10 People Who Survived the Impossible

Some might call it luck, others fate but whatever it is the universe was certainly not ready to let go of these next ten people. From falling out of planes to being struck by lightning, their stories might seem crazy but their survival is even crazier. Think you’ve had a bad day – its nothing compared to these ten people!

10. Roy Sullivan

Some might say that seven is a lucky number but don’t you dare say that to this park ranger! The unlucky man was struck on seven different occasions over three decades, apparently he is a natural conductor of electricity! I know who I would want to be standing next to during a lightning storm…Unfortunately Sullivan didn’t see it as luckily surviving and eventually died from a self inflicted gunshot wound.

Roy Sullivan - people-survived-impossible


9. Vesna Vulovic

Is one lucky flight attendant. More than 40 years after surviving a plane explosion that saw everyone else on board perish, Vulovic somehow still has no memory of the incident. While doubts have been raised about how she survived a fall from 33,000 feet she still had to also survive a coma and partial paralysis, it truly is a lucky escape. Some speculate the legitimacy of her claims but I think they’re just jealous they aren’t indestructible!

8. Frane Selak

This impossibly unlucky man didn’t just survive one crazy incident but a whole bunch! From a de railed train, fuel tank explosions and a plane crash. Oh and a bus crashing into a freezing river. Don’t worry though, he also ended up winning the lottery, making him either the luckiest or unluckiest man in the world. Instead of rubbing a Buddha’s belly for good lucky maybe we should start rubbing Selak’s!

Frane Selak


7. Aron Ralston

Now this story might ring a few bells, especially if you’re a James Franco fan. Made famous by the movie 127 Hours, Ralston literally survived cutting his own arm off. Ralston was struck down by a boulder that pinned him to a rock for you guessed it, 127 hours. Delirious, dehydrated and desperate Ralston eventually resorted to snapping his arm and hacking it off with a dull blade. Also, you have to feel a little bad for the park rangers who had to retrieve his severed arm…that is never a fun job.

6. Mauro Prosperi

You might have been thirsty at some point or another but you’ve never been so thirsty you would drink your own urine. As a keen endurance runner Prosperi was competing in The Marathon of Sands in Morocco when a massive sandstorm blew him off course. Somehow he ended up running several hundred kilometers to neighboring Algeria where he took shelter in an abandoned mosque and ate some of its resident bats. After a failed suicide attempt (he was so dehydrated his blood had thickened) he was found by a nomadic family and returned to safety. It’s fair to say he probably never wants to see another bat again.

5. Anatoli Bugorski

As a researcher Bugorski took his job with particle accelerators and proton beams very seriously. So, in 1978 when a machine was malfunctioning Bugorski took it upon himself to see what the problem was. Once he stuck his head in the machine though his brain was subjected to 600 rads (500 is enough to kill someone) Over the next few days his entire face swelled up before it starting peeling off, somehow though his brain was never negatively impact by the blast. Decades on Bugorski isn’t able to move the left side of his face and the accident has actually meant he has never gotten any wrinkles! Better than botox I guess!

4. Stella Maris’ College Rugby

This one sure might make you question your morals. The now infamous rugby team served a plane crash into the Andes from Uruguay to Chile but surviving the crash wasn’t the toughest part. After they heard on the radio that the search for them had been ended they resorted to cannibalism. By eating the bodies of their team mates they were able to stay alive in the – 30 degree nights and eventually two brave souls ventured over the mountains to Chile. The team survived 72 days stranded on a mountain top, now that is a story not suitable for the grandchildren!

3. Helen Klaben

Most of us can’t go a few hours without having a bite to eat – imagine lasting 42 days without any food! That is exactly what Klaben and Ralph Flores did when their single engine aircraft went down in the dense Yukon wilderness. It wasn’t a freak accident, it was pilot error that resulted in Klaben becoming a minor celebrity and losing a whole bunch of weight which she was really happy about. While Klaben was left immobilized from a crushed foot, Flores eventually wrote the SOS sign that resulted in their rescue.

2. Poon Lim

When the merchant ship he was on sunk, Lim survived for four months adrift on one of the ship’s rafts. Lucky for Lim, when the ship was going down he managed to find a few cans of food and water to sustain him for a little while. His story is one of the most impressive mainly because of how well he come out of it. With no serious injuries other than severe dehydration, Lim came out of the experience relatively unscathed but with a hatred for raw fish which he lived off for 133 days.

1. Anna Bagenholm

For minor hypothermia, Bagenholm survived being frozen alive! In 2000 when the doctor in training was skiing on one of her regular slopes, she fell through a sheet of ice and was trapped under water for 80 minutes. Amazingly, Bagenholm found a tiny air pocket to stay alive while she waited for rescuers. Her body temperature got so low that she now holds the record for the lowest surviving body temperature at just 57 degrees Fahrenheit (98.6 is normal).

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