Space, the final frontier. We're not even sure what's out there to be scared of yet, but that doesn't mean there hasn't already been a fair share of terrifying experiences.
Here are incredible and terrifying true stories of accidents in space, and the daring astronauts who faced them head on. Enjoy! And make sure to check out the sources for even more.
In one of the most embarrassing cases of "I left this thing on?" astronaut John Young developed an unfortunate gas attack while he was standing on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. He blamed the digestion issue on the fruit that NASA had been feeding him.
However, while fart jokes might be funny and all, passing gas was a serious health concern for the mission. Not only did zero gravity mean that it was often pushed back into the digestive system, the introduction of methane with the pure oxygen environment of the suit could potentially create a deadly explosion. Which is why the diet for the astronauts was so heavily regulated in the first place.
Astronaut Bob Curbeam was a seasoned space walker, so when he stepped out to install upgrades to the ISS he wasn't expecting trouble. However, a cooling line broke and began spraying his suit with deadly ammonia. Now Curbeam was faced with two serious problems, first he needed to stop the leak and then he needed to figure out how he was going to return to the station without contaminating the sterilized interior and putting his cremates at risk.
The leak was the easy part, as Curbeam knew the hardware well enough to make the fix. But the ammonia was a much trickier problem. Like most astronauts, Curbeam decided the best course of action would be to solve the problem with SCIENCE! He knew ammonia has a low boiling point, so in order to get himself clean all he needed to do was vaporize it from the suit. He baked himself in sunlight for an extra thirty minutes, which was enough to get him back in and have the suit cleaned properly. Luckily there was no contamination.
While real astronaut food isn't quite as bad as the stuff you can buy at the gift shop, limitations of space travel still leaves a lot to be desired. Fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as staples like bread are impractical for storage and tend to leave a lot of crumbs. Tortillas are common, but astronauts tend to get sick of the same rotating eight-day meal schedule.
In 2004, an unmanned cargo ship was set to deliver fresh food to the ISS, but was delayed by unforeseen complications. Commander Leroy Chiao and engineer Salizhan Sharipov were stuck without fresh rations, so they were forced to cut their regular food consumption to preserve supplies. It wasn't all bad though, as they got to make up the calorie deficit by eating abundant deserts.
During Chris Hadfield's first flight, he and the crew had to connect a space shuttle weighing a quarter million pounds to a target the size of a coffee cup on the Mir Space Station. Hadfield's job was to give the speed and range information to the pilot while they docked, an important job because of how precise the landing needed to be. Traveling at 1/10th of a foot per second with only a two minute window of opportunity, failure would be catastrophic.
When they were just thirty feet away, Hadfield noticed the sensors were giving him two different readings at 32ft and 20ft. With some serious quick thinking, he used his thumb to eyeball the distance through a window and grabbed a stopwatch to do some quick math. He was able to get the math just right, and they used the thrusters for a perfect docking at the perfect speed.
In 1984 one of the most important pieces of the Discovery shuttle had a critical malfunction. The waste-dump system became clogged, and as a result a massive icicle made of astronaut urine formed on the outside of the shuttle. Weighing nearly thirty pounds, the icicle had the potential to damage the heat shields upon re-entry if left be.
A spacewalk was too dangerous, so NASA advised the crew to angle the shuttle with the icicle facing the sun in an attempt to melt it. After three days the pee was still holding strong. They were forced to use the grabber arm of the shuttle to break it off, and were luckily successful. Sending days of collected sewage hurtling into deep space.
When a solar panel on the ISS jammed and threatened the safety of the entire station, Scott Parazynski was called on to do a heroic feat of spacewalking. The original objective was to install a new module on the station for future laboratories. All was going well until they ordered the solar panels to extend and instead they began to jam up and tear. If they tried to undock the shuttle it could rip apart the station, so the crew had to wait for over three days while NASA came up with a plan.
The solution? Parazynski would have to travel further away from the airlock than anyone had at that point to save the panels. On top of the distance, he was at constant risk of electrocuting himself by touching metal to metal on the solar panels, which also could have ignited the oxygen in his suit. Thankfully he was successful in fixing the panels, and to this day considers the event one of NASAs greatest accomplishments.
In 2006 NASA admitted that they had accidentally erased the tapes from the original Apollo 11 moon landing. In a cost cutting measure, they had to resort to re-using tapes for later missions and in the process accidentally destroyed the evidence of humankind's greatest achievement.
