Exhausted Zookeepers Reveal The Most Difficult Animals They Work With[rebelmouse-image 18349005 is_animated_gif=
As kids, many of us thought working in a zoo would be a dream job. And while people in the profession have a certain passion for it, it's still a job.
Reddit user AtariLynx asked "Zoo Workers of Reddit, which animal is the biggest jerk in your facility?"
Here's some insight into the life of a zookeeper.
Triggerfish[rebelmouse-image 18349007 is_animated_gif=
I used to work in an aquarium. By far the meanest fish there was the Queen Triggerfish. The divers who cleaned the shark tank had to start wearing hoods after she almost ripped one guy's ear off. After that incident we named her Tyson.
Chimpanzee[rebelmouse-image 18349008 is_animated_gif=
I'm the gardener at my local zoo and I learned pretty early on not to turn my back to the chimps while I'm working in the garden by their exhibit. The zookeepers give the chimps toys and various objects to play with and the youngest chimp has thrown most of it at me. She's thrown blankets, a pair of jeans, a rain boot, megabloks, dirt clods, a comb, sticks, rocks, bottles, poop, and once even a dead squirrel. She actually killed a squirrel that wandered into her enclosure and threw it at me. I've only ever been hit with a comb, thank goodness. I've dodged everything else she's thrown at me and once I even caught a megablok that she threw. She gets pissed when you catch what she throws. I'm not allowed to throw anything back because it would just encourage the behavior and I'd probably lose my job. I used to dread having to plant in that garden but I'm actually looking forward to going back in the spring and seeing that little jerk again.
Millipede[rebelmouse-image 18349009 is_animated_gif=
Worked at an aquarium which had a small terrestrials section where we did handling experiences. Giant millipedes are complete jerks! Working around salt water tanks meant your hands ended up very salty. If you hadn't washed every spec of salt off you these millipedes would chow down on you in seconds, sometimes drawing blood. I've still got a small mark on my hand from one big bite and of course we have to stay calm so not to scare the children from interacting with these animals.
Rhino[rebelmouse-image 18349010 is_animated_gif=
there was a rhino names Zeus. He was normally super chill and loved getting fed apples and slices of bread and scritches on the nose. Zeus LOVED water and he realized that he could use his horn as a shovel and dig a big pit at the edge of his enclosure and the nearby pond would flood it and he would have a little bath to play in. For whatever reason the zoo didn't like that so they had a digger come in and fill in Zeus' hole.
Anyhow, one day I finished cleaning his enclosure and he had this little kiddy pool in there so I was going to fill it up with water. I was standing on the outside of the enclosure (because rhino) and had a hose to fill his pool. He was watching me and as I started to fill the pool he came over to watch. As the pool started to fill, Zeus hooked his horn under the edge and flung the pool into the fence. It scared me senseless and water went everywhere. So I yelled at Zeus and he got all upset (believe it or not, rhinos are like dogs) and I reached in, flipped the pool over and started to fill it again.
Once again, as the pool started to fill, Zeus comes over and using his horn slams that into the fence. Now I'm really pissed and I reach my arm into the enclosure almost up to the shoulder to flip the pool but Zeus lunges for my arm and rakes his horn up the fence. I barely got out of there in time and landed on my a** in the dirt. Now I'm not mad, I'm worried. Because Zeus is never aggressive. So I go ask the keepers if they have ever seen this behavior before.
They start laughing and say "Oh yea, we forgot to tell you, he wants to play in the water from the hose. Let him do that for a bit and he'll let you fill the pool." Gee, thanks for that tid bit of late info.
So I go back and Zeus is standing there staring at me. I pick up the hose and aim it up in air and pull the trigger so it kind of rains on Zeus. I shit you not, this enormous Rhino starts to spin around and fling his head and dance. Like an excited dog. I'm standing there with my mouth hanging open because I have never seen anything like it. Once there was enough water to make some mud Zeus started rolling around and forgot all about the pool, which I was able to flip and fill.
Otters[rebelmouse-image 18349011 is_animated_gif=
Otters were kept with the wild pigs for some reason. They harassed the living sh*# out of those pigs. Pig would be minding its own business, trying to eat from a pile of food. Otters would circle around him, taking turns running up and pulling his tail and running away. Pig would turn around and try to charge one, but the otters were too quick and would just scatter. I waited a while to see if they would quit, or what would happen if the pig would get one, but they never stopped, and the pig never got one.
Geese[rebelmouse-image 18349012 is_animated_gif=
The geese are pure evil.
