September 11, 2001[rebelmouse-image 18353613 is_animated_gif=
Almost everyone who has memories of 2001, knows where they were and what they were doing on September 11.
Many say it is the Pearl Harbor or JFK assassination of Generation X.
But what about those people in the air on that fateful day?
Reddit user n8th8n0101 asked "To the people on a plane on 9/11, what did your pilots tell you when they grounded all flights?"
Here are their stories.
London to Los Angeles[rebelmouse-image 18353614 is_animated_gif=
My wife and I were flying from London to Los Angeles - about three hours into the flight my wife asked why the flight map on her video screen showed the plane flying east instead of west (apparently the 747 had just completed a slow turn). At that exact moment the pilot came over the speaker and told us the plane would be going back to the UK because there had been an incident in New York and that US airspace had been closed down. All passengers were requested to remain in their seats and the air phones were turned off. We ended up landing in Cardiff, Wales -- there were several 747s at the runway by the time we arrived.
The minute the plane landed dozens of cell phones were ringing. All the events of the day came all at once -- towers hit, towers collapsed, Pentagon hit and another plane crashed in PA and worst of all thousands had died. People were just stunned learning all these details. The airport terminal was just overwhelmed -- there were thousands of people and the support staff were doing their best to assist us but they had little information or resources. First they said that flights would be departing the next day so we could be getting overnight accommodation. My wife said there was no way that anyone would be flying anywhere in the near future and our best bet would be to catch a train back to London. Fortunately there were several passengers that had the same thought and somehow they arranged to get a bus chartered to take us back to Heathrow. While waiting for the bus we found a television and were able to see the images of the day. People were watching in stunned silence and many were weeping. Upon boarding the bus my wife and I shared a set of earbuds which was plugged into a radio that had a US feed going through local UK stations -- the news just kept getting worse and it was clear that the world had changed while we had been in the air. At about 1am the bus arrived at Heathrow which was absolutely deserted. Eventually we made it back to our flat in Weybridge -- we stayed up watching CNN International for the next few hours and as the sun came up we finally got some sleep.
It was a day we have spoken of often since that time and one we will never forget. I still have the boarding passes in my desk.
Singapore to Seattle[rebelmouse-image 18353615 is_animated_gif=
A friend of mind was a pilot for Singapore Airlines flying Singapore to Seattle. He was diverted into Canada, but only told the passengers the bare minimum that they were being diverted to another airport. It wasn't until they got inside the airport terminal and saw the TV that they understood why they were diverted. (Even he was surprised at the scale compared to what ATC told him.)
He was also the pilot in command of the first commercial aircraft to enter US airspace when it was reopened, and he recalled being terrified of deviating from his planned track. He had an uneasy feeling in the back of his mind that there was likely an F-14 a few thousand feet above him ready to vaporise them if he moved unexpectedly.
Dallas to Boston[rebelmouse-image 18353616 is_animated_gif=
Not me but my mom, who was and still is a flight attendant. She was working a flight from DFW-BOS that morning, they were approaching the northeast when they were diverted to Akron, OH. I'm not sure what she was specifically told but I know they knew something was up. Their flight communications are even included in transcripts from that day.
By that time both towers had been hit and they were headed west over Pennsylvania to land. My mom said they were all on edge not really comprehending the severity of the situation and wondering whether they might be hijacked themselves. They were communicating with Cleveland on the ground when the hijacking of United 93 began over western PA, so there was communication between both flights and ground trying to confirm that the screaming etc they heard on the frequency was really a hijacking? Apparently United 93 was right behind them and my mom says the crew was back and forth up in the cockpit and in the galley looking out the windows trying to see the plane, while trying not to scare passengers.
She was stuck there for a few days until finally renting a car with some crew and driving back to TX. Was supposed to be a simple turn around run that day and she didn't bring any luggage. She always carries an overnight bag now just in case and was the first person in my family to get a cellphone immediately after this.
The airline gave crew optional 6 month leave in the months following. Where I grew up there were many airline families, some took leave and some didn't but my mom said she had to go back to work without interruption or else she'd never be able to get back on a plane afterwards.
Dublin[rebelmouse-image 18353617 is_animated_gif=
Me and my brother were on our way to NYC this day. Our flight had barely left Paris (CDG) when we suddenly went into a descent. The Captain made an announcement that they had been ordered to return to Paris but couldn't comply due to the by then already crowded airport. So we landed in Dublin.
The airline told us that we were to be flown back the next day, but nobody really believed that, news to the why and how still being scarce.
We were free to leave the airport though, so me, my brother and a couple of guys from our flight shared a cab into town, going for a pub crawl. When in Ireland...
