16 People Share A Random Encounter They Had With A Stranger That Completely Changed Their Lives.
You never know who you'll cross paths with and what kind of impact they'll have on your life. Here, 16 people share a random encounter they had with a stranger that completely changed their lives.
1/16. The man in front of me in line at an ATM goes "WOAH!". He turns around to me and with a smile and holds up several hundred dollars cash and says "bank error in my favor!". Then he started walking into the bank and I said "Wait, you're not gonna keep it?" and he said "you are who you are in the darkness". I stopped lying after that.
2/16. I pulled into the ER with my 3-year-old daughter turning blue from an asthma attack. I was frantic, I thought she was going to die. The parking lot attendant came over to tell me the lot was full, saw my daughter, ripped open the door of my van and pulled her out of her car seat. Told me to put the car in park, and follow him. He ran with my blue, non-responsive daughter into the ER yelling, "She's not breathing!" They hooked her up to oxygen, set me up with an asthma specialist and she's been fine ever since. I learned that day to never underestimate the importance of someone's role in life. That parking lot attendant had just as much to do with saving my daughter's life as the doctors and nurses in the ER.
3/16. When I was 16, I would go to the park near my high school to run during the offseason of football. One day this older man was walking around the park and waves me down. He said he sees me come every day like clockwork for the past couple of months and wanted to tell me to never give up being healthy. I honestly never even thought about it before at that deep of a level. I was just training to be better for my senior year. I was in no way having a chance to be a collegiate athlete or anything but I wanted to be a consistent starter for a state championship caliber team. We talked for about 40 minutes and then he asks me. "How old do you think I am." He was old, but not digging his grave by any means. I guessed 68. He was 89 years old. He came to the park every day and walked at least 3 miles. It was amazing, inspiring and I'll never forget him. He'd be 97 if he's still alive today and I hope he's still walking around that park.
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4/16. There is an elderly couple that lives in my apartment complex and sometimes I see them walking around together. The husband clearly has no concept of what is going on. He cannot talk or do anything for himself anymore. The wife spends all of her time walking around with him telling him stories about their life and making sure he is warm on the really cold days. It made me realize the kind of love I want to have, and what is really important in a life partner.
5/16. When I first started trying to run, I couldn't even jog a mile. I could barely jog a quarter mile.
One day, I was jogging on a very popular jogging trail near my campus and was basically dragging my feet, sweating like a pig, and wheezing like crazy. Of course the seasoned runners pass me by without so much of a glance but I always remembered this one old man who slowed down to tell me, "Keep it up, you're almost there!"
His smile and encouragement is something I remember now every time I'm struggling during a workout. Fast forward a few years and I am much healthier and fitter. One of my favorite things to do is offer kind words of encouragement to strangers I see at the gym or anyone struggling on the jogging path. Exercise is easy - its the motivation that's hard.
6/16. Two years after graduating from college I drove cross country from Virginia to LA in March 2011 to break into the entertainment industry. I had spent my savings securing an apartment and was desperately looking for work. I got a gig with my best friend from college driving golf carts backstage at the Coachella Music Festival. I ended up driving a gregarious 6'4" red-headed gay guy from Mississippi. I made a joke about how my cart was 'bigger' and his party hopped on and struck up conversation. Turns out he had just founded a start-up with two tech/entertainment industry giants and he offered me a job. When I started there were 10 of us and now, under 3 years later, there are 190 with offices in London and New York. I have a career and a life here I could have scarcely dreamed of. To this day, I still think of how lucky I've been.
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7/16. I was in the US and there happened to be some kind of festival in the city I was in over the weekend so I checked it out. A guy was there missing part of his leg. Lots of the teens and young adults were staring or avoiding him. He dropped something and a little kid, maybe 5 years old walked over and picked whatever it was up for him and then they had a little chat.
She asked point blank why he didn't have a leg. He made up a big story about fighting fantasy animals in a magic forest to save a princess. He then points to his wife and says she's the princess. They keep chatting. The wife slips into the dollar store while they talk after that. She then comes up and sneaks up behind the girl and places a little tiara on her head and says she's now the princess.
I've never seen a little girl so happy. And her parents thought it was all hilarious. It just reminds me that there's so much good in the world.
8/16. As a 10-year-old kid, I was sitting on a bench at a park by myself. A random guy in what I would guess was his mid 20s came up to me and said, "You will remember me for the rest of your life."
Then he left and went about his business.
That f*cker knew how to play the game. 10 years later and I still remember him, and think of him about every couple of months.
9/16. I was day tripping to Vancouver from Seattle and stopped in for lunch at a little cafe. From my window I saw a young teenage girl out in the cold, squatted down in a closed up businesses doorway, holding a small bundle in her arms. She was panhandling, people were mostly walking by ignoring her. She looked just broken.
I finished up my meal and went outside, went through my wallet and thought I'd give her $5 for some food. I got up to her and she was sobbing, she looked like she was 14-15. And that bundle in her arms was a baby wrapped up. I felt like I just got punched in the chest. She looked up putting on a game face and asked for any change, I asked her if she'd like some lunch.