We have a gang of Canada geese that roam our village of roughy 2,000 people and terrorise the living hell out of anything not goose shaped. They're legitimately a menace. They chase people and wreck cars and honk at anything that comes near them. It was like some sort of gang. People used to hit them with cars every now and then because they'd charge into the road. It was a sad day when another goose terrorist went down. Live fearless, brave souls.
Lemur[rebelmouse-image 18349013 is_animated_gif=
I had a friend who worked at a wildlife rescue and he always had trouble with the lemurs. The male would get aggressive whenever he came in and he'd have to stamp his feet on the ground to run him off. One day he was bending over to pick something up and the male pounced on his head and turned into a flurry of teeth and claws. He got back to the office and his head was pouring blood. He grabbed a couple towels for the blood and went to the ER to get a tetanus shot. From that point on two people had to go into the lemur enclosure at a time.
Hippos[rebelmouse-image 18349014 is_animated_gif=
The hippos at our zoo will defecate on their tails and helicopter it all over people.
Parrots[rebelmouse-image 18349015 is_animated_gif=
Volunteered at wildlife rehab where the specialty was birds. The biggest a-holes where definitely Amazon parrots. I mean all Psittacines are jerks but Amazons have evil in them.
There was this one male who was huge and liked getting in fights and generally antagonizing the keepers. So once they were kept in separate cages because we were collecting feces samples and I go to change their food/water. Everything goes well until I get to his cage. He seems to notice that I wanted to take his stuff so he decides to sit his fat green self on the front of the door staring at me, you know the casual "touch this and you lose your fingers" look parrots have. So I manage to distract him and quickly scoop out his bowls. Change his food and water and get them inside the cages without any problems.
Except there was no support for his water bowl so it's on the cage floor, which is a grave mistake. He puts his foot on the edge of the bowl while staring at me with that empty look devoid of good only birds have and tips it over. And then laughs loudly because parrots think it's fun to mess with humans.
King Snake[rebelmouse-image 18349016 is_animated_gif=
I have been working in reptile farms over the years.
My jobs have various snake species that are large and bitey, but nothing venomous. While snake hooks are always around they are rarely used because after a while you just get used to being bitten and learn how to work with the animal and read its body language.
The exception to this was a single female Florida King Snake. She was permanently angry. It didn't matter if she had been fed, if she was breeding, if you were giving her water, or if you just walked past her cage, she was in a constant state of aggression. We did leave a snake hook by her cage because as soon as it was opened she would immediately start striking and hissing. After two or three strikes she would start getting even more angry and would start getting excessively posed, to the point where she would lean so far back she was practically upside down before striking. As soon as you closed the cage and walked away you could heard the thuds of her still striking and hitting the front.
Elephants[rebelmouse-image 18349017 is_animated_gif=
I was an intern at a zoo about ten years ago... Elephants are basically six ton toddlers. Three year-olds that can murder you during a tantrum... the one there would get upset if you didn't say good morning to her. She threw a rock at a night watchman for not saying hi, broke his ribs... She once shattered the windshield to the hay truck with a rock because it drove too fast past her enclosure. She threw a log at a keeper because they were cleaning up branches after a storm and didn't notice her trying to help and hand them one.... so she threw it at them. She got mad one day after her friend passed away from old age and tried to throw a keeper through the fence.... Basically, elephants are just hyper-emotional three year-olds with a mean streak...
Ravens[rebelmouse-image 18349018 is_animated_gif=
Ravens are too smart for their own good. They were always supplementing their food with popcorn or other snacks from zoo visitors. They would barter with the wild ravens for different foods, so you could never keep them on the diet they were supposed to be on. They also liked to play a game where they would corner the keeper. They'd hop around their perches while you cleaned, but if you weren't careful you'd end up cornered and have to walk underneath one of them. When you did, they'd try to poop on you...
Turkeys[rebelmouse-image 18349019 is_animated_gif=
The damn turkeys. I hated those f'ing turkeys.... Hated them. Turkeys are a-holes. Don't you ever feel bad for eating one because I guarantee he probably deserved it. And the president pardoning a turkey on Thanksgiving? No. F' that. Kill it and eat that son of a b$#@ because he's probably plotting your death right now....
Monkeys[rebelmouse-image 18349020 is_animated_gif=
Monkeys definitely. A while ago we had a little Capuchin monkey who learned how to leave his enclosure and went at night to sip some whiskey from a nearby apartment. It happened for quite some time since he always returned back before we noticed. He was caught when he become to greedy and entered the kitchen to grab some snacks.