Where I met a girl whose flight got grounded too. Long story short:
Our kids are 6 & 9 and remind us every day: Nothing in this world is so bad that it doesn't have an upside to it.
Hong Kong to London[rebelmouse-image 18353618 is_animated_gif=
I was flying Hong Kong to London, so wasn't subject to the flight groundings, but the pilot told us there had 'been an incident' in New York and there would be increased security at the terminal.
Arrived at Heathrow and there were dozens of police walking around with sub-machine guns (English police might not be regularly armed but they do not mess around when they feel they need to be.) Still not sure what's up, but definitely something serious.
My parents grabbed a newspaper to try and figure out what happened and flipped through the very scanty initial reports with the big picture of the burning towers on the cover, while queuing for security . Person behind them asked if they could have a look and you could subsequently hear people gasping one by by one as the paper made its way down the queue.
Atlanta to Denver[rebelmouse-image 18353620 is_animated_gif=
I was flying from Atlanta to Denver. Our flight was forced to land in Tulsa, OK. We were told that there was a terrorist attack in NY and that our aircraft had been ordered to land. The pilot did not mention that ALL aircraft had been ordered to land. As the only brown person on board I thought: Great, they must think that I am a suspect and now we have to land.
Once we landed and I saw all the planes jamming the tarmac, I realized that it was something really big.
Newark and the Museum[rebelmouse-image 18353621 is_animated_gif=
My dad flew on 9/11 from Newark to Boston for work. He was on an earlier flight than any of this. Once he touched down in Boston and heard what happened, him and his coworker drove home (back to NJ) from Boston. Typically it's about a 4 hour drive. It took them almost 9. They didn't have to drive home but wanted to know we were okay. There was also barely any cell coverage on my home town end since we were so close to NYC.
I know this doesn't answer your question directly, but man this day hits home for me. It eats my dad alive to this day how he still believes he saw those guys in one of the airports and didn't know it.
I could see the smoke rising from my middle school like no tomorrow was in sight. No one went back to school for about 2 weeks. A lot of kids I went to school with had family members pass away. The anniversary always haunts me. I visited the 9/11 memorial and museum in NY a few years back with this girl I was seeing. She had never been to NY before and I felt crazy when I honestly started to cry inside (the museum). All the emotions got to me at once.
It's a day I'll never forget. And definitely a day that many more people other than myself will never forget for even worse reasons. I feel incredibly lucky to have a dad that's still alive today, when many of my friends do not have parents or relatives that are so lucky.
~ The 9/11 museum is very well done but I wish I was a little more mentally prepared before visiting it. I expected it to be more "cold statistics" and maybe lists of names but it's not that at all. For anyone who hasn't been, there are videos and pictures and stories of all the people who died that day, memories from their families, voicemail recordings of calls from the day. The last phone calls from people who were in the buildings and realized they weren't getting out. Stories from people who weren't in the office that day and in a blink of an eye lost every one of their coworkers. It's haunting and tragic.~
*We were told when we went in to expect it to take 2 hours to see everything. 7 hours later I walked out. I cried. A lot. I'm a 33 year old guy from the UK.
Nothing can prepare you for the room with the Pennsylvania crash calls. Nor the room with the jumpers from the WTC.
I was more emotionally exhausted than I have ever been after finishing.*
Orlando to Kansas City[rebelmouse-image 18353622 is_animated_gif=
I was 9 when 9/11 occurred and my family were returning home from a birthday trip to Disney, (my birthday is September 12th, 1991, so I was turning 10 that very next day) so Orlando to Kansas City. I don't remember the specifics but it didn't feel like we were in the air long at all (our flight had been at 8:20) before the captain had come onto the overhead speakers to tell us that there had been some pretty serious incidents occurring in New York City and that they were told to land as soon as possible and that we'd be diverted to Houston.
As soon as we landed, my dad had called my uncle (who lives in Hackensack, but worked in NYC) and my uncle had told him everything. My dad literally exclaimed into a kind of gasp-sob and that was the first and only time I've ever come close to seeing him cry. When we got off the plane, it was all over the televisions throughout the airport. My mom and dad practically clung to us the entire time from the airport to our hotel nearby.
The whole thing is something I cannot and will not ever forget.
Charters[rebelmouse-image 18353623 is_animated_gif=
My step dad was a pilot flying small private jets, and was in the air when it happened. He said they just told him to land immediately and he had to go into the airport to find out why, and what happened, and go back to the plane to tell the passengers.
I used to work with someone who owned a small plane. He was grounded for months, because his plane was parked in a no-fly zone. I don't recall what he was too close to -- whether it was a major city (Seattle), major airport, or military base.
