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Top 10 Amazing People Who Cheated Death

Diogenes . . . Comments

“Death -oh- Death”. Everybody sing it now. The last cellphone call will be made to us all some day, regardless. Most of us wont know when or where or in what form. The big D has a way of creeping up and surprising the dumbfounded or snatching the innocent. Death can cause howling and screaming or a calm transition into the mysterious hereafter, and sometimes “The Slayer” just seems to ignore what is most obviously a bulls eye. The following list contains ten unbelievable but amazingly true accounts of human beings that beat death. Some of these “cheaters of death” are still among us (as of this posting). In no particular order, here are some of my favorites.


Isidro Mejia


He’s nail free today, but in 2004, Mejia was doing construction work on the roof of a house when he fell. The fall didn’t kill him, but the six 3 1/2 inch nails that accidentally shot into his neck and skull certainly should have. He survived because the nails barely missed his brain stem and spinal cord.


Richard Blass

Richard Blass

In 1968, the first mafia attempt against this canadian gangster took place. Two hired gunmen entered a bar where he was enjoying some drinks. Although shot at multiple times, Blass was able to escape unscathed.

Two weeks later, Blass was tracked by the mafia in a motel named “Le Manoir de Plaisance”, in a Montreal suburb. The motel was set on fire and three people died, but Blass escaped the blaze. Police investigation indicated arson as the fire’s cause.

In October, Richard Blass was injured by shots to the head and back after being ambushed with his partner inside a garage. The two were able to save their lives by driving through the garage door. Blass required hospitalization for his wounds.

In January, 1969, a bungled bank robbery and a shot cop, put Blass in jail. Within the first year of serving four consecutive terms of ten years in jail, Blass managed to escape. He was caught, thrown back in the slammer, and escaped a second time. With a spurt of freedom, and blood in his eyes, he set out and killed two co-conspirators in a bar, that had testified against him. Everyone else in the bar was locked in and the place set on fire. Three days later, Blass’ death finally came when he was shot 23 times.

During his life Blass was given the nickname, “The Cat”, because of his luck in evading death.


Ahad Israfil


“I try to appreciate things a lot more. You never know what moment you won’t be there.” In 1987, an accidental discharge of a gun blew half of 14 year old Israfil’s brains away, yet he survived and later graduated with honors.

Doctors were able to fill the hole with a silicone block, “the flap of skin was pulled over and hair grew back, giving him a fairly normal appearance.” Cranioplast was used to put the “icing on the cake” (Dayton Daily News)


Vesna Vulovic


It was 26 days into 1972, when 22 year old flight attendant, Vesna Vulovic found herself at 33,000 feet in the air and quickly descending to the earth without a parachute. JAT Flight JU 367 had been cruising over Srbska-Kamenice (now the Czech Republic) when an explosion occurred (The terrorist group, Croatian National Movement was named as responsible for the deaths of all but one) and as astonishing as it sounds V.V. survived with a “fractured skull, two broken legs and three broken vertebrae, which left her temporarily paralyzed from the waist down. She regained the use of her legs after surgery and continues to fly sporadically” She holds the Guiness World Record for the highest freefall.


Ludger Sylbaris

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On the day before the Pelee eruption, Sylbaris was locked in a single-cell, partially-under ground with stone walls, ventilated only through a narrow grating in the door which faced away from Pelee. His prison was the most sheltered building in the city, and it was this fact which saved his life.

On the day of the eruption, it grew very dark. Hot air mixed with fine ashes entered his cell through the door grating, despite his efforts in urinating on his clothing and stuffing it in the door. The heat lasted only a short moment, enough to cause deep burns on his hands, arms, legs, and back, but his clothes did not ignite, and he avoided breathing the searing-hot air.

Superheated steam and volcanic gases and dust, with temperatures reaching over 1000 °C. flattened the buildings in the city and the entire population burned or suffocated to death. When I visited beautiful Martinique in 1989, and saw the jail cell, which still stands, Sylbaris was said to be the only survivor, but in fact there was one other man and possibly two children.


Shannon Malloy


Shannon Malloy was in a car crash that caused her to be internally decapitated; her spine was separated from her skull and all connecting ligaments and tendons were cut loose. Despite this, she managed to survive. Shannon had to endure several surgeries, one “fusing her skull to her spinal cord; she suffered nerve damage that made her eyes constantly cross and limited her speech ability. Her pelvis and ankle were severely broken, but could not be repaired until swelling in the brain and spinal cord reduced” (Associated Content).