Lions[rebelmouse-image 18349021 is_animated_gif=
When I worked at Chester Zoo I was always so uncomfortable being near the lion enclosure on my own (especially early in the morning). Once I had to get there at 6am and I was the only one around, walked past the lions and couldn't see them, so I stepped a bit closer to try and get a better look, suddenly the large male leapt up from just inside the fence where he had been obstructed by some tall plants and he roared deafeningly loudly in my face. I nearly poo'd myself.
Goat[rebelmouse-image 18349022 is_animated_gif=
We had a Cretin Goat that was hand reared, so it was put in the children's petting zoo. As it got older it turned into more and more of a jerk. This goat started bullying the kids by gently approaching them until they it was close enough to be pet. It would put its head against the kids then try to push them over. But worse than that, is it really hated old ladies. It just straight up charged and rammed old ladies. After a few knock downs, it became apparent what a jerk it was.
We moved the goat to an off exhibit 3/4 acre enclosure on a hillside. I was doing some work in the enclosure with a coworker of mine before we found out about this particular goat. She stayed at the bottom of the hill to check out the animals while I was doing work up top. I looked down and she was hiding in the barn waving at me. I thought it was weird but just kept on working. Then, this goat comes up and starts pushing into me. I thought it was just being aggressive with wanting to be pet.
Little shit was sure footed on that hillside, planting it and trying to push me over. I slipped a few times but it was more an annoyance at that point. What changed was when this goat started dropping his head in front of my thighs and jerking it up backwards, seemingly trying to impale me with its horns. I repeatedly had to grab its horn with one hand, while carrying my equipment in the other. Then it would scamper off and come back with another head push and attempted stabbing every 10 feet I made down the hillside.
When I met with my coworker at the bottom, she told me it got aggressive and charged her. She was waving to try and warn me. After that we mentioned the goat to the keeper. He laughed and proceeded to tell us several stories about what a jerk this goat was.
I'll always remember that goat.
Terns[rebelmouse-image 18349023 is_animated_gif=
I did marine wildlife and birding tours. Every spring when the Orcas came north into our bay they'd come up to the boat to check it out and say hi. They'd rub up against the boat and swim around. We'd let kids touch their fins, they were quite docile. The only animal we were EVER attacked by was Arctic Terns.
Terns are really small for seabirds but they are jerks. They are so aggressive because, for who knows why, they build their nests on the ground rather than in trees. There are trees around, they could use the trees to build nests in. But no, they'd rather just terrorize anyone who makes the mistake of coming near their nest. Foxes, weasels, people, bears, whatever. Terns will attack you.
One day we were watching an Arctic Tern chasing an eagle around at least a mile off shore. A tourist on our boat was trying to capture it with a telephoto lens, and the tern didn't like this guy's attitude so it tried to peck a $2000 lens to pieces.
Chickadees[rebelmouse-image 18349024 is_animated_gif=
Have worked in various wildlife rehab/research facilities, including a bird sanctuary where we did mist-netting (setting up very fine nets between trees to catch songbirds) and banding of wild birds for research/population counts. Handled everything from thrushes to woodpeckers to crows to sparrows...and the biggest jerks?
Most of the birds were scared or curious when we took them out of the nets. The chickadees? Were f'ing pissed. There was something bizarrely respectable about it. Here I am holding a bird smaller than the palm of my hand whose head I could crush with my f'ing thumb, and it's going, "You may be bigger than me but if you don't let me go I will rip your f'ing cuticle off."
Bats[rebelmouse-image 18349026 is_animated_gif=
Right now it's the short tailed leaf nosed fruit bat.
I'm an intern in a well known zoo. We have a wet cave filled with probably 1,000 of these f'ers. The door is surrounded by a wire cage. When we go to feed them we just let the door open and let the bats fly in the cage. When we leave we have to heard them into the cave. As an intern I'm not allowed to touch them. So I put my hand up by them to guide them.
Except they don't like that and they'll fly right in my face and hover there for a few minutes.
One day I was by myself doing it and one of the little f'ers would not get in the damn cave. I stood there for like 10 minutes doing jazz fingers and he just hung there.
Swans[rebelmouse-image 18349027 is_animated_gif=
Swans are pure devil spawn.
They want to kill anything that moves near them. Sweet harmless baby ducks born on the pond? Initiate murder instinct. Man who feeds me and cleans my awful poop everyday? Start up the murder protocol.
