The open ocean can be a terrifying place even in full daylight, but pitch blackness definitely ups the creep factor.
Unable to see your surroundings with miles of the unknown beneath you, it's understandable that most people might be a little jumpier than usual.
Reddit user u/SolaVirtusNobilitat asked:
Off the coast of Jonesport on a WesMac. 3 of us decide to spend the night to get an even earlier start on the lobsters.
Quiet night, low winds, the Milky Way a broad band of light across the sky. Around 2 we all awake at the same time because we hear something really, really long slowly scrape along under the hull. Our beds were about a foot above from whatever it was. We looked at each other in silence. None of us wanted to be a hero and go up to see if there was anything to see. You wouldn't have, either, bud.
US Navy, Petty Officer in charge of Low visibility watch. Watch that is called when you are in the middle of the ocean and there is so much fog you can't see far from the ship. Watches are stationed in different places on a ship, to listen, watch and record any activity. It is to make sure no one sneaks up or we don't run into another ship or boat.
Anyway, I had just made my rounds and making sure everyone was in place and awake because it was middle of the night and pitch black. I was just about to check in with bridge watch and I get a call over the radio from 2 different watch stations. They reported movement in the water but was unable to see what it was, it sounded like something cutting through the water very fast. I called for the watch officer and I was already at the bridge so reported it and went to investigate one station while the officer went and checked the other.
With us posting at each, we both heard it, but could not see anything. The fog was so dense you couldn't see the water line. Two different stations hearing the same thing. (LHA is not a small ship).
We were all tense. We were thinking the worst. Just then a break in the fog reveals that there are huge fish swimming around us feeding on the algae. The algae was luminous and as the fish would swim through, it looked like hundreds of shooting stars in the water. It was beautiful! Even these words can't describe the beauty.
So my report read that it was a huge school of fish. The only people to whiteness it was the people on the watch.
While I was on 31st MEU, one night at like 0100, I walked down the starboard outside gangway that runs from the Marine maintenance shops, to the gym on the starboard side. It's about 150' feet long, and since we were in blackout conditions, it was pitch black outside.
About 2/3 the way down, there was this "Cwhiz" part of the defense system, that sticks out off the gangway so the hand rope cuts out through there.
As soon as I let go of the rope to grab the wall on the opposite side, the ship, which was in otherwise calm, flat water, decided to suddenly drop 10' as if it ran across another ships wake.
As I struggled to hold on, I swear I could feel something pulling me, almost as the ship suddenly rocked 45 degrees and I was getting shaken off like water on a dog.
Once it recovered, and I got my footing, it was back to flat, calm water. I blindly scrambled as fast as I could to the end, got inside and no one knew what bump I was talking about.
Mind you this is a several hundred ton warship and home to thousands. If there was chop; we'd know.
Nevertheless I took the interior passages after that.
Edit: apparently it's "CIWS" not "Cwhiz" but I'm going to leave it for comment continuity. Too many acronyms.
Not a boat or sailor, but back in 2014 I did a lot of IT work on off-shore drilling rigs during their final construction phases. Basically, after the rigs went through most of their construction, I would be flown out there for a day or two to get all of the general networking and systems up and running. This included verifying the microwave data link back to shore.
Now this was only about 10-20 miles off the CA coast, but it's still as dark as you can imagine out there. It's even quieter than normal because during this phase, there is maybe only one or 2 other people on board. Typically an electrician and a general foreman or similar. Sometimes only one of the two.
Anyhow, I was working on a rig about 20 miles out from Long Beach CA. I was going through some rough relationship issues at the time and wasn't in a great place mentally or emotionally.
We didn't have internet on the rig at this point so I was pretty bored and caught up in my head so I decided to go take a walk.
I ended up on the helipad smoking a cigarette and just looking at the stars. About 2 minutes later I almost crapped myself or jumped out of my skin. Maybe both.
As I was sitting there, a very small Asian man tapped me on my shoulder from behind. He was wearing a high-vis vest and white construction helmet. He asked me for a cigarette and where the closest bathroom was. I gave him one and pointed him in the right direction. Didn't really think twice about it.
Walked back down to the living quarters and passed the foreman on the way. Told him about the guy I gave a smoke to and he stopped walking and immediately turned around. Told me no one else was on this rig but him and I.