Roy C. Sullivan

Roy Sullivan

The chances of being struck by lightning are very slim; the chances of being struck by lightning twice (on different days) is seemingly impossible; so what are the odds of being struck by lightning seven times? With our world record holder, Roy Sullivan, the events happened as follows:

1942 – Sullivan was hit for the first time when he was in a lookout tower. The lightning bolt struck him in a leg and he lost a nail on his big toe.
1969 – The second bolt hit him in his truck when he was driving on a mountain road. It knocked him unconscious and burned his eyebrows.
1970 – The third strike burned his left shoulder while in his front yard.
1972 – The next hit happened in a ranger station. The strike set his hair on fire. After that, he began to carry a pitcher of water with him.
1973 – A lightning bolt hit Sullivan on the head, blasted him out of his car, and again set his hair on fire.
1974 – Sullivan was struck by the sixth bolt in a campground, injuring his ankle.
1977 – The seventh and final lightning bolt hit him when he was fishing. Sullivan was hospitalized for burns in his chest and stomach.

His “lightning hats” are on display in New York’s and South Carolina’ s Guinness World Exhibit Hall.


Ann Hodges

A129 Ann

Sylacauga, Alabama 1954. While Hodges was napping on her living room couch, a grapefruit-sized meteoroid crashed through her roof and ricocheted off her large wooden console radio, before it struck her on the arm and hip. She was badly bruised but able to walk. The Air Force arrived and took the meteorite from her. Ann’s husband, Eugene, hired a lawyer to get it back. Then the landlord claimed it, wanting to sell it in order to cover the damage done to the roof. By the time the meteorite was returned to Ann and Eugene (over a year later) public attention had diminished and they were unable to find a buyer willing to pay much for the 8.5 pound alien chondrite rock. Against her husband’s wishes, Ann donated it to the Alabama Museum of Natural History, where it can be seen today.


Ben Carpenter

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When crossing the street in Paw Paw, Ben Carpenter, 21 years old and wheelchair bound, was “picked up” accidentally by a truck. He was pushed by the semi-truck for 4 miles at 50mph, after the arms of his wheelchair got stuck in the grill. The story goes that the driver had stopped at a red light, and couldn’t see Carpenter crossing in front of him. The light changed and Carpenter ended up having the ride of a lifetime. “What I learned is that I never would want to be a Hollywood celebrity,” he said after all the fuss being made by TV and newspapers. “I don’t know how they do it with the TV cameras and people taking their picture all the time. I went through it, and it was OK for a while, but a couple days was enough.” (Kalamazoo Gazette)


Phineas Gage


On September 13, 1848, Gage (a railway worker) was packing a hole with gunpowder, adding a fuse and sand, and then packing the charge down with a large tamping iron. The gunpowder ignited and the iron bar shot through his left cheek bone and exited out the top of his head, and was later recovered some 30 yards from the site of the accident. Within minutes he was up and walking. A few days later he had fungus of the brain. A couple of weeks after, 8 fluid ounces of pus from an abscess under his scalp was released. Damage to Gage’s frontal cortex had resulted in a complete loss of social inhibitions, which often led to inappropriate behavior. He was no longer the same Gage that his friend’s and family knew. Today his skull and the iron bar that shot through it are on display at Boston’s Warren Anatomical Museum.

Contributor: Diogenes

  • jake ryder

    Can’t believe I haven’t heard of most of these. As a Paramedic i am always surprised how often people cheat death.

  • astraya


  • jaynx

    what did Vesna Vulovic land on?? surely the impact she would have made with the ground would have killed her! amazing! great list

  • Hardik

    Well, I have read about some of them earlier!! What luck!! Amazing compilation…

  • Great list! Some of these stories are amazing.

    Though I don’t really want to hear about 8 fluid ounces of pus just before I’m about to have my lunch! :lol:

    The picture for Ahad Israfil is crazy! It’s like he’s wearing some sort of hat that’s caved in…

  • dangor: I agree about the pus :) I am about to have lunch too! Not pea soup thankfully.

  • boomshine87

    Great list! I remember seeing Shannon on a tv show before – it makes my head feel funny just thinking about it!

  • longball heard of most of these. very nice.

  • sid

    nicely done but where’s the guy who got sucked into a jet engine of a US fighter plane and survived, i bet the odds of surviving that are pretty low, they showed this on tv lots of times.

  • Stefani

    It constantly amazes me what the human body, and the human spirit of survival can overcome. Great List.

  • I should be on this list. Just the other day my wife asked me “Do these jeans make me look fat?” I almost told her the truth. I’m still alive today tell you this story thanks to quick thinking on my part.

  • carpe_noctem

    How the hell did Vesna Vulovic live! The others can be credited to good luck and great timing, but if you fall out of a plane, there isn’t a whole heap that can save you… Do you know if she fell on anything? And this list makes me want to be a surgeon even more!

    DanOhh: Oh god, hopefully you’ll never make that mistake again…

  • Jmark

    A few seasons ago Mythbusters tested the story of Vesna Vulovic. They couldn’t seem to get it to work. Nice List

  • otay

    Listverse keeps signing me out again…. grrrr. Great list, I find it very interesting what the human body can withstand sometimes.

  • islanderbst

    Cool list.

    Probably the thing that most scares/creeps me out is xray pics of people with nails and tools in their head.

