It's surprising when you find out that someone's made it to adulthood without the ability to even dog paddle their way around, but it's actually more common than you'd think. One out of every five adults can't swim, and nearly half of adult Americans can't swim well enough to save themselves. That's a whole lot of people floundering around if they suddenly find themselves in a Waterworld situation.
One of the more bizarre facts of Natalie Wood's already pretty bizarre drowning death is how, even though she and her husband Robert Wagner owned a yacht and often took it out on open water, she did not know how to swim. While the booze probably hurt her chances of surviving a "fall" into the water, not being able to swim certainly didn't help Wood's aspirations to continue enjoying the luxuries of air.
"Why are you throwing a donut at me? I'm so confused."
Swimming skills are relatively easy to learn: you float, you kick, you tread water, and at some point you stop screaming. So what's the problem? For many non-swimmers, the big issue isn't ability -- it's conquering the fear of water. And if you think you can just avoid pools, lakes, and water-based reality shows, you better think again. Seventy percent of the Earth is covered in water, and when non-swimmers unexpectedly end up in it, the results can be devastating.