Luckily CBS News still had their copy of the broadcast stored for protection, and loaned the tape to a very embarrassed NASA so it could be reproduced.
While the Americans were conveniently able to land their spacecrafts in the Pacific Ocean, their Russian counterparts returned to Earth in the harsh, dense forests of the Siberian wilderness. This reached its logical conclusion when two cosmonauts found themselves landing off course, facing the bears and wolves of the Ural Mountains with only a single 9mm pistol.
While the cosmonauts survived the encounter, they were able to convince their bosses that something more was needed. So the TP-82 pistol (more like a sawed off shotgun by most accounts) was developed. The TP-82 was specifically designed with a stopping power capable of defeating bears, but surely at least one cosmonaut considered its effectiveness against an alien.
While the gloves that astronauts wear are great for protecting them during their hazardous spacewalks, they aren't exactly designed for ergonomics. A recent study discovered that around one in ten astronauts suffered fingernail trauma as a result of the gloves. With a number of them losing a fingernail or two entirely due to how the pinching gloves reduce circulation.
Living in weightless conditions can have some strange consequences, and turn everyday objects into lethal weapons. In 2007, astronaut Sunita Williams was trying to make some makeshift space sushi. She was just about to add the wasabi when a stray squirt got loose due to low pressure and began to splatter the walls of the International Space Station.
It took a while to get the spicy condiment cleaned up, and stray bits of wasabi were found hiding dangerously close to the module.
The ISS has had many additions over the ten years that its been inhabited, but one of the most frequent complaints still is how cramped the crew quarters are. Each astronaut is given an alcove the size of a phone booth, and catches their sleep while free floating in a sleeping bag. Sleeping without gravity is apparently quite comfortable, but there are still problems even while passed out.
"During the night while you're sleeping, you might start drifting and end up somewhere you didn't intend to be in the first place," Canadian astronaut Julie Payette said.
Jerry Linenger was having some delicious dehydrated borscht when disaster struck. He was halfway through an extended stay on the Mir station, meant to be the longest period of time any American had spent in space. The station was in the middle of a personnel switch, and packed to double capacity with six astronauts. In order to accommodate the extra oxygen, another tank had to be opened. However, the volatile tank of concentrated oxygen-based chemicals caught fire in what could be best described as a massive blowtorch.
The fire blazed for fourteen minutes and threatened to burn a hole in the aluminum siding of the craft if something wasn't done. While the fire burned out, three of the crew members doused the station with fire extinguishers while the other three prepared their way out. The only problem with an escape? One of the shuttles was blocked by fire, so only three of them could escape.
Luckily the fire burned out, and although there was smoke damage to the Mir it wasn't impossible to clean up and nobody had to draw straws to see who stayed behind.
Along with trouble showering, another feat of hygienic engineering involves the ISS advanced bathroom system. There are two toilets on the space station, located in the Russian segment and US modules. Since theres such a scarcity of water, urine is recycled into clean drinking water as well as water for bathing and food preparation. Although apparently the astronauts arent too perturbed by the idea.
The toilets themselves also have a reputation of being balky and breaking frequently, requiring on-orbit plumbing jobs to get them working.
While the actual space part is usually plenty fun, its the getting there and back that really takes a toll on the astronauts. The Russian Soyuz spacecraft has developed quite a reputation for itself as a bumpy trip, a feeling described as a train wreck followed by a car crash followed by falling of your bike.
Soyeon Yi was coming back to Earth after one of the most successful missions in ISS history. The first Korean in space, she was hurtling to the ground aboard the Soyuz when everything went south. Due to detachment problems, the onboard computers sensed the craft was on an undesirable trajectory and was forced to switch to a ballistic re-entry. If that doesn't sound good its because its definitely not. Gravity was pulling them to ground while the atmospheric drag and heat shield tried to keep them landing safe.
Still, they came out nowhere close to the expected landing site. Crawling out of the capsule they discovered that they were actually in a field in Kazakhstan. Some understandably shocked herders found them and managed to help a crew member out, but unfortunately didn't have cell phones they could call for help with. With nobody knowing where they were or if they were safe, Soyeon and the other astronauts were able use the GPS on the Soyuz to contact the Russian Space Agency for a helicopter.
While the physical ailments of living in space can certainly take their toll, its the extreme feeling of isolation that comes with being separated from your own planet that can really give an astronaut the blues. Most combat loneliness by bonding with their crew and calls to home are possible as well, but sometimes the astronauts end up missing major life events.
