Life is a roller coaster of experiences—from the amazing and happy to the truly horrifying. As great as moments like winning a contest, graduation, and your wedding day might be, there are also terrifying moments like losing a loved one or getting into an accident that you might experience too.
Redditor LuckyAdair asked:
"What is the scariest experience you have gone through?"
[Content Note: the following article contains stories of various traumatic events, such as loss of a loved one, injury to a child, armed robbery, murder, and suicide. Reader discretion is advised.]
"Get The F*ck Out Of My House"
"Someone breaking into my house last year."
"It was really early in the pandemic and my wife was in the bedroom asleep, I was in the living room with headphones in playing video games with some friends while my son was asleep in his little jawn next to me. Was maybe 8PM."
"Basically I stood up and took my headphones off, and turned around just in time to see this guy in a bright red ski mask (which is way scarier than black it turns out) opening up the doors into the living room / dining room area I'm in. Nearly sh*t myself."
"He pauses, I'm like, frozen for a second but then stammer out 'get the f*ck out of my house' and he just lunges at me. Like, he wasn't armed, he wasn't bigger than me, I think he just panicked and thought he could knock me down and run...or worse..."
"But uh, it turns out when someone breaks into your house and your entire family is home and your child is now crying while you fight a tweeker in your living room...some really primal sh*t kicks in, and I fought the guy until I had him in like, my approximation of a choke hold (not a fighter), before shouting for my wife to call the police, who arrived like, instantly because:""My friends heard the entire thing on/through discord and one of them called the police."
"Was over in under 5 minutes but I couldn't use headphones anymore while I gamed in that room (we've since moved), I don't like having my back to doors, and I had to get a few stitches on my hand from how I fell."
Armed Robbery Is Traumatizing
"Scary, just a few weeks ago I got robbed at gunpoint by three guys that came up behind me. It was 9PM and right in front of my house. Even when I complied and gave them my cash, they still punched and kicked me afterwards. My focus was on trying to make sure they didn't get my keys either to my house, where my wife and kids were at the time, or my truck that I was unloading. They did get my phone though and dumped it off a bridge.
"The police found it, but it was smashed to hell, but they did get prints off of it and there is a warrant out for one of the guys. Still scary that they know where I live."
Get Out Quick
"My husband calling me to tell me his brother killed his parents and that I needed to get the dogs and myself out of the house immediately in case his brother was on his way to our house."
"I was incredibly fortunate that a neighbor let me hide the dogs in her garage and come in until my husband gave me the all clear to go home."
"How did this end? Did the brother go to your place? Did end up in jail or underground?"
"He also set several fires across town (including his own property and his parents) and then killed himself in a confrontation with the police."
"Was doing some mineral exploration work up in Alaska this summer in a very remote mountain range. I was working at a drill site where a grizzly had been spotted at the rig earlier that day and I was naturally a little on edge. I was laying out some wires through very thick brush (couldn't see through it at all), and all of a sudden I hear a really large animal close by, and I smelled the typical wet dog bear smell."
"Before I had time to react the wire gets ripped out of my hands and dragged into the brush at probably 20mph. I'm freaking out trying to reach my gun and this massive bull caribou just pops his head out and looks me over, then walks away lol."
Fear Isn't Always Short-lived
"It's happening right now."
"My wife is in the ICU with pneumonia on top of a year+ long battle with cancer. Sedated, on a ventilator and barely clinging to life, her heart could just give out at any time and that's it."
"I'm literally sitting in her room all night fully expecting to lose her sometime tonight or in the next couple days."
"Ive been through some scary moments in my life, but in a completely different way, this is by far the scariest night of my life."
Just Trying To Make Pizzas
"Got a couple knives pulled on me one night while working at a pizza shop. Had a little mexican standoff. First time experiencing the thought "I might have to stab this dude or be stabbed'"
"Luckily our pizza knives were bigger and with my coworker backing me up the two dudes both left. I owe my life to my coworker from that night, dude had my back."
Rockslides Are Terrifying
"I got caught in a rockslide and fell off a cliff while backpacking. Early Spring, things were starting to melt, we were hiking on a ridge and looking for a way down the side, maybe a 60 - 70 degree loose scree slope, to a stream about 500 feet below. I was in the lead, heading down at an angle, rocks kicked out from under my feet, and I fell backwards onto my butt."
"All of sudden, the entire slope around me began to move en mass, like an island of broken up rocks with me sitting in the middle. I rode it down the hill, bouncing off stuff and trying to stop myself and dig in but no luck, just picking up speed."