Same thing happened with my dad, he was riding a chartered business flight from the Midwest toward the east coast. Had to land somewhere in the middle. Dad & coworkers got a rental car to keep going, but the pilot had to stay with the plane for weeks.
Air Traffic Control[rebelmouse-image 18353624 is_animated_gif=
It's so surreal to see the US airspace completely empty.
Here is a time lapse of the day.
Toronto to Montreal[rebelmouse-image 18353625 is_animated_gif=
(The pilot said) nothing...complete silence about it. I was flying from Toronto to Montreal. I noticed that the breakfast service ended abruptly and the stewards were acting funny, standing at the bulkheads and visually scanning the passengers. I listened to hear if the plane sounded funny or was behaving oddly...nothing was out of the ordinary so I went back to reading my paper.
Disembarked into a sea of people in Montreal, when I came down the escalator I didn't know where I was going to stand...that many people.
Many, many Americans that had no idea they would be visiting Canada that day. They were on the PA asking for people with extra rooms to lend, and Montreal'ers took them all into their homes...within an hour they were saying they had enough available rooms.
Language[rebelmouse-image 18353626 is_animated_gif=
Not entirely plane related, but my Dad worked near the towers and got off the train to see the second plane crash. It really messed him up inside. We lived in the Bronx, and everyday he went to the Park Avenue Armory where people lined up to find out about their loved ones.
My Dad noticed that many didn't speak English and they were having a hard time communicating. He wrote Translation Services on a piece of paper and stapled it to his shirt and spoke Spanish, French, and Russian. He got the relief effort to spread the word to get translators. It was all over the radio and TV.
The Japanese government heard and sent their best translators by special permission on a direct flight to New York (one of the few planes that could come to New York.) A Japanese bank had work space in the towers, and the relatives of the workers also came.
By the end, hundreds of people came, even those of more obscure languages from Algeria and Azerbaijan, among others. There was a fleet of Punjabi, Afrikaans, Creole, Korean, Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Polish, Chinese. It's wondrous to see how something as simple as talking binds all of us. The City began implementing translation services everywhere since.
I was 12 years old at the time and didn't understand the impact. Today at age 28, I know my Dad was a hero.
Link to: an article translated from Spanish to English from El Diario about my father.
Link to: the original Spanish article
Washington DC to Miami[rebelmouse-image 18353627 is_animated_gif=
My dad was an armed high ranking federal agent. He was flying from DC to Miami. He usually sleeps on flights but was woken up somewhere over Southern Virginia, and asked to come to the cockpit. The pilots told him to guard the cockpit, and that he was authorized to shoot - he spoke to someone over the cockpit communication system confirming the authorization. He was given the jump seat next to the cockpit during landing, so he could see if anyone stood up. He told me later that the reason they were allowed to continue to Miami instead of putting down in the Carolinas was because he was on the plane.
When he died in 2010, my mom showed me the piece of paper he had kept, with his notes from that radio transmission. I think my older brother has them now.
When he landed, he was met by the three guys he was flying down to meet with, and they all drove back overnight, getting back just in time to help oversee the search at the Pentagon, where he worked.
I've never seen him as shaken as the day he brought home a piece of the desk from his office.
Los Angeles to Melbourne[rebelmouse-image 18353628 is_animated_gif=
I was on a plane from LA to Melbourne, with a stop-over via Auckland, and 9/11 happened while we were in the air.
Halfway through the flight, all the flight attendants got really nervous, and the pilot told us that due to a safety issue, the seatbelt sign was kept on throughout the flight, which we all found really confusing.
When we landed in New Zealand, there were armed guards with machine guns to greet us - which is very out of the ordinary for New Zealand. The first reports the flight attendants gave us was that it was the Empire State Building that had been attacked, that was how confused initial reports were. We were luckily allowed to fly on to Melbourne, but after that all international flights in Australia were grounded for a few days.
Surreal[rebelmouse-image 18353629 is_animated_gif=
My parents were flying the morning of 9/11. I dropped them off at the airport and drove to work. First tower was hit as I pulled into the parking lot. Radio people thought it was just a fire at the tower. As I went into work and checked the news, it became clear a plane hit it. As I was on the phone with my buddy, the second plane hit on the live TV he was watching. That's when it was clear this was intentional.
Started to tell my boss I needed to pick up my parents, but he cut me off and said, "GO!". I called my parents as I ran to the car. The TVs at the gates had all been turned off and they announced no flights would be taking off. I raced to the airport, picked them up, and drove home to eerily empty roads and sky.
Also weird was suddenly seeing a lot of planes really low as they headed to the airport near us to get out of the air.