In 2004 Michael Fincke was forced to miss his daughter's birth while he was serving on a long duration mission. He had to wait four months until the landing to meet Tarali for the first time.
No matter how sturdy your space-legs are, space sickness still affects a seasoned astronaut. While the team does its best to prepare the crew by reproducing microgravity on the ground, its still not uncommon for astronauts to lose their lunch once the liftoff is over with.
Making things even more complicated, the space-vomit is extremely difficult to clean up since it hangs in the air as a cloud of gross droplets.
There were two methods of escape developed in case of a potential explosion on the launch pad. With the rockets of the Apollo missions powered by plain old kerosene and hydrogen, they were essentially sitting on a giant bomb. If disaster were to strike, the original plan was to have the astronauts slide down (in their space suits no less) a giant tube into a nuclear-bomb proof bunker called the Rubber Room.
This escape was eventually replaced with a combination of a giant basket and an old anti-mine vehicle. While both options sound like fun, they also don't sound particularly reassuring safety wise.
Don't let all the shiny chrome white surfaces fool you, being in outer space can get pretty stinky. Microgravity makes it impossible to have a normal shower since the water just kind of bubbles around in the air. Instead, astronauts aboard the ISS use a squirt gun and a washcloth in combination with a special rinse-less shampoo to keep their hair clean.
Being in space is the experience of a lifetime, but living in weightless conditions can take a serious toll on an astronaut's health. One of the most significant problems is the effect on bone strength and density.
A recent study found that bone strength dips by at least 14% during a half-year stay in space. While other reports observed that bone density can decrease between 0.4% and 1.8% for each month on the station. This can lead to greater risks of fractures and osteoporosis, so astronauts do diligent bone strength exercises in space and enter physical rehabilitation once they're back on the ground.
John Young once again caused trouble during the Gemini 3 tests when he smuggled a sandwich on board the craft. While in orbit, Young took out the sandwich for a taste test and had to quickly shove it back into his suit when crumbs began floating in the air.
NASA and Congress were furious at the potential chaos the stray sandwich bits could have caused to the electrical equipment and a NASA official actually had to speak these words to the public; "We have taken steps... to prevent the recurrence of corned beef sandwiches in future flights."
People Break Down The Exact Moment They Realized They Were Being Manipulated By Someone They Trusted
Manipulation is designed to be stealthy. We hardly recognize it when it's happening to us because our abuser has forced it to appear under wraps.
But when we recognize it for what it really is, we really feel like we've been smacked across the face. There is no other descriptor for it. Usually we've trusted and loved those that manipulated us.
A Platitude Of Pleasing<p>You never know where the next blowout is coming from. Any time something needs to be addressed, you might try to bring it up once, gently, if you're feeling brave. If you meet the slightest bit of resistance, or you don't feel like that fight in the first place, you just go "okay dear" instead. You find that you'll put the argument off until next time, and hope that whatever you thought to bring up won't have any consequences, because you'll be hearing about those, too. It sucks, and I'm glad you can speak about it in the past tense.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/TheGreatestAuk/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">TheGreatestAuk</a></p>
Wrong Or Right Or Just Not Agreeing?<p>When I started realizing that I was feeling like I was constantly walking on eggshells. I never knew which version of my friend I'd get when we saw each other, or when we hung out. I also just completely stopped disagreeing with them because I didn't want to hear them tell me how wrong I was if we didn't share the same viewpoint.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/WhatArcherWhat/" target="_blank">WhatArcherWhat</a></p>
Being Used<p>My best friend suddenly distanced herself from me. But every now and then she'd call and ask if I wanted to do something, and I was encouraged because I thought it meant that things were still good between us. It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that she only called when she wanted to do something that required a ride, since she didn't have a car. The only thing I can say in my defense is that I don't use people that way so I didn't recognize user behavior. You can bet I do now.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Goldeverywhere/" target="_blank">Goldeverywhere</a></p>