"At the bottom, the hill dropped off to a 40 ft cliff, and I was launched off with the slide. I landed in a pile of debris and loose stuff that previously came down, including a lot of loose snow, which mostly absorbed the energy. I was mostly OK, muddy, lots of scratches and bruises, a separated shoulder and broken tail bone, but I was able to walk out."
My one memory is being in mid air, time standing still, and looking to my left at a stove-size boulder likewise suspended in the air, about 6 feet away. Any good size rock would have killed me."
"Impending Sense Of Doom" Doesn't Quite Cover It
"When I was a teenager I had an irregular heart rhythm, and required a medication called adenosine."
"Adenosine is usually given via infusion just once or twice, in hospital under careful monitoring, and the side effects include an 'impending sense of doom'. This side effect relates to your heart beat temporarily stopping. This fires signals to your brain, telling you it's time to panic. Or you've reached the end."
"'Impending sense of doom' doesn't begin to describe it. I was told in advance, but nothing prepares you for it. I went from sitting on the hospital bed, just finished a sandwich and thinking about my year 11 exam, to suddenly being certain that I was going to die here. I've never felt so sure of anything - I couldn't move or speak, and my mind suddenly raced very fast, to the extent I couldn't keep up with my own thoughts. It was similar to what you hear about your life flashing before your eyes."
"My brain was drowning, and telling me to find more oxygen - even though I was breathing fine. I was suddenly sure this was a nightmare, that this hospital was fake and all the doctors and nurses were actors, and I was poisoned."
"Then it was over in seconds. I haven't had a single heart problem since."
Seizures Can Be So Scary
"My son had his first seizure while I was driving. He was in the back seat and I heard a noise. I looked in the rearview mirror and he was convulsing with blood running out of his mouth. Then he collapsed, I thought he had died. To this day, I don't know how I was able to get off the freeway, call 911 and check his pulse. He was 7 years seizure free on Nov. 29, but that one day changed my life forever."
Am I Going To Drown?
"Being held underwater by some classmates in highschool. Not the worst or most damaging thing I've gone through, not even close to being the worst incident of bullying, but it was the most frightening."
Words Nobody Wants To Hear
"'It is cancer. I'm sorry'"
"I was 34, and had just gotten married a few months earlier. Stage 2. Grade 3 triple negative, invasive ductal carcinoma."
"I'm OK now, treatment was successful."
"But three years on, my husband cheated on me, we're getting divorced and my only chance to ever have children (after the chemotherapy left me infertile) remains with the 12 embryos currently stored in a freezer somewhere."
"So now I have to decide if I want to be tied to the man who ruined everything and betrayed me, by having his children... its my only option if I ever want to get pregnant."
Where Is Everyone?
"I don't think that's the scariest thing that happened to me but it's the one I can remember now."
"I was sleeping in class and when I woke up the class was empty and it was dark outside so I got up started panicking and ran down 3 stories of stairs in 10 seconds only to find out that it was break and it was dark outside because a storm came in the half hour I was sleep in and made it look like night time."
Don't Build A Bomb
"Being 18 and waking up to the FBI screaming and pointing guns in my face with bright lights and dragging me out of bed and getting cuffed and thrown into a van."
"Don't build a
"I dont do dumb shit anymore and I dont buy anything that would make them think im up to my old ways."anymore and I dont buy anything that would make them think im up to my old ways."
"I'm on the straight and narrow now and after all that the only job I could get was in the trucking industry and now I own 5 trucks and built a nice life and try my best to be a up standing member in my community."
"Giving birth to my son, they put him on my chest for about 5 seconds then snatched him up and an entire team of medical types crowded around him working in complete silence. He wasn't breathing. I got to see him for all of 3 seconds, and only heard a couple of weak cries before they rushed him to the NICU."
"Two hours later they came up to tell us he was on a ventilator and not doing great, they suspected a heart defect and were going to helicopter him to the closest children's hospital (about 90 miles away). We did not get to see him for five hours and it was a couple days before we could hold him. I gave birth at midnight, so all of this was happening in the late late hours."
"A couple of relatively common issues had happened, both of which on their own need immediate attention but are not difficult to deal with, but the resolution of one caused serious problems because of the second. His heart is fine. He's a perfectly happy healthy preschooler now who is squirting bath water into the tub faucet and laughing hysterically."
Parent's Worst Nightmare
"Woke up in the middle of the night to my smoke alarm and found my baby's crib on fire. Some people's literal worst nightmare (and mine now too)."
"Is he okay?"
"Aye. Thanks for asking. You can read my story here if you'd like."
