Great Escapes from the Wilderness - The Most Amazing Survival Stories
The world's most amazing wilderness survival stories.
You're lost in the Amazon. Would you eat centipedes and spiders to survive? Would you even know which critters were safe to swallow and which were poisonous?
What follows is TSC's Editor's Choice for the most interesting article on survivorship in recent days.
It's a terrific summary of some of the most amazing wilderness survival stories in recent memory, including two Frenchmen who got lost in the Amazon and survived for seven weeks eating spiders, frogs and centipedes. When he was rescued, one of the men was partially paralyzed after swallowing venom from a poorly cooked giant spider.
Survival in the Wild: Great Escapes from Nature
Heidi Blake in The Telegraph of London:
Two Frenchmen survived for seven weeks on a diet of bird-eating spiders, frogs, centipedes and turtles in the Amazon jungle. Loïc Pillois and Guilhem Nayral, both 34, got lost while trekking in the heart of French Guyana. When they were eventually rescued in April 2007, Mr Nayral had lost four stone, was infested by flesh-eating parasites and was temporarily paralysed after swallowing venom from a poorly cooked giant spider.
Teresa Bordais, 62, survived 11 days at the bottom of a ravine by sipping rain water and nibbling on wild herbs. The grandmother slipped and fell 60ft to the bottom of the valley in June 2009 after becoming separated from her husband on a rambling holiday in the Spanish Pyrenees. She was eventually found when a red T-shirt she had left drying on a rock was spotted from the air by a mountain rescue team.
A one-year-old boy was found living rough on the streets of Argentina after being kept alive by cats. Police discovered the baby surrounded by eight wild cats at the bottom of a gutter in the city of Misiones in December 2008. The animals had been keeping him warm while he slept by huddling around him and had brought him scraps of food to eat. The boy's homeless father had lost him while out collecting cardboard to sell several days before.
Bahia Bakari, 14, survived in turbulent waters for three hours after the Airbus 310 she was traveling in plummeted into the Indian Ocean in June 2009. Despite being unable to swim, the French teenager clung to a lump of floating cabin debris for three hours in water full of oil and dead bodies before being spotted by a rescue helicopter.
Thein Nhan, two, survived being mauled and partially eaten by wild dogs after his mother abandoned him in a Vietnamese forest. He lay bleeding and covered in leaves for days before he was discovered by villagers and taken to hospital in August 2008. The boy, whose penis and testicals were torn off by the dogs, will undergo a series of pioneering operations to rebuild his damaged groin area until he is 15 years old.
Nando Parrado and 15 other survivors of a 1972 plane crash in the Andes stayed alive for 72 days by eating the frozen corpses of their fellow passengers and drinking melted snow. When it became clear they would never be found, the 23-year-old rugby player struck out on foot across some of the most rugged mountains in the world carrying only a sock full of human flesh. He eventually led rescuers back to his fellow survivors.
Nine tribespeople survived for a month in the jungle by eating wild boar after escaping from the 2004 Asian tsunami. The group of five men, one woman and three girls escaped the wave by climbing a hill on the Indian Andaman and Nicobar Islands, but got lost after fleeing into the jungle. They survived after meeting a member of a more primitive tribe who showed them how to light a fire with sticks and gather jungle food. They were found a month later by a police search team.
Traian Caldarar spent three years being cared for by wolves in Romanian forests after running away from home at the age of four. He was discovered barely alive in a cardboard box by a Shepherd in 2002. Then seven years old, he was the size of a three-year-old, was suffering from malnutrition and rickets and had forgotten how to speak. He was later reunited with his mother.
Gerrit Blank, 14, was reportedly hit by a red-hot meteorite traveling and 30,000mph and survived by chances of one in a million. The teenager said he was on his way to school in Essen, Germany in June 2009 when he saw a "ball of light" heading straight toward him from the sky. The pea-sized rock apparently hit his hand before bouncing off and smashing a foot-wide crater into the ground. Mr Blank got away with just a three-inch long scar on his hand.
Sophie Tucker, an Australian cattle dog, was reunited with her owners in April 2009 after being lost at sea for four months. After falling overboard on a sailing holiday in the Whitsundays off the coast of Queensland, the dog swam five nautical miles through stormy seas to St Bees Island where she survived by hunting wild goats. She was eventually captured by rangers and returned home.