And what made it even more surreal was that it was such a gorgeous day. It was so clear and the blue of the sky was beautiful. It felt almost inappropriate or irreverent.
I remember when they let planes fly again, I was a little traumatized every time one would fly over. It took me months to break the habit of staring at each one, making sure it wasn't crashing.
Empty[rebelmouse-image 18353630 is_animated_gif=
My father worked for Delta at the time as a supervisor in the airport. He was working a flight that was about to push back when everything shut down. He had the final paperwork for the flight crew and ran down to let them know they weren't going anywhere. Air Traffic Control had just announced the shutdown to all aircraft on the ground.
No details were given over the radio, just that an incident had happened in NYC and all flights were grounded. He announced over the plane's PA that the flight was canceled due to an unknown incident and everyone could retrieve their luggage in a few minutes.
There were no TVs in the gate area back then, but a few of the shops and snack bars had TVs in the ticketing area. As people got near a TV the word spread. Everyone collected their bags and left the airport. From about 11:00 on, the airport was deserted except for airline employees.
New Jersey to Georgia[rebelmouse-image 18353631 is_animated_gif=
I was on a United flight from Newark to Atlanta that morning. We were in the air when everything happened and were supposed to land about 9:00. Just before landing they held us in a"holding pattern" in the air. At about 9:30 we landed. No announcements were made on the plane.
Just as we got to the gate and people started turning their phones on, I hear phones start ringing everywhere.
"What happened...." "A plane hit what..."
At that point my phone started to ring as well. It was my wife wanting to make sure I wasn't on one of the planes. And she filled me in on what was known then. The pilot and cabin crew did not say anything about what happened in the air.
There was an eerie silence in the terminal. I did not see any TV screens. I went directly to the car rental company, got a car and started driving north, back to NY. Listening to the radio as much as I could the whole way back...
Across the Atlantic[rebelmouse-image 18353632 is_animated_gif=
London to Chicago. Pilot told us there had been a major incident and US airspace was closed. Asked us not to talk or speculate with other passengers about the incident (to minimize panic).
We turned our phones on as we taxied on landing in Montreal. Both towers were already down and phones were going crazy, people who had managed to get a call through were sobbing and trying to explain to those whose phones wouldn't connect what they had just heard. Absolute sense of disbelief all round and it didn't really hit until I saw it on tv in the hotel.
One thing we were told at the time by the pilot was that the pilot was out of direct contact with Air Traffic Control (ATC) in both London and the USA at the time, so they were talking to the plane behind them, who was talking to the plane behind them, who was talking to ATC somewhere. So they were getting garbled second or third hand information from multiple sources about planes crashing and hijackings and trying to inform their passengers while not being sure of the information they had received themselves.
When you fly over the Atlantic there is no regular direct contact with Air Traffic Control except through high frequency radio which is only used sparingly in absolute emergencies. On 9/11 they would have wanted to keep radio traffic to a minimum in case of another hijacking.
Logan International Airport[rebelmouse-image 18353633 is_animated_gif=
My father was the Air Traffic Control supervisor for Logan Airport on 9/11 which is where the hijacked planes originated from. Before they hit the World Trade Center (WTC) my dad knew they had been hijacked. They lost contact and then saw on the news that a plane had hit the WTC. He called Federal Aviation Administration headquarters and they thought it was a prank. By the time the second plane hit NORAD was telling him to ground every aircraft in their airspace.
He said the hardest part was not being able to watch the news. All of his controllers desperately wanted to watch, but they had to get all of those planes down. There were several times when they thought more planes had been hijacked. He told me it was the absolute worst day of his life.
Link to: Recordings of ATC communications from that day on YouTube - at the end of the recording you hear a controller warning incoming flights to increase their cockpit security, and the controller sounds so broken and exhausted.
Our Neighbors to the North[rebelmouse-image 18353634 is_animated_gif=
I was flying from London to Dallas and was diverted to Gander, Newfoundland in Canada. We estimate we must have been very close to Manhattan when the first plane hit. None of the crew would tell us what was going on, only that the USA had closed it's airspace due to an aviation incident and we would be redirected to somewhere in Canada. We landed at Gander, Newfoundland along with (eventually) 37 other jumbo jets; all 38 of those planes almost doubled the population of the town.