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Right next door was a small quick-Trip type grocery store, I got a can of formula for the baby (very young, maybe 2-3 months old.), and took her back to the cafe though I'd just eaten. She was very thankful, got a burger and just inhaled it. Got her some pie and ice cream. She opened up and we talked. She was 15, got pregnant, parents were angry and she was fighting with them. She ran away. She's been gone almost 1 full year.
I asked her if she'd like to go home and she got silent. I coaxed her, she said her parents wouldn't want her back. I coaxed further, she admitted she stole 5k in cash from her Dad. Turns out 5k doesn't last long at all and the streets are tough on a 15 year old. Very tough. She did want to go back, but she was afraid no one wanted her back after what she did.
We talked more, I wanted her to use my phone to call home but she wouldn't. I told her I'd call and see if her folks wanted to talk to her, she hesitated and gave bad excuses but eventually agreed. She dialled the number and I took the phone, her Mom picked up and I said hello. Awkwardly introduced myself and said her daughter would like to speak to her, silence, and I heard crying. Gave the phone to the girl and she was just quiet listening to her Mom cry, and then said hello. And she cried. They talked, she gave the phone back to me, I talked to her Mom some more.
I drove her down to the bus station and bought her a bus ticket home. Gave her $100 cash for incidentals, and some formula, diapers, wipes, snacks for the road.
Got to the bus, and she just cried saying thank you over and over. I gave her a kiss on the forehead and a hug, kissed her baby, and she got on the bus.
I get a Christmas card every year from her. She's 21 now and in college.
Her name is Makayla and her baby was Joe.
I've never really told anyone about this. I just feel good knowing I did something good in this world. Maybe it'll make up for the things I've f-ed up.
10/16. I was working in a sh*tty convenience store after high-school with straight C's. I really had no direction in life, and was pretty happy with sitting around, and watching TV all night. One night a guy came in and held up me up at knife point. After the cops left my boss made me finish my shift. I spent the rest of the night evaluating my life. I decided that night that i was going to do everything in my power not to become the kind of person that robs a teenager working a convenience store, or the scum that tries to dock the money robbed from the store from the employee that got robbed. I am now in my second year of university, and I've had straight A's this year.
11/16. I was having a bad day and was traveling by Greyhound from my friend's city back to mine. I had to transfer and ended up seated next to a guy with a laptop. I don't know if he could tell that I was upset or not, but he asked me if I wanted to watch something with him. We ended up sharing headphones and watching Where the Wild Things Are. I was pretty shy back then but if I could meet him again today I would thank him for cheering me up.
I know it's not a life-changing story, but it's a little thing that made a big difference back then.
12/16. Meeting my wife in a park in Chicago.
I was taking a walk when her dress caught my eye. I told her, "Your dress is really pretty!" which made her cry. She said she'd just been having a crappy day, so any compliment meant a lot to her. Fast forward six years, and I've now been married to her for three years, and we have a daughter.
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13/16. I was stopping through Portugal for a few days on the way home from a backpacking trip through the Basque Country, and a friend decided to take me to an island right off the coast. The island itself seemed to be a common tourist destination, as there were people from all over the world getting off boats and swimming around the dock, and there was a place you could hike to that hosted thousands of seagull nests, but along the southern edge of the island was an old fort and a stone bridge that stood about 25 feet off the water. Now, there was this girl I had a thing for with us, and when she saw people jumping off of it, she asked if anyone else would do it. Of course I would!
I have a dreadful fear of heights.
So I got up on top of this bridge and stood there for maybe 45 minutes, just staring off the edge, trying to get myself to jump. People from every corner of the globe would come up, cheer me on, and then leave disappointed. The girl wasn't even really paying attention to me anymore, but the struggle had become much more than that for me. I was going to cure this fear, damnit!
Well, just as I was about to give up, an old man came along who, swear to god, was the living, breathing embodiment of Ernest Hemingway. He had the beard, the serious look, the belly... were it not for his Portuguese accent, he could have easily passed for Hemingway. "I do not believe you are going to jump." I was baffled. Everyone up to that point had told me I could do it. "What?" "You won't. Here." He reached down and plucked this old pebble off the bridge. "Keep this. You'll look at it and remember the day you didn't jump."
I took the pebble from him and looked at it. He shook his head at me. And then, I don't even know what came over me, I just shouted, "F*ck that!" and threw it at the water. As I jumped from the bridge, he was still laughing in this deep, jolly tone. Long story short, another man who had been watching the entire time helped pull me out of the water and offered to buy me a beer, but as I was standing there, with all of what had just happened sinking in, Hemingway came down the steps to the water's edge and handed me another rock. "You'll remember this one as the day you jumped."
14/16. When I was about 14 I had a very bad fight with my parents. I have had a history of fighting with them ever since I could talk, but this was the first and only time it got physical. I was really upset so left the house and sat on a bench crying outside.
