Unbelievable Near-Death Experiences

September 15, 2023 | Miles Brucker

Unbelievable Near-Death Experiences

Near-death experiences are often life-altering. But these close calls are stranger than fiction. From lightning strikes to near-drowning incidents, choking on snacks, and everything in between, these lucky people came close to dying and lived to tell the tale.

1. Electric Avenue

I was digging a hole at 12 or 14 years old—because I could—kid stuff. I remember waking up and it was dark. Apparently, I had hit an underground electric line. No one knew. I was there for hours. I got up, went inside, and ate dinner. This was in the early 80s. I wet my pants and felt weird for a day or two. I never told my parents. I thought they’d be mad.

Kid Smiling And Holding A ShovelPanomji, Shutterstock

2. Beating Grandma At UNO

I was around four years old the first time I beat my grandma in UNO. I was so happy, I ran into the house—we played in the yard— screaming "I won!” Little me wasn't able to stop fast enough, so I slammed right into a wooden frame door with a big glass window.

My whole face was cut open. Luckily everything healed, all I am missing is a small piece of my nose tip and it's not even visible if you don't know where to look. The glass shattered in a star shape around my head and one of the spikes from the remaining glass door missed my main artery by 0.19 inches.

I almost lost my life because I defeated my grandma in UNO.

A Hand Of Uno Cardslil artsy, Pexels

3. A Slow Roll

When I was seven years old, I was at my grandmother’s with my mom. We were getting ready to leave, and as a kid, I didn't want to wait for the long goodbye to be over. So, I decided to wait in the car. I asked my mom for the keys so I could put them in the ignition, listen to the radio, and have a little air. Then disaster struck.

I don't know how I managed to do this, since I don't think my legs were even big enough to hit the pedals, but I managed to start the car and somehow pushed it into neutral. My grandmother's driveway is somewhat sloped so it started to roll downhill. This freaked me out because her driveway lined up perfectly with the road. 

About a half mile down the road was a small pond. I thought I was heading straight for that and that I was going to drown. So, I got scared and jumped out.

My foot got caught in the door while jumping out of the car. The side of my body (love handle area) was straight up rubbing against the moving tire and I still have a scar to this day where the skin hasn't completely healed. I remember once I broke free from the door, I was just lying on the ground. 

I was having some sort of out-of-body experience. It was as if I was looking at myself in some 3rd person kind of way. I’ve never had that happen to me before or after that. The next thing I knew, I blacked out. I woke up in the hospital. Now here I am, 20 years later.

Kid Driving A CarAfrica Studio, Shutterstock4. Sent Off The Dock

I got pushed off a dock by another kid and drowned in front of a lifeguard who was yelling at me to stop faking it. I was nine or ten at the time and I couldn't swim. The town had a population of less than 800. It only had one lifeguard. I was at the beach three to five days a week because of my family, so they knew I couldn’t swim.

My brother ended up pulling me out and resuscitating me himself. The lifeguard pretended she didn't notice.

Kid Screaming In The WaterLuis Louro, Shutterstock

5. Get Out Of The Water

I almost got fried as a kid. I used to love swimming and was often the last to leave the pools. One time it started raining heavily and everyone except me left the outdoor pool. Being in the warm pool and seeing the raindrops hit the water was such a cool feeling. I didn't want to leave.

When I finally left, I turned to look back. I saw lightning strike the middle of the pool. No one was around anymore. So if I'd taken half a minute longer, there wouldn't have been anyone around to fish me out.

Johannes Plenio, Pexels

6. A Christmas Light Mishap

When I was a kid, I zapped myself on low-quality Christmas light leads. You know those electrical safety videos where someone gets electrocuted, shakes uncontrollably, and can't let go? That was me for something like 30 seconds before somehow I did let go.

The pain from the wounds in my fingers and the sole of my foot went deep and lasted weeks.

Blonde Haired Girl in Red and Black Dress ShirtJosh Willink, Pexels

7. Snacking On Goldfish Crackers

I inhaled a Goldfish.

The cracker, not the animal.

I got pneumonia, I was hospitalized—the whole nine yards.

I don't eat Goldfish anymore.

Pack of Goldfish Crackers on a TableErik Mclean, Pexels

8. Over The Edge

I fell down a mountain. It happened at a slide area that went off at a vertical angle. 