"Oh my goodness! I’m so thankful your son is ok now! I can’t even imagine what y’all went through."
Carnivals Are Supposed To Be Fun
"I was visiting some family in Edmonton years and years ago and they use to have this big fair full of rides and attractions. I wish I could remember the name sorry. All the rides were your standard carnival rides, the gravitron, tilt-a-whirl, log flume, etc. I had gone to many of these traveling fairs in my time and had a good time so thought nothing of it."
"After going on a few rides and having fun I decided to go on that ride that is the boat the goes back and forth before going all the way around. So at the beginning everything seemed fine."
"However at a certain point when going back the safety bar that was suppose to hold me in place just fell forward. It had not locked in and the ride was underway. The ride started heading the other way and the safety bar fell back on to me again. I pulled it as hard towards myself hoping to lock it into place."
"Yet when we started heading back the bar just flopped completely open again. I was sh*tting myself. I literally thought I was going to fall out of this ride and die. All those carnival horror stories were true I was fearing."
"I just wrapped my arms around the bar and held myself with my hands. If worst happened I would dangle from the bar I thought. Fortunately after a rocky ride it came to an end and I was safe with maybe only leaving my seat a few inches."
"I immediately ran to one of the workers after I got off and told them. The ride was shut down for 30 minutes after and I was done having fun for the night. The only other time I've been that scared since was the few times I've had sleep paralysis."
Just A Bad (Or Good?) Year
"I have cheated death 3 times this year."
"2. At 2am a couple months ago carbon monoxide detectors go off in my moms house we start opening windows and calling the fire dept as we wait outside (w 2 dogs). The minute he opens the front door the detector starts going off like crazy. He said longer than 20 min we all could’ve died with the amount that was in the basement caused by a problem with the hot water tank."
"3. A large patio chair flying out of the back of a pickup truck which almost smashed my windshield had I not swerved just in time."
"An angel has my back and is watching out which I’m grateful for!!"
"Two are tied:"
"Being shot when our neighbor’s gun 'accidentally discharged' and the bullet came through the shared wall, severing an electrical line, barely missed my head, glanced off my chest, and landed on the other side of the room. The sheer thought of what could have been if I’d been laying an inch further left is terrifying."
"Gas pedal getting stuck while driving home from my mom’s funeral. I somehow managed to get the car pulled over and turned off, but I was going 85 mph+ going uphill. If it had got stuck three miles earlier, I’d have plunged off a seaside cliff, taking my aunt, cousin, and 9 month old daughter with me."
Feels Like You're Dying
"Kidney stones. They were only about 1-2cm in size, but the pain they caused me was the worst feeling I’ve ever experienced. Doctors thought my appendix burst."
"God I think the worst thing about getting kidney stones for the first time, is that you never know what the f*ck it is. It’s literally one of the worst pains people can experience, and yet not knowing what it is just f*cks it up more."
Life can be truly terrifying, but not all of it is bad. The bad parts may stick out the most because of how human brains work, but the good parts are what helps get us through the bad.
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again.
Advancements in science happen every day in every way.
But often it feels like we are still so far behind.
How have we not cured so many diseases?
Shouldn't we know more about space?
What is Jello really made of?
So much to ponder and understand.
Maybe one day.
We all have a bucket list of what we'd like to see cured or invented before our last breaths.
Redditor yoda2060wanted to discuss all the science that needs to be devoured before the sand runs out of the hourglass. They asked:
"What scientific achievement you would like to see before you die?"
Life is infinite and we'll never know everything that is possible. But let's dream of what could be...
MiraclesMood Grandma GIFGiphy
"Cure for Alzheimer's. It sucks."
"I want to see us grow hearts, kidneys, livers, etc... In labs and end the need for donations and waiting lists for transplants."
"I waited for a heart/bilateral lung transplant for over a year and I spent 8 months living in the hospital waiting for it. You’re basically waiting for someone to die."
"Which feels all kinds of wrong… but my therapist (all transplant patients sees a transplant therapist) kept reminding me that me needing a heart and lungs doesn’t cause someone to die…"
"And what made even harder was that my mom died of Covid about 5 weeks before my transplant happened. So while I was praying and hoping so hard my mom wouldn’t die… I was also praying for my transplant to happen. I had a lot of mixed and confusing feelings. My transplant happened last November."
"Idiot Bottom Line"
"To build an environment friendly world."
"That depends entirely on how far you want to go with 'environmentally friendly.' Some amateurish pseudo-intellectuals will say that humanity itself is devastating the planet by it's very existence so we'll call that the 'Idiot Bottom Line."'