This punk guy walked up to me and asked me if I was ok. He asked what happened and offered me a smoke. I declined and he basically held a monologue for an hour and one of his friends stopped by so they had a conversation too. He talked about his life and his way of dealing with things (very similar to mine at that moment).
I hardly said 10 words to him, but he changed my life. I have since gotten quite a good bond with my parents and we haven't really fought since. I've always wanted to thank him for just being there when I felt so alone, but I have never seen him since.
15/16. It was a woman at a grocery store. I was having an absolutely miserable night. The wife and I had been arguing and I went for a long walk. It was very late, and I found myself at a 24 hour grocery store. Decided to buy a couple things.
I get to the checkout line (the only open one) and there are two women in front of me. The girl right in front of me looked like a young college student. The young woman ahead of her did not speak English, and had one of those newspaper coupon flyers in her hand, and a bunch of baby food.
The woman running the register was trying to explain to her that her government assistance would only pay for certain baby food items (this flavor, not that one. this brand, not that one) And that she would have to pay for the rest.
The mother was very upset, and didn't understand, and, I gathered, had no money. And started to just walk away, leaving the baby food.
Some kind of Whoville anti-grinch moment hit, and I got the bagger to go bring her back, and I bought all of her baby food for her. It wasn't a lot. Just under $40. But the woman was in tears and very grateful (I know almost no Mandarin, but I do know "thank you").
I doubt I changed her life, but she changed mine. It made me look at some of the things I was angry and upset about and realize they were not that important after all. My wife and I had money. We could pay our bills. Hell, if she quit her job, I could still support us both. And the issues we had were not life-threatening. I looked at my life from a renewed perspective after that.
16/16. I work as a manager at a restaurant. Unfortunately a good amount of our guests feel like they should be waited on hand and foot, especially when it comes to families. Nine times out of ten they will be the ones that complain about their food taking forever minutes after they have ordered, complain about something so minuscule that it is more inconvenient to fix than it is to ignore, or ask something so ridiculous from me that it might as well be comical.
Quite a while ago I was so close to my breaking point; in those past few weeks I felt like almost every customer I spoke to was rude and nothing was going well at work. We were understaffed yet again and everybody needed help. I was ready to find a new job but decided that I would finish my shift before I decided to quit, so I went to go help a server take some orders. Right away on the first table I approached, I immediately noticed that it was a husband and wife who had 3 children with them. All I could picture was me, approaching this table, and having what might as well have been 2 demons and their little hell spawns ask me for food in the most rude way possible and then proceed to eat what little bit of dignity I had left for the day. Well while I was introducing myself, one of their younger daughters started holding my hand for no reason. I had no idea why she grabbed my hand, or what I should have done about it, so I just kind of let it happen. Her mom told her to stop but didn't explain anything to me.
As strange as it was, it was a nice gesture, and as little as it may have seemed it made me feel better. I finished taking their order without saying much and went to go help some other guests but the more time that passed the less upset I felt about work and the more I thought about this little girl. I could not figure out for the life of me why she held my hand and what she was trying to say to me. I brought out their food about 15 minutes later and asked if they needed anything else. They all thanked me, and said they were all set. The little girl did not say a single word to me but she did try to hold my hand again. I didn't know if she could talk or not but I did not want to ask. Her mom must of read my mind because she looked at me, apologized, and began to explain that her daughter had autism and didn't understand how to communicate very well. I told her it was no problem and it didn't bother me at all, but I had to ask what she was trying to tell me by holding my hand. Her mom smiled and said she saw that you were upset and decided to hold your hand because she always feels better when someone holds her hand. I swear I almost cried. I said thank you to both her and the little girl and spent the rest of the day with the biggest grin on my face.
That one girl showed exactly how one small gesture can change someone's day by flipping mine around without even saying anything to me. She doesn't know but she stopped me from quitting my job just by being one of the nicest people I've ever met and it is because of that little girl that I spend everyday appreciating the small things I see people do for each other.
Reddit user OmarBessa asked: 'Redditors who have gotten genetic tests, what's the weirdest thing you learnt from your DNA?'
At the end of the last century DNA laboratory companies began to offer direct-to-consumer home DNA test kits.
According to The Center for Genetics and Society, as of November 2023 more than 26 million people have taken an at-home ancestry DNA test.
These tests have helped people find and reunite with long lost family members. However not all revelations were well met.
Unknown ancestry was discovered.
Infidelity and secrets and lies were also exposed by these tests which led to strife in some families.
Reddit user OmarBessa asked:
"Redditors who have gotten genetic tests, what's the weirdest thing you learnt from your DNA?"
"So my dad is from the Philippines and my brothers and I all assumed our whole lives we are half Filipino and half Polish/German from my mom. Even my brothers married Filipino women and are very much into the family culture."
"Anyway I’m the only one who did the dna test and it came back we are only a 1/4 Filipino."