~This small Canadian town on an island in the North Atlantic Ocean took in nearly 6,700 people with no prior warning. Their hospitality to the unexpected house guests, from nearly 100 countries, drew worldwide accolades and inspired the Broadway musical: _Come From Away. _The airport there marks the closest point between Europe and the U.S. and is a preferred emergency landing spot for medical and other emergencies. The 38 planes came "fast and furious" into the airport. Officials spent the next 31 hours unloading luggage and people.~
After we had landed, the captain told everyone what had happened and there was of course utter shock on the plane, lots of tears (most poignantly from two middle eastern gentleman sitting across the aisle from me) and conversations. After several hours waiting on the plane eventually we were moved into the airport where we officially entered Canada as refugees(!) We were allowed our cabin bags but there was no access to the luggage in the hold.
There was hot food waiting for us in the airport and we were then moved onto school buses and driven to various places around the town, I think it was about 22:00 (10pm) by this time. Spent three nights sleeping on a church hall floor with mattresses, pillows and covers donated by locals, others slept on the fire station floor etc, wherever there was room, and were fed three meals a day by volunteers. There was just one hotel in town and the flight crews and those too infirm to sleep on the floor, were put into that. The local University opened it's computer rooms so people could email home and the local phone company put loads of phones out on the pavement to try and ease the massive queue to what we think was the only payphone in the town.
If anyone from Gander is reading this, you all have a heart of gold, the way we were all looked after.
After those three nights, we were woke up early by a British Airways member of staff about flying back to London. We were all moved onto a school bus where we sat for a long time before we were driven back to the airport. Went through the usual security procedures at the airport, reboarded the plane and took off for England.
Plane took off, everyone applauded once we were up in the air (first and last time I've ever seen that happen after take off instead of landing!) and we landed back at Heathrow. Declined British Airways' offer to book new flights to Dallas and instead accepted a refund. We decided we'd only have about two weeks of what would have been a three week holiday left and also we'd rather Americans trying to get home had the seats.
Link to: Operation Yellow Ribbon - Canada essentially became a giant aircraft car-park, 238 aircraft were diverted to 17 different Canadian airports, 33,000-40,000 people.
Being an emergency responder is a high-stress job.
It's a career with long, laborious hours.
There is always a hint of danger. And death is always around the corner.
So we as a society could try to help these people out and not put ourselves in unnecessary danger.
Redditor Diligent-Log6805wanted the rescue workers out there to tell us about the times they rescued people. They asked:
"Emergency responders of reddit, what are some dumb things that have lead to an emergency situation?"
These workers and the world already has enough trouble without my stupid.
"So... was she impressed?"Idiot Reaction GIFGiphy
"Kid driving his new truck down a residential street, wet from a recent rain, lost control and hit a parked car, overcorrected and rolled it once back onto its wheels up onto a lawn. He told the fire chief he had gunned it to impress his girlfriend and the chief just looked at him and asked 'So... was she impressed?'"
"I had a client once who was basically Ricky from Trailer Park Boys, loud, obnoxious, hilarious and every second word was some Maritime slang or a derivative of 'f**k.' He has been on daily eye drops for decades for dry eyes, sure ok cool. I hear screaming down the hall and run in and he's wedged against the wall and the bed just screaming 'I f**ked up boys, I dunno what the f**k is f**king happening but It's f**ked."
"Turns out he mistakenly put Jublia which is an antifungal ointment for toenails in his eye thinking it was his eye drops. The strangest part was the bottle has this miniature sponge at the end so you soak the sponge then paint it on like a gel...he painted this antifungal ointment onto his eye which immediately went red and angry then proceeded to do the other one."
"So he's at the eyewash station and I'm talking to poison control and they are pretty stunned because they have zero data on what happens to a human eyeball when it's painted in antifungal. I can hear the staff at the other end kind of snickering under her breath and she asks can you compare and contrast the eyes? Well... he put it in both eyes. The line goes silent because I can tell she is howling. Guy was totally fine but it was a standout for sure."
Will they show?
"Responded to a call of two minors being kidnapped and their parents being beaten in front of them and then taken someplace else. One was around three years and the other one was six. They were held captive in an apartment out of hundreds of residential apartments which not easy to locate, upon reaching there we found out that the boy six was just playin' with us to see if we would actually respond. Their parents were so embarrassed by all of that and vowed to not give them mobile until they are adults."
"When I was an EMT in NYC years ago we had a call for a man 'unresponsive.' We entered an upscale apartment that was a hoard: floor to ceiling newspapers and magazines, just a mess. The woman who called said her brother was in his bedroom sick."
"We entered his room and it was pretty obvious that he had already passed away. She had placed a bowl under his mouth because he had hemorrhaged which had coagulated the day before it was crazy. We asked her why she hadn’t called sooner and she said thought he’d get better?!"
"The joke around the house was 'if you have to put a bowl under a relative who is bleeding from the mouth, call 911. Don’t wait.' Never thought we’d have to advise anyone to do that. But there ya go. Also, it was Thanksgiving. Didn’t eat any cranberry sauce that year."