Hiding The Receipts<p>I was living with my former best friend and his gf at the time. When I asked for grocery receipts (I trusted him & his ex to buy groceries bc I didn't have a car at the time + our work schedules were different so I couldn't go with them) and they wouldn't provide any. The only reason I became suspicious was bc they started asking for a ridiculous amount of money for my half and the actual amount of food wasn't adding up. Up until that point they never asked for a crazy amount and I was content with our groceries, but I noticed they became extremely greedy. When I then asked to see a banking statement, they wouldn't even provide me with that either.</p><p>At that point I just realized they were finessing me out of extra money and I started buying my own food. I just bit my tongue bc we only had like 2 months left on the lease. They tried to gaslight me and make me seem like the bad guy any chance they had (almost the entire time I lived with them actually). Eventually, I grew apart from him once I moved away and the only reason he hit me back up was bc she cheated on him so he probably didn't have anyone else to turn to (go figure). We don't talk anymore.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/0MG1MW3T/" target="_blank">0MG1MW3T</a></p>
Ah Yes, Good Old DARVO<p>My mother and I have always had a rocky relationship. She's always encouraged me to tell her what's wrong, however, any time I would she'd immediately go "sorry I'm such a terrible mother, I give you everything you want and it's still not good enough! Why don't you just go live with someone you don't hate?" Keep in mind this happens over small things such as "mom, I'd appreciate it if you'd knock before coming into my room. You know how easily I startle and you barging into my room really upsets me"</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/paytonc0510/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">paytonc0510</a></p>
How Do You Do This To Someone<p>8 years into the relationship. As we're sitting down he explains to me that the "first couple years" we were together he only saw me as a place to crash and free rides, but he loved me NOW, and even though I accomplished all the goals HE set for ME so we could get married he said "I never really thought you could do it". Oh and also you got fat, but don't worry we can fix it! It was like a magic veil lifted and I finally saw who he really was. F**k you James.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/DoNotUseOnHumans/" target="_blank">DoNotUseOnHumans</a></p>
Be My Friend And Not Theirs<p>She always managed to make me do things I didn't really want to do but the last straw was when she decided I had to stop being friends with two mates of mine over something stupid that offended her. </p><p>Cut her off over that and she then proceeded to act derisively ("you'll come back"), then badmouthed me and then begged me to take her back. Ten years later I am still friends with those two guys and she's still out of my life.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/FatherTedHackett/" target="_blank">FatherTedHackett</a></p>
Victim Time<p>When literally every time me and my mom talked she played the victim.</p><p>I was trying to help her raise me, ask me about my grades and stuff. For her I just existed, she wasn't responsible at all.</p><p>I grew up watching her play the victim to others, and I was always on her side, cuz she's my mom you know. Also I never really understood what was going on.</p><p>I started getting older and older, and seeing sh*t after sh*t she did. I understood what she did to my father, to my step-dad, to my sister, to her friends.</p><p>Probably I'd be the next one who she would use and throw away.</p><p>I talked to her... and you know the result. The victim. Nothing it's her fault.</p><p>The last time we talked, I was expecting the victim card. When she started speaking, I already knew what was going to happen. I didn't even said a word, I just agreed with her, and the next day I moved out. I'm not wasting my time.</p><p>It was the last day before quarantine, I remember it as if it was yesterday. Friday night: saturday morning I was packing my stuff.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/NotFromHeel/" target="_blank">NotFromHeel</a></p>
Sixteen Years Of Made Up Lies<p>After 16 years of marriage I realized my now ex was manipulating me. I would work and take care of the house and if I asked him to do something like get a job or clean up he would stage a mental breakdown and make me feel bad for asking him for help. </p><p>He would play up a horrible childhood or PTSD from the military to make me feel like I need to take care of him. Then would play on his computer all day and smoke while I worked. </p><p>Found out that a lot of his horrible childhood stories were made up and that he never made it through basic training in the military. I am happily with someone now but still catch myself cringing when he does things like cook or clean thinking that he is going to yell at me for being lazy. Meanwhile he loves me and is just doing things to take care of me. I'm working on deprogramming myself.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/HolyCelestialCow/" target="_blank">HolyCelestialCow</a></p>
Sometimes It's The Mother-In-Law<p>Took me until after the engagement to realize that my cheating ex fiancee was trying to browbeat me into submission.</p><p>Anywho, I quickly recognized emotional blackmail and manipulation from my MIL after getting married to a different girl years later due to that experience. I called her out on it.</p><p>She... Doesn't like that. But since my wife and sister-in-law and brother-in-law also recognize it they've got my back.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/engineertr1gg/" target="_blank">engineertr1gg</a></p>
Just as new mothers encounter the sudden, influential developments of powerful hormone changes, protective instincts, and milk production, so new fathers undergo some key changes of their own.
Their socks become exclusively white, climbing higher up the calf than ever before. All their shorts sprout cargo pockets and clunky belt loop cell phone holders. They start to really lean in to their old records.