  • skeev

    The list makes Vesna sound like she was blown free of the plane but Wikipedia says she was found in the middle section of the plane. That clarifies how she could have survived.

    What’s with the writing on #9? We are told the mafia set fire to a motel, then we are told it was ruled arson…you think?

    Bullet shots? 23 bullets entered his body? Just a strange choice of words in some places.

  • LordCalvert

    i knew a guy that was carjacked, taken to an abandoned building and shot in the back of the head with a 9mm pistol. it knocked him out, he said it was like getting hit on the head with a hammer, but he woke up and made it to his feet. he then flagged down a ride to the hosptial where the bullet was removed. it had failed to penetrate his skull in that thick part right at the back of the head.

    he went on to be a high school basketball referee and lives a normal life.

  • JwJwBean

    I love this list. And as far as what about so and so. I am sure there are other stories too. These just happened to be the ones that stuck with the author I am sure. I would love to hear ones other people have found or know too.

  • MPJ

    PAN AM 103 went down over Lockerbie Scotland on Dec 21st 1988 because of Libyan terrorists…why was that listed as the flight for #7. Historical fact-check please.

  • islanderbst

    When you survive things like in this list, is it fate, luck, or nothing?

    We probably all have our own survival stories. I don’t know how many times I’ve almost stepped into traffic.

  • trojan_man

    ilanderbst: My father always told me a short story about “luck”…If a man is skydiving and his parachute fails to open and he lives, he is fortunate. If it happens again, it is a coincidence. If it happens a third time, it’s a habit.

  • islanderbst

    trojan- I would never go back up after the first time it happened!!

  • MPJ: thanks for the correction – you are right. I have corrected the item.

  • otay

    Objects penetrating the brain can be very survivable, as long as the object does not penetrate the brainstem or cross hemispheres of the brain. As a nurse, I’ve seen more than my share of failed suicide attempts with hand guns, as well as accidental traumatic brain injuries. The end result is usually the person ends up with severe brain damage and major cognitive deficiencies. Sad situation for their families, that end up financially burdened by what is left of the person. :(

  • otay

    Lol….. if men were meant to jump out of airplanes, we all would have wings!!! ;)

  • otay

    PC correction * human beings * (not men)

  • trojan_man

    otay: from the medical point of view, do you think it would have been better that the victim died? I know sometimes the medical view is different than the everyday view.

    islanderbst: good point.

  • geert

    Vesna Vulovic was in the tail of the plane and when it exploded, she (and it) fell into a frozen lake.

  • Mom424

    carpe-noctem; she was still strapped into her seat, up against a trolley. There is speculation that the angle they hit the mountain side was helpful, she had a resting low blood pressure which probably contributed to the fact that her heart didn’t blow up from impact.(wikipedia). She doesn’t consider herself lucky – she said if she was lucky it wouldn’t have happened.

    interesting note; My father has extremely low resting blood pressure – is supposed to wear a medic-alert bracelet – so they don’t treat him for shock and kill him. Mine is fairly low, even when 9 months pregnant, I’m in the low normal range. My sister’s is like my dads, they changed out the apparatus when she was in hospital, thought it was broken.

  • otay

    Good point trojan_man. After seeing what it does to families, sometimes i feel that it would have been better, had the person died. However, at the time of initial injury, nobody knows how far a person with a brain injury will recover.

    Anyone that works in trauma can relate to this….. Injuries like this (traumatic brain injuries) are talked about amongst the healthcare team. We often tell our coworkers “if i ever come in here like this, do whatever you must do to make sure i don’t survive”. Yet, to “finish off” a friend or coworker in that situation would legally constitute murder. I think the legal choice, outweighs the moral choice in this situation. This is best handled by a Living Will, make your choices known to your family and your doctor before such a choice is needed.

  • otay

    BTW, I have seen some pretty miraculous recoveries from devastating injuries. :)

  • Mom424

    Diogenes; I forgot to tell you – This is a very good list. Do you know why the human lightning rod fellow is such a magnet? Is it because of where he lives? Is it because he has some sort of weird negative charge? Did they ever check it out?

  • trojan_man

    otay: My wife works in the medical profession (but in a prison) and she also sees miraculous survivals. Those inmates can be pretty brutal to each other and officers.

  • NN

    I’ve heard about the Vesna Vulovic incident and it still perplexes me to this day.

    How the heck did she survive?

  • Wow, that’s crazy!

  • I just can’t even imagine what was going through Vulovic’s mind on the way down – I wonder if she passed out.

  • otay

    if i were to survive that crash, surely it could be attributed to the “evacuation” of my bowels to cushion the landing. ;)

  • Mom424

    Otay; I’ve read of quite a few incidences where the living will is ignored? Is this not the case? The living will is obeyed only as long as your family does not protest.

  • trojan_man

    jfrater: I wonder what the ratio of people who become religious is on the way up versus on the way down.

  • otay

    Mom424: ANY immediate family member can override your Living Will, at any point in time. I’ve seen that many times. It is very hard to let a loved one go, even when that is their wishes. :(

  • stevenh

    This is a great list. Thank You.