God Only KnowsMarried At First Sight Lol GIF by LifetimeGiphy
"Had a guy call because he had the cure to Covid and needed a ride to the local education hospital so he could share it. Dude was so high on meth He ended up having 4 or 5 binders worth of scientific looking notes. God only knows what was actually in them."
Wow, people really need to get a grip. Of their minds.
"Sparky"on fire GIFGiphy
"One of my old bosses once built a new shed in his back yard, to replace his old, worn-out one. He moved everything from the old one to the new one, then decided that the best way to remove the old one was by burning it down. He ended up with no sheds and the nickname 'Sparky.'"
Dead in the living room...
"Paramedic here. We responded to this 54 year old having chest pain. Man was having a heart attack. Dude didn't want to go to the hospital because it too early in the day. That's it. We tried to convince him to go. Got the ER doc to talk to him and he wouldn't budge. He signed a Refusal. Later that same night, his family found him. Dead in the living room. We got to him and started CPR, meds, everything. Dude didn't make it. When we advise you to go to the hospital, go."
"Got called to a shooting. A guy says he received a text message from an anonymous number saying his brother has been shot. He checks all the hospitals with no luck. He goes to his brother's apartment but gets no response at his door but sees his car and can hear the TV on. We get there, attempt to get an answer at the door."
"Eventually we kick the door in to make sure he wasn't dying in his apartment. We boot the door, announce police, and find him asleep in his bed. The guy tells us that he got a new phone number and decided to mess with his brother by texting him he had been shot. He then fell asleep and forgot about the text and was woken up by us. So many wasted resources on his idiotic prank."
"Got called to a priority job. The caller was kayaking in a lake and said that there was an unresponsive male in the water. So off we went, lights and sirens. We requested paramedics and fire to attend as well for the rescue operation. There were about 6 emergency vehicles attending including a rescue boat. We got there within minutes and met the caller who showed us where the guy was."
"He was just swimming, minding his own business. The caller said he was unresponsive, but really he was just ignoring her. Had a chat with the guy, he seemed alright, said he swims here every day and likes the quiet. No issues. Would have been nice if the caller told the operator that he was still conscious and swimming rather than 'unresponsive.'"
Chew SlowlySnl GIF by Saturday Night LiveGiphy
"Well, I was taking a lady home from dialysis and she decided to eat a snickers in the back of the ambulance, and she started choking. Had to do the heimlich, and tell her to finish her food at home."
If it's not a true emergency dial 311. Please.
I hated science classes.
As soon as I could I ran.
But it follows me.
Because science can be downright disturbing.
That's why I blocked out so many of the details.
Redditor Flimsy_Finger4291wanted to compare notes on all the frightening facts that are a definitive. They asked:
"What's the scariest thing that science has proven real?"
As if knowledge isn't scary enough, let's her more...
Hello Terrypaint surgery GIF by gifnewsGiphy
"Some tumors have teeth, hair and even eyes."
"My sister had one minus the eyes! It was cantaloupe sized on one of her ovaries before it was found. She named it Terry the Teratoma."
"My best friend and bunk mate from summer camp died from one of those when I was in 7th grade. Happened so quickly, we were a week into camp and he got really sick. They gave us all heavy meningitis shots because they didn’t know what it was and within a few days he was dead. Turned out to be a brain eating amoeba."
"Edit: strangely enough on the same day he started getting sick one of the lifeguards that was sitting out in a boat waiting for the next group of kids for what we called Trojans Vs. Spartans day had a seizure, fell off the boat and drowned. Only deaths they’d ever had in the 50+ years the camp had been open."
Far Far Away
"The size of our galaxy, how many other galaxies there are and how far away they are. When you can actually see something that incomprehensible.."
"The nearest star to us would take the Voyager 70,000 years to reach. The nearest galaxy to ours would take the Voyager 749,000,000 years. If we some how managed to take on the monstrous task of speed of light travel it would still take 25,000 years to reach the nearest galaxy. And it's even further apart after you read this. Wild stuff!"
"How the brain is literally rewired and chemically altered by childhood neglect and abuse."
"It's genuinely kinda freaky, playing a puzzle game, and noticing how quickly you're getting better at it. The kind of puzzles that were a real blocker in the beginning become baby-easy after like an hour of playing puzzles like it."
"My sister faced horrible abuse at the hands of our father, and she has been working through it with multiple therapists over the last 10 years and she is only now starting to get her life back. I feel like she was robbed at a fair chance at life because of our a**hole father."
AwakeBill Murray Im Here GIF by Groundhog DayGiphy
"Prions, horrific and totally unpredictable."