Regional Laws<p>"Dad, driving past a cemetery: Did you know anyone living in a 3 mile radius of a cemetery isn't allowed to be buried there?"</p><p>"Me: No, I had no idea. How come?"</p><p>"Dad: Yeah, you're not allowed to bury the living"</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjk1d2k?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">TinyLuckDragon</a></p>
For the Face Plant Image<p>"Why do Scuba Divers fall backwards off a boat?"</p><p>"Because if they fell frontwards they'd still be on the boat" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjjv4mt?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">hatsnatcher23</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Just told this one to my bf and he still has his face in his hands" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjka0w7?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">sxeoompaloompa</a></p>
A Mammal of Few Words<p>"What did the father buffalo say when his child left for school?"</p><p>"Bison" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjjp257?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">TatooineLight</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"LOL" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjjp9p0?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">BennuH</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Told this to my brother, he laughed his a** off." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjk4cvq?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Type10Civilization</a></p>
Baggage<p>"When I do home improvements I always use my step ladder"</p><p>"I never knew my real ladder" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjjlkab?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">DavosLostFingers</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Whoever took the ladder, please return it or further steps will be taken." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjm2htz?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">WaldhornNate</a></p>
Woah Woah Woah, We're in Public<p>"Me: I'm not very hungry, I just want something easy"</p><p>"Server: maybe the chicken strips for $6"</p><p>"Me: maybe it does, but that doesn't help my hunger" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjjuq78?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">mcnoobs_</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"My husband was facepalming for solid 8 minutes after I read that joke to him." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjnee7m?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Madanax</a></p>
Not Wrong<p>"Two dudes were on a boat with a few cigarettes, but they didn't have anything to light them, so they threw one of the cigarettes out of the boat, and the boat became a cigarette lighter." </p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjjkeoz?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">OrangeMirrorJuice</a></p>
Watch the News Before Saying This One<p>"Did you hear about the kidnapping at school?"</p><p>"It's okay, they eventually woke up."</p><p>"I cringe every time." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjk0ej7?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">unicorndreamz94</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"My 10 year old tried this one a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, I had just read news about a missing local girl. 'So I answered that yes I heard about the missing girl' Scared the sh** out of my 10 year old" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjo3ssv?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Aubear11885</a></p>
Got a Million of Em<p>"What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fshhhh."</p><p>"I'm sorry but I'm about to say something tasteless. Water."</p><p>"I got fired from my job at the calendar factory. I took a day off."</p><p>"Unfortunately though, I can't really tell these jokes since I'm not a dad. I'm a faux pa."</p><p> -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjk9igl?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">WholeGrainMustard</a></p>
G-Pa With the Physics Humor<p>"Why does the movie "speed" have no director?"</p><p>"If it had direction, it'd be called velocity!"</p><p>"-my grandpa, earlier today" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjk4wdo?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ConceptUpset4681</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"That's better than a regular dad joke. It's a grand dad joke." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjkuc30?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">VaultBoy9</a></p>
A Surprising Amount of Elevator Humor<p>"I have a joke about elevators."</p><p>"It works on so many levels......." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjk1lrv?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">M0ntgomatron</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Did you hear about the corruption at the elevator company?"</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"It went all the way to the top." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyz64a/whats_the_best_dad_joke_you_know/gjkyjrp?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">RandomName222222222</a></p>
Cleaning up is hard enough when it's just clearing a month of dust bunnies. Can you imagine cleaning the debris left by murder, suicide and violence? I have a really great friend who used to do crime scene clean-up for a living. The pay is incredible; it starts at $55 an hour. But there is a much higher cost in mental well being. Death affects you in ways you don't always feel immediately. My friend has stories of nightmares, depression and pain after leaving scenes of horror. Why make all that money just to spend it on therapy? It takes a certain type of person.
***TRIGGER WARNING. CONTENTS ARE SENSITIVE ***Redditor u/MemegodDave wanted to hear from the people who have the stomach to come in after crime and tragedy
to try to bring back some form of normalcy to the location by asking... People who make their living out of cleaning murder scenes, accidents and the like, what is the worst thing you have experienced in your career?
