People Break Down The Absolute Scariest Thing They've Ever Experienced
One of life's most unfortunate moments is when we feel our lives are genuinely in danger.
These horrific moments can involve the behavior of people with malicious intentions or just being at the wrong place and time.
Even though many people live to share their harrowing stories, the trauma doesn't necessarily go away completely.
But all anyone who's experienced a terrifying ordeal can do to find peace is to count their blessings and be grateful they are survivors.
Curious to hear from strangers online, Redditor Fearless-surfur-ee asked:
"What was the scariest incident happened with you?"
These Redditors experienced heart-stopping false alarms.
"Half a dozen masked men broke into my bedroom, threatened me and my girlfriend, realised they had the wrong house, apologised and left. Edit - I told the full story here a while back."
Witness At A Shopping Mall
"Similar thing happened to my Aunt. She witnessed an attack at a shopping centre (on going disagreement between 2 well known families) and was threatened. A few days later one of the older family members approached her in her driveway and apologised profusely for the younger persons behaviour and offered her compensation. She was so scared she just said no thanks and he left."
Sometimes, you gotta listen to your gut.
"Wife and I took a dark exit towards out neighborhood. Whole backseat full of bags cause we went shopping at the mall. There’s a red light at the intersection once you get off the exit and we pull up to this tinted oldsmobile. They were in the right lane to go straight or turn right and we were in the left lane to turn left."
"Nobody is around, maybe 10 at night. I turn left and look in my rear view and it’s the car that was next to us a bit back. I pull in my driveway and just had a really weird feeling, so I told my wife I’m gonna reverse and drive around the block. She thinks it’s weird as hell, but as we are reversing, this dude is walking towards us from that Oldsmobile parked around the corner. I dip the f**k out and make it look like I was just turning around and drove like a mile away before heading back."
"Just had this gut feeling, man. Who knows what would have happened? But it was scary as f'k, nonetheless."
A Tragic Stop
"Friend borrowed dad’s Benz to take wife on anniversary date. He stopped for flowers and was followed home by someone thinking he was wealthy. He was shot dead in his driveway in what turned out to be a gang initiation; you did the right thing."
These Redditors looked down the barrel of a gun...and lived to tell their story.
"Was at a train station that was empty and I was sitting down waiting for a train and a man walks over with a bag, opens it and takes out a shotgun and points it at me and I just stare at him, he then says 'you're not scared are you' then puts the shotgun back in the bag then walks out of the train station."
"Actually not sure if that was the scariest or weirdest or if I was even scared."
The Right Answer
"Reminds me of the time a guy put a gun to my neck and said, 'What would you do if I pull the trigger right now.'"
"I was in a completely apathetic state of mind at that time anyway and said, 'Not much I can do, but I'll haunt you.'"
These Redditors experienced medical emergencies.
"Last week had a heart attack after almost recovering from chemotherapy."
"I asked the nurse if I was going to die and she said I’m in the right place and they will look after me. Then I got more scared then I ever have before"
"I should not have survived but I did."
"The scan came back and we found a mass. We'd like you to come in to talk to the doctor today or tomorrow. You should see if someone can drive for you as you may be upset afterwards"
"Can I come in next week, I have a trip planned?"
"The doctor says you should come in today anytime and we will clear an appointment for you."
"Luckily that doctor kicked a**. 3 years post-surgery. Scans are clean in August and I move into the "only 10% chance of reoccurrence" bracket."
"Felt sick, kind of like the flu. Felt completely fine in the morning, but got worse as the day went on. It was the middle of the night and I was up with my husband and our new 6 week old baby. I was pumping breastmilk."
"Next thing I know, I’m waking up to EMTs surrounding me on my bed telling me not to move or sit up. My heart rate was incredibly high and blood pressure incredibly low. They took me to the hospital and no one knew what was wrong with me for a while. They kept asking me what drugs I took. I kept telling them nothing (which is true). I just had a baby, the biggest 'drug' I was taking was Tylenol. They didn’t believe me for a while."
"I couldn’t remember a lot of things at this point. I could barely even remember my own kid’s name. I couldn’t tell them who the president was or what year it was when they asked. It was a weird feeling to have memory missing. Kind of like having lost some puzzle pieces. Talking was also kind of difficult."
