6 Real People Who Cheated Death In The Craziest Way Possible
Good morning! This is your daily reminder that we are all but sacks of meat that can and will crumble and rot as surely as last night's Chipotle. Hopefully, you'll meet your maker at a ripe old age after winning a championship bingo tournament, but death comes for some of us sooner than we'd like. Sometimes there's no evading the Grim Reaper. But other times, whether through skill or luck, someone drops the mic on Death's ass and sends him home with his scythe between his legs. Like when ...
A Serial Killer Target Used Her Car Keys To Deflect A Gunshot To The Head
You don't get a name like "Night Stalker" without being darn good at murder. Indeed, Richard Ramirez killed at least 13 people in a little over a year in the mid '80s, which is pretty successful, if you're inclined to call such things successes. That's what makes the slip-up which partially led to his conviction all the more bizarre.
One night, when Ramirez was out stalking, he encountered Maria Hernandez and followed her from her car to her apartment. Hernandez turned around when she heard noises behind her, which Ramirez took as his cue to shoot her in the face. But when he fired his gun, the bullet was blocked by the car keys that Hernandez was incredibly luckily still holding. It's not known what kind of metal is used to both make keys and block bullets, but she apparently drove a Wolverine. Despite suffering only a broken finger, Hernandez dropped to the floor and played dead. After delivering a few good kicks to what he believed to be a corpse just for fun, Ramirez stepped over Hernandez and entered her apartment, where her roommate met a decidedly less fortunate fate.
Hernandez got up and managed to get to the front of the building right as Ramirez was leaving, at which point she begged him not to shoot her again. And ... he didn't, for some reason. Probably because he needed a pants change more than he needed murder after seeing what he had every reason to believe was a ghost. This turned out to be a bad move, as Hernandez's testimony later helped secure him a one-way trip to the gas chamber.
"Hey, I remember you! How've you are do- wait ... shit ..."
A Family Survived For 38 Days In The Middle Of The Ocean Using Enemas
One day in 1971, ten-year-old Neil Robertson asked his father why they couldn't just take off on an adventure and go sailing around the world. Instead of explaining the many reasons they shouldn't do that, the senior Robertson immediately sold the family's farm and prepared to take off from the coast of England in a 43-foot schooner, directly into a raging storm. It went about as well as you'd think.
Actually, it went reasonably well for a while. The family made it over a year and nearly to Central America before they ran into trouble. At that point, because God doesn't like it when you defy him and succeed, they were struck by some passing killer whales and their ship was sunk. In most stories, that would be the end of the Robertson family, but they proved to be a crafty bunch. After solving the most immediate problem by clawing into the relative safety of the boat's rubber dinghy, they took stock of the situation and determined they had enough water for ten days and food for even fewer. In the middle of the ocean. The math didn't look good. So they took one of their paddles and shivved it into a spear, which they used to stab turtles and sharks and drink their blood to stay hydrated. Be honest, that wouldn't even be the tenth idea you'd have.
Seventh, at best.
When this feat somehow failed to give them superpowers, they had to get grosser. (Yes, grosser than going Dracula on the Koopa Kids.) The Robertson matriarch, who used to be a nurse, collected rainwater and fashioned the rubber rungs of a ladder into enema tubes which everyone could use to ingest rainwater they collected, well, rectally. (You see, the rainwater wasn't good to drink, as the boat was not only filled with the survivors, but also tons of turtle blood and viscera.) Please imagine Jack from Lost explaining to Hurley and Sawyer that they'll have to do this or they'll die.
That little trick kept the family going through the final leg of their ordeal, and they were finally rescued by a Japanese ship after 38 disgusting days. Anyway, feel free to cite this story the next time your dumbass kid has an idea.
An Acrobat Survived The Hindenburg By, Uh, Being An Acrobat
Acrobatics isn't exactly a transferable skill. It's really only good for two things: weird sex and acrobatting. It seems it can also be good for escaping an exploding aircraft, as performer Joseph Spah learned aboard a little vessel called the Hindenburg.
Spah was chilling in the airship's lounge, chatting with fellow passengers and excited to be minutes away from reuniting with his wife, when things started going wrong. As the ship went down, Spah sprang into action, breaking and climbing out of a window, but that was about as far ahead as he'd planned. There weren't many good options: On one side was fiery death, on the other a 40-foot drop. After mulling it over for a bit, the man who it bears mentioning at this point performed under the name "Ben Dova" decided to take his chances on the drop.