I ran to the IT closet where they kept their security camera storage appliance but our PoE switch wasn't installed yet. No video. Nothing.
We turned on every light source possible on the rig. Did a basic walk through but found no one or any traces of anyone.
We also contacted our transport company which also always typically has a search and rescue team available. They flew over 4 SAR and 2 security personnel. They did a walkthrough of the entire rig. Every possible inch they claim. Took almost a full day. Never turned up.
Still get a bit creeped out thinking about it. If given 3 wishes, one of them would be to know who/what that was and where they went.
So I'm a US Navy guy. We were somewhere in the Pacific and it was warm so I am assuming the Indian ocean, this was circa 2004. I worked nights and it's supersizing how quiet an aircraft carrier can be at night.
On this night there were no flight operations and about 80% of the crew is asleep, no one even-thinking about flying around. The sea wasn't too rough that day, however I do remember the sound of the random thuds of slightly larger waves. So, at about 1am we decide to cut through the hanger bay to lunch. There were two guys in-front of us. I could see them moving in back and forth in a "s" type pattern meaning the ship was rolling gently port to starboard (left to right). As the two guys in-front of me "S" snaked toward the open aircraft elevator door (side door about 50x40ft).
I could see the top of a wave coming right at us. That wave had just decided to join us in the hanger bay. The bottom of the wave hit with that vibrating thud, the top of the wave sheered off and rolled right in to the hanger-bay. Knocking over the two guys and as it turned from a wave into a puddle, the wave decided to return to the ocean sucking the two guys out toward the dark ocean.
Fortunately one sailor stopped short and the other managed to grab on to the post and wire that loosely guard the elevator door opening.
That was 100% sketch!
I was on a friends boat in the San Fransisco Bay a good number of years ago. It was well past dark and I was enjoying the ocean breeze leaning over the gunwhale. All of the sudden something black exploded out of the water while cutting loose this slobbery snarling "BLAARRRRRGGHHH." All I saw was a flash of crazy sharp fangs sillouhhetted by a black greasy looking mass before it crashed back into the water.
After everybody came running to see why I was screaming and crapping my pants it was explained to me that I probably saw a sea lion jump out of the water in suprise at the boat passing so close to it.
More weird than sketchy, but squid fishermen. Hundreds of them with white lights in the middle of the night and in the middle of what we thought was no where. They were small boats so we saw the lights well before we saw them on radar. Kind of freaked until we got closer and realized what they were.
Underway, early March in a snowstorm, well east of Cape Cod, moderate seas and ship is rocking pretty good. We lose power and go beam to the seas. Except for emergency lighting, which was not much because our battle lanterns were garbage, and personal mini mag lights, it's dark as hell at times. The worst part? You could hear the creaks and groans of the ship. It was intensified when the ship would take longer than normal to right itself. It made the ship seem much older than it was. At times like those, I would say to myself, "should've went to college, dipsh*t!"
Not really an encounter but we had a man over board at 2am, 8 days into a 21 day sail from the Galapagos to Polynesia. Really heavy weather and couldn't snuff out parasail and someone came forward without being clipped on and got knocked over board. Took us about 25 minutes to get them back onboard and 3 hours to sort out the lines etc.
In terms of encounters, huge groups of luminous jelly fish are pretty weird to see at night. Curious whales/dolphins are really cool.
Probably the sketchiest is coming close to container ships during the night, those things don't change course unless it's essential.
When you're in the middle of the ocean and realise that if you got dumped in the water it is likely that no one would even notice you missing for a while and it's a big f**king ocean to go looking in for one guy.
50-odd miles offshore on a sailboat, pitch black. Suddenly we hear a loud "CRACK" and the boat shifts an inch to port. Then silence for twenty minutes followed by another loud "THUMP" and boat shudder. Made our way quickly back to the coast. In dry dock there was a 2 foot diameter dent in the hull.
I'm guessing a sleeping whale.
I heard what I'm assuming is a whale breaching while it was pitch dark.
It'd be cool if I could see it, but at night when I have no idea what's out there it was kind of spooky. Sounded like a lot of water shifting around and big splashes in the dark. I don't see what else it could've been.
