The 6 Luckiest Near-Death Experiences Ever Caught on Camera

We've already explored the superhuman reflexes that have saved people from certain death, while simultaneously mocking people who survived similar situations armed only with the tepid power of placid stupidity and dumb luck. But maybe that wasn't fair: Of course superhuman reflexes will come in handy, but how often does staring idiotically and maybe crying a little end up saving a life? Those are the ones we should be praising -- the dim-witted, the slow, and the overwhelmed. To those of you who did absolutely nothing to save yourselves, but are simply too smiled upon by the universe to be pulped by a garbage truck, we salute you.

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6
Motorcycle Decapitation

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This is Christian Kellner, a motorcycle racer in the 2002 World Supersport Championship. Nobody is going to argue that Kellner himself is somehow unskilled: He spends his working day reacting to thousands of life and death problems at roughly 1/4 the speed of sound. And I'm certainly not implying that he doesn't have the will or wherewithal to guide himself safely through a tough situation: The man gently places his crotch on earthbound missiles for a living. He's basically a giant throbbing pair of testicles with a funny little helmet on. But when this happened ...

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... skill, fortitude and reflex all went vomiting out onto the pavement. The accident happens so fast that you don't even really have time to see it, so here's what went down: Coming around that turn at an objectively ridiculous speed, Kellner's oil line ruptures, spewing a huge slick directly beneath his own rear tire. Kellner of course promptly goes hurtling into a wall, which is pretty much your only viable response to anything on a motorcycle. Now, that impact on its own is quite enough to turn a human being into a nice pudding, but it's not all that remarkable in motorcycle racing. What is remarkable is that the riders behind Kellner, just milliseconds back, also hit the slick and simultaneously spin out, effectively sending three 400-pound metal bullets flying right at Kellner's already deliciously tenderized body. Look here:

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He misses complete head disintegration by a f**king quantum level of timing and an optimist's inch. But at least there was no way Kellner had time to process any of this drama. From his perspective, he was just flitting about like a leaf on the subsonic wind, then somebody turned off the world's V-sync for a few seconds and he woke up in a lot of pain, surrounded by smoking metal and people screaming shocked profanities. Hell, toss in two empty bottles of whiskey and that's just the aftermath of a good Saturday night.

5
Soldier Nearly Blows His Friend's Head Off

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This is a military drill in Poland, and if you're grounded in the same ignorant pop culture racism as I am, you already think you know where this is going after the first few seconds. They're the Polish armed forces: They're all going to file into a submarine with a screen door, or point their guns at each other and fire or something, right? Jesus, man, you know, not all Polish people a-

Oh, holy s**t, that's exactly what happens?

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Well, uh ... score one for Anthropological Humorology!

Some questions this video raises: Why was it necessary to use live ammo in a formation drill, especially one where they're all pointing rifles at their friends' faces? Isn't that, like, the first thing they teach you about firearm safety?

#1: Don't point it at things with personalities unless you would like those personalities to stop forever.

#2: Also don't point it at your dick.

#3: Lesson ended. Start shootin'!

But I guess the Polish military got to Basic Firearms Logic 101 a little late. Because during the most inexplicably high-stakes marching practice ever, some dude in the back pulls a Jerry Lewis and this happens:

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If it's hard to make out, the soldier in the rearmost line just accidentally pulled the trigger on his rifle and came so close to blowing the man in front's head apart that he actually knocked his hat off. To his eternal credit, the man who just watched his favorite beret get brutally assassinated barely even blinks, does not break formation and continues the drill flawlessly. But more worrisome is the drill sergeant's reaction: In that there is absolutely none. One of his soldiers just attempted Murder by Comedic Negligence, and he just keeps running the drill, shouting out the next order like nothing happened.

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This happens kind of a lot, doesn't it, Polish Army?

4
Thrown from the Sunroof of a Rolling Car

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I don't know what's so remarkable about this: This is just a video of some poor drunken automobile that stumbled over somebody's hedge and vomited out a chav onto their garden.

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This happened in West Midlands, England, if you want to maybe visit someday and commemorate the site of history's most nonchalant near-death experience. Seriously: Nobody has ever been chiller about a major car accident. The kid's first instinct, upon being violently expelled from an upside-down automobile, is to dust off and straighten out his T-shirt. Motherf**ker straight up lost his Crocs from the centrifugal force of his own certain doom ...