"There’s a mix—1% Japanese, 1% South American, etc...—but the big surprise was our missing 1/4 was Iranian/Romanian."
"My brothers flat out refuse to believe it."
"Learned that I (White) had a 100% Nigerian ancestor around 130 years ago. Now I want to dig deeper to find out who it was!"
"What’s funny is that I spent a gap year in Nigeria as a teenager, and I love the culture and food and still have a lot of Nigerian friends."
"It’s still a big part of my life."
"For 29 years, it was assumed that my dad who raised me was not my biological father, that I was the product of an affair my mother was having."
"I came out with blond hair, freckles and blue eyes. A stark difference to my tanned, dark featured dad."
"My dad chose to raise me as his own anyways, refusing paternity tests. I was never made to feel like I wasn't his."
"I took 23&Me simply out of curiosity and found out that he is in fact my biological father."
"My dad has told me he didn't want to know the results either way, but I let it slip showing my sister's the app one time at dinner."
"He didn't react, but I got an extra big bear hug getting on the train to leave that night."
"It was assumed when my mom found out she was pregnant that the pregnancy was the product of the affair. My features only solidified that assumption."
"He was already raising my mom's first daughter as his own, who he'd met when she was 2 and told my mom he wanted to keep raising the kids together. They got married and he adopted her a few months after I was born."
She was also treated so much as his that I didn't even know she was adopted by him until I was a teenager."
"My parents stayed together for 14 years, and to this day are still best friends."
"As an adult, my father-in-law found out his mother was actually his grandmother and his older sister was actually his mom."
"Things were different in the late 30's."
"I think this is quite common, especially when the real mother is still very young and in school when they get pregnant."
"The grandparents will adopt the baby and say they’re the mum’s sister/brother, and so the mum can continue their life as normal as possible."
"The daughter I adopted and I are actually distantly related!"
"As an adoptee who is considering doing the DNA thing, this intrigues me."
"My brother (also adopted, not a blood related sibling to me) did the DNA thing and found his birth family! I got to meet two of his half siblings. It was fascinating seeing 'nature vs nurture' in real time."
"There were certain mannerisms, etc... that all three of them did, and then other things my brother did that are definitely from the family we were raised in."
"Really cool to watch."
"Not me but my grandma got a DNA test done because she was sold as a baby—this happened back in the 30s (Depression Era, USA)—and never knew her biological parents, so a family member urged her to do it so we could maybe find them."
"We found both sides—a half-sister from her bio mom and a half-brother from her bio dad."
"Although it was kinda weird to realize we have family close by (only 20 miles away in one case), it was much weirder for the bio families to discover my grandma’s existence, since neither side had anything to do with the other."
"Her bio mom and bio dad seem to have crossed paths at some point in the same city. He was a married man, she was an older teen. Not sure if it was a one night stand or whatever but her bio mom was pregnant as a result of that night."
"At some point in her pregnancy, she checked into a home/hospital for pregnant unwed teen mothers (using a fake name). The bio mom was told the home would find homes for the babies, so she delivered and left."
"Bio mom went on to marry and have her own family, while bio dad likely never knew of the situation."
"As it would turn out, the home was not adopting out babies, rather selling them. Since my grandma was blonde and blue eyed she was bought quickly for a higher price by a woman."
"My grandma didn’t know until her teens that she was sold."
"My grandparents—they were married at the time—had a biological son they gave up for adoption before my mother was born and never told any of us about."
"Turns out some of the extended family knew my grandma had been pregnant before my mom but kept it a secret."
"If it was during the great depression in the US it was sadly something that happened. Not even just with babies."
"Some families had to give away their children or some of their children (I can't imagine the trauma for everyone involved) because they couldn't afford to feed themselves, let alone a child."
"My husband's grandmother told me about family members she knew who had to find new families for their children or even send them to live in an orphanage where they would at least be fed.
"Sometimes they were able to get the kids back after finances improved but not always."
"My ancestry is exactly what I grew up being told, I have several family members who were really into genealogy".
"But I found out I have a first cousin we didn't know existed."
"Apparently, my uncle had gotten married and had a son no one knew about when he was 19 and stationed across the country that he bailed on."
"Ends up my bio dad was quite the dabbler."
"None of his relatives were surprised I existed, just that I was the only stray kid that did (so far). I keep an eye on my results for any other mystery siblings!"
"I told my new half siblings if I ever went to a family reunion I'd show up in a shirt that said 'Spare Parts' or 'I'm your plot twist'."
Solving Unsolved Mysteries
"I had the same suspicions when I took my test. Turns out it was my grandmother instead with the secret babies she put up for adoption."
"Didn’t find out until 6 years after she passed away so we’re never getting answers as to what happened."
"Also got a surprise contact by the police, as I was a high match to a John Doe that was found drowned on the shores of Lake Superior in 1991."
"That was a fun family tree rabbit hole to dive down. Turned out to be a half 1st cousin from my grandmother’s firstborn."
"The local police were great about informing me and communicating. The case was assigned to them by the provincial police who were clearing out thousands of cold cases."
