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Ten Unbelievable Stories of Human Survival

Updated on September 12, 2017

Life is fragile, sometimes,very little things can take it or damage it. However, there have been several occasions when people survived against extra-ordinary odds. These are unique occasions that saw people cheat death in an unbelievable manner. These confounding death-defying survival stories will always amaze us. These are the top ten unbelievable stories of human survival we can never forget.

1.Matthew Allen, Teenager Who Survived In Australian Bush For Nine Weeks

Matthew Allen, an 18-year old teenager was found alive more than two months after he disappeared from his home outside Sydney, Australia. When he was found, he was covered in leeches, mosquito bites and had gangrene on his feet and lower legs. Allen was located in dense scrub about 2km from his home in Westleigh, north of Sydney, by a couple who discovered some of his belongings. He was subsequently evacuated by a police helicopter. Several of his neighbors expressed surprise at how Allen managed to survive for so long in the bush. Unsurprisingly, a senior police officer, Ben Wrigley, when commenting about Allen’s survival remarked that it was unusual for someone to survive for so long in the bush and return to society. Considering the fact that Australia is home to the most deadly wildlife species in the world, it is remarkable that Matthew Allen cheated death alone in the bush, day and night for more than two months.

2. Chris Stewart Cheated Death In Car Racing Crash

Another example of a person who defied the odds to cheat death is Chris Stewart, a 12-year old from Southampton.Stewart had an accident as a junior racing driver and suffered internal decapitation when he slammed into a barrier at high speed during a race.The fatal crash severed his skull from the top of his spine.Ordinarily, he shouldn’t have survived, but he did.He was rushed to the hospital where doctors saved him through surgery.Specialists performed ground-breaking surgery to re-attach his head using metal plates and bone-grafts.After nineteen days in intensive care, Stewart stunned even medical experts by making a full recovery. Stewart did not only return to his normal life, in 2012,five years after the accident, he passed a driving test.Chris Stewart is now fully back behind the wheel and on the road.

3 Lyndi Harding,Cheated Death Despite Falling To The Ground During A Sky-Dive

Lyndi Harding, a woman who loves sky-diving,encountered disaster in 2001 when she was holidaying with a group of friends.They had gone to skydive and were on their fifth jump of the day when catastrophe struck. Although she had been assured that her parachute would not fail to open, it did and she wasn’t prepared for it. Harding plummeted almost a mile through the air before crashing on the ground. Ordinarily, the fall was supposed to kill her instantly but she managed to cheat death with just a broken nose and a few cracked ribs. Harding made a full recovery and returned to normal life. What is most surprising of it all is that she returned to sky-diving.

4.Peter Skyllberg Survived Without Food In Snow Encased Car For Two Months

The story of Peter Skyllberg is another remarkable tale of survival.The Swedish man spent two months inside his snow encassed car without food and only ate snow throughout his ordeal. Skyllberg’s case confounded even medical experts who confessed that his case was the most remarkable survival story in history. Skyllberg’s case surprised the world due to his ability to survive without food for two months. He was found emaciated and very weak by a pair of snowmobilers who initially thought that they had found a crashed car.The snowmobilers dug through a meter of snow on the car and saw him lying on the back seat in his sleeping bag, barely able to move or speak. It was later discovered that Skyllberg was suffering from depression due to unpaid debts which initially led people to think he intended to kill himself. His survival would always be remembered as an extra-ordinary feat.

5.Todd Orr,The Man Who Survived Two Bear Attacks On The Same Day

The survival story of Todd Orr is another incredible one. The trail engineer and knife maker survived two attacks on September 30, 2016 and still managed to drive himself to the hospital.Surprisingly, he decided to film himself after the ordeal and share the video before driving to the hospital. During an interview, Orr, vividly narrated his encounter with the bear. He stated that he first spotted the grizzly bear and its cubs while he was hiking through Madison Valley to scout for elk.The next thing he knew was that the bear was charging full speed at him.Despite using his bear spray which generally deters aggressive bears,the bear defied the spray and jumped on him, biting his head and arms before walking back into the woods.Orr got up and bolted for his car which was about three miles away but the bear returned and attacked him a second time,biting his arm and shoulder before standing on top of him to make sure that he was no longer a threat. In a death defying incident, Orr managed to escape death the second time and hiked the rest of the way to his car. He stopped a hiker along the way who called the hospital. Orr’s survival is quite remarkable, he however quickly attributed his survival to his preparation. He is of the opinion that his knowledge of what to do during a bear attack, saved him. During both attacks, Orr feigned death, which led the bear to believe that he was dead. Irrespective of what he knows or not, his survival is remarkable.