My clothes and skin were torn badly, one of my pack straps was broken, and while nothing felt broken, I felt like I had been beaten by baseball bats for a week. It took me two weeks to get out and to medical care. I was bleeding from every orifice and couldn't eat or drink when I entered the hospital. But that wasn't the worst part.

For a CAT,  they dumped something like 1.5 liters of dye. We soon discovered I was severely allergic to it. I woke in the same room with a technician sobbing into my face and a doctor who looked like he just run a marathon holding those shock paddles. I was informed of the allergy. They told me I had flatlined. 

I had to swear, to the still very upset technician, that I'd always tell others I had such a severe allergy. I had dragged my beaten body into a hospital, to almost end my life, in an attempt to find out what was wrong.

Unrecognizable backpacker standing on top of mountainDziana Hasanbekava, Pexels

9. Bowling Alley Accident

I almost got crushed in a pinsetter when I was working on the pin table at a bowling lane. As the manager, I didn’t think anyone would turn it on but me. I was wrong and it was a mistake I only made once.

Man BowlingPavel Danilyuk, Pexels

10. Playing With Fire

When I was six or seven years old, a friend and I found a lighter. So we went into the garage to play with it, taking turns lighting pieces of foam my dad had in there, and watching them burn and fizzle out.

He did reupholstery, so the garage was packed with extremely flammable materials like foam, vinyl, Dacron, cloth rolls, and assorted aerosol cans of adhesive. Well, the inevitable happened—the whole garage caught fire and it was a blazing sky high.

We could hear our parents outside screaming and throwing water on it, but we were so scared of getting in trouble, that we stayed hidden inside. They had no idea we were in there or that we had set fire to it. When the smoke became unbearable we ran out coughing. My mom almost had a heart attack when she saw me, as she ran to grab me.

A few years later, I admitted to what we did. We would play in there a lot, but my mom never imagined we'd start a fire like that. She would've never imagined it was my friend and I that caused it.

Young Boy Striking A MatchLapina, Shutterstock

11. Dehydration Waiting To See The President

In 2005, I attended the Boy Scout National Jamboree at the former Fort AP Hill. This jamboree brings tens of thousands of Boy Scouts from across the country. We were expecting President George W Bush to speak. It felt like every single scout and leader marched toward the parade ground to attend. 

Unfortunately, due to the sheer number of attendees and a heat index that reached upwards of 120°F, water was difficult to obtain until you reached the parade grounds. As such, I became severely dehydrated to the point where I actually stopped sweating.

Upon arriving at the parade grounds there were fire trucks spraying us to cool us down. A bit of water from a fire hose landed in my bottle and I saw it foam up. In my delirium, I thought they were spraying us with soapy water.
The next thing I knew, I was being carried across the grounds by multiple people, to a medical field tent.

A woman asked me my name and it took me close to two minutes to comprehend her question. From there, I was taken to an emergency tent where after five failed attempts to find a vein with a needle, I was finally able to receive an IV drip. I went through three water bags before having to pee.

 From my experience, nearly losing your life to dehydration is far from fun.

A Boy Scout Drinking from a Flaskcottonbro studio, Pexels

12. A Rock Climbing Incident

I fell 65 feet onto concrete. It's unusual because I survived. The fall happened at an indoor rock climbing facility. I was climbing up one of the easier walls to take a break from the more difficult ones I had been doing. But there was something I didn't know.

Unbeknownst to me, about halfway up my climb, the person belaying me (holding my rope) had—in a moment of extreme absent-mindedness—disconnected from my belaying rope because they got caught up in spotting a mutual friend on a more difficult climb. 

When I reached the top, I gave the signal that I was coming down and let go of the wall. I think I passed out as soon as I realized what was happening, though several friends also remember me shouting, "Look out!" I woke up on the ground and was rushed to the hospital.

I was stabilized and then sent to the big hospital in the region. I spent two weeks in ICU and another six in regular hospital wards. I had five surgeries and several more weeks of physical therapy. 

My injuries included a shattered pelvis, shattered left elbow, two broken ribs, punctured left lung, lacerated spleen, and permanent nerve damage on my left side chiefly resulting from my shattered pelvis. 

Fortunately, I was not paralyzed, and after a long recovery, I am now able to lead a normal life with only a few permanent leftovers. 

I have nerve damage expressing itself as numbness on the back left leg, intermittent feelings of mild electric shocks in my left foot, hypersensitivity in the furthest left portion of my left foot, minor loss of range of motion in my left elbow and an apparent limp when I walk.