Even the dumbest of invertebrates knew that we fed them and would be kinder. Swans see you bringing them food from across the park and are furious that "YOU STOLE MY FOOD I NEVER HAD AND PUT IT IN THAT BUCKET YOU'RE BRINGING TOWARD ME AND I AM GOING TO BEAT THE HELL OUT OF THIS GROUNDHOG NEAR ME BECAUSE OF IT, AND THEN TRY TO MURDER YOU."
Swans are the worst.
Zebras[rebelmouse-image 18349028 is_animated_gif=
Zebras are jerks. Our zebras shared an exhibit with the giraffes. We had a giraffe platform where visitors could feed the giraffes carrots, grain, and other goodies (according to the giraffe diet, of course). The zebras wanted the goodies and would kick the giraffes so the giraffes would drop their food, then the zebras would eat it.
Octopus[rebelmouse-image 18349029 is_animated_gif=
THIS ONE F'ING OCTOPUS.
I was volunteering at an aquarium in the cephalopod section. One day the power was out, so we were on backup generators and we were running all over to make sure everything necessary to keep the animals alive was still running. The tanks where we kept the giant pacific octopuses (these octopuses are about 8 or 9 feet across) didn't have a solid top to close it up - instead the top portion of the tank is covered by astroturf. Octopus suckers can't work on astroturf, so they can't climb out. In theory.
This b*%# jams herself into the water outtake in her tank while no one is paying attention. Water keeps going in, but none can get out. She makes a f'ing waterfall out of the tank and tries to ride it to freedom. We caught her just after she flopped onto the floor.
They're just too f'ing smart.
Wallaby[rebelmouse-image 18349030 is_animated_gif=
A hand-raised wallaby named Wallace Montgomery. He was hand-raised (translation: f'ing psycho) and then given to us when he became a wee bit overwhelming for his previous caretaker.
Feeding time? Prepare to be be gouged by his razor sharp nails, bit on your softest parts, and the bowl WILL be knocked out of your hands.
Cleaning time? He will grab your rake and shovel, hit you with them, and kick you when you bend down to pick up your stuff.
Trying to give him fresh straw to sleep on? Nope. He shredded the bag it came in. He kicked the fresh straw into the yard. He picked up the dirty pissy straw and rubbed it all over you.
I love him immensely. Fun fact: if you pick him up mid-tantrum, he will lay his head on your shoulder and give you three solid minutes of snuggles before recommencing your attempted murder.
Cassowary[rebelmouse-image 18349031 is_animated_gif=
Cassowary. If anyone need to into their enclosure there had to be two others in riot gear. Nothing makes you poop yourself more than scrambling behind the shields and hearing the karate kick of the gods smashing a shield behind you.
I'm 100% certain velociraptors still exist and they just pretend to be these a-holes when they lose their teeth.
Tortoises[rebelmouse-image 18349032 is_animated_gif=
Aldabra tortoises. They have an outdoor pen, but obviously they are stuck in a smaller indoor enclosure during the colder months.
They won't leave you the f- alone. I was watering the plants at one point, when two big males came up behind me and pinned me to the wall. I pinwheeled my arms and fell onto one's back...sort of got to ride him.
Other times, the decide to sit RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE DOOR. So you're stuck until you convince them to move. You certainly aren't going to move 500 pounds of tortoise on your own.
If you put a squeegee against the wall, the simply HAVE to knock it over and sit on it.
Got the hose out? Yup. Gotta sit on it.
Bringing out food? Sit right in the f'ing feed troughs.
When you've been alive since before the Civil War, you tend to sit a lot.
Galapagos Tortoises. There's a teaching zoo near where I live, and a few years back they had to evacuate due to a wildfire. Afterwards the local paper did a piece on it and interviewed the people who had to evacuate the animals. They have lions, water buffalo, cougars, hyenas, all kinds of large animals. Which was the hardest to evacuate?
The Galapagos tortoise. He is enormous, bad-tempered, and much more difficult to train than most of the other animals. Getting him out of his enclosure and onto a truck was apparently quite the challenge, especially given the short time-frame they had for evacuation.
That Galapagos Tortoise was like, "F- you. I knew Charles Darwin. Charles Darwin was a friend of mine. You, zookeeper, are no Charles Darwin."
Honey Badger[rebelmouse-image 18349033 is_animated_gif=
A popular wildlife rehabilitation centre in South Africa called Moholoholo has arguably the world's most famous honey badger, called Stoffel. Now I am sure none of you need an introduction to how f'ing savage these animals are, but this particular b&#%* has actually featured on multiple TV shows because of his antics.