    You say that these are ‘some of your favorites’… How big a collection of these stories do you have?

  • Kreachure

    Great list.

    But I don’t get what’s so impressive about #3, Ann Hodges. It’s more about the story of the meteorite than an ‘amazing cheat of death’. It’s certainly not more impressive than a guy getting struck by lightning 7 times AND surviving!

  • stevenh

    Grrrr – I can login to the main page. When I click on a specific list, it loads without being logged in.

    After I do a post, though, the login sticks.

  • Kreachure

    And judging by how impressed commenters are by Vesna’s story, I think it should’ve been much closer to #1. Indeed she fell inside a piece of fuselage, and she hit the ground in just the right angle, and the fuselage was precisely in the right shape and angle, for the twisted metal to (somewhat) cushion the blow. A billion in one chance, without a doubt.

  • Kreachure

    stevenh (and jfrater): That same thing happens to me. If I click login on the list page, WordPress says I’m already logged on, but going back to the site, I’m still not logged on!

    See what happens for ignoring the power of Blue clicky names!!!

  • DiscHuker

    how long does it take to free fall 33,000 feet? you could think of all sorts of things in that time frame.

    i have a survival story from yesterday…
    after reading the weird candies list, i ordered the nasty jelly beans. i tried the rotten egg and gagged 3 times before i could get it down. not life threatening but i survived none the less.

  • AlyshiaH

    I should be on this list! when i was 15 i was walking across a road, where the cross walk is, and got hit by a honda cr-v going 35-40 mph. i spent 2.5 days in icu in and out of a comma. the drs told my parents to start planning my funeral. but im stubborn and pulled through it.

  • Mom424

    DiscHuker; You do realize you don’t have to finish everything you start? :)

    Raw oysters proved that point to me!

  • Mom424

    Hey guys the word press fiasco can be overcome by hitting the refresh button. Irritating and a little bit time consuming, but it works.

  • Ginger Lee

    I knew a guy that tried to commit suicide by throwing himself off of ten stories, he landed on his legs and shattered every bone from the hip down. He can walk now but he is a major dope head because of the pain.

    And AH…Phineas Gage, every psych students fall back paper. Or would it be the BoBo doll?

  • Mom424

    AlyshiaH; I for one am very glad we are able to make your acquaintance. Did it change your life view, like make you thankful? or did it just piss you off? I can see myself reacting both ways.

  • Callie

    didn’t they try to kill Rasputin a few times?

  • DiscHuker

    mom424: i had gotten my wife in on the act and she had already eaten a vomit bean when all i had was 3 yummy peaches. as soon as the gag reflex began i moved for the sink where i was greeted with “the look” and some sort of reference to being eligible to sing in the vienna boys choir if i did not continue chewing.

    needless to say, i finished.

  • toolnut

    Very interesting list!! This is the kind of stuff that keeps me coming back, for sure. I had heard of most of these but to have them put collectively together just puts the icing on the cake for me. (something about lists)

  • Joss

    These area freaking amazing. Most interesting list in a while…

  • Callie: they did – he is on a couple other lists on the site. scary guy!

    I am glad everyone likes this list – when I first received it I immediately knew it was definitely going to be published. Thanks Diogenes :)

  • kiwiboi

    “how long does it take to free fall 33,000 feet?”

    Well, around 46 seconds, I guess (though my rudimentary calculus is probably ignoring terminal velocity)

  • carpe_noctem

    Mom424: Sorry about the late reply, that’s a good point about being lucky, if these people were lucky then they never would’ve gotten into these situations at all! So far amongst my two siblings and I, we’ve done skydiving (all three of us went, so much fun!), scuba diving, running with the bulls, my brother once told my sister she looked fat in her new dress, hang gliding, we all jumped off a 12m cliff, pretty much every activity where the main goal is to not die. For those of you who are thinking about sky diving, the chances of you dying while skydiving are about on par with you getting struck by lightning. I’d advise Roy C. Sullivan skydiving. But you can always stick to the old rule, if at first you don’t succeed, skydiving isn’t for you.

    Jfrater: The second i saw this list this morning, I knew it was going to be a popular one. Great list diogenes!

  • DK

    Excellent list Diogenes! I had heard of some of these, but a few were definitely new to me!

  • Lindsey

    I grew up near Paw Paw MI… this will be the only time that Podunk town will be on a list anywhere. :)

  • kiwiboi

    Well, around 46 seconds, I guess (though my rudimentary calculus is probably ignoring terminal velocity)

    hmm…this time factoring in terminal velocity; assuming tv of 60 m/s and a fall of 33,000ft I guess that it would take around 2 minutes 50 seconds to hit. Enough time to say a Hail Mary or two :)

  • uno

    DiscHuker, kiwiboi: “how long does it take to free fall 33,000 feet?”… much, much more than 46 seconds. Taking the terminal velocity of a human (for a plane should be much, much more) as 50 m/s, it takes more than 3 minutes to fall from 33000 feet (around 10 km).

