently passing a new human being. As long as there's a head emerging from someone in your vicinity, you're probably going to struggle to concentrate.
One activity that doesn't mix brilliantly with large distractions is driving. That was unfortunate for Mokhles Raheema of Sweden, who was hurrying his wife to the hospital when their baby was born right there in the passenger seat, causing the father to take his eyes off the road to look over and witness the miracle of life. Here's a handy 3D recreation of the scene:
But, precisely because Mokhles was busy being distracted/grossed out by the sight of the baby leaving his wife's vagina and dangling upside down, he didn't notice the crash barrier he had just swerved into. The car bounced and rolled over four times, crossing two lanes of highway, until it landed in a ditch. Besides Mokhles and his wife, their previous two offspring were sitting in the back seat of the car. Mokhles says that after the crash he thought the entire family might be dead, because of course he fucking did.
Finding his wife unconscious and his two other children rattled but unhurt, Mokhles panicked when he realized his seconds-old daughter "had disappeared from sight." However, as with every time you lose something important in your car, he found what he was looking for in the most classic hiding place: underneath the passenger seat. The little indestructibaby was completely fine.
Except for some mild exposure to an expired taco and a long-lost Mama Mia CD.
The mother had a few injuries, but the rest of the family was OK. The car itself was written off, but luckily for the parents they'd borrowed it from a friend. Presumably they'd ramped their own car into the ocean during conception or something.
Baby Gets an Entire Burning House Dumped on Her, Turns Up Fine
Mississippi resident Michael Elliott was walking into the kitchen with his 10-month-old cousin, Oleandra, in his arms when an explosion knocked him down, along with the kitchen and the whole damn house. A gas leak had turned the entire two-story construction into a flaming pile of junk with a family trapped underneath (except the grandpa, who was -- no kidding -- ejected all the way to the neighbor's yard).
Firefighters got all of the adults out fairly quickly, but there was one little problem: No one knew where baby Oleandra had ended up. The explosion knocked her right out of Elliott's arms, and he lost track of her after that, what with the whole "having severe burns on his body" thing. All they knew was that the baby was somewhere in the house, which at this point looked like this:
Not pictured: much reason for hope.
To make matters worse, the only way the firefighters could remove the wreckage was by first dousing it with gallons of water -- for those of you with limited medical knowledge, "gallons" is definitely enough water to drown a baby.
At 5 a.m., after the fire department and half the neighborhood had been looking for 10 hours, they had to stop because it was raining too heavily (we should reiterate the fact that babies can drown very easily and that Oleandra's family aren't a race of amphibians). The search started again around 9:30 a.m., but obviously everyone's spirits had seen better times. It was about an hour later that they noticed something unusual: The house's basement had only half-collapsed. And in the non-collapsed part, there sat a non-charred, non-drowned baby.
The celebratory wave from the guy at the back didn't catch on.
It turns out that, in the best real-life demonstration of cartoon physics ever, the explosion made Oleandra fall through the floor before everything collapsed on top of her, in just such a way that it left a little gap that was both fire- and waterproof. The local residents promptly got together and raised thousands of dollars to cover Oleandra's medical bills, but we're not sure if that's because they're all kind and generous individuals or if they just think it's wise to make a good impression on the baby who's clearly got some sort of supernatural entity on her side.
Or, most likely, all of them.
Related Reading: Some stories of survival just seem too badass to be true, like this fighter pilot who flew his plane to safety while standing on the wing. And then of course there's the woman who survived a fall off the damn Empire State Building. And if all these stories weren't quite badass enough for you (somehow) you should check out the coolest survival traits ever designed by evolution.
And for more ways we underestimate children, check out 14 Things Kids Suspect About the Adult World.