In the first few years of his life at the centre, he dug his way into the Lion enclosure TWICE and attacked the alpha male of the pride both times.So the Honey Badger actually has this incredible survival mechanism - their skin is really tough and really loose. When the lion clamped his jaws around Stoffel, he was actually able to rotate his skeleton within the skin and turn around to bite the lion on the nose. After the lion dropped him, Stoffel continued to terrorize the pride but none of them wanted to be anywhere near him. I think eventually they had to tranquilize him so they could treat his wounds.
When he kept digging his way under the wall of his enclosure, it had to be rebuilt 2 metres deeper into the soil. When he opened up cracks in the concrete and escaped, those had to be covered with metal sheet. When he used rocks/sticks to create a tower and climb over the wall, they removed them... only for him to steal a zookeeper's broom and climb out using that.
(Rehab centre worker) Brian said he woke up to Stoffel scraping at the door, so he grabbed a 10,000 Volt stun gun from his cupboard and zapped the honey badger with it... Stoffel didn't move. Didn't even flinch. Brian says he just got angrier and started growling. He had to climb out of the window and lock all the doors while they formulated a plan to contain this b&#%*.
I know many more stories of his antics, but my favourite is how after years of living on his own they decided to find him a female companion to join him in the enclosure. First thing Stoffel did?
Stood on her head and used her to climb over the wall.
If zombies arrived right now, none of us would be shocked.
The way the world has been working, I think most of us would be like... "Sounds about right..."
So maybe we should prepare.
I feel like there is a lot of detail shows like "The Walking Dead" ignore.
When we're not squabbling with the undead... what do we need for the day to day.
RedditorHouseGrasswanted us to get prepared... just in case. They asked people to divulge...
"If a zombie apocalypse were to happen, what is an issue people don’t think about?"
So far my biggest concerns are banks and the liquor store. Tell me more...
EnemiesGordon Ramsay Bug GIF by National Geographic ChannelGiphy
"There are so many flies. Flies."
"Flies eat dead flesh - they'll be zombie enemy #1."
"The smell. You ever see them movies where the cops find a corpse and they puke because of the smell... of one dead body? What's the smell going to be like when:"
"A huge percent of the population is decomposing and walking around everywhere. Or if you kill them, lying there not getting buried... just lying there getting more stinky."
"No refrigerators so all existing food in everywhere is going to rot."
"Toilets will eventually stop working so you have that to deal with."
"That and diseases other than being bit by a zombie and lack of medicine to treat them."
"Hygiene. A lot of people take the fact we have easily accessible soap and don't realize just how easy it is to die from a small infected cut without it."
"I've thought about this in every zombie film/show I've seen where two characters have sex. They're sweaty, dirty, sometimes covered in blood and zombie guts. That has absolutely got to give you a serious infection, and you won't even be able to find antibiotics to treat it. Yuck."
"Batteries. I’m one of the few left who is watching fear the walking dead. Just saw someone use a flashlight YEARS after sh*t started. 2 weekends ago when our power went out, our flashlight from last year had dead batteries."
"Most batteries sold these days advertise a shelf life of 10 years. But a battery sitting in a flashlight is likely to drain faster than one sitting in a box."
Easy DeathSick Season 4 GIF by FriendsGiphy
"Simple illnesses such as strep throat."
"Diarrhea will be a potential death sentence again."
The basics are always the things forgotten in the movies and shows.
The CollapseLoop Geometry GIF by xponentialdesignGiphy
"Uncontrolled release of toxic and hazardous materials as a result of industrial facilities collapsing due to a lack of continued maintenance."
"Dams collapsing and flooding out everything downstream. Power plants overheating or pressurizing and detonating. Toxic chemicals seeping into the water table or aerosolizing in fires. We made a world that we can only survive in if we keep it going."
Can you write me something...
"Your prescriptions. I personally don't take any meds daily but i know people who do and would eventually die without them. Even if you broke into a pharmacy or something the meds would only last you so long. If you're lucky the zombies will decompose until they die but it's never safe to assume that will happen."
"Sex in the zombie apocalypse is just overall a terrible idea. Becoming pregnant means you need more food and are much less agile, both major detriments. Even if the baby does get born, that new human is now going to be slowing you down, a hassle to take care of, quite loud and zombie-attracting, and cannot work or contribute to the group, but is still another mouth to feed and water."
How to Fuel...