6. Alcides Moreno,The Window Cleaner Who Survived A 47-Floor Fall

Only half of the people who fall from a three storey building survive. From a ten storey building almost no one does, how then can you explain that a person survived a fall from the 47th floor of a building. Alcides Moreno and his younger brother, Edgar set out to clean the windows of the 47-floor luxury Solow Tower building in Manhattan’s Upper East side on the 7th day of December, 2007. Disaster struck when they were on the roof of the building and the cables holding the washing platform in place slipped from their attachment point. Edgar plummeted to the ground,landing on a narrow alley. Alcides Moreno’s side of the scaffold also broke loose and he too fell to the ground. Edgar landed on a wooden fence, his body severed on impact and he died instantly. Alcides however landed among a pile of twisted metal. Alcides was rushed to a nearby hospital and induced into a coma. He had sustained injuries to his brain, spinal column, chest and abdomen. He also had fractures to his ribs, right arm and both legs. Alcides underwent numerous operations and survived the ordeal. Alcides Moreno cheated death in an unbelievable manner. Alcides has since relocated to Phoenix, Arizona where he now lives a normal life, but does not wash windows anymore.

7.George HW Bush Narrowly Escaped Being Eaten During World War II

Former president of the United States of America, President George HW Bush narrowly escaped being beheaded and eaten by Japanese soldiers when his plane was shot down over the Pacific during the Second World War. Lt George Bush, then a 20-year-old pilot, was among nine airmen who escaped from their planes after being shot down during bombing raids of Chichi Jima, a tiny island 700 miles south of Tokyo in September,1944. He was the only one to evade capture by the Japanese. The evil that befell the other airmen is unimaginable.They were all tortured, beaten and then executed by beheading with swords or by multiple stab wounds from bayonets and sharpened bamboo stakes. Four of them were later butchered and eaten by senior Japanese officers. Goerge Bush escaped a similar fate because he ditched his plane further from the island than other crews and managed to scramble on a life-raft. When Japanese sailors in boats made an attempt to capture him, they came under heavy fire from American planes, which forced them back. George Bush was eventually rescued by an American submarine. Lt George Bush was later awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his part in the bombing raid.

8. Salvador Alvarenga, Survived At Sea For 438 Days

Salvador Alvarenga and Ezequiel Córdoba were both out fishing when a storm struck. As they tried to make their way back to land, their boat broke down, so also was the GPS equipment that they had on board.Their radio too soon died, making sure that they were lost without communication with the outside world. When it became obvious that they wouldn’t get help, they started devising several means to survive.Within days, Alvarenga was drinking his urine and they had only fish and turtle to eat.The men also learnt how to capture birds and eat them raw. After some months at sea, Cordoba became sick and could no longer eat. One morning, he died but Alvarenga survived. Alvarenga eventually was able to make it to land after 438 days at sea without cooked food or fresh water. His survival is nothing short of an unbelievable tale.

9.Christopher Jones Survived Despite Having A Seizure During A Sky-Dive

Christopher Jones, a student skydiver, suffered a seizure while and managed to survive the ordeal. How he cheated death would baffle anyone.Jones is an epilepsy sufferer but had not had a seizure for four years before the incident and his doctor cleared him for sky-diving.Ordinarily, the incident should have killed him but the unimaginable happened. As he was free falling, his teacher who was also sky-diving, reached out to him and opened his parachute. Having someone open your parachute for you when you are sky-diving especially when that person is unprepared for such an event is a rare privilege which is comparable to a second chance at life.But for the fact that his teacher was at the right place at the right time, Jones would have crashed to the ground before having the opportunity to regain consciousness. After his teacher engaged his parachute, Jones managed to regain consciousness after sometime. By the time he came round, he was 3000FT from the ground and his parachute kept him in the air. He was able to land safely with the help of his instructor.

10. Roy Sullivan,The Man Who Survived Lightning Strikes Seven Times

Roy Sullivan was nicked named the ‘Spark Ranger’ because he was regarded as a natural conductor of lightning. He was struck by lightning seven times and managed to survive on each and every occasion. His first encounter with lightning was in April, 1942. The second lightning strike did not happen until 1969 when he was driving a truck. The second incident left him unconscious for a while. The third strike happened a year later when he was tending his garden at home, lightning hit a nearby transformer and jumped on his shoulder, knocking him down and burning him lightly. The fourth lightning strike set him on fire, but he was able to put out the flames before it got uncontrollable. The fifth lightning strike took place on August 7, 1973. The sixth lightning strike occurred in 1976 when he was walking along a park trail. The seventh attack happened in the year 1977 and resulted in him losing his hearing in one ear. The survival story of Roy Sullivan is so remarkable that he made it into the Guinness Book of Records.


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