Death is inevitable. We mortals are incapable of avoiding our death. It will come when it has to come. However, there are some people who survive some of the deadliest situations by fighting their death. Anyway, they cheat their death and have escaped some of the most horrifying situations. They keep their calm and use their intellect to find a way out. Even after struggling, being severely injured, and returning from the death’s door they survive. Here’s a list of ten people who cheated death in the most badass ways.
1. Peter Freuchen
Peter was an arctic explorer who was once caught in a blizzard that covered him with a thick layer of snow. Even after hours of struggling to try to free himself from the snowy grave, Freuchen finally carved his own frozen feces into a knife and used it as a chisel to dig his way out.
Peter Freuchen was a six feet seven inches tall, arctic explorer, anthropologist, author, and journalist. During the 1910s, he used to wear a huge fur coat made out of polar bear’s fur and rode a dog sled 1,000 kilometers in Greenland. In 1926, he got a prosthetic leg when he lost his real one due to frostbite. He even amputated his own toes with pliers. He escaped a Nazi death warrant and killed a wolf with his bare hands. His biography The Vagrant Viking records all his work throughout his lifetime. He wrote more than 12 books and even starred in an Oscar-winning movie which was based on one of his novels.
The Danish explorer was once caught in a blizzard, and a blanket of ice and snow covered him up so tightly that he could not even move. After being stuck for thirty hours, he made his way out of the thick snow that covered him using a knife that he fabricated using his own frozen feces. So, once again, he dodged his death and got out. Moreover, he crawled for another three hours to reach the base camp. He died from a heart attack at the age of 71, in 1957, three days after he wrote his last book.
2. Roy Benavidez
Medal of Honor recipient, Roy Benavidez, was attacked by an NVA infantry battalion. He had 37 puncture wounds, an exposed intestine, a broken jaw, and eyes caked in blood. He was assumed to be dead until he managed to spit in the face of the doctor who was zipping him up in a body bag.
On May 2, 1968, 1,000 men of the NVA infantry battalion surrounded a 12-man Special Forces patrol, which included nine Montagnard tribesmen. Master Sergeant Roy Benavidez was monitoring the radio when he heard someone appealing for help. Carrying a medical bag and a single knife, Benavidez got off the helicopter to help the patrol. Soon after entering enemy grounds, an NVA soldier stabbed him with a bayonet. Benavidez pulled the bayonet out and killed the attacker with his own knife.
After the battle ended, Benavidez was thought to be dead as he had 37 puncture wounds, an exposed intestine, a broken jaw, and his eyes were caked in blood. As soon as the examining doctor was about to zip up the body bag, Benavidez spat blood on the doctor’s face giving a sign that he was alive. After courageously fighting in the battle for six hours and recovering from the injuries, he received a Distinguished Service Cross for his exceptional bravery along with four purple hearts.
3. Leonard Graham Fuller
During training, Leonard Graham Fuller’s airplane crashed with another plane in mid-air. The two airplanes locked with each other, forming an impromptu biplane. Leonard successfully landed the two planes and there were no deaths.
On September 29, 1940, two Avro Ansons No. 2 Service Flying Training School RAAF planes took off from Forest Hill Air Base for a cross country exercise over the southern part of New Wales. The route included places like Corowa and Narrandera and then back to Forest Hill.
Leading Aircraftman Leonard Graham Fuller was the pilot of the aircraft number N4876. Accompanying him was Leading Aircraftman Menzies Sinclair. Leading Aircraftman Jack Ingles Hewson was piloting aircraft number L9162. Accompanying him was Leading Aircraftman Hugh Gavin Fraser. While taking a banking turn at an altitude of 1,000 meters, Fuller lost sight of Hewson’s plane and the two airplanes crashed into each other. The two aircraft remained locked together, creating an impromptu biplane. Furthermore, Fuller made a pancake-stack style landing, kilometers southwest of Brocklesby. The two locked airplanes slid 180 meters on the grass before coming to rest. There were no deaths.
4. Darco Sangermano
Darco was shot in the head with a .22 caliber bullet. The bullet didn’t cause any serious damage. In fact, it stuck in his nasal passage and he later sneezed it out through his nostril.
In 2011, Darco Sangermano was walking with his girlfriend through the streets of Naples, Italy when a .22 caliber bullet hit his temple. The 28-year-old man was bleeding heavily and was taken to the hospital for surgery. The bullet hit the right portion of his head, plowing through his eyeball which slowed it down. It came to rest in his nasal passage. While waiting for the doctors to arrive at the hospital, he sneezed out the bullet through his right nostril. However, the surgeons removed splinters of bone that were hit by the bullet, and a laser surgery was performed in order to repair the affected parts of his eye. The injured craftsman from Turin returned to his hometown after being released from the hospital.
5. Poon Lim
After Poon’s ship was sunk by a U-boat, he survived 133 days at sea on an eight-square-foot raft. He survived by fishing, drinking bird blood, and killing sharks with a jug of water.
During World War II, Poon Lim was the Second Steward of a British armed merchant ship, the SS Benlomond. Poon Lim was born in Hainan Island, China. The armed ship was slowly moving without a convoy from Cape Town to Paramaribo, Suriname and then New York. On November 23, 1942, the German U-boat U-172 attacked the Benlomond with two torpedoes about 750 miles off the Amazon River. The ship sank within two minutes. However, Poon Lim was one of the six survivors as he jumped from the ship wearing a life jacket just in time.