Man Rock ClimbingShotPot, Pexels

13. A Denny’s Dining Disaster

I almost lost my life at a Denny's when I was eight choking on a mozzarella stick that no one could get out until a doctor came to help me. It’s not super unusual, but what a dumb way to go.

Man Eating At Denny'sSilvinaLaura, Shutterstock

14. Automatic Car Window 

When I was a kid, I accidentally almost choked myself by having my head sticking out of the car window. My hand accidentally hit the button that rolled the window up.

Portrait of a Girl Sitting in a Car100 files, Pexels

15. A Toothache Gone Wrong

I had an abscessed tooth—but this wasn't just any dental problem. The infection traveled up my face and started under my eye. It was going to my brain. I was in the hospital for a week and required surgery.

Not only was a possible brain infection trying to take my life, but the doctors also overdosed me on morphine and gave me an antibiotic I was allergic to—not once, but twice.

My mom tore that place apart.

A Man at the DentistsKarolina Grabowska, Pexels

16. The Ol’ Swing Ride

I was at camp when I was a kid and there was a zipline-esque 'ride' called "The Swing”. You were harnessed in and slowly lifted via an attached rope by your fellow campers—almost like tug-of-war. When you were high enough, you detached your carabiner and freely swung back and forth.

The first time I ever did it, I was somehow strapped in the wrong way. The moment they started lifting me I felt discomfort around my neck and I yelled out, "It hurts my neck”. The staff on-site didn't think anything of it.

Moments later, I felt like my head was going to pop off. And I somehow wasn't alarmed when one of the counselors started screaming for the campers to stop pulling me up and to slowly let me down. As I descended, the pressure on my neck eased up and I was basically gasping for air.

Long story short, I almost had my head popped off on the ol' swing ride.

A Woman Riding a ZiplineSon Tung Tran, Pexels

17. A Birthday Surprise

I was sitting in a chair on my deck on my 35th birthday a few weeks ago. I had been hanging out around a fire with our neighbors after a cookout. Our deck has a towering, full-growth oak tree overhead. Still, I never saw it coming.

About 30 minutes after sitting down, a 25-foot branch fell from 60 feet in the air and landed squarely on my shoulder. Oddly enough it broke my radial bone near my wrist. The tree branch scraped my neck when it hit. That’s how close it was to ending me.

Luckily I got away with a clean break of the radial, and that was it. The cast comes off in a week.

A Group of People on a Wooden Deck by the Lake Drinking BeersLiam Moore, Pexels

18. A Scary Birth

I was born with a collapsed lung. The nurse noticed my heart was beating in the wrong place and said something. They had to dart my chest right then and there to relieve pressure on my lung. I still have a scar and it cut part of my lower pectoral muscle on one side, but I'm alive.

Person Covering Infant With Swaddling BlanketIsaac Taylor, Pexels

19. A Pool Party Gone Wrong

When I was around 10 or 12 I was drowning in a pool, while my mother and her friends were chatting. The only reason I got out was because I grabbed onto one of those metal pool ladders after frantically trying to grab ahold of something.

I got out and shouted at my mom because I felt incredibly betrayed. She denied seeing any of it and accused me of being dramatic.

Three Boy's Jumping Into the WaterMarcTutorials, Pexels

20. An Incident On The Playground

I was sitting in one of the baby spring seats at a park and my friend pulled it back. My head was basically on the floor. My friend let go of the seat and I went flying into the air. I landed directly on my head and my neck, basically shaped to the side. After that, I just got up and sat on the swings that were in the park like nothing had happened to me.

Green and Red Spring Horse Ride-on Toy on Sawdust Close-up PhotoAnthony 📷📹🙂, Pexels

21. Trouble On The Diamond

I took a line drive to my temple as a baseball pitcher when I was 14. The consequences were horrific. It left me with a shattered skull and some internal bleeding. Apparently, if it struck me more than half an inch in either direction it likely would have ended me. 

Boy Playing BaseballPixabay, Pexels

22. The Shock Of A Lifetime

I put my hand on a power supply. I couldn't let go. I was stuck there for what seemed like 15 minutes in my head. It was more like 30 seconds.

Photo Of Man Touching His HeadAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

23. Soda Situation

I was riding in the passenger seat of my friend's car—and had the worst timing imaginable. I took a drink of soda at the exact same time she hit a small pothole, and I hiccuped. The intake of acidic soda into my lungs from the hiccup along with the jostling from the pothole caused me to nearly drown in soda.

