Top Five Extreme SurvivorsMarch 24, 2023
Endless oceans, unforgiving forests, frigid cold—these environments are not exactly ideal for human comfort. Yet, a simple hike or plane ride became their worst nightmare for extreme survivors. Whether these survivors thrust themselves into dangerous situations knowingly or fought for their life after a sudden and unexpected turn, these astonishing stories of survival will amaze you!
5) Harrison Okene: Survived Off Four-Square-Feet of Air
There is a good reason that water is a common fear for humanity. For Harrison Okene, his extreme survival story aboard a doomed ship is precisely the reason why he will never set sea again. Okene, the chef aboard, found himself trapped after the vessel capsized about 100 feet below water near the Nigerian coast. Miraculously, Okene found a four-square-foot air bubble to survive in while it took rescuers three full days to rescue him. Unsurprisingly, he was the shipwreck's lone survivor.
4) Aron Ralston: Trapped Between Two Boulders for 127 Hours
What would you do to survive? For Aron Ralston, survival meant an excruciating 127 hours trapped between two boulders in a remote area of Utah, where he made the desperate decision to sever his arm to escape. Over the harrowing three-day ordeal, Ralston ran out of food and water to remain alive. Finally, on the third day, the choice to self-amputate paid off—he was rescued on the brink of death due to severe dehydration and blood loss. You'd think a brush of death might make you reconsider extreme activities; however, Ralston continues to lead hiking expeditions to this day.
3) Juliane Koepcke: Fell From 35,000 Feet into the Peruvian Rainforest
Juliane Koepcke took a flight on Christmas Eve in 1971, which would prove to be many's last. However, for Koepcke, she was bruised, battered, and broken but alive after falling 35,000 feet in the Peruvian rainforest. With a broken collar bone and several open wounds, Koepcke performed impressive first aid for her injuries, including applying gasoline to cure a maggot infestation. Candy was her only food, and water from a small nearby stream was her only nourishment over the hellish nine-day nightmare. Finally, lumber workers found her and escorted her to the hospital, where she was registered as the sole survivor on that flight.
2) Douglas Mawson: Battled the Elements for 30 Days
One prominent human taboo is the act of cannibalism; however, what if cannibalism was the only way you could survive? Douglas Mawson was one of four explorers that found themselves trapped and at the mercy of the frigid temperatures of the Arctic in 1912. After enduring falls down crevasses, fits of disease, and starvation, Mawson was left with the terrifying decision to utilize his fellow victim's bodies and their sled dogs to survive. Finally, after 30 days of brutal conditions and decisions on his part, he was rescued after he stumbled upon basecamp.
1) Steven Callahan: Adrift at Sea for 72 Days
You hear extreme survival stories that stretch a few days; however, Steven Callahan succeeded in staying alive a full 72 days adrift in the tropical ocean! After his boat capsized during an unexpected storm, Callahan escaped the wreckage on his life raft with limited survival supplies. During this experience, he could fish for food with a spear that he fashioned himself. After almost losing all hope and one-third of his body weight, fisherman spotted him by the birds encircling above his raft, and he was finally rescued.
Do not take things going to plan for granted! Humans have a way of adapting to their environment, and these extreme cases of survival prove our incredible ability to persevere in the darkest of hours.