  • DiscHuker

    2min 50sec?!?! holy crap. is there any other way to “accidentally” die and know about it for this long before it happens?

    what a juxtaposition this is. in the relative peace of free fall knowing that your body is about to be very violently greeted by the ground (and whatever else is directly below you)

  • Mom424

    carpe_noctem; I love dare-devil stuff, I generally prefer the land based type. The kind where you *feel* somewhat in control.

    I love anything where you go fast with no cage. Motorcycles, dune buggies, fast boats, this hill we used to do on scooters. Got tickets for speeding. I was the guy that always jumped off the highest part of the bridge. Used to skip school to jump off the railroad trestle. Top would have been at least 10 metres. Para sailed once, oh so cool.

    As I sit in my chair, being the good mom, bored to death. I have never prevented my kids from so-called dangerous activities. No Risk – No Thrill.

  • kiwiboi

    uno – read my first post. I said I hadn’t accounted for terminal velocity (which did, admittedly, make the time meaningless, LOL).

    My second post has a tv assumption (though it doesn’t account for the time to reach tv).

  • toolnut

    I can’t even imagine having 3 minutes to think about my impending death. I know that when my ex and I did the sling-shot ride at Lagoon, they video taped us during the ride. You couldn’t hear what I was saying but you could sure read my lips. ;)

  • kiwiboi

    “2min 50sec?!?! holy crap. is there any other way to “accidentally” die and know about it for this long before it happens?”

    DiscHuker : well, enough time to enjoy one last listen to that favourite Milli Vanilli tune on the iPod :)

  • toolnut

    kiwiboi: I know for a fact that if I was in that situation I would definitely have my ipod. (It’s like my underwear, I don’t go anywhere without it.) But I sure as hell would not be listening to Milli Vanilli on the way down

  • Mom424

    toolnut; you wouldn’t be listening to Milli Vanilli even if you were listening to Milli Vanilli. :)

  • kiwiboi

    Mom – LOL :)

  • So, Mom424 wins best comment of the day!

  • idril

    #1 is from my city. All the school kids learn about it in 3rd grade social studies class.

  • carpe_noctem

    Mom: Why didn’t you write that in the best jokes comment section instead?

  • schiesl

    Though he did eventually die. Rasputin should be on this list, he cheated death a ton.

  • Csimmons

    DAMN! Roy C williams is one lucky son of a bitch! I bet death is just like “Why won’t this motherfucker die?!?”

  • SoCalJeff

    Wow. What a list. I’m speechless. Some of these stories are downright unbelievable.

  • Christine

    Well, as long as we’re sharing survival stories, I’ve got a couple. First, I watched a video a few years ago about a guy who attempted suicide by shooting himself in the head with a shotgun. Oh it was that guy who sued Judas Priest for subliminal messages in his music… James Vance is the kid’s name. Well anyway, he survived but was horribly disfigured. He eventually died but seeing footage of him with “half a face” was just horrible.

    Second, I myself am a survivor. Not quite as fantastic as these but when I was 10 I was riding my bike and fell into a creek with big boulders. I smashed up my lungs, broke some ribs, lacerated my liver and jammed my poor finger =(. I spent two weeks in the ICU waivering between conciousness and morphine-induced sleep and then another two weeks in a regular room at the hospital, followed by six months of no major physical activity. Doctors also told my parents to plan for a funeral like AlyshiaH. Fortunately I pulled through =).

  • oose85

    I was in a suicide bombing. I was 15 feet from the bomber. there was one pain of glass between us, which was the only piece of glass in a 300 foot radius that didn’t shatter.
    It was a “pin cussion” of shrappanel (screws, nuts, bolts, etc.)

    This happened in 2001.

  • Mark_N20

    Grigori Rasputin?

  • I think I posted the your view at an inopportune time – everyone seems to have vanished off there!

  • Cedestra

    I mean this in no way as a down to the list or Diogenes. A few of these were featured on another list. And I have the haunting suspicion bits were copied. But it’s just a thought and I hope I’m wrong- I probably am.
    Roy Sullivan, if I remember correctly, was a park ranger. So, it wasn’t as if he was an accountant and got struck seven time; he was outside a lot.
    Good list, though! Love reading about miracles.

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  • Diogenes

    Well damn. It figures that I would be away from the computer all day when my list has been published. I’ll try and reply a bit…now that nobody gives a crap:

    Sid(#9): I was aware of the guy that got “sucked into a jet engine of a US fighter plane”, and for a while this could have been a “headcases and airplanes” list

    skeev(#16) True, I agree. Here and there I tried to keep away from certain specifics, but not to the point (I hope) where it was false info or that somebody reading the list wouldn’t want to investigate further. You know, out of interest.
    I’m sorta a funky writer and I know I made some mistakes, which have been corrected.