It hurt so bad that I coughed for a solid two to three minutes. At the time I kept thinking, "This is how I'm going to go. I'm literally drowning in soda".

I couldn't breathe right for the next two hours.

A Policewoman Drinking Coffee while Sitting inside the Carcottonbro studio, Pexels

24. A Close Call On The Metro

I was in Barcelona and got on the metro. I briefly studied the map and abruptly realized I was on a train going in the wrong direction. The doors were closing, but I jumped out. And for a moment, my backpack got caught. Not sure how "almost" it was but I think I've read about that being fatal before.

People in TrainRishiraj Parmar, Pexels

25. Right Out Of The Bunk

I fell out of the top bunk while sleeping one night when I was in fifth grade. I had a compound fracture in my right wrist from trying to catch myself. The bone snapped and came through the skin of my arm. But that wasn't the craziest part.

The doctor said that if the bone had come through the skin a few millimeters in the other direction it could have severed an artery, and there would have been a high chance of me bleeding out.

Asian kids on bunk bed near grandmotherAlex Green, Pexels

26. Waiting In The Water

My parents are notoriously terrible under pressure. They have bad tempers and tend to melt down in tense situations or make rash decisions. When I was a teen we had an old boat my grandfather gave us. Sometimes it wouldn’t start. We put it in the lake. 

I was 14 but I would back the trailer, unload the boat, and return the truck and trailer to the parking lot. One busy Saturday, the boat was in the water and stalled out while I was taking the empty trailer to park. I saw my parents freaking out, trying to start the boat as the waves pushed it toward a rock-covered shoreline. 

I sprinted across the rocks, entered the water, and pushed the boat back into deeper water away from the shore. My dad cussed and carried on trying to start the boat again, while my mom shouted nonsensically at both of us. I was at the rear of the boat, right of the prop when he finally got it to start. 

Instead of being calm and making sure I was clear, my dad jammed it in gear, turned the boat steering wheel left, and mashed the throttle. This action swung the boat's rear towards me and the prop passed by my abdomen within inches. 

The propulsion shot me rearward, but just a slight change in my position I'd have been disemboweled right there in the water. 

Man Sitting on Beach Against Sky during SunsetNikolai Ulltang, Pexels

27. A Soccer Game Disaster

We have underground water storage tanks at the apartment block where I live. When I was a kid, I was playing with a soccer ball that my friend brought. In the heat of kicking the ball hard enough to send it flying to the other block, I stepped back farther than necessary. 

Now being a stupid kid, I thought running as fast as I could would help me kick the ball a great distance. And so I ran like the wind. When it was time to kick, my feet tangled leading me to fall in the water tank, which was unlocked at that time. 

Half my body was hanging 20 feet above a dark space with what I was told had 6 feet of water in it. The security guard came running to help me.

Sometimes I think what if he was not around and was assisting someone, I wouldn't be here sharing this with the world. He is truly a hero in my eyes, wherever he is now.

A Boy Playing Soccer Near the Packed CarThe Humantra, Pexels

28. Out To Sea

When I was about eight or nine years old, I went to the beach. We had those long, skinny, cheap inflatable air rafts. I fell asleep lying on one and almost floated out to sea. I was awakened by some faint yells. I looked up and I was past the long pier where someone was screaming.

If it wasn’t for a stranger who saw me I’m guessing I would’ve eventually lost my life—considering I didn’t know how to swim and my raft was deflating. I paddled back to shore. My parents didn’t even know I was gone.

Kid Lying on a Floater Floating in a PoolhoKindel Media, Pexels

29. Changing Gears

I got out of my truck to close the gate. Luckily I heard the vehicle rolling back towards me because I had failed to put the gearshift all the way into park and it popped into reverse. The door was open and it could have pinned me against the metal gate post. It still creeps me out 15 years later.

Man Driving VehicleDarwis Alwan, Pexels

30. Say, “Cheese”

I took apart a disposable camera while home alone and got a bad shock. I was being dumb and taking it apart. After a bit, I got to a plastic casing that had stuff in it but was fully sealed. So, with all the wisdom of a sixth grader, I decided to hit it with a hammer until it opened.

It opened just fine, and I checked out everything inside. Then I got to what was literally the only metal part. Of course, I touched it.

Now, imagine this: I was sitting cross-legged on the floor and touched the metal thing. I went black for a moment. The next thing I knew, I was still in the same seated position, but lying on my back. And kind of flopping a bit, my arms stretched out to the sides.