"I was also very excited to assist because I’d done a rather in-depth family tree about a decade prior."
"They have a team of forensic genealogists, most of them on a volunteer basis, and they were incredibly good at finding information. A lot of it was birth/marriage records and working off random dna matches to try and figure out where the Doe related to the match."
"In my case, I was a 422cm match to the deceased so we looked from my maternal great-grandparents on down."
"I assisted myself on a couple of cases afterwards, all just unidentified bodies found in water or bush, nothing criminal that would require clearance."
"To be honest, I felt a little morbid because of how interested I was in the process. I had to temper my enthusiasm when responding to the police initially."
I didn’t know the person, I had zero attachment to them and it was more of a scientific interest."
"It wasn’t until weeks later when I realized how close of a relation it was that it hit me. That plus he was likely murdered made me feel bad about my earlier enthusiasm."
"But in the cases I volunteered on, those people were loved and missed."
"One fella was a cousin of a beloved NHL enforcer that passed away a year before and I recognized the names of the immediate family we had to contact. They still had Facebook groups dedicated to searching for him with posts until the day before we contacted them."
"I’m sure there’s a relief at having answers but grief at the loss being confirmed."
More and more people are exploring their roots through DNA testing.
Have you taken a test? What was your DNA revelation?
Content Warning: Discussions of Addiction
We've all heard of strange, inedible things that people have made a habit of eating, like paper or glue. Unfortunately, there are instances where eating these things works more like an addiction than a dietary choice.
There are a lot of other things that people might become addicted to, too, that have nothing to do with food, but which also are not the usual culprits for addiction.
If someone that we know is addicted to something unusual and isn't hiding it the same way that someone addicted to drugs might, it can be a really strange experience to witness.
Curious about others' experiences, Redditor JARClol asked:
"What is the weirdest thing you are or saw someone addicted to?"
"I used to know a girl who was addicted to eating those little polystyrene chips that are used for packaging."
"She always had a bag of them with her. The noise she made when she was munching on them used to set my teeth on edge."
"Don't tell her about the biodegradable ones (which actually taste nutty)."
A Hairy Situation
"A roommate in college was addicted to hair. She collected hair and made hair people. She would use the community vacuum cleaner, take out the hair, wash it, and make hair people."
"She would also go to salons asking for the cut hair 'for her family’s garden' and then proceed to make hair people."
"She had hundreds of them with names and stories about them."
"I kept my hairbrush locked up after it was cleaned out the first time."
Pen and Ink
"Eating markers, like the tube of it. Inside the casing. I told his mother and her reply was, 'Oh, he's doing it again,' like... Again? Toxic ink? Again? I don't mean licking it. I mean chewing. Black ink in saliva and swallowing the ink-soaked sponge."
"I knew a dude in high school who ate the ink from pens. Every class, gnawing on a pen, eventually breaking it open then sucking on it like a straw. He regularly would be drooling ink. I left that school sophomore year, and I wonder whatever happened to Abe."
"Abe? Was his last name LINKoln?"
The Strawberry Milk Fan
"I used to work with a girl who would just chug liters of strawberry milk. Every time I went to the toilet after her it stank of milk. She was eventually diagnosed with Type-Two Diabetes and gave up the milk… briefly."
"Yeah, I'm not surprised. I'm Type-Two, and strawberry milk usually has more sugar in it than chocolate milk. The smaller-sized cartons you get at lunch usually have 22 to 40 grams of sugar in them and a s**tton of sodium (no, I'm not joking), so a liter would have hundreds of grams in it."
"I got it after 23 years of poor choices and family medical history. She got it by decimating her pancreas and s**tting a machine gun."
"And you said briefly, meaning she's probably worse off. Like, I still have sugar, but I try and have less of it. I f**k up a lot because it's hard, but f**k, if she went back to drinking liters of it, I wouldn't be surprised if she's had some other issues."
Just a Taste
"My best friend used to eat fabric softener in high school. She wouldn't have huge mouthfuls or gulps; she would take just enough to coat her tongue."
"She would keep bottles of it hidden around her room so she could have a taste whenever the mood struck her. I love her to death, but she’s a strange one, lol (laughing out loud)."
Weren't We All?
"I used to be addicted to Candy Crush back in the day. After running out of five lives, I couldn't wait for them to be available so I would forward my clock just to be able to play. My phone was set to the year 2030ish by the time I stopped playing."
"Wow. You time traveled. That's a loophole though, isn't it? You never had to pay for fake things."
Just After a Few Beers
"Not so much addicted but I had a friend in college that would huff the fluid in his zippo lighter when he was really drunk."
"Treavor wasn’t allowed to have his lighter after a few beers."
"I had a good friend in high school who had asthma who’d take hits off his inhaler, all day long. We’d be talking and he’d just casually whip it out whenever and take a hit. Ended up going to bed a couple of years after we graduated and never woke up."