After floating on the water for two hours, Lim found and climbed on an eight-square-foot raft which contained food supplies and other survival equipment. Poon Lim survived on the food supplies and the water on the raft. However, he additionally had to catch fish and drink the blood of birds to survive. He caught sharks using birds as bait and used a half-filled jug of water to kill them. Furthermore, to quench his thirst, he sucked blood from the shark’s liver. After 133 days and losing nine pounds of weight, Poon Lim reached land where three Brazilian fishermen rescued him.
6. Ossip Bernstein
Bernstein, a chess grandmaster, was sentenced to death by the Bolsheviks in 1918. However, a superior officer offered him the chance to prove his identity in a game of chess. He beat the officer and was released.
Ossip Samoilovich Bernstein was a Russian-French financial lawyer and a famous chess grandmaster. In 1918, Bolshevik secret police arrested Ossip Bernstein in Odessa. He was sentenced to death as he was a legal adviser to the bankers. However, a superior officer asked to see the prisoners’ list first. After reading Bernstein’s name, the officer asked if he was really a chess grandmaster. Even after an affirmative reply, the officer offered him a life-saving option – a game of chess. If Bernstein lost or the result was a draw, he would be shot, but if he won he would be released. Consequently, Bernstein won the match against the officer, escaped his death and later settled in Paris.
7. Aishat Maksudova
Aishat, a 56-year old grandmother, fought and killed a wolf with an ax. She said, “So the wolf had just clamped onto my left hand, pulling on it, pulling away like this. And then I took the ax and hit him on his head.”
Aishat Maksudova, a 56-year old woman from Novo Biryuzyak Village, was in a group of villagers herding sheep and cows. Suddenly, a wolf attacked a calf and Aishat heard the calf’s cry. As she tried to save the calf, the wolf attacked her. She expressed her experience,”I was not even frightened. I stood like this, holding an ax like this. And the wolf, with an open mouth, suddenly jumped on me. Jumped like that. The wolf clawed at my leg and I wanted to hit him with the ax.” While the wolf was chomping onto Aishat’s left arm, she hit it with the ax that she was holding, straight onto the wolf’s head. The wolf died and the woman was immediately taken to the hospital.
8. Hugh Glass
Hugh Glass, an explorer, set his own broken leg and allowed the maggots to eat his gangrenous flesh after he was attacked by a grizzly bear and left to die. Moreover, he crawled 200 miles to the nearest settlement where he was treated for his deep and septic wounds.
Hugh Glass was an American explorer, trader, hunter, and frontiersman born in Pennsylvania in 1783. He signed on for an expedition up the Missouri River in 1823 with William Ashley and Andrew Henry. Near the forks of the Grand River near present-day South Dakota, Hugh disturbed a grizzly bear and its two cubs. The bear attacked Hugh, bit him and lacerated his flesh. Using only his knife and bare hands, Hugh managed to kill the bear. However, his injuries were severe. Hugh’s companions carried him for two days but finally abandoned him as their exploration slowed down, and they knew that Hugh won’t survive his injuries.
Eventually, Hugh gained consciousness only to find himself alone unequipped with any weapons. He had festering wounds, a broken leg, and deep cuts on his back. He set his leg bone on his own, wrapped himself with the bear fur, and crawled about 200 miles to the nearest American settlement, Fort Kiowa, on the Missouri river. Additionally, he allowed maggots to eat the infected flesh to prevent gangrene. Moreover, Hugh made a raft and crossed the Cheyenne River. It took him six weeks to reach Fort Kiowa. On his way, he survived by eating roots and berries.(source)
9. Salamo Arouch
Jewish boxer Salamo Arouch who was a prisoner at Auschwitz was forced to fight fellow prisoners as a source of entertainment for the Nazis. Those who lost the fight were shot. He survived 200 fights out of which only two were draws.
Salamo Arouch was Jewish-Greek boxer who was born in 1923 in Greece. He was the Middleweight Champion of Greece in 1938 and All-Balkans Middleweight Champion in 1939. On May 15, 1943, Salamo Arouch arrived at Auschwitz with his family. Salamo said, “I was standing all night until the next day, naked. The Nazis cleaned us with water, disinfected us, shaved our heads, and put numbers on our forearms.” Soon after, a camp commandment asked if any of the prisoners were a boxer. Salamo raised his hand. After that, Salamo was charged with fighting other prisoners for the entertainment of the Nazis. With only two draws, Salamo survived and won all the other 200 fights. The prisoners who lost the fight were shot. As a winner, Mr. Arouch was spared slave labor and worked as a clerk.
On January 27th, 1945, the Allied Army liberated Auschwitz. Salamo started looking for his relatives and met Marta Yechiel, a teenager from his hometown. He married her and had four children and twelve grandchildren. As a matter of fact, Salamo’s life became the basis of the movie Triumph of the Spirit which was released in 1989.
10. Joan Murray
During a jump, when skydiver Joan Murray’s parachute failed, she fell at a speed of 128 kilomteres per hour and landed on a mound of fire ants. The ants stung her over 200 times which released a surge of adrenaline and kept her heart beating.
Joan Murray was born in 1955 and is an American bank executive and skydiver. On September 25, 1999, she went on a skydive from 14,500 feet where her main parachute didn’t open. Even when her secondary parachute opened at 700 feet, it deflated quickly. She was approaching the ground at a whopping speed of 128 kilometers per hour and fell into an ant hill. However, the stinging of over 200 ants caused a surge of adrenaline through her body and kept her heart beating. Even though she survived, the massive fall shattered the right portion of her body. Additionally, she was in a coma for two weeks. She recovered completely after 20 reconstructive surgeries and 17 blood transfusions. In 2001, she went for her 37th skydive.