    Mom424(#32 No, I wish I knew. Too many mercury fillings perhaps? naw.

    Stevenh(#41) I have hundreds! It took me months to narrow them down. No, I’m joking. I came across a story in a book I have, about Nicholas Alkemade, a tailgunner who jumped from his burning plane at 18thousand ft. and survived. I started searching for more stories like that and parts condensed into this list. “Favorite” is a bit misleading in some of these final choices.

    Kreachure(#42) yes, She’s the oddball of the list, along with Blass. Hodges is the only known person, of modern record, to be hit by a rock zooming in from outerspace. I thought the connection to chance and the miraculous, placed her somewhere within this list.Perhaps its far fetched.

    Cedestra- Yes, I copied everything. You got me! Actually, I tried to quote from wikipedia when I could, as it seemed legal safe, and when researching the different people here, I came across other lists, on the internet, that quoted the same info from wiki. So I tried to give it a little twist, but in a couple of cases, the info is wikipedia and most of the rest is “my version” as written.
    I love the Rasputin story. A special place in my heart. Yeh, he would balance the Blass story to some degree, but for some reason, I wouldn’t include him with the rest. Well, I know why but I wont say.

  • carpe_noctem

    Diogenes: Nice work stating that you copied half of it when no one’s around any more! Don’t take it as a bad thing mate, awesome list, but our master Jamie decided to post the Your View thing and has had about a million responses, half of which are mine…

  • Diogenes

    carpe noctem: I never said I copied half of this list did I? Seeing that your still around, perhaps I’ll speak in tounge for the next hour and up the ante(sp?) of your miniscule so-called- halfmillion responses.

    no, I wont do that. I could care less.

  • fgds

    The Vesna Vulovic story is amazing. I’d love more information. There’s not much on wikipedia either. Did she get expelled from the plane during the explosion or did she fall to the ground inside a section of the plane?
    Guinness is spelt wrong in this item, by the way, WHICH IS HUGELY IMPORTANT.

  • Mom424

    Cedestra, Diogenes; There are a ton of folks who make Park Ranger their career. I’ve never heard of any of them being struck by lightning so many times. Maybe he is semi-immune to it, the rest of those poor rangers only got hit once, and it was the end of them.

  • Pokemonica

    Wow! thats really amazing! We learned about Phineas Gage in psychology not that long ago. Love the site by the way! i check it whenever i can.

  • Diogenes

    Mom424: Right, Or one would think that there must have been something different in his bio-chemical makeup or where he roamed on a day to day basis, perhaps . I also wonder if anybody has studied the “hit” areas, or the actual likelyhood of being struck so many times, yet, continue living. Whats underground in “that” region? Has it happened to others in the same part?..ect

    As far as being “SEMI-immune”,which you mention in your comment, Ben Carpenter might better fit that role (dum joke, I know).

  • Brian B

    Am I the only one that thinks Shannon Malloy is kind’ve hot?

  • dracomalfoy

    Oh God! What the heck!!! The first in the list is unimaginable, really!

  • PePiTots

    Hey!! you should read about a colombian lady named Gloria Polo… her story is amazing!!

  • joes


  • Jeremy

    These are all totally astonishing. Almost makes me want to never leave my home again, but… then again, Ann Hodges didn’t exactly go outside for death to nearly have its way with her.

  • kiwiboi

    Am I the only one that thinks Shannon Malloy is kind’ve hot?

    Brian : undoubtedly, dude, undoubtedly.

    She’s all yours. Just go easy on the “necking” ;)

  • Mom424

    diogenes; ha ha very clever. :)

  • joojoo

    Apparently Vesna survived because she was strapped to her seat inside the other half of the plane and landed on a snowy slope of sorts…. Which could have cussioned the fall quite a bit.

  • stormy617

    There is a guy that I know although its been about a year or so since I have seen him. Back in the late 80’s he was drunk and high and stupid and was climbing an electrical tower at the end of his sisters street.

    He was electrocuted and flew through the air, he pulled himself down the street towards his sisters house yelling for her,(she lived about three houses down the block). When she came out of the house and found him he passed out. He lost both legs just above the knee, and one arm up to the shoulder.

    About two or so years after his accident I happened to see him at the hardware store. He was walking in on his stumps, pushing his wheelchair into the store to buy a screw to fix the chair.

    Now he lives on his own, drives, has a job as a personal assistant at a community college, and apparently has the same strong sex drive that he had before his accident, (I have a friend that dated him before and after, the last time around a year or so ago.)

    I have always admired him, he has brought himself a long way and his sister was a huge help to him in the beginning taking him in and taking care of him till he was able to care for himself.

  • JwJwBean

    I know that in post 82 Diogenes mentions why he did not put Rasputin, but it seems many people do not read the comments. Is there some way to put his explanation in the List Description or a P.S.?

  • Chris

    This is not as relevant but I found it impressive. I spoke to a lady the other day who is 100 YRS and 7 Mths old. I reckon that’s survival to the max, she has cheated death just to live that long.