"I'm sorry. He probably f**ked his heart up. I hate taking my inhaler. It makes my heart race and makes me shake and feel like s**t."
"Growing up, I used to take two Albuterol vials in my slow, old 90s nebulizer during asthma episodes. That thing was a TANK."
"I got a brand-spankin' new travel nebulizer in college and remember that first time I used two vials with it. I thought I was having a heart attack. That thing is POWERFUL and I wasn't expecting it. Two vials were far too strong and had me shaking for over an hour."
"I still have it to this day, and when I take it once a year or so for a flare-up, even one vial still makes me shake a bit."
The Truth Behind the Problem
"I visited Nairobi for work around 2000 and the street kids all walked around with a small bottle of glue stuck to their upper lip so they were basically sniffing glue continually. It was extremely sad."
"Probably something similar here in the Philippines. Homeless street kids sniff a plastic bag with a bit of contact cement in it to get rid of/to numb the hunger sensation. Not an addiction but a survival tactic… in my opinion."
"Same in Zambian. Not stuck to their lip but carried and sniffed when needed. It was apparently to numb the body from feeling the cold in winter. Painfully sad."
Never Underestimate Soda
"My first-ever girlfriend was genuinely addicted to Coca-Cola (self-admitted). She would have a glass as soon as she woke up and drink it all day."
"The one or two times I was there when her family had run out of it, she was irritable, anxious, and so grumpy until she was able to get down to the store to buy more."
"Strangely, it wasn't even the caffeine or sugar she was addicted to, because having a coffee or a different type of soda wasn't enough to ease her withdrawal symptoms."
"I had a friend who slept with a cooler of Diet Pepsi next to the bed. He had a large Slurpee cup that was always full, no matter where he was."
"We did a five-day offshore fishing trip. He ran out late on day four."
"As we pulled the boat into the dock, he literally ran and jumped onto the dock and raced to the soda machine at the far end."
That's One Way to Use It
"My Spanish teacher was addicted to Vix VapoRub! Not to use it traditionally, though."
"She was eating it."
"Apparently, she knows that it's not a secret, because she ate it using a tongue depressor right in front of us, during the first week of school. I guess she figured we couldn't poke fun at her if she owned it."
"She literally demonstrated! She said her grandfather taught her and she likes the consistency/overwhelming scent."
"I can't imagine it's good for her."
Live to Game
"Rocket League. I'm not even joking. The guy was in his 20s and playing up to eight hours a day."
"He used to be super social and became a hermit pretty much for seven years. He would pretend to be sick at work so he could play three days straight."
"He lost his whole social life. He spent New Year's every one of those years sitting in a dark room with windows covered, playing that game."
"I tried to get him to stop but never worked."
"I used to be addicted to chewing on ice, or maybe obsessed. I would bring a cup full of crushed ice with me everywhere. When I went to the beach, I would just bring a bag of ice from the gas station and sit and eat it."
"I stopped for ages and then became temporarily obsessed again during one of my pregnancies. I was checked for vitamin deficiencies both times but nothing came up."
The Use of Chapstick
"I'm addicted to chapstick. I can't go more than three hours without applying it."
"I think my lips are relying on the chapstick now because they get dry so quickly. And it feels like nails on a chalkboard when they do, I can't focus on anything else besides my lips being dry until I get some chapstick, lol (laughing out loud)."
"Here’s a pro tip someone told me: before you put chapstick on wet your lips so there’s actual moisture to lock in."
"I also find Vaseline is way cheaper and way more effective. I use it once in the morning and once before bed and I’ve gotten chapped lips like five times in the last seven years."
An Interesting Choice!
"Judge Judy. And it was me. My boyfriend introduced me to the show in my mid-thirties and I binged it on YouTube, listening to it whilst working in our warehouse/driving/cleaning/anything."
"Six years later, if I have a task that I really need to get into productive mode for, I put her on and my brain shifts gears."
"At one point, it felt weird to work without her voice in the background yelling at people. She’s like my white noise. She’s my default soundtrack."
These accounts were honestly fascinating, and in some causes haunting, to read.
It just goes to show that, first of all, we all like different things, and second of all, you never know what is going to qualify as "too much of a good thing" for one person compared to someone else.
Those who work in different fields all have their respective anecdotes that are sure to keep listeners engaged.
But certain jobs that keep employees away from land are sure to have the most intriguing stories to share.
Seafarers shared their unique experiences bordering on hair-raising phenomena when Redditor tylo144 asked:
"For those who have careers that keep them out at sea for long periods of time, what is the creepiest thing you’ve seen out in the water?"
Mariners shared their wildest stories from their time out at sea.