"After a BUNCH of tests, turns out I had a UTI so bad that I went into septic shock and my kidneys were shutting down. Didn’t know I had a UTI because I was still healing from childbirth and I am pretty asymptomatic when it comes to UTIs. I don’t feel pain when I get them. Spent a few days in the ICCU. Was extra scary considering my brand new baby was at home and I wasn’t and there was a chance I wouldn’t make it home at all."
"In the end, I thankfully made a full recovery."
"Not as intense as some of these other stories, but please don’t sleep on a UTI guys. Sepsis is no joke."
The last time I truly feared for my life was when I was at a party and a fight between two drunk partygoers turned into a Swiss army knife fight.
I'm not kidding.
A couple of my friends and I jumped off the second floor balcony and got chased in the parking lot.
After some fumbling with the car keys, my buddy managed to get five of us crammed into his car and the perpetrator started pounding on the rear window with his fists and bloodying it up from smashing his knuckles onto the glass.
The police came just in time. Thank you annoyed neighbor who called the cops on us for our blood-curdling screams disturbing the peace.
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Reddit user tippytoes1216 asked: 'When did you realize you married the wrong person?'
You can say that some single people can be envious of those who are blinded by love.
You know the expression. A person who is blinded by love is when they are so deeply engrossed in the throes of passion with a lover that their relationship defies all logic.
On the one hand, that level of amorousness is romantic. But on the other hand, it can be totally deceiving.
People who are blinded by love tend to rush into things and make life-changing decisions that can come back to haunt them. Like getting married.
Curious to hear about regretful choices, Redditor tippytoes1216 asked strangers online:
"When did you realize you married the wrong person?"
Some realized gradually that something was off.
Losing A Sense Of Self
"One day I realized I had become a smaller version of myself."
"Yeah damn. I'm about a year past a really tough breakup, and this hits hard. My friends all tell me they like the new me. And it certainly feels easier to be me. I don't know why I ever let it be reduced. I think she left me with a bit of imposter syndrome, but it turns out I'm f'kin' dope."
No More Exercising
"When she sat me down and with a straight face said 'I’ve thought about this and you’re not going to exercise anymore.'”
"I was jogging a few miles a day and would usually bring kids with in running stroller."
"She said you’re a father and it’s too time consuming. That’s when I realized I made a terrible mistake lol."
"Catching her with another man in my car didn’t help the case to stay married."
This Woman's Work
"Engaged not quite married yet."
"When I had been on mandatory bedrest and caring for our infant son, after having emergency surgery... and he came home from work and looked me dead in the face and said 'why aren't the f**king dishes done?'"
"Called my mom the next morning and told her I was leaving. Hightailed it out of there 2 weeks later."
"It was a death of a thousand cuts. One of the first was when I realized she didn't trust me. We had been together around 10 years at this point. But I had a moment of clarity and literally said to her 'you don't trust me do you?' Before she could answer I said 'you don't trust anybody.' And she agreed."
"She would routinely throw the kids out of the tub and the bathroom completely naked because they splashed her while getting a bath. And not just that, she would yell at the top of her lungs at how bad they were. The kids were around 2-4 at the time. God forbid the toddler splashes the water in the tub."
"Another time I don't even remember the cause but I tried to play mediator. As in 'ok daughter you did something wrong, let's apologize to mommy'. And she would. Then I'd ask mommy to apologize to our daughter for what for her role and mom absolutely refused to apologize. Ive known this lady more than 20 years and ive never heard her apologize. Literally never."
"The final straw was when one of our kids wanted a hug goodnight before bedtime. She locked herself in our bedroom and refused the hug because she had hugged them earlier in the day. Kids were crying. They didn't understand. I was devastated watching this unfold. Why doesn't mom want to hug me?"
"I try my best to not let it impact me. But we share custody now and I have to watch how she interacts with our kids. Its hard. The best consolidation is the kids are getting older and they're starting to figure it out."
"When I realized if we weren’t dating I wouldn’t have wanted to be his friend."
Some found out on the day of the nuptials.
"No Ice Cream Truck"
"On the wedding day…. She spent a fortune on unnecessary things, and I knew I’d be the one fitting the bill on the credit card she ran up. So I told her no more, she said she wanted an ice cream vendor there (we already had two dessert bars) told her it was not needed. She fought me on it but finally agreed. Wedding day comes, I’m standing with my groomsmen, in comes the ice cream truck. Knew right then, sadly."