"Fatal familial insomnia is a prions disease where you can't sleep anymore, you just stay awake until your brain deteriorates and you die."
Now I can never UNKNOW about prions. Perfect.
Days gone by...Aging Matt Damon GIFGiphy
"Ageing. I'm content with death but the idea of my body growing old, frail and eventually falling apart before the end game gives me goosebumps."
"Gamma ray bursts. No warning, no escape, no defense, no survivors."
"If you're talking about supernovas if the star isn't too close the gamma burst would probably only destroy some part of our ozone layer. And gamma radiation is actually the least lethal out of all types of waves."
"Entropy. Time shall consume all things. Inevitable heat death of the universe."
"I personally want the 'Big Crunch' to be true. That instead of fizzling out it all gets sucked back into an infinitely small/dense particle and then another Big Bang happens. It’s my explanation for the multiverse. It’s all one timeline. Just infinitely long."
"More like a theory, the 'orangutan paradox,' when we film a documentary on orangutans, they can’t realize that we are observing them, yet they are the most intelligent species of their category, so aliens might be watching us and we are as oblivious as an orangutan."
Fade 2 SilentListen Scooby Doo GIF by MashedGiphy
"That hearing is the last sense to leave, when dying."
Well that is the antithesis of comfort. Life is so fun.
Ever since Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope opened on May 25, 1977, a devoted fanbase developed.
And that fanbase has opinions.
Lots and lots of opinions.
Redditor Ebo8000 wanted to know:
"What is your most controversial take on Star Wars?"
"LASERS LOCK DOORS. LASERS OPEN DOORS. LASERS KNOW WHAT YOU WANT THE DOOR TO DO."
"But if you get past the door and close it behind you and you don’t want anyone to follow you through it…"
"…you shoot the bloody door panel!"
"Also, f*cking hell, we're in the future (or in the past), whatever, and people have better technology."
"Why put the door control RIGHT NEXT to the door? Put the door control system in a breaker box."
"Build every door so in case of malfunction they all shut closed (after all, they're in space and you don't want to lose air in decompression, do you?)"
"Shoot the breaker box, now the whole floor is closed until someone can figure out what happened."
"Almost look like those doors just exist as dramatic elements..."
"I’d like a film about when the Republic was at its height. 1,000 generations is 25,000 years and we’ve had 9 movies about the last 60."
"Not sure if controversial but they need to take the franchise and yeet it 200 years in the future."
"I'm tired of the Empire era where they need to justify why more than 2 Jedi and 2 Sith exist at one moment alongside knowing everything is pointless until Luke leaves the farm."
Design Fail? No!
"The Death Stars weren't badly designed they were just badly managed."
"Yes, designing them assuming large scale assaults was stupid given the political state of the galaxy but the second Death Star wasn't even finished so that doesn't count, it's all Palpatine's fault. As for the first one that was finished, the Alliance made three runs on the exhaust port."
"The first was called off before they made it to the trench, the second failed and the third was carried out by space Jesus which isn't exactly fair."
"All in all it sounds like a fairly effective defence when you consider the design philosophy."
"The entire universe has a cool factor that outweighs the atrocious storytelling."
"Bro imagine the following movies, but if they were in Star Wars universe."
"Magnificent 7 - A Jedi, Bounty Hunter, Ex-Imperial, Pilot, Wookie, a Droid, and Lawman team up to defend a town against pirates"
"Dredd - Two Jedi climb up an apartment block to confront a new dark side user who has mental control of the entire apartment block"
"Supernatural (T.V. Show) - A Jedi and their apprentice go around and solve and defeat Dark Side Force spots—where the Force consolidates from emotions and creates foul creatures to fight"
"Top Gun - But it's you know, Wedge or something"
"Ford versus Ferrari - But it's podracing or swoop racing"
"Something about the ships in the original series always felt more like real ships than in any of the later movies, despite the objectively better effects of the later films."
"Some of this is probably the use of models (i.e. actual three dimensional objects), but I think there is some critical difference in the design that makes them feel more real (probably because they were designed to be things that would actually work as models)."
"Whatever it is, I LOVED the ships in the original series and never really liked any of the new ones."
"The original trilogy changed the world by showing a universe in space that was dirty and lived in. The special effects from the later movies did not recognize this."
"Boba Fett is an oddly overrated background character, and even after watching The Book of Boba Fett, I don’t really care about him."
"He was never a character. He was a cool helmet."
"He was a cool jetpack too."
Time for the weather...
"Han is actually older than Obi-Wan due to Time Dilation."
"Time dilation in a universe where every planet and moon has the same gravity and atmosphere?"
