Survivor stories are a long standing tradition, from Gilligan’s Island to Lord of the Flies to the modern movie The Martian. But here’s proof life is stranger than fiction! We found ten people who survived against insane odds.
22 year old Vesna Voluvic entered the Guiness Book of World Records for surviving the longest fall without an parachute. Voluvic was a Yugoslavian stewardess who’s flight had the misfortune of being target by the Ustase separatist group. The plane suffered a massive explosion from it’s cargo bay, causing the plane to crash into a mountain. The crash killed all twenty eight passengers and all of the crew….except Vesna, who was hospitalized after surviving a fall of 33,333 feet.
Vesna was hospitalized with a fractured skull and three broken vertebrae, and not only survived but lived a full life afterwords.
9. Frane Selak
The Grim Reaper has grown fond of Mr. Selak. While he still lives, he has earned his title as luckiest unlucky man. At 33, a train Selak was on flew straight into an icy river, killing seventeen passengers. But not Mr. Selak, who walked it off with a broken arm. At 34, Selak’s plane was flying over Croatia, only to have one of the doors to the plane ripped off. Selak went flying out of the plane, falling several thousand feet. Somehow, a hay stack happened to be directly beneath him, leading to another surprising survival.
At 37, Selak was aboard a bus that also plunged into a river, killing four people. But not Mr. Selak. Death, apparently frustrated with subtle, tried again when he was 41, when his car’s fuel tank exploded. After surviving that fiery doom, Mr. Selak suffered an encore attempt at age 44. Twenty years later, another car explosion and bus accident struck Mr. Selak.
Five years later, to the surprise of all, luck smiled on Selak without trying to kill him. At 71, Selak won the lottery and became a millionaire.
8. Stella Maris College
The Stella Maris College’s “Old Christians” rugby team from Uruguay had a mountain named after them, after a tragic crash on a trip to Chile. The so-called “Glacier of Tears” killed twelve people, leaving the remaining members of the team roaming through the Andes, where temperature reached several degrees below zero. Hope dwindled for the survivors as food supplies ran low, and collapsed when the team members heard over the radio that the search was called off.
As members of the team began to die one by one, the living began to feed on the dead to survive. Two of the bravest survivors managed to make it to Chile on foot and get word out about sixteen survivors, having survived seventy two days in hostile conditions.
As a researcher at the Institute of High Energy Physics at Provinto, Burgorski was repairing a malfunctioning peice of equipment when his brush with death came. A particle beam, from the largest Soviet Particle Acclerator, rated at about 200,000 rads went straight through his head. The left half of Bugorski’s face swelled beyond recognition. Over the next several days, his skin began to peel, the proton having burned a path through his skull and brain tissue.
Despite the fact that this should, by all accounts, kill a man, Bugorski survived. His intellect seemed unaffected and he returned to work as soon as possible. The left side of his face was frozen do to the beam, however, and he went deaf in the left ear.
6. Roy Sullivan
This Virginia ranger must be a living lighting rod, as the proud holder of the Guiness Book of World Recrods for surving the most lighting strikes. Some of the seven strikes left only minor scars, from the loss of an eyebrow or burning of toenail. Some of the incidents were more severe however. One lightning strike set his hair on fire, another seared a shoulder, and one leaving him with chest burns.
After a series of miraculously surviving the definition of ‘The Sky is Mad at You’, Sullivan ended his life at age 75. The reasons were, apparently unrelated to the lighting strikes.
5. Joe Simpson and Simon Yates
Both Simpson and Yates set to scale Siula Grande in the Andes Mountains, an experience Simpson recounted the book Touching the Void. The book describes not just the climbing, but also the near lethal falling. Simpson was wounded and fell one hundred feet into an icy crevasse. He managed to crawl back up, and after three days in the perilous Andes, made it back to base camp.
4. Truman Duncan
Truman Duncan endured one of the most horrific accidents you can imagine:being run over by a train car. As a passenger, Duncan fell off the train he was aboard and landed beneath a moving car. He was swept underneath the train and literally cut in two. Duncan not only survived, but managed to stay conscious enough to call the paramedics himself. He underwent several surgeries, lost both his legs, and a kidney. But he survived.
3. Aron Ralston
While on a canyonering trip, a boulder pinned Ralston’s arm. Unable to move, and failing to break the boulder after five days, Ralston realized he was running out of time. Dehydrated and delirious, Ralston decided to amputate his own arm in order to survive. After snapping his own bone, he cut his arm off entirely, freeing himself from the boulder. This perilous encounter was recounted in the movie 127 Hours.
2. Robert Evans
A 46 year-old homeless man, Evans was the victim of a hit and run. He was picked up and patched up at a local hospital. On his way back to his camp form the near fatal shooting, he was knocked off a narrow bridge into a creek by a train. Evans ended up in the hospital again only seven hours after his initial accident.That means, within twenty four hours, not only was Evans shot, but he was hit by a train and plummeted off a bridge. How he survived all that is insane.
Marlo Prosperi particpated in the Morrocan marathon of sands. The marathon was swept away by a sandstorm, leaving Prosperi confused and stranded in the desert. Running in the wrong direction, Prosperi arrived in Alegria. He took refuge in an abandoned mosque and surived nine days by drinking his own urine and eating bats and snakes. Eventually he was found by a nomadic family who took him to an Algerian army camp, where he was hospitalized.