I felt like I couldn't get a full breath or fully exhale. It felt like the different sides of my heart were beating at a different pace from the other. My finger was blackened. It all lasted probably less than one or two minutes, but it felt like 20. I never went to the doctor for that one.

Close-Up Shot of a Disposable CameraCaleb Oquendo, Pexels

31. The Grape Game

I swallowed a whole grape.

I did the throw-it-up-in-the-air thing, and it got perfectly lodged. I immediately stopped breathing. It was absolutely terrifying. After a hot minute of my life flashing before my eyes, I was able to calm myself and it moved down slightly so I could shallowly breathe just over the top of it. But every time I tried to swallow it would move, and I’d stop breathing again.

I was rushed to the ER and had emergency surgery to have it removed. I was asked why I didn’t just chew it. I said it was because I was being dumb. And no, I wasn’t eight years old at the time, I was about 22.

Girl Eating GrapesKarolina Grabowska, Pexels

32. A Polar Dip

I went swimming after a few drinks in a frigid lake. I made it 50 meters out to a floating dock and decided to hop on the dock and just lay there for a while. When I jumped back into the frigid water, the temperature, and my drunken stupor caused me to sink like a stone. 

When I finally floated to the surface I was flailing and asking for help. My friends, one of whom was a lifeguard, thought I was messing around and didn't help me. I somehow managed to backstroke my way back to shore after what seemed like an eternity and proceeded to vomit my guts out.

Ironically, the lake was named Lost Lake. So, every time I'm in town, I retell the tale of how I almost lost my life in Lost Lake.

Man in Black Shorts Swimming in WaterMatthew, Pexels

33. Tortilla Terror

I almost lost my life eating a chicken burrito, Heimlich saved the day.

Person Holding BurritosKamila Bairam, Pexels

34. A Toilet Stunt

I once swung through a toilet window because I was too lazy to walk out the front door and walk around the building. You know, grab the top of the frame, pull your legs up, and swing them through the window feet first. Very cool, and very free-running.

Except that I caught my rear on the little pin on the windowsill that keeps the window securely open.

I spent my evening in the ER and got a nice red scar.

Paramedics Helping a Man on a StretcherRDNE Stock project, Pexels

35. Swimming At The Sandbar

I was at the beach and swam out to a sandbar. The water between the beach and the sandbar was a little deep, like a valley, probably six or seven feet, but I was a good swimmer. After a while, I got bored wading on the sandbar and started swimming back towards the beach.

Halfway there, before I could touch the bottom, I remembered a line in a Sweet Valley Twins book about drowning and totally psyched myself out. I started panicking. It was as if I completely forgot how to swim. I kept sinking and trying to get out. Eventually, a lifeguard showed up and pulled me to shore. 

I could see my parents chatting in their beach chairs the whole time. When I demanded to know why they hadn’t saved me, they said I was fine and just being dramatic. They told me I had been out much further and walking easily (on the sandbar) so “What was all the fuss about?” I was too tired and freaked out to argue with them.

The kicker is years later as an adult, I brought it up again. I thought I could explain it better and laugh about how I essentially scared myself into a panic. They said the same thing. They told me the lifeguard only went in because I was being dramatic.

Four Children Looking at SeaNaya Shaw, Pexels

36. A Two-Week Incubation Period

I once got measles. At the time it was unheard of in the US. I caught it on a vacation to Hawaii with my parents. It has about a two-week incubation period. My parents had a wedding to go to a plane flight away. I was twelve, but assured them I would be fine at home on my own.

I woke up on the couch fully delirious on day two. I looked up at the ceiling and thought, "That's a long way away," as in stories above me. I turned to roll off the couch, and the floor looked one hundred feet away. Eventually rational won through, and I dropped to the floor. I got up and went to the bathroom. I looked in the mirror.

My face was covered in red spots. I thought, "Oh no, acne has started." So, I called my emergency contacts in the area—family and friends—and they came over. They saw my condition and tried to take my temperature, but broke the thermometer shaking it out.

I was under six or seven blankets, shaking uncontrollably. They called my parents. I passed out, but remember my dad arriving. He scooped me up without a word and rushed me to the hospital. I was in the emergency room and was first in line. 

I don't remember much at this point, a lot of urgent discussion and then they put me in an ice bath with double IVs in my arms. I could barely feel it. That level of delirium is actually pretty comfortable. I woke up a few days later and heard the details. I had a temperature of 106 and was severely dehydrated. 