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... and he just hops up, checks that there's no grass stains on the Burberry and then wanders off in his socks -- presumably to knock on the back door and ask if he can crash on the occupant's couch for a while.

3
Dancing Dips**t, Meet Giant Lightning Bolt

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As a comedian, I am torn. I know that I should rabidly mock the shirtless man in this video, flexing beside his parked car in the middle of a terrible thunderstorm. This is my job as a humorist, after all: to humiliate the idiotic in order to inform and dissuade, thus ensuring the survival of the species. It is literally the most noble of all possible professions. I should be happy to do it.

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But I just can't. I feel too bad for the poor bastard. Listen to the audio at the start: He doesn't even want to be out there. His girlfriend wants a funny video, so she orders him out into the black-metal-worthy storm. She heartlessly demands that he strike a pose in the middle of a natural disaster, so he does. But when he attempts to come inside, she goes Girl Hitler on him and ferociously points further out into the maelstrom. He complies without question.

It ends almost exactly how you'd expect:

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Jesus. That's not just any lightning bolt -- it whites out the entire block when it strikes. It looks like Judgment Day from the Terminator movies. The video abruptly cuts out just seconds after the bolt lands, so there's really no telling how this turned out, but I'm going to venture a guess and say that when the camera panned back up, Thor was standing in the middle of the street flicking his wrist and making a "whipped" noise at Big Shirtless Ron up there.

2
Man Front-Flips Out of Disintegrating Truck

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Uh-oh.

Barren landscape, fish-tone color palette, dash cam.

Yep. This is Russia.

And that means somebody's about to hold themselves an impromptu automotive Thunderdome.

One would assume, by virtue of the dash-cam car tailgating the holy s**t out of that Russian White Slavery Truck (it's their version of the Child Molester Van), that the driver is going to be the one exploding out of his windshield in a few seconds. But then, much like the Spanish Inquisition ...

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... it's the unexpected that gets you. The truck in front of the dash-cam car takes a sharp left, the truck in the opposite lane chooses the same moment to selfishly continue straight along as he was going, and surprise!

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It's like a Russian jack-in-the-box. One minute everything's fine, then all of a sudden a bunch of exploding metal pops up and now there's a guy named Vadim standing in the street just wondering where his coat went.

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No, seriously, look closely at that video:

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The driver of the oncoming used-to-be-a-truck landed on his feet, but somehow got knocked out of his own f**king coat! We've already seen sandals fly off. Sure, understandable: They're like shoes for people who are afraid of commitment. Hats? Yeah, a strong wind (or a Polish bullet) will do that. But I have never seen somebody get hit so hard that they fly out of their own coat, and then walk away unscathed. I don't speak Russian, but I'm pretty sure "Vadim" is their word for "Unbreakable."

1
Special Skilled Counterpoint: You Can Surf an Avalanche?

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If you've grown bored with people pratfalling through the Reaper's fingers, let's see where dense balls and sharp reflexes get you. This is a video of a snowmobile driver surfing an avalanche. I am not being hyperbolic:

That still is taken from about 38 seconds in, when he turns to look back and the whole world just cracks open beneath him. That's the point where I would reverently whisper "I've always loved you, beer," and then die quietly inside of a mountain. Not this guy, though: He doesn't freeze up for a second. He instantly yanks the handlebars, turns around, and guns it down the avalanche, even as the ground beneath him suddenly loses surface tension. About 41 seconds in, he jumps the literal shockwave of snow rippling toward him and races the slide down the rest of the mountain.

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Hands up if you didn't even know avalanches had friggin' waves, much less the proper technique to "surf" them. The driver isn't even really shaken up by the experience. Whereas some of us would speak solely in screams and pooping sounds for the next six months, the very next words out of his mouth are a jovial laugh and "got a hell of a video."

Admittedly, it's not much of a catchphrase, but I'm not going to sit here and tell Dirk Hardpack: Avalanche Surfer what to say as he humiliates a natural disaster.

Buy Robert's stunning, transcendental, orgasmic science fiction novel, Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity, right here. Or buy Robert's other (pretty OK) book, Everything Is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead. Follow him on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook.

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