Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Every once in awhile we tune into the local news--or more likely Facebook, nowadays--and hear about some shocking surprise tragedy that struck some person in our town.


When we come across the story, we consider just how terrible that poor person's luck was. The accident that led to death or injury often seems one in a million, and we rest easy knowing, statistically, that won't happen to us.

But some of those "flukes," despite seeming totally bizarre, happen enough that we ought to give them a little more of our attention.

Add up enough freak accidents and you've got yourself a pattern.

Redditor Scrabt asked was apparently keyed in. They asked about the quietly dangerous things that hurt or kill more people than we realize:

"What's something people don't know just how dangerous it actually is?"

Of course, plenty of tragic medical occurrences made it on the list. These seem like anti-climactic ways to die or suffer, but they are avoidable if we take a second to acknowledge them.

Shut Eye

"Not getting enough sleep." -- TheBassMeister

"As a firefighter who works 48 hour shifts at a busy station I really wish we would figure this out. It absolutely destroys guys." -- PhluckFace

"Even losing 1 hour of sleep (getting 7 instead of 8) can increase your risk of heart attack by 25%." -- CollegeSuperSenior

Mental Becomes Physical

"Eating disorders. People know they are bad and are a serious mental health issue, but not to the extent that it is. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Over 1/4 attempt suicide, and only 30-40% of anorexics ever recover fully."

-- BritneyPleaseMe

A Very Bad Mixture

"I saw this posted on a similar thread a few weeks ago and feel it's worth mentioning again - grapefruit and grapefruit juice. It can seriously mess up medications you may need to take. There is a page on the FDA website specifically warning about the dangers of ingesting medication and having grapefruit or grapefruit juice."

-- thatotherchicka

Don't Forget About This Virus

"The flu. It's one of the top 10 causes of death yearly in the US, combined with pneumonia (which they do because influenza deaths are often listed as pneumonia for cause of death). Flu deaths tend to exceed both suicide and homicide numbers along with car-related deaths."

"While many of these are people above 65, the flu is still dangerous to younger people, and there are a lot of bad things it does that fall short of killing people."

-- Plaid02

Others placed their attention on forces of nature. Us arrogant human beings tend to avoid being honest about just how vulnerable we are to the whims of our planet.

Picker Beware

"I'd say mushrooms, mostly because quite a lot of people annually die and a lot more get poisoned because they pick them according to some old wives tales, like if it's eaten by an animal or if it easily peels off it is for some reason or another safe for human consumption."

-- 1raindrop

Far Bigger, Heavier, and Stronger

"The ocean. People have no clue how powerful it is."

"I live at the beach and every summer multiple people die going in the ocean after hours. After hours meaning no lifeguards on duty."

-- VintageJunkInMyTrunk

Thinking Long Term

"The SUN" -- newone1104

"Yes! My bf works outside and it pisses me off that he is very careless about using sunscreen! I'm like in 15 yrs your going to look like your 100 and die a horrible death of skin cancer." -- Skinnysusan

Finally, some discussed the man vs. machine area of freak accidents. Our engineering minds have come up with some efficient, powerful tools.

But that power can come back to bite us.

Chomp, Chomp, Chomp

"Escalators, the top of the Escalators houses the motor that is basically a human shredder, the only thing seperating you from death is a jankly placed piece is sheet metal"

-- VeryTrickyy

Blame Hollywood

"Firing a 'warning shot' with guns."

"The bullet doesn't just continue into space. What goes up...."

"You are responsible for everything that leaves the barrel of your firearm and what it ends up hitting. Out of sight, out of mind doesn't work here."

-- Brotherbeam

Recoil

"Garage door springs. They'll kill you."

"Seriously, let a professional handle that sort of thing." -- BriSnyScienceGuy

"Even professionals are scared to death of them." -- Kool_McKool

"They are under such immense pressure that when they break, it sounds like a very loud gunshot or explosion. My neighbor's door spring broke and it woke up half the block." -- Au_Uncirculated

Just when you needed yet one more reason to have your head on a swivel whenever you partake in human life at all.

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/

Photo by aisvri on Unsplash

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