I was on a tanker somewhere in the middle of Indian Ocean. Graveyard watch, fairly good weather, good visibility. I notice a lighthouse light ahead of me, looks far but it is very distinct, flashes rhythmically, quite bright. I check the Radar, nothing. I check the chart nothing for at least 400 miles. I continue to observe until it just stops abruptly. Freaked me out a bit.
Waters near philippines, quiet watch, few fishing boats in the area. Suddenly i notice a very faint light dead ahead of me, looks very very far, nothing on radar, can barely see it. I thought i have some time until it shows up on Radar but something was telling me to alter course to starboard. So i did and 1 minute after the alteration i was passing a tiny fishing boat by about 200m with one guy with a sh*tty torch on board. If i didn't act on my instinct i would have ran him over.
The actual dark. It is pitch black out in the middle of the ocean. That can be quite unnerving. On the upside on cloudless nights the night sky is breathtaking.
The water is also breathtaking as well.
Yeah but that's on the downside.
Full disclosure, this is not directly sailing related. But I am a sailor and have a creepy night time ocean experience to share.
While guiding a night dive once, we had a massive female seven gill shark follow us for the whole dive, just occasionally coming into our visibility before darting off.
She was probably just curious of our lights or maybe using them to hunt but it was just really unnerving to know she was around but unable to see her.
That being said, I love sharks, and she did us no harm. They're usually super chill and not to be feared. But you can't help but respect any predator bigger than you are who while it follows you around in the dark.
Out at sea at night no moon, pitch black. I'm talking shootin the sh*t with a shipmate and out of nowhere whap!!!! The loudest slap I have ever heard. My buddy literally screams. WTF!!!! A flying fish, right in the face. That was 40 years ago. I'm still laughing.
Sailing just a couple miles off the Norwegian coast, in an old 14' dinghy all by my lonesome. Well, «sailing» is the wrong word; I was drifting in near zero wind, barely making a knot of headway. That's why I was still out there; I had planned to spend the night on a small island but getting there took forever and it got pitch dark.
No matter, I was safe enough and it was kind of nice to have the nighttime ocean all to myself, not a ship in sight anywhere. I had oars and could have rowed to my destination in an hour or so but didn't feel like there was any need to hurry (had left the outboard motor ashore because of hunting laws against shooting from a motorized vessel, and I was going after migrating geese). At my position it was calm and quiet, but all around the horizon I saw flashes of lightning so far off that I heard no thunder.
As I relaxed and enjoyed the quiet spectacle of distant lightning, all of a sudden I heard someone or something draw a laboured breath right next to me. It was unmistakably the sound of breathing, like from a half- strangled person taking a deep breath of much-needed air. Not gonna lie, I briefly panicked before I realized it had to be some marine mammal surfacing for air close to my boat. Guessing it was a harbour porpoise as they are common here, but I never saw it in the darkness.
Heard it again a few times, sounded like it moved further away and there may have been more than one based on the frequency. Of course sound carries far at night, but it really did sound like that initial breath was right behind me, close enough to touch.
Shortly after the breathing sounds disappeared, the wind picked up out of nowhere and I had to scramble to adjust rigging. Made it to the correct island and made landfall about 20 minutes later, having gone from idly drifting on the current to skipping over the waves in a few heartbeats. I guess that distant storm dropped by to say hello.
Coming through a part of the Mediterranean with a lot of oil platforms, at night, I was conn, one of the other ensigns was JOOD, and our Navigator was OOD. Nav ducked into the chartroom, so it was just me and the JOOD when we saw what looked like another oil platform on the horizon. Only it wasn't showing up on either of our radars, it wasn't on the chart, and the laser rangefinder wasn't working.
So the two of us are watching this thing get closer and closer, and we were about to call the captain up to the bridge (JOOD had just picked up the phone) when Nav walks back into the pilothouse, takes one look at the two of us freaking out and goes "...you guys know that's the moon, right?"
The quartermasters left that one out of the deck log.
Not a sailor, but I was once on a small research vessel for 37 days.
I don't know the specifics, but we were about half way into our trip when we lost all power. It was night, and I was woken up my people shouting and loud banging. It wasn't panic or danger, it very clearly sound like frustrated problem solving and crankiness.
Anyway, it's f**king black. Everything is pitch black. There some emergency safety lights here and there, but it's mostly just red indicators with small strobes at the bottom of doorways.