"On my wedding day. We were married at her Parents house, a beautiful place on a private country club. The entire day was all about her, and she spent more time hanging out with her friend and getting drunk than with me. I stayed busy visiting with all the guests during the day. After all the guests left and it was down to her parents and me, I find her passed out drunk upstairs in a bedroom. I picked her up and carried her to our car to take her home. Needless to say our wedding night consisted of her sleeping it off. 5 years later she went in to in-patient treatment and after she sobered up and was released, she told me that she didn't love me and wanted a divorce."
So much for the honeymoon.
"It was actually almost immediately after getting married. Our relationship had taken a nose dive as soon as we moved in together. But after we got married, while we were in Greece on our honeymoon, he absolutely lost his mind on me in public. I had wanted to go see a beach on the island that is supposed to be one of the most beautiful in the world, so we tried to catch the bus, but it never came. He screamed at me, telling me he hated traveling with me and how could I ruin his vacation like this. Then we walked to the beach nearby and he went swimming with his two friends who he insisted come with us on the trip. I was too stunned and humiliated to do anything except sit on a beach chair and cry."
China Was Telling
"Got married. Went on a honeymoon in China. We were both PhD students at the time. I was working class. Her family was middle class. Her father gave her 10,000 $ for the honeymoon."
"So we go to China to celebrate AND she wants to do some light pre dissertation research while there for a month or two. Fine."
"It turns out, I spent the entire two months alone in tiny hostels, while she did research. I only spoke a few words of Mandarin and I was a broke graduate student, so I couldn’t really afford to/didn’t have the means to easily get to an airport to fly back home (also had 0 family support back home, even if I did manage to make it home). I felt trapped."
"I talked to her about how the trip felt like a research trip and not at all like a honeymoon, how I was alone almost everyday."
"We were sharing a laptop while in the trip (I was too poor to own a laptop, despite being in grad school). I open the laptop one morning before she leaves to go survey a field site without me. Her email is open. She left a message open on the laptop. It’s to her father, stating she wishes I wasn’t there on the trip - our honeymoon. Again, I was told this would be a honeymoon w/ maybe a slight detour for research. It turned out to be a research trip where I was a burden."
"She apologized. We stayed together for a few more years after she got sick and I became a caretaker. I wish, in hindsight, I had left China after reading that email."
It's pretty painful to realize that the person with whom you're sleeping next to is not, or never was, your person.
But if there's a glimmer of hope that you and your spouse are willing to put in the work for the sake of a troubled marriage, that's a very redeemable quality.
Sadly, this doesn't apply to all couple, and the best thing to do is to abandon ship before further emotional damage is done.
It's safe to say that the conventions of romantic relationships have greatly evolved over time.
As evidenced by the ever-growing number of people in open or polyamorous relationships.
Leaving one to wonder, what exactly constitutes "cheating" in this day and age.
Of course, this could be a personal decision, based on the ground rules people set in their own relationships.
Even so, one can't help but question if there are some instances that are always cheating, whether or not the relationship is monogamous.
"What do you consider cheating in a relationship?"
Anything HE Does...
"My ex felt that me having a conversation about anything at all with anyone else was cheating, but her literally getting sexed by other men was OK."- GoodToe4691
"Watching an episode alone of a show we started together."- Happy-Sea-Otter
When You Commit, You COMMIT!
"Being sentimentally or physically involved with someone else that isn't your partner."- a_man_of_music
"Doing anything sexual or romantic with someone else."- jellyfishmasqueradeorlando bloom cheating GIFGiphy
Think About How You Would Feel...
"My rule of thumb is if I wouldn't like it done to me I shouldn't be doing it myself."
"I know that's vague."
"But leaves you to draw the line where you want."- SureAce_
Anything That Isn't Out In The Open...
"Beyond the obvious (sex/kissing with another person), it can also be based on intent."
"For instance, dinner could be cheating if it was kept hidden or with an ex, etc."
"Depends a lot on context."- dogwatermoneybags
"Anything you do with another person you feel like you have to hide from me, I consider cheating."- nopestillgotitShocked Oh No GIF by LaffGiphy
"Not paying enough of the rent in Monopoly and using smile and cuddle to get away with it."- Dendex031
You Set Your Own Rules So You Will Never Break Them...
"Pretty much breaking any agreed upon 'rules' in your relationship."- Massive-Ad7628
"Whatever an individual couple agrees on as being cheating within the context of their relationship."-JanuaryWinterflame
"Breaking the rules of loyalty, trust, and honesty in your relationship."