"'The Last Man on Earth’ explores this after two years I think. He pours petrol from a can and it comes out kinda lumpy. One of the other characters points out that he warned everyone that this would happen and they should’ve been setting up solar panels which is what they do next. Obviously it’s not 100% accurate and it’s a comedy series but it reminded me how fossil fuels would become useless after a while."
$$$Make It Rain Money GIF by SpongeBob SquarePantsGiphy
"It's not gonna be good for the economy."
Well that is a solid list compiled. I'm ready. Just need liquor.
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.
Gunshots. Car accidents. Stalkers.
I've avoided them all by mere seconds.
But I'm not unique.
Every day we all live a balance between life and death.
Redditor TheWingsterwanted to hear about the times we've all thought we were about to leave this Earthly plane but found ourselves still breathing. They asked:
"What moment made you think 'yup, I'm dead,' but you survived?"
I believe we all live moment to moment literally just surviving. So let's hear about when death is being loud.
A Gonerconfused fall GIF by Outside TVGiphy
"Briefly trapped under the raft while in rapids white water rafting. Didn’t get the breath I thought I would when my head hit the bottom of the raft. Thought I was a goner. A second later I was to the side of the raft and only mostly still freaking out."
"I was 11. I had just developed asthma and my mother refused to quit chain smoking in the house. One night I have a severe attack. I'm trying to use my rescue inhaler and its not working. Each time I try to inhale it just goes right out my nose. I panic."
"I vividly remember my mother smoking a cigarette as the panic is giving way to hypoxia. She's screaming at me to use my inhaler. Right before loosing consciousness I realized that was it, I'm dead. There wasn't a whole lot of life to flash before my eyes. A sense of calm and peace settled over me as I collapsed."
"My parents did CPR on me until the paramedics arrived. I woke up in ICU days later with a tube down my throat. The doctors were surprised I survived. My mother never smoked in the house again after that. The car was still fair game for her though."
"I was choking on food, almost a full blockage and couldn't get any air in. After several attempts to get it out, it sunk in that it was really lodged in my throat and I was screwed. Started to feel dizzy and everything moved slowly. I remember thinking what an embarrassing way to die and that I didn't want my kid to be watching (it was at breakfast)."
"I started dialing 911 when my husband came up behind me and started first aid. He got the blockage out and I started vomiting everywhere. It was very intense. I still went to get checked by a doctor to make sure my lungs were clear because I felt dizzy for hours after and my throat was raw. Took a day or so to heal. He 100% saved my life!"
"When I was a 6th grader I was cutting plastic with a box cutter, knife slipped and sliced a 6 inch long and .5 inch deep cut into my wrist, cut almost every vein and the tendon some people have, my first thought was oh crap I’m bleeding, followed by me running to the bathroom and then slipping on the blood and smacking my head of the floor, knocked out and somehow lived."
Just a GrazeBicycle Oops GIF by RETROFUNKGiphy
"I went under the wheels of a semi while riding a bicycle. Trapped for 2 hours until they cut my bike apart around me. Walked away with a graze on my leg and elbow."
How in the world? My stomach is in knots.
Lived to see another day!Crashing Car Crash GIF by Don BrocoGiphy
"Squished in the middle car of a multi-car highway accident."
"Air bags deployed/car totaled/smelled burning scent (not sure what it was but assumed the car was about to explode). And stuck in the fast lane on the highway as other cars whizzed by this cluster-f#% at high speed. Lived to see another day! Felt extremely shaky from adrenaline for hours afterward…"
"House explosion, 3 years old Edmonton, AB. I vividly remember standing next to a stove that someone was fixing in the basement apartment of my Dads friends house (who we were visiting) and next thing I was opening my eyes in in the daylight outside. I completely blacked out while the gas stove exploded and I landed clean in the driveway. My dad and mom were on the front page of the Edmonton Journal 1993."
"I remember distinctly thinking the brightness was heaven and that I had died and fell into heaven- my baby sister had died several weeks prior to SIDS and my mother and father had to explain where she had gone and I thought I was in heaven but it was the sky."
So mission accomplished...
"Car accident. We hit a patch of ice and went over a guardrail and off a 40 foot cliff. I knew was dead the moment I pulled my leg free from the piece of door stabbing through it and the blood came out like a faucet. I figured I could at least climb back to the road for help before I passed out so I did."
"I flagged down a passing truck and passed out and died in the ambulance before they brought me back. The firefighters used my blood trail to find my friends car which saved his life. So mission accomplished."
fade to black...
"Had a car crash into my house and hit me when I was a child. I was sitting on the couch at the time and it hit me, drove through the next wall into the garage, then came to rest on top of my lap, pinning me down to the couch with it's full weight. I wont go into too much detail about my injuries: suffice it to say that it was pretty gorey."