"Not so much what I saw but what I experienced. I was once underway in the Gulf of Alaska during a November gale. Waves were up to 35 feet with some rollers hitting 45. An uncommon occurrence on the diesel electric ship I was on was a cyclo-converter tripping. When this happened the ship would temporarily completely lose power and propulsion until some electricians could reset everything. This happened during that gale. I simply can’t explain how strange it is for the boat you’re on to all of a sudden go so quiet, that you can clearly hear waves slapping the ship and metal bending and flexing. Knowing you’re completely at the mercy of the sea. Knowing that if the ship lost its bearing and went beam to there was a real possibility of capsizing. It’s easy to forget when you’re at sea that the only thing keeping you alive is a bunch of steel welded together. At that moment I was fully aware and it humbled me. Thankfully we trained frequently for this and had everything fired back up relatively quickly."
"Another time I recall was when the ship took a rogue wave. They are absolutely real and I believe they account for a massive number of shipwrecks. It was late at night and I was on the bridge. We were passing through a storm and we’re taking the waves off the bow with no visibility. As the ship moves there’s normally a pretty standard pattern. You ride up a wave for a bit and then you fall down the wave for a bit. Well we started riding up a wave and got to the point where we should have been starting or ride down…but we just kept climbing and climbing. And then it happened. We started our ride down the back of this massive wave. All of us braced ourselves and tried to find something to hold on to but we all fell to the deck any way. Anything that wasn’t secured for sea fell down all around us. Manuals, tables, computers, printers, you name it. Our captain who was sleeping called up to the bridge asking if we hit something. It woke the entire crew up. Rogue waves are real, and they’re terrifying. I can’t imagine being in a smaller boat or taking one of them broadside."
Series Of Bizarre Events
"I was in the US Navy for about 10 years, and have 10s of thousands of miles at sea in an aircraft carrier. Countless nights on the flight deck in the middle of the night and middle of the ocean..."
"Creepiest: A HUGE patch of the ocean glowing. Like nuclear waste in the Simpsons glowing. I've seen bioluminescent algae of a few kinds and this was nothing like it. I've never seen anything like it before or since."
"Weirdest thing: hundreds of mile out to sea from land and there was a MASSIVE fire on the water. It was like the top of a gas refinery, but on the water with nothing under it but water. Flame going a few stories into the air."
"Funniest: 2 flying fish collide mid-air. I was smoking when we were in the Persian Gulf and saw the fish fly from a pretty far distance towards each other. I remember thinking 'there's no f'kin way they're going to hit' them SPLAT SPLASH! I was in tears laughing but no one saw it. Everyone just thought I was a weirdo, but I got to see a miracle of nature lol"
"Some 20 years ago..."
"On the MV Explorer (since sunk) down near the Antarctic circle, sailing around the 'bergs and occasionally making landfall..."
"We rounded into a small bay area, and there, amongst the ice and coast was an unmarked sailing yacht. Which is odd as generally yachts have some identifying markings on them."
"To add to it, they didn't respond to any radio contact, and whilst I wasn't privy to the conversation (and it was a long time ago), some crew went across via Zodiac and were refused boarding."
"So basically a yacht, not a particularly large one, that was unmarked was hanging around in the inhospitable waters of the Antarctic and didn't want any help or contact."
These Redditors have fearlessly plunged into darkness.
"I used to be an oilfield diver in the Gulf of Mexico. I'd say about 80% of the dives I logged were at night. Mostly 500 ft and under DSV's."
"It's very eerie feeling sitting on the downline doing in water decompression in the middle of night. I'd always ask topside to turn off my headlight."
"Like a worm on a hook. Just bobbing in the darkness."
A Dark Calm
"Not even nearly as extreme as your story but it evoked a memory, I did a scuba diving open water course and then did the advanced course which included a night dive in a freshwater lake."
"I was only 5m underwater, pitch black darkness with two other guys, we were on a platform and we could either face the dam wall or the open water, and I turned to the open water while the other guys were behind me, I turned off my light (we did have little lights on our backs)"
"Just the deepest, calmest dark I’ve ever felt and seen. Not a single source of light anywhere, just immense darkness. Still remember that feeling and it was like 15 years ago"
Things get more interesting.
"The bioluminescent animals (or whatever they are) in the water is pretty amazing. Our toilet would fill up with seawater and if you took a piss in it in the middle of the night it would agitate the water and it would glow sometimes."
"Ominous Red Snow Angel"
"Always love the bio-luminescence flickering around the hull at night. They're almost like a cushion of little stars guiding you safely along. On those really dark, moonless nights, I'd almost beg for them to arrive."
"I sailed 70ft yacht around the world a few years back. Southern Ocean, Cape Horn, Good Hope, Roaring Forties, Furious Fifties, two equatorial crossings; the full deal. Plenty of terrifying moments, boring moments, funny moments and beautiful moments."
"A creepy moment that is burned into my memory involved a near catastrophe halfway between NZ and Cape Horn. We ended up hitting really bad weather and absolutely huge seas - 50ft swells with massive troughs in between. We were running with the swells for days as they grew, skidding down them like a bloated surfboard, always worrying that the next wave would break behind us and roll us over."
"At night it's pitch black down there in bad weather - the sky and sea just form a huge black mass. The most terrifying thing is the sound of an invisible wave breaking behind you. At night, you run red light to preserve night vision, so there's basically just an eerie red glow emanating from below deck."
