10 People Who Survived Against Odds

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Updated on 21 Apr, 2018 at 8:16 pm


This world is full of unique class of incredible survivors, recalculating themselves at every twist of life. This article is dedicated to these 10 people who survived in the most extreme conditions, fighting hard against the forces of nature.

1. Vesna Vulovic

Former Serbian flight attendant Vesna Vulovic holds the world record for surviving the highest fall (10,160 meters) without any parachute. On January 26, 1972, JAT flight 367 was torn apart by a bomb, masterminded by the Nationalist Group of Croatia. With a fractured skull and both legs broken, she managed to survive against odds but this terrible incident left her paralyzed from the waist down. Considered as the National Heroine of Yugoslavia, this lady is a buff of watching movies based on air crashes.


2. Michael Holmes

This British skydiver jumped from the height of 15,000 feet in New Zealand’s Lake Taupo and was flabbergasted on the height of 4,000 feet after realizing that his parachute was not working. Coming down freely with the speed of 100 mph, he fell into a dense blackberry bush which resulted in multiple fractures and a punctured lung. Indeed, Michael is a live example of one of the most miraculous escapes in the history of skydiving.



top 10 people who survived against odds


3. Tsutomu Yamaguchi

Tsutomu Yamaguchi is the one and only survivor (officially recognized by Japanese Government) of Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings. An engineer by profession, Yamaguchi used to design oil tankers for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. A resident of Nagasaki, Yamaguchi was on his business trip in Hiroshima when he was heavily wounded by the bombing on 6th August 1945. He arrived Nagasaki for the further treatment and once again on August 9, he managed to escape from the bombardments in his hometown, enlisting his name in the list of people who survived against odds.


4. Steven Callahan

This American naval architect is probably best known for his survival of 76 days in the Atlantic Ocean. In 1981, this daredevil voyager headed towards Bermuda on his self-made sloop, Napoleon Solo. He was drifted away in the Atlantic Ocean when his life raft was unlaced due to drastic weather circumstances. Describing his greatest wilderness as A view of heaven from a seat in hell, he wrote a book Adrift: 76 Days Lost At Sea, memorizing his haunting journey.


5. Aron Ralston

Fond of rock climbing and a student of mechanical engineering, Aron is best known for amputating his lower right arm because it was trapped by a boulder while climbing Colorado’s fourteeners peak. Due to the lack of proper blood circulation, his hand was literally dead and in order to save his life he was compelled to cut down his arm. After freeing himself, he walked 8 miles to approach his truck. Eventually, he was airlifted by the rescue team.


top 10 people who survived against odds


6. Paul Templer

A pro in the river safari, Paul was guiding a group in Zambezi river in Africa where a furious hippo attacked him and swallowed his half body within a fraction of a second. After three and a half minute, the hippo released him in almost dead condition. Surprisingly, he was rescued but his left arm was amputated. This ex British army personnel is an epitome for those who are frustrated with their lives.


7. Nicholas Alkemade

Nicholas Alkemade was the tail gunner of United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force during World War II. On March 24, 1944, his plane was attacked by Luftwaffe night fighters. Due to the attack, his parachute was burned and he jumped from the plane as, however remote, it was his only option for survival. He fell from the height of 18,000 feet but was amazingly escaped fatal injuries.


8. Joe Herman

Herman was a fighter pilot of the Royal Australian Air Force during World War II. On November 4, 1944, his plane was damaged by anti-aircraft missiles due to which he jumped without a parachute. After falling 3,000 meters freely, he grabbed the left leg of his companion John Vivash and both descended on one parachute, suffering minor injuries.


top 10 people who survived against odds


9. Wenseslao Moguel

Commonly known as Wenny, Moguel was a Mexican revolutionary and due to his agitating activities, he was ordered to be executed by the firing squad without any trial. He was shot nine times by the squad including one bullet penetrating his head but somehow he managed to escape. Moguel counted among one of the most sensational people in the world.


10. Juliane Koepcke

It was Christmas evening in the year 1971 when LANSA flight 508 was damaged by the bolt of lightning on its way to Iquitos, Peru. As the plane disintegrated, Juliane, a German girl, fell two miles away without any parachute in the extreme wilderness of Amazon Rain Forest. When miraculously she came to her sense, she found herself severely damaged from everywhere.  Despite broken collarbone and deep injuries in her legs and arms, she managed to walk in the jungle for 10 days until she was rescued by local lumbermen.



top 10 people who survived against odds

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