People are walking around below deck setting up wind up lanterns, taping flashlights to water bottles (makes a nice lantern) and trying to figure out what's going on.
It's dead quiet except for what noise we are making. No current. No waves. No wind. No moon. We are in the middle of nowhere. Black and silence. It was deafeningly silent.
Grabbing my head light I make my way up to the rear deck. It was like walking into a wall of nothing.
I've never felt so out of space and disoriented. My head light illuminated the deck and the sky was brilliant with stars. It truly is amazing to be out there with no light and just the unimaginable vastness of space. The thing is, my head light messes with my night vision.
So I turned it off as I look out to the black horizon, where it ought to be. Shouldn't take long for my eyes to adjust and then I'll be able to make out the shimmer of starlight refracting across the calm waters.
The ships lights flicker on and my star gazing is cut short. Sucks. Holding the railing while walking back to the cabin door, the lights cut out again. I keep walking.
I feel, for a moment, the most intense disorientation overwhelm my senses. My eyes only see black. The briefness of the ships lights was enough to close down my irises. My inner ear, already uneasy from weeks on the sea, spun and flips as upper back smacked into the water.
I was overboard and it felt like forever entering that water. The panic of immersion and no direction. I flailed and I was underwater, cold and black.
That was probably one of the worst experiences I've ever had.
The ships lights came back on as I found the surface. I'm sure it was only seconds, and it was only minutes until I was hoisted out of the water and it was years ago yet everyone still won't let me forget that time I fell overboard.
This happened in 1986, my wife and I were two days out of the Azores headed to Newport, RI. We were in our 60' Dutch built wooden trawler bringing it to the USA. It was green.
It was a gorgeous night, 1/4 moon, gazillions of stars, big pod of dolphins playing in our bow wake, phosphorescent seas all around us, flying fish bouncing off the cabin. Our wake was visible for at least a mile behind us, glowing in the night.
That night I had the Middle watch, about 0330 I decided that since there were no running lights on the horizon and we were 200 miles south of the shipping lanes that it would be OK to turn our running lights off so I could really enjoy the spectacular light show Mother Nature was providing. Even woke the wife up early so she could see the light show outside.
About 5 minutes later an American voice booms over the radio; "Will the green fishing boat please turn your lights back on!". They didn't answer my question asking who they were.
There were no boats visible anywhere. No wakes, no glow! To this day I don't know who made the broadcast. When the sun came up there were no ships in sight.
300+ miles from the nearest piece of dirt, someone was watching us!
BIG BROTHER IS EVERYWHERE!
Highly doubt it was a sub, they aren't going to break radio silence for something that minor.
Willing to bet a Navy P-3 saw you while they were out on patrol and decided to mess with you/"enforce maritime law". They usually flew out of either Rota or the Azores IIRC back then. They can fly far enough away from you that you won't hear or see them while still seeing you with their optics. Guessing they saw you turn the lights off and thought "hey, watch this!" because the majority of those patrols were/are incredibly mundane and boring.
I was onboard the USS Rueben James in 2012. I was standing watch in combat and decided to take a smoke break on the starboard side wind break at 3am. It was cloudy so almost pitch black. I had gone down at this time on many occasions and there are usually 1 or 2 other people up that late going out for a smoke break. When I got out there I could see nothing but the cherry of someone else's cig. I face outward and leaned on the break and lit my camel gold and asked how his night was going, having no idea who I was speaking to but figuring I would find out when I heard his voice/description of his night.
I got no response.
I turned around to see if he had heard me and with my eyes adjusted I would have been able to make him out leaning against the steel wall. As I turned around the moon cracked out from the clouds and slightly illuminated the small confined area I was in and the only 2 directions anyone could have walked away. There was no one there. I was alone. I had seen the cigarette and the exhale of smoke from someone on that wind break but no one was there and no one could have left the smoke deck without my hearing or seeing them. I don't believe in ghost or the afterlife or any of that nonsense but needless to say I didn't stick around outside for long.
Have you ever had a freaky experience on the open sea at night?
If you don't have any experience with construction, it can be pretty interesting to watch those reality HGTV shows (I know I'm addicted at this point). Some of the best episodes can be the one's where they open up the walls to find the builder didn't do anything right, causing a huge blow to the budget. The drama!