"At about two in the morning, I was at the helm when a monster wave broke directly over the back of us without a seconds warning. Time slowed down like it does in those moments, and the last thing I saw was my own silhouette in the wall of water, lit up like an ominous red snow angel - and then nothing but cold blackness as the boat sunk into the sea."
"Fortunately, she popped straight back up like a cork after a few eternal seconds - almost like a submarine surfacing - and we were still in one piece. Still cant forget that glowing red apparition of myself though. The memory of it has woken me up in a cold sweat more than once."
Coming Up For Air
"Somewhere in the Atlantic, nice cold as f**k night, decided to step out and look at stars. About ten minutes on and a boats mast pops up, sits there a few minutes and then back under. No alarms, nothing. Just some sub boys getting a bit of late night o2 in the middle of nowhere next to some friends."
When I worked on cruise ships, I was always captivated by the green flash on the horizon.
The optical phenomenon occurs just as the sun goes down or before sunrise, with the tip of the sun barely visible.
It emits a flash of green light that I found absolutely thrilling to witness every time.
It's not necessarily creepy, but still a wonder for sure.
No matter how long ago we saw it, there are some scenes or images from movies that still send shivers down our spine or keep us awake at night to this very day.
Pennywise appearing in the sewer in It, Janet Leigh surprised in the shower in Psycho, Freddy Kreuger's tongue popping out of the telephone in A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Of course, some of the scariest, most disturbing, or most emotionally traumatizing scenes from films might have been featured in films outside of the horror genre.
Even more shockingly, some of these films were primarily marketed towards children!
Redditor alina_love was curious to hear which non-horror films the Reddit community saw as children still send shivers down their spines today, leading them to ask:
"What's a non horror movie that traumatized you as a kid?"
It Was Tim Burton, After All...
"'Pee Wee's big adventure'."
"Large Marge scared the crap out of little me."
"I was even scared of the fortune teller."- BlueStarrSilver·
With A Title Like "Temple Of Doom"...
"'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom'."
"The scene where the guy gets his heart ripped out traumatized me for years."- Pbhf
That Funeral Scene Though...
"Fear of death, fear of losing a friend, fear of bees, fear of puberty."- heidismilesmacaulay culkin kiss GIFGiphy
Jurassic Park's Got Nothing On This...
"'The Land Before Time'."
"Watching Little Foot’s mother die was awful."- HourglassSass
He'll Always Regret Not Bringing Her To The Museum...
"'Bridge to Terabithia'."- jumpstart-the-end
"Everything goes so well and it falls apart SO FAST and your left absolutely traumatized."- VortexDestroyer99
The Reason People Hold On To Their Appliances For As Long As They Do...
"The Brave Little Toaster'."- Catgurl
"The junkyard scene alone was responsible for so many nightmares."- ManChildMusicianbrave little toaster animation GIF by Coolidge Corner TheatreGiphy
And Let's Not Forget The Coachman's Smile...
"Disney’s version of 'Pinocchio'."
"The scene where kids are turned into donkeys and kept on the island and then resold was f*cking weird."
"You felt bad for that bully kid after he looked sad and nobody understood what he said because he was a donkey."- earnestlikehemingway
Few Things More Sad And Scary Than Deforestation
"'Ferngully: The Last Rainforest'."
"That evil tree scared me so bad."- slutsdotnet
Anything But "Truly Scrumptious"...
"The 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' Childcatcher guy!"
"I'm still scared of him!"- Jet_Maypenchild GIFGiphy
Offing Children One By One...In A Children's Movie!
"'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' boat scene."
"Honorable mention of claustrophobia when Augustus gets stuck in the chocolate tube."
At Least We Know He Had A "Sole"...
"Who Framed Roger Rabbit."
"That poor shoe….."- dalalice5555
At Least The Song Is Catchy...
"Not even Artax, which was awful, but the Rockbiter and his good strong hands."- marxychick1Neverending Story 80S GIFGiphy
Dorothy Gettying Electro Shock Therapy Says it All...
"Return to Oz."- Jeff_Steelflexx
"Horrifying! What about the animated wig heads?"- weensfordayz
The Reigning King Of Childhood Trauma
"Old Yeller."- IceTech59
"I remember watching this on TV during, I think, Wonderful World of Disney (Sunday nights were Disney night on TV)."
"Cried and cried and cried."
"I've never been able to watch it again and I've never shown it to my kids!"- crowwitch
Not All Friendships Are Tenable... A Terrifying Thought
"'The Fox and the Hound'."
"Still makes me incredibly sad, lol."- mental_reincarnationbest friends friendship GIFGiphy
Sometimes, writers and filmmakers simply overestimate what might go over a child's head.
Or, for that matter, they might underestimate their emotional capacity.
Regardless, ask any of Fairuza Balk's fans which is scarier, Return to Oz or The Craft, and their answer will be immediate...
(... and it won't be The Craft...)