"And just 1 biome."
"That way they only need one Weather Channel per planet."
"And over to Klaatu for the Tatooine weather report. Klaatu?"
"It's still sunny."
These are the droids we're looking for.
"Star Wars is actually the life story of C-3PO—think about it."
"I disagree. I think its R2-D2's story. He had a much greater presence in Episode 1, 2 and 3, and got the same amount of screen time as C-3PO in 4, 5 and 6."
Fan is short for fanatic.
"Fans ruined the whole franchise."
So, did your controversial Star Wars opinion make the list?
Death is a subject many people shy away from because what they don't know beyond our realm of existence can be intimidating.
Hollywood hasn't helped, as movies and TV have typically portrayed death as something sinister and violent.
How could anyone be convinced death is a peaceful transition, and that what awaits on the other side is actually an unimaginable utopia?
Curious to hear strangers' thoughts about death, Redditor GoodNess2020 invoked a quote by an iconic literary figure and asked:
"Mark Twain once said, 'I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.' Why do you agree/disagree with his statement?"
People clarified what actually terrified them most about death
"I don't fear being dead. I fear dying."
"Yeah, that's usually the issue. It's why that quote doesn't mean much, to a lot of people."
"It's not a fear of eventually dying and not existing anymore. It's the act of dying itself. He didn't constantly die for all of time. He just wasn't alive."
Concept Of Loss
"To have not existed for billions of years is to have spent billions of years never knowing loss. To die is to know loss."
"If you look into a new bank account and see zero dollars, it’s nothing. If you look into a bank account that once had a million dollars and see there’s nothing in there, you’ll know it’s absence."
People provided an analogy to articulate what ceasing to exist must feel like.
It's About Time
"Time is only relevant to you when you are alive. He is right. Have you ever been sedated for surgery? You go under, and then instantly wake up and procedure is done.... or you died so no worries."
Consciousness Is Life
"You won’t be feeling anything in death though is the thing. That infinite/instant sensation was a living feeling, you just weren’t conscious for it - your body experienced it anyways. No body, no experience."
Like Being Under
"That is very true, but for me, that's the closest amalgamation of what it probably feels like."
"No one can tell you what actual death will be like. It's impossible for you to experience nothingness."
"Thinking about death can be paralysing sometimes, and when I remember that the closest thing i can link as an experience I had, being put under, was actually sort of pleasant. I then think maybe death will be like that, and honestly it doesn't seem that bad."
When In Deep Sleep
"Yeah in contrast to sleep where you can actually feel like time has passed when you wake up."
Think Line Between Death And Slumber
"As CGPGrey puts it, your bed might very well be a suicide machine."
"Given our lack of understanding for the fundamental processes of our sentience, it's entirely possible that when you fall asleep, your mind is functionally killed, disassembled, analyzed, sorted, tweaked, and adjusted by your biology, before being reassembled when you wake. Every night."
People opened up about their insecurities around the concept of death.
Fear Of What Comes Next
"I’m just paranoid that something does happen after death and it’s just based on one thing that you didn’t know about."
The Circle Of Death
"There’s nothing to fear in oblivion. Unless, of course, your consciousness survives death. If so, it would be reasonable to fear the sensation of consciousness without senses, suspended alone in the cosmos, with no one to hear you, and no way to make yourself known. No reference point for counting time – a count that does not matter anyway in a literal eternity."
"You might wish that you still had a corporeal form, only so that you could make your mouth move to express your terror, to make the universal form of a terrified scream – the form of a letter O."
"But you won’t be able to. You just won’t!"
"This has been the Children’s Fun Fact Science Corner. Brought to you by shame, loneliness, and the letter..."
When Faith Fails You
"what do you mean I'm going to hell?! I was a good person and attended church regularly!"
"Ah yes, but you failed to put a blue feather in your hat and then turn in circles the times praising God Almighty on the fifth Sunday after your twelfth birthday. To the pit with you!!!"
There is an poignant episode from the Twilight Zone that brought me a sense of peace surrounding the concept of death.
Death was embodied by a handsome police officer who had been shot–played by a young Robert Redford–and begs to be let into the home of an elderly woman who had been living in perpetual fear of meeting "Mr. Death."
As the episode continues, she discovers much to her dismay that she welcomed Death into her home, but he warmly reassures her there is nothing to fear.
The episode ends with her finally offering her hand to Death after much protest, and they peacefully walk out together, arm in arm, into the light.
It was sweet and beautifully done. The 1962 episode was titled, "Nothing in the Dark."
That's how I imagine it to be.
A dashing Prince of Darkness telling me it's time to join him in guiding me to the other side.