As someone who doesn't know much about building, and is dreaming of homeownership, Redditor Vast_Recognition_682 asked a question I wish I had thought of first.
Redditor Vast_Recognition_682 asked:
"Home inspectors of reddit, what are some horrible things that almost went unnoticed?"
Here's some horror stories that shed a little light on the home owner unknowns.
Behind the closet wall.
"Going through a home with [the] home inspector, didn't find any issues, bring my dad in to look through the house too and he was [incessantly] checking everything. Looks at the Zillow listing with the floor plan, measures the basement, finds out the actual measurements smaller than the floor plan which led us to go looking in a closet and realize they finished a wall and closet around the old oil tank, never decommissioned it, never planned to tell anyone about it, and we would have had to rip walls out to get to it to remove it. It was a non starter and we walked away. So happy to have my dad's sharp eye while home shopping."
If you need a good prank idea when you're renovating, here's one:
"I saw a post once, this guy said his dad's house had a diagonal outer wall and he was installing a combination wall and bookshelf to square the room. Since there was a small dead space on one side, the dad (who was a doctor), got a life-size plastic human skeleton from work and tossed it in there."
"So if someone tore the wall out to remodel in 30 years or whatever, they'd see it and freak out."
Man cave mayhem.
"Not a home inspector, but I did ask our home inspector what crazy stuff he had seen over the years. He had two stories."
"He inspected a modest three bedroom house and found that were very strange structural cracks in the walls. The area where the house was built is primarily clay soil which leads to a lot of foundation issues, but these were really abnormal cracks. He headed to the attic to wrap up his inspection; it was located over the garage so there was absolutely no structural support there. He poked his head up into the attic and couldn't believe his eyes: the owner had a fully furnished man cave in the attic over the garage. It had a couch, big screen tv, weight set, and a huge gun safe. He said he had no idea how in the world all of that stuff didn't come crashing down through the garage ceiling or how the guy had managed to get the giant gun safe up there without some sort of elaborate winch system. He said it was only a matter of time before the house collapsed."
"The only other weird thing he encountered was a cistern (an old well) in a crawlspace underneath a house. He said he was crawling along on his stomach when he almost fell into it; it was left uncovered."
A rats nest of wires.
"I'm sure there will be some stories about wiring above drop ceilings. When I was looking at houses, I saw (not the home inspector) one once where like 10 different wires came into one rats nest of a cluster. To make it even better, there was a regular lamp cord that ran from it to power the hanging kitchen light above the table. And if you want whip cream and sprinkles on that.... the power came into that mess through knob and tube."
"I am an apprentice electrician and this comment just made my soul cry."
"I found an uncapped steel conduit with live wires behind my sink while remodeling. There wasn't even a cap on the wires."
"While ripping out our old kitchen we cut the old crappy countertop with a sawzaw, to our surprise saw a spark and blew a breaker. some mother f**kers who previously renovated this kitchen ran the wiring for a new outlet on the wall around the studs in a crevice in the back of the countertop...."
"My family flipped a house a few years ago. There were four ceilings, each a couple inches lower than the one before, and all but one had old wiring in it. It was like cutting into a weird lasagna, trying to find the studs in that house."
"Grandma was shrinking with old age, but her kids didn't want her to realize."
"Not me, but one I spoke to. Place almost passed, until out the corner of his eye... bam... jack stand holding up a beam under the house."
"Same with a house daughter was interested in. The place was a flip and totally redone. Beautiful. And down in the basement was a brick holding up a big beam."
This inspector had a full list.
1. "Furnace exhaust flue inlet at the attic furnace disconnected and a dead bird below it. Would have dumped all the furnace exhaust straight into the attic area. Obvious safety implication."
2. "Long time vacant house in a very secluded area. Reeked of cat p*ss and burnt plastic. No cats or cat feces in sight and no entry point for cats. Found small balloon in the corner of the floor where the fridge would be. Picked it up (with gloves) and white powder came spilling out. We came to the conclusion there was possibly the presence of methamphetamine in the home at some point and in some fashion."
3. "5 year old house, nice neighborhood, great shape, vacant. Everything looked good visually. In the attic, just after it had started raining heavily, a slight but constant drip was noticed from the roof sheathing in one area. Got lucky on that one. Sunny day, there would have been no evidence of any issue whatsoever."