If I hadn't been brought in when I was I would have passed the next day. I was one of only seven cases that year. The entire state of Michigan had to get a booster shot because of me.

The important thing here is that I had been vaccinated, but the year I got it, they later found out it wasn't strong enough so I would have needed a booster. We had moved from out-of-state so my parents never got that notice. If I had the booster, I probably would have had a mild case. Instead, it almost cost me my life.

A Woman Holding a SmartphonePolina Tankilevitch, Pexels

37. Oh My Darling, Oh My Darling

In high school, I learned that I had a new ability. I could swallow clementines—cuties, small oranges—whole. I was also able to swallow the contents of a standard 16 oz water bottle in under four seconds. This ability was somehow really exciting for my high school friends. 

I was often asked to take down a water bottle or down a cutie whenever either one was available. I got rather quick at eating cuties over my high school career. I remember being timed at one point down to 3 seconds. I was proud of this accomplishment. 

My method was basically that I would take one good bite of the entire fruit, and then swallow the whole thing. This caused it to release a bunch of juice, which allowed it to slide down easily.

Fast forward to two years after high school was over. I was with my dad and my brother on a summer's day, and there were cuties present. I was so busy trying to impress all of my friends in my high school days, that I realized I had completely forgotten to show my own blood what I was capable of. 

I turned to my brother and my dad and I said, “Watch this,” taking the cutie down in what felt like record time. It must have been a 1.2-second endeavor—faster than any cutie I had ever downed before. I was beyond proud, and I could see a look on my boy’s faces that can only be described as surprise with a mix of pride in their bloodline.
Minutes later, my sister walked in the front door. My brother turns to her, "Did you know Jake could take down a cutie in an instant?" I knew it was my time to break my record.

I peeled a cutie, told my brother to start a stopwatch, and threw it down my gullet. In an instant, I decided to forgo my long-proven strategy of biting down to release the juices. I decided that I would cut even more time by just swallowing the thing whole. That was a mistake.

The cutie found itself in a state of purgatory—unable to find its way to the digestion machine, but unable to make its way back toward the chompers. I walked over to my brother, hands in the universal, "I'm about to die because I made a grave judgment error," hand sign.

He assumed his position, and in an instant, the cutie found its way back into my hands. My career, my credibility and my ingenuity, were all thrown away with one bad decision. But hey, I lived. My brother has marked in his calendar the day that he saved me. 

I am now required to give him a gift every year on that day to thank him for allowing me to live.

Hand Holding A TangerineAny Lane, Pexels

38. Late-Night Concession

In high school, I worked at a movie theater. One night, on my way out, I took a hot dog to eat in my truck on the way home. Halfway through the hot dog, I started to choke while driving. Then I  panicked. I jumped the curb into a church parking lot, jammed the truck into park, and got out hoping to see someone. 

No one was around so I took a few steps back. I ran as fast as I could and slammed my chest into the side of the bed. The first couple of times didn't work. Finally around the fourth or fifth attempt, after almost a minute without breathing, it dislodged and sailed off into the night.

I got back in my truck and finished the hot dog. Tears streaming down my face, existential dread washing over me, I finished my drive home. Told my mom when I got home and, bless that woman, she said, "Was it a good hot dog at least?”

Asian Man Holding A Hot DogSamson Katt, Pexels

39. A Penny For Your Troubles

As a kid, I swallowed about 15 pennies because I was acting like a piggy bank.

Coins and a Piggy BankSuzy Hazelwood, Pexels

40. A Scary Ride

I was riding my motorcycle to work and had a person cut me off in the last few feet of a split on the highway. They slammed on the brakes at the same time. A standard swoop and squat maneuver. Except, their car had zero functional brake lights, and I couldn't react fast enough. 

I was already slowing to open the gap back up but failed to process why the trunk of the car lifted up 6 inches, suddenly. One chopper ride, a lot of morphine, and 20 feet of intestine later, I lived, only to be placed 51 percent at fault in the accident report.

Aleksandr Neplokhov, Pexels

41. Get The Goo Out

I was home alone as a grown man a few years back and sat down to eat a Cadbury Creme Egg in the middle of the day. I was too excited, too eager. I bit a decent hole in the top of the egg, and in one giant breath I sucked all of the insides into my mouth, intentionally, but for some reason, I swallowed the whole glob of goo in one go. 