This is when a normal person would, at best, break more bones than they have in their body, but Spah's training came in handy. "I landed on my feet, bounced into the air, and fell on my face," as he described it. In other words, he treated the site of history's most famous airship crash as a trampoline-based physical comedy routine. The force of the impact threw him away from where he'd landed, which happened to be exactly where the Hindenburg made its blazing grave. We guess the moral of the story is that puns will definitely save you if you've got a Final Destination situation going on, kids.
16 People Lost At Sea Lived Off Of Breast Milk For A Week
In the early 2000s, you could say the Dominican Republic was having a bit of a recession, prompting many to flee to Puerto Rico and usually get arrested upon arrival. And that was if they made it there. Many of those who fled ended up lost at sea in the terrifying 100 miles between the two islands. Such was the fate of Faustina Mercedes and 15 others, who paid the equivalent of two months' salary to board a tiny boat to Puerto Rico, only to realize their compass was broken.
The group spent a total of 12 days adrift in the ocean, and their supplies were exhausted after three. For those keeping score at home, this means they spent over a week literally without a pot to piss in. Not that much pissing was happening; by the fifth day, they were so dehydrated that they could only spit blood. That's when Faustina asked her sister to suck on her boobs. No, she wasn't delirious, she was lactating.
Her sister found that, indeed, milk did her body good, so she passed some back to her sister, who then offered all the other passengers a turn on the nipple fountain. And suck they did, for the next seven days, until their boat washed ashore, after which they were presumably unable to look each other in the eye ever again.
A Firefighter Started A Tiny Fire (To Avoid A Gigantic Fire)
Ever heard of a fire funnel? They're like tornadoes made of fire. And one sunny day in the summer of 1949, a bunch of them were hot on the heels of firefighters who parachuted into what they thought was a routine forest fire in the Montana mountains.
The young firefighters tried to escape by jumping across a gulf, but the fire somehow managed to follow them, because it was possibly the manifestation of some jerk demon. Quickly running out of options, they began to scurry up the mountain, which was probably a bad idea, according to our fourth-grade science lessons, but who are we to question increasingly panicked professionals? As a matter of fact, they ran so fast up the 76 percent slope that they set new records for scaling that particular mountain. That's not a joke -- no one has been able to figure out how they did it. Lighting an actual fire under their butts probably helped.
And that's when reality made a full turn into bad '90s action movie territory. With the wave of fire approaching, the squad's leader, Wag Dodge (!), headed for a nearby patch of grass and ... lit a fire there. The idea was that this "escape fire" would provide a thin layer of oxygen to anyone who dove into it as the bigger fire tore what there was from the air. It sounds insane, which is exactly why the other firefighters said "to hell with that" and kept running. It's also why Dodge was one of three men out of the 16 who survived.
The other two survivors managed to run around a ridge that shielded them, which was probably a much more sensible plan, in hindsight.
The Real-Life Robinson Crusoe Spent His Days Training An Army Of Cats
Robinson Crusoe seems to be a tale too outlandish to have really happened. But not only is it based on a true story, but the true story is even weirder. The real-life Crusoe, a Scottish sailor named Alexander Selkirk, was less Pierce Brosnan and more Jack Sparrow. He wasn't shipwrecked, for one thing. He was abandoned on an island off the coast of Chile because his captain was sick of his mouth. He had no Man Friday, either. For four years, he lived alone on the island, and it got Castaway weird in a right hurry.
By his account, Selkirk spent a lot of his time on the island praying and studying his Bible, more out of pure tedium than legitimate devotion. Oh, and he also became a beastmaster. Spanish explorers had previously brought goats, rats, and cats to the island, and Selkirk made good use of all of them. Well, at first the rats made more use of him, attempting to fashion a meal out of his toes at night. So he trained an army of feral cats to defend him. Do you know how hard it is to train a cat? The bastards don't even respond to their own names. A man with a devoted cat-talion is not to be trifled with. Man, movies always leave out the best parts.
But Selkirk's real passion was his goats. He mostly tortured them, whether by hunting or with simple foot races, which would end when he threw the goat to the ground (he was not a good loser). There's even "some debate among experts" regarding how far his passions extended. Translation: He may have fucked the goats too.
No word on whether he got that idea out of one of the kinkier parts of the Bible.
The fictional story gets the ending mostly right, in that Selkirk was eventually rescued by a passing British ship. But he didn't go home afterward. Instead, the captain was so impressed with the skills Selkirk had learned during his marooning that he put him to work as a captain of his own ship, which is what Selkirk did for the remainder of his life. And to think, you wasted all that money on college.
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