4. "Homeowner DIY replaced the microwave and thought it would be 'clever' to run the exhaust vent into the wall cavity between the kitchen and adjacent laundry room. Just dumped the moisture into the wall. Mold city after a while if you do a lot of cooking while using the exhaust fan."
5. "60s house, well renovated. Range was a gas/electric dual fuel setup. Noticed broiler took forever to even start to warm up and never got hot enough that I couldn't touch it real quick (they usually glow red after like 30 seconds). Found out the range was plugged into a 110v outlet (enough to power the control panel and light) and not the proper 220v outlet (not even present). Oven was essentially useless. That one also had an incomplete drain line from a bathroom sink dumping everything directly into the crawlspace."
6. "New build. Got into the attic and just a quick 360° scan, something was off. Looking closer found a truss web beam that was completely gone, just ripped out (gusset plates bent to hell). Probably knocked out by the framing crews crane or something and they thought no one would notice. Time is money right? Lol"
They saved the day with this good catch!
"I used to work in a hospital, in IT. We were in a back corner of the oldest building. I used an out of the way stairwell, that had a 4 inch cast iron sprinkler main running through it."
"One day when I was leaving, I noticed a little tiny bit of water on the outside of the pipe. I went back to my desk, called maintenance, and asked them to send someone down so I could show them what I noticed. Walked the guy down to the stairwell and showed him, went on home."
"The next day I get to work and there's a letter on my desk. I open it, and it's from the director of maintenance. Seems that they shut down and depressurized the sprinkler line, and when they went to disconnect the section with the leak, the pipe just crumbled. They figured that my call prevented a major flood in materials management (which backed up to the stairwell on the floor below us) as well as a FD call-out, as the alarm would have gone when the pipe ruptured and water started flowing. The director sent me a very nice thank-you, and referred the situation to the cost-saving committee to see if they could get me a bonus based on preventing an accident."
The internet might just save homeowners on a whole lot of money by taking a closer look during the inspection. Thank goodness for this Ask Reddit post shedding light on the horror stories of homeownership and renovation mishaps.
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Unless you've been a member of the armed forces, you may only know drill sergeants as uncompassionate leaders who yell at privates all the time.
War Face GIF Giphy
"Drill instructors, what is the funniest thing you have seen a Private do?"
The following examples were utterly humiliating, but valuable lessons were learned.
"Had 2 guys get in a fight in our bay during basic. The drill sergeant made them hold hands and pretending to be on a date all week. Only time they could let go of each other's hands was rack time. They ended up becoming pretty good friends."
"Ex British Army officer here."
"A corporal went on a nine week mortar course and was accommodated (obviously) while he was away. It turned out he knew one of the DS teaching the course and was invited, regularly, to dine and drink in the Sergeant's Mess."
"The month after coming back from the course, he brought his payslip to me with a puzzled look on his face and, embarrassed, explained he didn't understand what it meant and could I help him?"
"It emerged that the Sergeant's Mess had a chitty system - you didn't pay for your drinks at the time, but signed for them and the total bill was deducted from your pay."
"This legend had managed to drink more than his monthly salary both months he'd been away and his payslip was a negative balance."
"I'm sorry Smith, I'm afraid you owe the Army £235 ($327.50) this month."
Asking For An Advance
"Former European Anti-Air Trainee here."
"Recruit spent his first check on alcohol and sex workers, asked his commander for next months check in advance the next day. Instead of having a good excuse prepared to actually succeed in that proposal he blankly told him in front of 80 other recruits why he'd need it."
"I saw a guy post about how he was like 6'3 and his DS was like 5'2, so whenever he messed up the DS would go up to him face to chest and yell 'Elevator!' and the guy would bend down to eye level with the DS and say 'Ding!' and the DS would proceed to look him in the eye while he chewed him out."
Some experiences were downright hilarious.
"Not an RDC, but in boot camp I was over the laundry crew. One recruit sh*t himself because he thought he couldn't leave his rack after taps. It was funny at the moment before I realized I had to wash it."
"This was the funniest f'king thing I ever read from u/odomotto"
"Recruit fired all his blank ammo during 'ambush training.' He crawled in ditch opposite where the aggressors were, and started throwing rocks at them. DI came running in middle of the road blowing his whistle and screaming 'what the f'k are you doing?' Recruit screamed back, 'throwing hand grenades drill sergeant!' Without missing a beat, the DI screamed 'out f'king standing.' And walked away."