"It took over an hour for the emergency responders to get me out from underneath it. That hour is foggy at best. I remember so much pain, and at some point I felt this overwhelming sense of peace about the situation. Like, I instinctually knew that all I had to do was let go and the pain would stop."
"I started to let go, and I began slipping away. The pain stopped, the world slowed, and everything started to fade to black. It felt like I was floating on water, and all the fear and agony was taken far away from me. I snapped back into myself to the sound of a firefighter yelling at me to stay awake. Immediately the pain returned and I was fully 'here' again. Didn't hit me until much later in life that I was interrupted in the middle of the death process."
Head Savedcar slamming GIFGiphy
"I just got hit by a car going 50 mph and broke 15 bones."
"I'm laying in the hospital right now typing with one hand. I found out a few days ago that I remained conscious enough to call 9-1-1 myself even though I don't recall doing that. Pretty much the only reason I'm alive is because I didn't injure my head."
Good for all of you. Do great with the rest of your lives.
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.
Ah college. What a time to be alive.
The people who love to keep that party going are great.
But many have a bad Pater Pan complex and never learn to grow up.
Yet some end up on top of the world.
It's all a coin toss.
Redditorihaveaclip4urcliquewanted to share the tales about what happened to the life of the party after everyone grew up. They asked:
"College graduates of Reddit: What happened to that friend that never stopped partying?"
My life of the party people are dead and depressed. Cheers...
Yin & YangWe Did It Win GIF by HBO MaxGiphy
"One’s a doctor, one lives in a towable caravan."
"There doesn't seem to be a lot of middle ground in this thread."
"Worked at a bar in college, and friends worked at other bars. So I knew a lot of people who drank a lot. Most went on to be in sales or some other job where interpersonal communication skills are more valued than raw academic skills. Some do very well."
"Bartended full or part time for 15 years now. It's funny those same people keep coming in to drink, but now it's with coworkers and clients and rack up huge tabs and tip the best."
Drink to the Top
"He drank with the right executives at a conference and got offered a job. He now makes three times what I do."
"I know someone this happened to as well! Our senior year I think she drunk-tweeted something and a company loved what she tweeted that they offered her a job. We graduated 11 years ago and she still works for them! (Although this kind of goes against the thread because she doesn't drink anywhere near as much anymore since she got married and started a family)."
"Ran into an old friend who was like that. We were in our late 30s when that happened and chatted; turned out he partied hard until late 30s and during that time, flitted around job to job to simply fund his partying. One day he looked around and noticed that he was the old guy at the bars hanging with early 20-somethings."
"He realized that all of the folks our age were ahead in their careers, with family/kids etc. Said that was a pretty sobering revelation and enrolled himself back into school and was in his 2nd year of engineering as he wanted to be an aerospace engineer."
The Right Waygolden globes GIFGiphy
"He partied with the right guys and now makes very good money in sales where he parties with clients but the company pays for it."
Sometimes vodka works you all the way to the corner office. I'm on my way...
Never took off...Drunk Vince Vaughn GIF by HBO MaxGiphy
"He decided to do a commercial pilot license. Spent so much money on the training and the partying that his debts overtook him. Here, most airlines don't accept pilot candidates with outstanding debts or criminal records. He never got to fly a plane. He still owes a lot of people small to medium amounts of money. Accepted a menial job writing technical manuals."
"I lived in a house with a bunch of guys. One of them was in electrical engineering. He got a job at Applebees for some extra cash and started having parties with work people after work (so 3-5am). That made it hard to make class so he dropped a semester."
"We all graduated and he said he would refocus on school soon, but he was having too much fun partying. I went back to college 20 years later for a football game. He is still working as a waiter at Applebees. He is the creepy guy who acts like he is best friends a with a bunch of 20 year old kids. He’s a mess."
"He never stopped. He continued drinking at a crazy pace, and lost his job, his driving license, and his wife. He had to move near to a liquor store to keep drinking. He was found dead on the floor of his apartment from a hemorrhage in his stomach caused by years of alcohol abuse. He bled to death from within. He left behind two sons."
'dedicated party house'
"A friend of mine in college pulled a Van wilder, and spent 7 total years in college (just getting his undergrad) because he liked the partying so much. He lived in the college 'dedicated party house' that had just two modes, actively throwing a wild party, or recovering from the latest party."