  • Arisma

    If you look into the Gage story, you’ll find out it happened in Cavendish, Vt. That happens to be my home town. :) In our local park we have a monument and had a festival when it was unveiled. I ran into Michael J Fox at the ceremony, it was good times.

    Lots of surprisingly interesting stuff in the woods of VT.

  • Diogenes

    It makes me happy to see folks from places like Paw Paw and Cavendish respond.

    Arisma: I can only assume Micheal J Fox is from your part of Vermont.. And I also must assume (from what you have said) that the monument is of Phineas Gage?! If you happen to look at this response, I would love to know more about the festival and the monument.
    What is in those woods of VT?

  • Arisma

    Oh, I’ve been LV around for a while. :)

    He actually lives in Woodstock, I believe, which is a few miles from here. He was very sweet, we discussed livestock (we were looking at home spun yarn) and Vermont and it was all very casual and friendly. I managed to be entirely cool, which is good, because I’ve failed on other occasions with other famous people.

    Yes, the monument is to Phineas. I’d hoped someone else had taken a picture but, alas, my googling was fruitless. If I get around to it I’ll walk down and take a pic tomorrow (it’s 6 houses away). The festival wasn’t a huge thing, though it was a very big deal here. Speeches and an art exhibit (I won a gorgeous oil landscape in a $1 raffle I bought on a lark, it’s still hanging in my dining room), sheep dog demonstrations, fair type food and games and prizes for the little kids. I think they might have even rounded up a couple small rides for them too. If I remember I’ll go to the top of the hill and take a picture of the entire park area. It’s really very small.

    We’re also the town that was the residence of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, my older brother went to school with his son Ignat, and visited their compound several times over the years until their graduations. I was also lucky enough to meet him at my towns, I think, bicentennial celebration. I was, at the time, a first year student of the russian language and tried very hard to speak to him in his native tongue… I just failed. He was very kind and understanding and encouraged me to stick with the courses, which I did until I left school. I’m at once mortified and glad that as a girl of 14 I didn’t understand what a nobel laureate was or how to speak to one. Recently I’ve heard that he’s been sick, which is sad but not unexpected.

    As for what’s in the woods… well… don’t even get me started on the Bennington triangle. ;)

  • Arisma

    I submitted a response here, but I’m not sure if it went through, it’s now saying I’m not logged in. I hope it did but I don’t want to post it again and have it there twice as it was very long. :(

  • ali

    Nice list. My sister is angry with me for telling my nephews about Phineas Gage. I think I may have scared them, but they wanted to know what would happen if you got pierced in the brain and the story just popped into my mind! Anyways the boys thought it was interesting and it’s always good for little kids to learn new things :)

  • Stephen

    nice list:) but nr3 doesnt really belong there, she got hit on the hip and arm, hardly fatal unless it pierces her.

    what about the guy that answered his door, then suddenly he got a 30 cm long knife stuck in his head, and survived?

  • Diogenes

    Arisma: I read about the Bennington Triangle after your mentioning it. Sounds mysterious indeed…. And Alexander Solzhenitsyn rang a bell,but I couldn’t remember exactly. My uncle lent me “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” years ago, which I read.
    ps. I havent ever seen sheep dogs in action, other than on tv. The way they move/calculate on their own volition (seemingly) and respond to their trainers whistles is amazing.

    Stephen: In my comment(#82), you can read my point on Hodges in my response to Kreachure.

  • champ24

    nice fucking list!

  • Joey11y

    Awesome list! I’ve never really met anyone that lucky before. I knew a girl from college a few years back who freaked out every time it rained. She said its cause she’s been hit with lightening twice. Crazy since she was 17 years old at the time.

  • SnowKid32

    LMAO, he said Jesus, hahaha.
    Awesome list btw. I wanted to see a video about the guy with the caved head, and I think I’m an asshole. I looked up on YouTube that Shannon girl and found a vid, and when she talked, it sounded real funny. I feel bad for her, but it was hard not to laugh.

  • Rylan

    I wonder if Shannon Malloy is happy she survived.

  • H.T. Feivel

    Ha about the candies comments earlier on, my friend and I actually made an entire set of rules for a nasty flavor bean game.

    I should really type that up and post it on the net…
    [it was WAY fun]

    but I doubt anyone would be interested.

  • QDV

    I’ve got a t-shirt from North Coast Brewing Company, for their Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, and on the back is the apt slogan, “Never say die.”

    Since there’s one Malloy on this list, how about another? Try “Michael Malloy” the next time you’re out Googling.

  • pvGOOSE68


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  • MPW

    where i live in southern california a woman was working at a local ralph’s and when she was hoisting the flag a shopping cart which weighs fifty pounds fell on the top of her head and broke her neck but she somehow survived.

    pretty remarkable!

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  • diamond


  • Kathleen

    #3, imagine that randomly happening to you haha. And #1, did he live the rest of his life with that rod in his skull or something???