"My sides hurt and I was wheezing laughing so hard at this when I first heard it!"
These punishments made no sense. And that's why they're memorable.
"When I was in basic, a kid we called 'Albino' shot off a blank round accidentally in the field. The sergeants were pissed and took his weapon away and replaced it with a broomstick for the remainder of the week in the field."
"Man I remember some dude didn't put the sheet on his bunk the right way and had to wear the sheet as a cloak and go to all the other barracks dancing around sing about how he was the 'Catch Edge Fairy' or something. It was pretty silly, he owned it though. He was doing twirls the whole time. This was Navy bootcamp."
Despite how they are depicted on film, drill instructors are people who care.
Like, Beals – a drill sergeant at Fort Knox, Kentucky – who said:
"We provide more than just physical, mental and emotional guidance for them. You are a father, a preacher, a financial advisor, a counselor-you provide so many different services to the Soldier that the regular public doesn't see on day to day basis."
"They see what they see in movies and what they hear about by word of mouth. But you are fulfilling so many roles other than just being a trainer and teaching an individual how to be a Soldier in the Army."
And occasionally, they are having a laugh at the crazy things their trainees do.
Sometimes, it becomes extremely clear that it's time to leave.
That goes for short term situations like a bizarre social moment, or longer term commitments like work or relationships.
Whatever the context, there is typically a tipping point moment when all the variables appear to suggest things have become unsafe, wildly uncomfortable, or maybe even a tad illegal.
It's those moments when all you can think about is the door.
Redditor Thotus_Maximus asked:
"What was your biggest 'I'm out' moment?"
Many people talked about the times they went to parties that turned out to be very different from what they had in mind.
"Went to a friend of a friend's 35th birthday party. There were like 3 people there when we showed up. Birthday boy says everyone's in the basement. Okay cool."
"We go down to the basement. Someone's DJing, they've got cool lighting, there's like 30 people dancing. After a minute or 2 we realize everyone in the basement is like 13. Nope Nope Nope."
THAT Kinda Party
"Lived in a hotel for a while when I was 18-19. One day a bunch of people I've met at the pool wanted to go up to this dudes room and party. I thought we were gonna drink, smoke, and have a conversation, but that's not how it went."
"While everyone went up there, I had to go back to my room and change clothes. When I finally went to join them, I walked in and saw this dude injecting hard drugs. I sh** you not, this dude turned completely blue and dropped to the ground like a rock. When I saw that, I just dipped."
"He got picked up by an ambulance and survived. When I saw him in the elevator the next day, he seemed like a completely different person. Seein' stuff like that (that wasn't my first time witnessing od's), I think kept me away from the drugs that can kill you easily."
The Great Escape
"I was at a party when I was a teen. Cops turned up. I was stuck upstairs. But there was a balcony and underneath a pool. And beyond the pool a gate leading to an alley."
"So I jumped in the pool."
"But when I resurfaced there were already two cops standing there looking at me."
Other Redditors recalled the times they encountered strangers that did not appear to have their best interest at heart, to say the least.
"Was approached by someone and we talked about how we went to the same college and I showed him some of my art work, he thought it was pretty cool and offered me an opportunity and wanted to talk more later because I was at work at the time."
"I met up with him and his girlfriend and he told about what he mentioned. As I say there listening, it sounded familiar and BAM! It hit me. It was a pyramid scheme, it had nothing to do with art or any job prospects, I told him I wasn't interested many times in the nicest way possible l, but boy did they look pi**ed."
"I got stuck in an airport overnight as my flight was cancelled due to weather and I was starving because all the stores were closed. Some employee offered to show me where to get food so I followed him."
"He then opened a door to outside in the parking lot and motioned outside. I quickly said 'no thanks' and walked away."
And finally, some talked about when it became very clear that their work situation needed to end, like yesterday.
Quotas Reign Supreme
"I got buried by heavy packages while loading a truck for Fedex. It took 3 people to get me out. I was bloody, bruised, and had trouble lifting my arm."
"My manager came over and chastised me for my package count being too low. Walked out immediately."