"So you have to find an acceptable level above that to declare environmentally friendly. For example can we still have hear exchangers? Space debris? Artificial Electromagnetic radiation? There has to be a level before you can declare such and so far no one agrees."
“20 years, tops”
"Viable nuclear fusion."
"Nuclear Astrophysicist here. I know the joke is that we been saying '20 years, tops' for 50 years now - who do you think came up with that joke? But seriously, we are really close."
"We need a reaction that is self-sustaining and puts out more energy than we put in. We can easily do a reaction that’s one or the other, just getting one that’s both is hard. And with recent updates to the Greenwald limit we found some relatively minor tweaks that doubles previous theoretical max output."
Deep Withinblack hole animation GIF by rotomanglerGiphy
"Figuring out what Dark Matter is, solving the mysteries of black holes. Proper thorough investigation of our own oceans."
So far, so interesting. We have so much to learn.
let me dream...news tech GIFGiphy
"Prosthetic limbs and organs that can work just as well as real ones. Affordably too. A cure for total nerve damage. Carbon neutral liquid fuel. FTL travel (let me dream)."
"Making contact with another intelligent species in another solar system."
"That's probably not going to happen. I'd be overjoyed though if we discovered even just microbial life in the oceans of Europa or Enceladus. They'd be the first true extra-terrestrials ever encountered."
"If we had teleports then we might also have other technologies integrated with it like instant dental work, instant food, instant surgery, things just unthinkable without the technology but before the steam engine travel was by horse so they could not imagine traveling cross country in any other way besides ships. Maybe with teleports we wouldn't need energy, just an infinite loop of the first spark."
Sickness be gone...
"Cure for all cancer forms."
"I approached a nursing assistant with the question. They could describe it as trying to go after the stick of a lollipop. The treatments are mostly concerned with favors, not sticks. If they can discover a way to deal with the stick, then you may be able to treat cancer from there."
"I think it is important to add that there won’t be ONE cure to all cancers. Cancer is such a broad spectrum of diseases that sometimes have next to nothing in common. But hopefully we will keep getting the survival rates up with different medications for different cancer types."
SimplicityGet Ready Pain GIF by Rodney DangerfieldGiphy
"Solve back pain please. We can do crazy sh*t like nuclear bombs, new fancy vaccines and space exploration, yet we don't have a solution to one of the biggest and most common ailments that existed though all of humanity."
I want to see all of this happen! Fingers crossed.
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.
Fast fashion is terrible for the environment, one of the largest polluters of clean water globally because of its all too common use of cheap, toxic textile dyes.
It also places producers under more and more pressure to manufacture more and more clothes on masse–the people working in the factories that make this stuff are being paid a pittance, contributing to much of the wealth inequality in less developed nations.
Additionally, it's estimated that the textiles industry produces 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 per year and that just two percent of all fast fashion emissions can be reduced through recycling. Ouch. Time to change habits, right?
People shared their thoughts on this and other topics after Redditor urmomsucked asked the online community,
"What should people seriously stop buying?"
"Pets they can’t take care of."
I have known several people who got puppies, decided they couldn't handle them, and dumped them. It's rage-inducing.
"Nestle products. Literally the most evil company currently in business. Unfortunately it's really hard to tell what brands they own."
Nestle is responsible for the deaths of babies in undeveloped nations. It's sick.
"Designer clothes and accessories with logos slapped all over them. It wastes your money and makes you look idiotic."
The funny thing is, the designer clothes/accessories with logos slapped all over them are typically the cheapest options from said designer.
"Simple syrup. It’s sugar water with an $8 price tag."
It's easy enough to make your own. Your iced tea will never be the same again.
"Cheap belts. A quality leather belt will last you decades."
I have a few (quality leather belts, that is) and they've lasted for years and years. Can confirm.
"Cigarettes. To anyone reading this, please just don't start even if it's out of curiosity. I'm 20 years deep into this and it's hell."
Smoking is a brutal addiction to break. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently proposed rules prohibiting menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars to stop young people from picking up the habit.
"Fast fashion. Garment workers get paid s*it, the environment suffers and you look like everybody else on the street with no personality or sense of individualism."
This should be up at the top. The environmental impact is terrible.
"Unnecessarily large vehicles..."
"Unnecessarily large vehicles, which they'll then inevitably complain cost too much to fill the gas tank."
Gas guzzlers need to go. It's far past time that they be phased out.
"Anything advertised on Instagram. It’s a scam and those influencers are just making it look cheap AF."