"What was wild about him was that even though he lived a party lifestyle, he got excellent grades and took phenomenal care of himself (when he wasn't getting black out wasted and having weird sexcapades), and was the person who got me into running/marathoning."
"Eventually, he finally graduated with a degree in Mechanical engineering, moved to the east coast, got married and became a born again Christian. He seems happy and successful and just had his first kid recently, but its absolutely weird seeing him post pictures of him getting adult baptized and doing mission work."
UnrecognizableSad Lonely GIF by PokémonGiphy
"He overdosed, blacked out and fell off a balcony at a hotel and hit the pavement so hard his mother couldn’t recognize him."
The party has to end sometime. When the lights come on... go home. That's clearly a general life lesson as well.
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.
We don't often think about how effective many of the items we purchase are–whether we buy them out of necessity or for leisure.
We just expect many of the accessible items like home goods or kitchen appliances to work the way they should without giving a second thought to their impressive feat of engineering.
But when you actually consider how many of the mass-produced items for sale are extremely well made, we might have a newfound appreciation for these products.
Curious to hear specific examples, Redditor Gourmet-Guy asked:
"Which cheap and mass-produced item is stupendously well engineered?"
These practical tools are a marvel.
They've Been Crushing It
"Soda/beer cans. The design has existed for decades with few changes."
"It’s a way of using a relatively small amount of cheap metal to withstand the pressure of carbonated beverages with a reliable opening mechanism."
"During pandemic I also noticed that some companies stopped using thicker material on the upper ‘ridge’ of the can, probably due to supply shortages. They instead used a sort of stepped system that appeared to be almost as strong."
"Toilets. I've been a plumber 20 years and very little has changed, or needed to."
"Minimal up keep, cheap and easy repair, very long life."
"The intermodal shipping container, a/k/a the Connex box. There are millions of the damned things all over the world, in use every single day. They are stackable, can be locked together, attach readily to ships, truck trailer frames, and rail cars, and can bear enormous loads."
"The cost of their manufacture compared to their economic use value over their useful lives is next to nothing."
"Zip ties - such a simple piece of plastic but so versatile. I have one of the old fashioned chain link fences, some of the fasteners on the middle poles broke and in high winds the fence was swaying like crazy. A half dozen zip ties on the three posts and it doesn’t budge and nobody even knows they’re there"
How did people camp in the early days without these useful tricks?
"Matches are underappreciated because people don't really understand how complex a match and striker are."
"From the Encyclopedia Britannica...."
"The head of a match uses antimony trisulfide for fuel. Potassium chlorate helps that fuel burn and is basically the key to ignition, while ammonium phosphate prevents the match from smoking too much when it's extinguished. Wax helps the flame travel down the matchstick and glue holds all the stuff together. The dye-- well, that just makes it look pretty. On the striking surface, there's powdered glass for friction and red phosphorus to ignite the flame."
"Now, the fun stuff-- striking a match against the powdered glass on the matchbox creates friction. Heat from this friction converts the red phosphorus into white phosphorus. That white phosphorus is extremely volatile and reacts with oxygen in the air, causing it to ignite. All this heat ignites the potassium chlorate, creating the flame you see here."
"Oxidizers, like potassium chlorate, help fuels burn by giving them more oxygen. This oxygen combines with antimony trisulfide to produce a long-lasting flame so you have enough time to light a candle. The whole thing is coated with paraffin wax, which helps the flame travel down the match. Just don't burn the house down."
"As antimony oxidizes, sulfur oxides form, creating that burnt-match scent. The smoke you're seeing is actually tiny unburned particles resulting from an incomplete combustion. Individually, they're a little bit too small to see but grouped together, they form smoke. There's also some water vapor in there."
"By the way, all the stuff that we're explaining in 90 seconds, it all happens within tenths of a second. Chemistry's fast."
"Spontaneously ignite fire basically whenever you want.."
So Efficient, So Cool
"Not exactly cheap, but I'm impressed that I can have a ceiling fan run on high for 15 years straight and not have it explode on me."
"I remember how amazed we were in 1985 to see a chip with 68,000 transistors. Now they’re at 68 billion."
Back In The Day...
"My favorite part was in school my professor talking about how they used to do the layouts on transparencies by hand."
"Or how during Apollo the guidance aspect of the program was buying up a significant portion of the national production capacity of transistors."
"Batteries are marvels of engineering packed tightly into a miniscule canister, even AA batteries are incredibly sophisticated internally."
We take many everyday objects around us for granted.
Now imagine what life would be like without any of the examples above existing.
Life would be significantly different, amirite?
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.