Leaving Him a Stressful Day
"I worked in a contact centre several years ago. It was super busy and calls didn't stop coming. For some reason, my stupid boss removed everyone else from the queue for some stupid training, leaving me alone to handle all the calls. I messaged him a few times on Microsoft Teams, asking what was happening with no reply."
"After two hours, I shut down my computer and walked out of the company. I just recently withdrawn my last salary, so no regret whatsoever."
Corruption At Its Finest
"I worked for a blood analysis lab machine company for about 6 months. Hated every minute of it because I was working well over 60 hours a week every week. I wouldn't be leaving some hospitals until after 11pm sometimes. The management would never support the techs, the customer is always right, that BS."
"So one week at during the over the phone team meeting, the manager actually asked on of the younger techs to complete paperwork and submit it. Which is normal, but the manager was having him submit the repair paperwork and schedule the repair when they got around to it. He wanted the tech to pencil whip documentation we submit to the FDA so he could a quarterly bonus."
"Managers who's group hits all the pm's, gets a very nice size check. Had the tech done that and the machine failed before it was serviced, somebody could have died and he might have gone to jail. I left that job the next day."
Out With a Bang
"I walked out of a job two hours into a shift and left them without anyone who could do my job."
"As a parting gift, I threw the manual I'd written in the rubbish and didn't bother removing or giving anyone my passwords to stuff so they couldn't do anything."
Years ago I had a classmate who was a total daredevil... so much so that he would often injure himself. He once drove a bike in the direction of oncoming traffic, just for the hell of it. He got out of that episode unscathed––luckily. By contrast, I prefer keeping all my limbs, and still have them all. I wonder where he is now. Hopefully not too banged up. I did do some stuff unwittingly––like the time I stuck a fork into an electrical socket. I thankfully wasn't shocked too much. I was young and naive.
People told us all about the dangerous things they did when they were younger after Redditor Not-an-Ocelot asked the online community,
"What's the most dangerous thing you did as a kid without realizing?"
"My chore was to wash the floors. I would mix all sorts of chemicals together, not realizing they don't mix. Like bleach and ammonia with other cleaning products."
This is very easy to do––and so dangerous! Thankfully you didn't harm yourself.
"I used to walk..."
"I used to walk on a frozen river when walking home from school. I was about 7 at the time."
Seen too many movies about people stuck under the ice.
"We would sneak up..."
"I used to do parkour. We would sneak up onto the rooftops of condo buildings when they were washing their windows (the staircases leading to the top floor would be unlocked). We would then go roof hopping.
Literal roof hopping like in Grand Theft Auto. We would jump from a 12 storey apartment building's roof to an adjacent 10 storey apartment building's roof, etc."
How are your knees? That's bound to do some damage, no?
"I picked up..."
"I picked up a baby copperhead snake and gave it to my mom as a present when I was 6 or 7."
You must have really hated your mom.
"There was a railway crossing..."
"There was a railway crossing on my walk to school, and the train would often be blocking my path so I would always wait until it stopped moving and then climb on top of it and jump off the other side so I could keep walking and not be late."
"Played inside an old broken refrigerator that was outside….not knowing it could have locked or tipped over."
Yes, it could have! Thankfully it didn't. There's a really frightening scene in The Leftovers involving a character who nearly suffocates in a fridge.
No thank you.
"Like most Florida kids..."
"Like most Florida kids I swam where I shouldn't have and I'm very lucky I didn't get eaten by alligators."
"After seeing videos..."
"Playing with fireworks. After seeing videos of kids blowing their fingers and hands off, I would never let my kids play with them, without lots of supervision."
"We are super lucky..."
"Getting on a boat with my then-boyfriend and not telling our parents where we were going. The boat ended up sinking during a storm and we had life jackets and floated on the ice chest. Only reason we are alive is because a ship that was coming in heard us screaming during the storm and called the coast guard. We were out there for a total of 15 hours and had severe hypothermia. We are super lucky to be alive."
This is pretty terrifying.
Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.
Yes, thankfully, you're alive.
"When I was about..."
"When I was about 9 or 10 a friend and I rode an air mattress down a river. Neither of us knew how to swim and we didn't tell our parents so when we came back cops were looking for us."
Well... these were a read.
If you'll excuse me, I'll stay indoors and wrap myself in bubble wrap. The outside world is scary.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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