Or just avoid Instagram in general. That would solve a lot.
"New phones when their current is just as good."
You've got that right. People buy a new one for the hell of it without even thinking about it.
It's pretty clear that many of us need to change our habits now. Our wallets will thank us later.
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
If you make too many funny faces, your face will stay that way permanently.
Watch too much tv and your eyes will fall out.
Break a mirror and it's seven years of bad luck.
These are among the many myths and superstitions we heard as children, more often than not from our parents and teachers as a way of scaring us into behaving.
But while there is not one ounce of truth to any of these tall tales, there are many who still believe them, and many more.
Redditor RedditPersonIf was curious to learn what superstitions people continue to believe are true, leading them to ask:
"What myths are obviously false, yet most people still believe they are true?"
When they fly the coop...
"If you take care of a baby bird, the mother won’t want it anymore because it’ll smell like a human."- GreatXs
No amount of fiber can help you
"If you swallow gum, it'll stay in your digestive tract for 7 years."- stinky_cheese33
It was every other subjects he had trouble with
"Albert Einstein failed math in school."- Nothingreallyendalbert einstein GIFGiphy
Though it does make shampooing easier
"Shaving your hair will make the hair grow back thicker.'- RunWithScissorsss
Sleep with your mouth closed
"The amount of spiders you eat while being asleep."- pantsofafatman
"That you are supposed to pee on a jellyfish sting to ease the pain."- Actuarybajellyfish burn GIF by Monterey Bay AquariumGiphy
"Bulls not liking the color red."
"Bulls are partially color blind and can only see yellow, green, blue, and violet."- Rogurzz
Call a Lyft instead
"Coffee, speed, and uppers sober you up."
"Too drunk to drive?"
"Now you're drunk AND on drugs, you just don't feel the effects of the booze but your motor skills, reaction time and decision making are all still drunk AF."- kirkrjordan
Best let nature run its course
"The damn alpha wolf."
"It was one study under captivity, the poor researcher made it his life's work to try and set it right."
"If you want a brutal hierarchy where everyone pecks down, what you're looking for is chickens."- raxeira-etterathdog lol GIF by Regal CinemasGiphy
Give this one some thought
"We can only use 10% of our brain."- UnbearableHuman
A little bit of research will clear up any doubt you have on these old superstitions and beliefs.
And for anyone who helped out a friend who got stung by a jellyfish, no need to be embarrassed.
Who hasn't looked at a scarf someone knitted for a loved one, a flawless homemade birthday cake, or an immaculately planted garden and thought, "I wish I could do that"?
But you'd never dare try to attempt it yourself, knowing that it's well beyond your personal skill set.
But is it?
Intimidating as they may seem, some skills might be deceptively easier than they appear to be, or might come more naturally to you than to many others.
Redditor halfmoon599 was curious to hear what skills people believed to be much easier than they seem, leading them to ask:
"What skill is actually easier to learn than what other people think?"
Everyone can be ambidextrous!
"I'm left handed and and I wanted to learn to write with my right hand."
"it was much easier than I thought and now I can write with it making it look somewhat decent."- JE3V4N_
"Using your off hand skillfully."
"I worked on this when I owned a woodworking business and it has helped so many times over the years."- karg_the_fergus
Should you ever forget your keys...
"Picking a lock."
"It only takes about 1 or 2 hours to learn, contrary to popular belief." - DifficultAd5113frustrated frustration GIFGiphy
Can't get to the genius stand? No problem!
"It's just a lot of googling and YouTubing."- theassassintherapist
"Basic IT troubleshooting."- usmarine7041
You'll have a blanket done in no time!
"It looked really difficult to me but I was really pleased how easy it was to pick up."
"Especially with YouTube tutorials."- geeltulpenCrochet GIF by Twin_MadeGiphy
But do get a license first...
"Flying a small airplane is actually very simple."
"It's everything else like weather and flight planning, emergency mindfulness, airspace and traffic, and confidence in yourself that gets tricky, but any person with eyeballs and a pulse could fly a plane."- Clyde-MacTavish
With practice, of course
"Parallel parking."- Feels2old
Give your arms a rest!
"It takes just 10-20 minutes a day for 3-10 days.'
"Find a railing you can lean on to start."
"At some point, you'll be able to let go and ride!'- Vegan_BTW_VRJuggling Unicycle GIF by Derek TeeGiphy
... Is it though?...
"Driving a stick shift."- fantazja1
Next time you think, "aw, I wish I could do that," rather than keep wishing, why not just give it a try?