  • Ren

    I had to read a book about Phineas Gage for summer reading in 7th grade. It was interesting.

  • Antara

    The girl in the plane survived because when the plane exploded, she was knocked into the back of the plane, and rendered unconcious when she struck her head on the floor.

    She was unconscious and when you are limp and land you are less likely to hurt something.

    She also landed on a hill in a grove of pine trees. The angle of the hill and her decent were a factor in her survival. The trees slowed her and the soil was soft because of the season.

    At least that’s what I read in my books.

  • Anna

    omg that is amazing imagine something going right through ur head and then in a few minutes u get up and start walking with some thing sticking out ur head
    Its good dat they got da chance to stay alive good on them

  • mia

    i think these people are just dumb i know this has happened too them
    but oviously they are gonna die one day
    so whats the point saving ur self all the time
    like some people
    white different race people think stupid

  • Curtis

    dat is some intense stories

  • Aamir

    not any one Cheat to Death, everyone will died on his Death time, i dont belive it

  • Dan Von Ber

    Haha #4 is like the guy from “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” lol. “Have I ever told you that I’ve been struck by lightening SEVEN times?”

  • brycet93

    One of my friends has a disease called AT, and this allowed him to get leukemia. The doctors performed an experamental surgery and swaped his blood for his mom and maybe another donor. He is technically healed of leukemia, but the lack of immune cells or white blood cells has allowed him vulnerable to a number of basic diseases…

  • zia

    amezing stories

  • mugen100291

    wow their so lucky!!!!

  • RagDoll

    Roy Sullivan was not killed by the last strike, however died in 1981 or 1982. I can’t remember the exact cause of death. It’s in the world records book.

    • Ms-binks

      He shot himself as far as I know :(

  • saber25

    Top 10 Amazing People Who Cheated Death List. : What about the theory about MICHEAL JACKSON? :O

  • vikas


  • richard

    hey everyone should noe that the meaning of richard is ‘strong power’

  • nicoleredz3

    Oh my WOW!!!

  • kirthana

    It was superb.I was really suprised

  • nye

    Many of you have asked or pondered how vulovic could have survived a 10000 foot drop. It doesn’t seem realistic, I mean, people die from falling 8 stories in suicides, let alone 10000 feet. Physics tells us you would die even if you landed in water. (Mass x accerelation) terminal velocity would kill you. The guardian just recently posted a new article with possible prove that the story was a cover-up and instead of falling 10k feet, Vulovic only dropped a few hundred feet. Seems much more plausible.

  • the venezuelan again

    what??? no 50 cent???

  • sorry im new to this site and love it but you, J dog said in the list about sky diving facts that this kind of fall and survival doesnt happen without something to slow them down or whatever, come on man or i will introduce you to a new list which has my fist as number 1

  • mauromissula


  • Hit by Lightning 7 times. zeus' aim has gotten rusty.

  • Will Trame

    The only ones I had previously heard of were Roy Sullivan and Phineas Gage.

    I’ve noted Rasputin was mentioned a few times in these comments. He finally died from drowning after being poisoned, castrated, raped and beaten.

    Another intriguing story involved Michael Molloy. Murder Incorporated had a hell of a time killing him. I believe he was successfully asphyxiated after being served anti-freeze, wood alcohol, poisoned with tainted sandwiches, and being hit and ran over by automobiles. One reporter theorized if Molloy actually sat in the electric chair he probably would have shorted out every circuit in the prison.

    Good, informative list, BTW.

  • Fata

    Being smiten this often, I guess Roy C. Sullivan was the most blasphemous man on earth.

  • Anonymous

    "When crossing the street in Paw Paw, Ben Carpenter, 21 years old and wheelchair bound, was “picked up” accidentally by a truck."
    The term 'wheelchair bound' is terribly outdated. People should avoid describing people who use a wheelchair as ‘wheelchair-bound’ or ‘in a wheelchair’ or ‘confined to a wheelchair’. Most people who use wheelchairs prefer ‘wheelchair user’, or phrases such as ‘he uses a wheelchair’.. Just thought I'd pass this tidbit along. Thanks!
    Great list, btw.

  • labelle PHIL.

    ohh i cant believe this
    they might be an amazing persons
    who contributed well in the world
    they cant be replaced
    two thumbs up..

  • how amazing

  • Adrian

    Wow this is very amazing, I can believe it, this is a video that I found, almost as amazing like the other on this page, this is the link:

  • BreK


  • karky


  • Tyler

    what about Tsutomu Yamaguchi,the man who survived both atomic bombs dropped on japan

  • ChuckBooty

    blew half of his brains away, huh?

  • agung

    wow very amazing n crazzy

  • lori

    At two diferent time my daughter and I, once at a bus stop, once in the car at a light, lighting struck right across the street from us! Ever heard of such a thing? this is in the last 2 years

  • pakeloDalge


  • carpinteyrotvr


  • carpinteyroihl


  • K




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