It just sat there and chilled in the middle of my throat.

I couldn’t breathe.

I panicked.

I was doing the Heimlich on myself. I was running stomach-first into the arms of the sofa, I was losing consciousness and thinking about how my stupid death by Creme Egg would make the front page of the dumbest tabloid tomorrow.

Eventually, my breath pierced a very small hole through the goo which gave me very little oxygen, but enough to keep me alive. I had to wait a full five minutes longer to regain full breathing capacity while the glob inched its way down my throat.

My wife and baby came back from shopping soon after. I tried to articulate what had just happened and how close I was to dying, but as soon as the words Cadbury Creme Egg left my mouth I struggled to get her to understand the seriousness.

Ketut Subiyanto, Pexels

42. Dying To Play Cards Against Humanity

Cards Against Humanity bought an island in Maine that they renamed, Hawaii Two. They gave everyone who bought their Holiday package a square foot of the island and the "deed" included a treasure map.

Two friends and I left work in the middle of the day in Boston, drove north, bought a canoe, and tried to get to the island. The only problem was that the lake was half-frozen. Now solid ice would have been great, but the thin sheet of ice wasn't walkable and required a lot of effort to break through with the boat.

My friend was at the bow trying to break the ice while I paddled. It worked until we got to slightly more solid ice near the island. The ice-breaking turned into using the ax to pull the boat up onto the ice and we would shimmy the boat down to crush through the ice.

At one point, we zigged when we should have zagged, and freezing cold water dumped into the boat. We got scared and tried to turn around, but we were literally frozen into a path of our own creation.

We got out after a 35-point turn, loaded up the boat, and watched as a group that was our mirror image carried a canoe from the tip of a peninsula across a frozen shallow spot onto the island.

We came back a week later and opened the safe. It was filled with 250k game cards with a picture of a sloth on them.

Trees Growing on Island on LakePexels User, Pexels

43. Cereal Killer

One time I ate cereal for breakfast and went out to play badminton. 30 minutes later I had hives all over my skin, temporarily lost sight, and vomited everywhere. 

I went to the hospital, and it turns out I had FDEIA, which is a very rare allergic symptom where you eat a specific food and go out to exercise, and by doing so triggering an anaphylaxis, which can be fatal.

It also turns out that the trigger was the cereal I ate that morning, which contained barley. And if I didn't play badminton after eating the cereal, I wouldn't have had the allergic reaction in the first place, and I wouldn't have almost lost my life.

A Girl Eating CerealKetut Subiyanto, Pexels

44. Taking A Tumble

When I was three, I climbed in my grandma's tumble dryer. I pulled the door closed by the grate the lint catcher sat behind. It was an old machine and normally shouldn't have started up if the door was closed again after a full cycle. The mechanism that inhibited the machine from starting up again however was busted.

So I rode the machine until my great-uncle heard me. I almost suffocated in the machine.

People Wearing White Tops near a Washing MachineTima Miroshnichenko, Pexels

45. A Close Encounter 

I got between a mama bear and her cubs. It was one of two family vacations we ever took. We were at a rental place preparing to go skiing in New Mexico. I was taking out the trash, and my three-year-old cousin wanted to come with me. 

There were a series of wooden ramps to get down to the dumpsters from the raised cabin houses and we were on the last one when my cousin suddenly shouted, “Bear!” I laughed for half a second until I saw a bear on the ground maybe ten feet away. 

The bear huffed at me, I sat the trash down and picked up my cousin, thinking the bear wanted the trash until he said, “Look! Baby bears!” Again, I doubted him for a second but he was right. Two bear cubs were on the other end of the walkway. We must have walked right by them without noticing.

The mama bear got upset with me being close to her cubs, huffing and fake charging at me for what felt like an hour, but it was definitely minutes. I tried to inch away from the trash bag and her cubs, without getting too close to the steps down to the ground where the bear was. 

It was a very scary situation, but she eventually wandered over to the cubs, easily climbed the wooden walkway, proving it was not protecting us at all, and took them away with her. When I finally felt sure the bears were gone, I ran back inside to tell my family, they didn’t believe me or my baby cousin until I insisted they go look. 

Everyone saw the big paw prints in the dirt. The new rules were that no one was allowed outside after dark, and trash would be taken out in the mornings. We never saw another bear on that trip, but I’ve often wondered how close we were to coming in contact with them. It’s my only story of ever being close to dangerous wildlife.