Wrapped Up<p>Dad had to saran wrap a guy's intestines back into his body once.</p><p>Dude had surgery and pushed too hard on the toilet. Dude was fine, according to Dad, just holding himself together on the toilet while a group of firefighters tried to figure out why the hell they were sent instead of paramedics.</p><p><em>Update</em> When he pushed too hard he opened a scar on his torso/ab area and it all fell out onto his lap. Should have mentioned this when I wrote the post. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l48wk3/people_who_make_their_living_out_of_cleaning/gko9lq0?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">noblemile</a><span></span></p>
Flesh<p>One that stuck with me was a suicide in a bathtub, we couldn't drain the tub, so had to use a coagulant then scoop up the bloody mess into biohazard bags. Same for the toilet. Another was a suicide by gun in a basement full of boxes which was a nightmare to clean as even the smallest bit of flesh had to be found and cleaned up. The smell of the smallest piece of flesh meant the job wasn't done until it was found. </p>
Walk Away<p>Medic here, first responder to a motorcycle collision. Guy who crashed was a friend. He'd been torn in half and almost decapitated.</p><p>Had to walk away from the scene and let my driver and another crew handle it. Think about it daily. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l48wk3/people_who_make_their_living_out_of_cleaning/gko4y58?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Sabre-23</a><span></span></p>
All over the House<p>I posted this on another thread so just copy and pasted it but this was one that I had to do</p><p>Clean up after a murder. It was a rehab house for ex cons, 4 bedroom house with communal bathroom and kitchen. Sunday morning and guy A is in his room listening to music pretty loud, guy B is in the kitchen cooking his breakfast, B knocks on A's door and tells him to turn it down, there's a small argument and B returns to his breakfast and A turns his music up. So B grabs the biggest knife in the kitchen, kicks in A's door and stabs him through his left shoulder, entering by his collar bone. </p>
"ride-alongs"<p>Not a cleaner, but my brother's best friend is a police officer and I heard all about this horrible experience:</p><p>My brother's friend took him on "ride-alongs," all the time. One day, they were responding to a welfare check. This guy's neighbor saw his apartment door cracked open for several days and called the police. They went to check it out and found a college student (18-19) who had shot himself. </p>
Melt Away<p>When I was a bartender, a couple of clients told me the worst part about the job is cleaning melted bodies.</p><p>I don't know the science behind that, but from what I understand is if a body stays for a while in a certain condition of temperature and humidity, it melts. And those guys have to remove that person's remains in buckets. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l48wk3/people_who_make_their_living_out_of_cleaning/gknsqfm?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Kaynny</a><span></span></p>
Audrey<p>I had a great uncle who helped clean up the bodies left behind by hurricane Audrey in 1957 and he said that the smell persisted in his nose for weeks after. It got so bad that he went to the doctor to see if they could do anything and they clipped all of his nose hairs and the smell went away. It was explained to him that the smell had soaked into the hair but I don't claim to know the validity of that statement.</p>
Hazard<p>One of my first jobs after moving I did this, and the job that had me walking wasn't even a scene as described. We did all types of hazmat cleans and the worst was actually a couple went on vacation and came back to backed up sceptic. Think about 1 ft thick hard dried out crusty sceptic waste spread throughout the entire 1st floor of a house. Not going further into detail here. Was nasty.</p><p>Septic, not sceptic. On break and mobile, so yeah... </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l48wk3/people_who_make_their_living_out_of_cleaning/gknvzn8?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Kamenovski</a><span></span></p>
After the Crash...<p>Working for a tow truck driver that get the calls after crashes. The worst one for me was a family of 6 coming back with over 10 pizzas for a baseball team. It was a head on with a tractor trailer (18 wheeler). The ambulance took the bodies away of course, everyone died but one little guy. There was so much blood and vomit, diapers, toy dolls covered in blood, the pizza was everywhere inside of the car like 2" thick on everything and all over the road. </p>
Fresh Meat<p>Friend of mine does this.</p><p>His worst was an elderly woman who died in a bath. Skin falls off like long cooked meat. So he just saw piles of skin/flesh</p><p>God just writing this makes me gag. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l48wk3/people_who_make_their_living_out_of_cleaning/gknwqwu?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">PlagueDoc22</a><span></span></p>
We all know the telltale signs that something is making us uncomfortable. Suddenly, we begin shaking, either in our hands or knees or toes. Then, usually, sweat starts pouring out of every part of our body, making it look like we just ran through a rainstorm underneath a waterfall. Finally, we lose our regular speech functions. Everything goes out of sync and our words don't match up to what's in our minds.
What's interesting is that what usually brings about these fits of uncomfortableness differs from person to person, as evidenced by the stories below.