Bear and Cub in ForestDan Voican, Pexels

46. A Wild Story

In my twenties, working for a zoo, we raised many of our animals on bottles from infancy. I was in the lion exhibit with two, eight-month-old cubs. They are easily seven feet tall on their hind legs. I was playing with one and the other jumped on my back, began to dig her claws into my shoulders, and had the back of my head in her mouth.

I heard my fellow coworkers screaming and saw them running to me just as I felt the teeth and claws. After that, we always had two keepers with any dangerous animals.

Side View Photo Of A Male LionDani Muchow, Pexels

47. A Slumber Party

I went camping with a group of Boy Scouts up in the Rocky Mountains. About five boys including myself were packed together in a tent while the scoutmaster was in his own tent. During the night, it started raining hard, so we put up the rain flap.

The rain flap created a seal that kept the rain out, but there was no air circulation. I remember waking up in the night, but I felt so calm. It was as though I was on a cloud. I was just so relaxed. I fell back asleep.

Before the crack of dawn, one boy had to get up to use the bathroom. As he opened the tent flap, the flood of oxygen in our lungs caused us all to start gasping for air. Because of his small bladder, all of us lived through the night. 

Suffocation is a scary way to go, it was calming in a way, and that's what makes the whole situation unnerving. The boy said afterward that he was also super calm and almost didn't get up, but he had to pee so bad that he fought the comfort of his almost eternal slumber. I owe him my life.

Multiracial Kids Sitting Beside Tentcottonbro studio, Pexels

48. Divided Doctors

When I was born in 1995 one of my lungs was filled with amniotic fluid. The doctors went in to drain it and inadvertently tore it instead. Then they proceeded to tear the other one in an attempt to fix the first one.

My mother remembers two doctors getting into an extremely heated verbal argument over this. Doctor One thought he could treat me at the current hospital I was in. Doctor Two knew that I would die if I wasn’t transferred to a better-equipped emergency care center. 

They were in such disagreement that Doctor Two literally had to sneak me out after Doctor One’s shift was over. Obviously, it worked. I turned out not just making a full recovery, but I left a lot of people scratching their heads because my body never developed scar tissue from all of that. My lungs work one hundred percent.

Surgeons performing surgeryПавел Сорокин, Pexels

49. MH17 Miss

I almost booked a ticket on MH17 with my mum and brother, before my dad shut it down and said he was fed up with flying with Malaysian Airlines. So we flew with Emirates instead. It was a wise decision.

Photo of Wing of an Airplanewendel moretti, Pexels

50. Stepping Out Of The Shower

I was drying off after taking a shower. For some reason, I was using a Christmas-themed towel that had been around a few years and had some loose threads. I was drying off my face, and I guess I inhaled through my mouth. One of the threads wrapped itself around my uvula.

I gagged on it and was able to very slowly pull it out, but it took a few seconds and I was starting to get dizzy. When it came out, I was left with a very sore throat and I was gasping for air. It is humbling to know that I could have easily been found unclothed, wet, and lifeless with a towel in my mouth.

I now take a deep breath and hold it before bringing a towel to my face. I also frequently purchase new towels.

Woman in White Tank Top With Fresh SkinRon Lach, Pexels

51. Turn Up The Heat

My bedroom was in a camper stored in a garage. It was freezing out so I turned on the propane heat. I was meditating and everything went black. The best way I can describe it is that I was in a "nothing" place. There was no direction, no down or up or back and forth.

For years, I thought what I experienced was the result of meditation, but then I stumbled across a post where someone described almost dying of carbon monoxide exposure from a propane heater, and they used that same "nothingness" description. Then, I put two and two together.

Man MeditatingCup of Couple, Pexels

52. Light It Up

I almost blew up the apartment while I was in it. One day in sixth grade, I had left the gas stove on by accident. When I came home from school, the whole apartment smelled like gas—I didn’t know what gas smelled like then.

So I came home and I went to my mother’s stash for cigarettes so I could smoke one. And I noticed the windows were wet. They were drooling with liquified gas. But I didn’t make anything out of it. I took the lighter and just when I was about to light up, this little voice in my head said, “Don’t do it,” and I didn’t.

A few seconds later my mom came home and I thought, "Heck yeah, I got away with it, thank God she didn’t see me smoke". She flew into a panic over what was going on. She smelled it right away and knew it was gas. I almost ended it for both of us that day.

Shocked Boy SelfieDarcy Lawrey, Pexels

Sources:  Reddit,

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