"If you're monogamous, that means engaging in sexual and/or romantic activity with anyone other than your partner."
"If you're non-monogamous, that means doing engaging in sexual and/or romantic activities with people other than your partners without telling both the new person and the partners that's what you're doing."
'Basically if you're sneaking around and lying to people just to get extra attention outside of your relationships, you're 99% likely to be cheating."- GenericNerdGirlGiphy
When You Know You're Getting In Too Deep...
"Back when I was still college aged, I learned this lesson the hard way."
"I could be a bit of a harmless flirt, but I would never cheat on my girlfriend."
"Then one night I got drunk with a friend of my girlfriend’s."
"After a night of ‘harmless flirting’ and drunk Twister, I ended up in her bed, on top of her."
"She whispered in my ear 'If you tried to f*ck me right now, I wouldn’t stop you'.”
"That snapped me back to reality, made me realize how real things had gotten and that I had gone too far."
"I apologized and I left."
"I told my girlfriend about it, because I knew that if I tried to hide it and her friend told her about it, it would be even worse."
"I never kissed her."
"I didn’t f*ck her."
"No one was naked."
"However, the fact that I had essentially been 5 seconds away from doing all of those things while in her bed massively betrayed the trust my girlfriend had for me."
"She wasn’t able to look at me the same way."
"I was genuinely remorseful, and learned my lesson, but it didn’t really matter."
"We tried to keep it together for a few more months, but she eventually left me over it, and I can’t say that I blame her."
"I was flung into a long spiral of depression, and it was worse knowing that it was all my fault."
"Cheating isn’t just about a physical, sexual act."
"You can cheat on someone without f*cking someone else."
"It’s about a betrayal of trust."
"And to go a step further, it’s your responsibility in a relationship to foster that trust by intentionally avoiding situations that could bring temptation or otherwise sketch out your partner."
"For example, don’t hang out with other girls one on one and get drunk with them, even if you know you don’t intend to do anything sexual with them."- Thograr
When The Connection Starts To Be Emotional
"I used to think it was only physical stuff, but seeing your partner drift away from you into the arms of someone else reeeally stings."
"So, basically entertaining the idea and keeping in contact with someone they might have a small/temporary crush on is a dealbreaker for me nowadays."- soapshirtseason 6 episode 3 GIFGiphy
By definition, cheating is when you are doing something blatantly wrong, or deceitful.
Which sometimes could mean kissing someone who isn't your partner.
Unless they are aware and ok with it.
One thing I'm sure everyone can agree with: nothing is more unforgivable than forging ahead on a series without waiting for your significant other.
...definitely not speaking from experience...
History is shaped by mistakes. Some lead to monumental leaps forward in human understanding. Most do not. Of those in the second category, many are simply embarrassing, and result in a good bar story. Meanwhile, other have simply disastrous consequences. Below are 48 of the biggest mistakes that have been committed in history.
1. He Should Have Accepted the OfferGoogle signPhoto by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash
In 1999, the founders of Google approached Excite CEO George Bell, offering to sell him the search engine for $1 million. When Bell refused, they lowered the price to $750,000, which he also rejected. Today, Google is valued at over $300 billion.
2. We’ll Passperson holding black android smartphonePhoto by Dimitri Karastelev on Unsplash
In 2009, Facebook turned down a pair of programmers for jobs. No big deal, right? Must happen all the time at FB HQ...
A few years later, though, the pair developed WhatsApp. Facebook subsequently purchased that venture for a cool $19 billion.
3. Trains Were Too Widea silver train pulling into a train stationPhoto by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash
The French state railway SNCF spent $15 billion on a new fleet of trains, but unfortunately, they were the wrong size and were too wide for their 1300 platforms. The mistake cost them an estimated $50 million to correct.
4. A Case of Bad TimingFile:Napoleon at Fontainebleau, 31 March 1814 (by Hippolyte Paul ...commons.wikimedia.org
Just over 200 years ago, Napoleon’s army attempted to invade Russia.
A combination of factors spelled doom for the invasion. There wasn't nearly enough food for the men and horses. Poor discipline was rampant in the ranks. And, of course, none of the men were prepared for the unimaginable brutality of a full Russian winter.
It was a devastating failure. Napoleon lost 500,000 troops.
5. Infidelity is ExpensiveFile:Tiger Woods June 2014 (cropped).jpg - Wikipediaen.wikipedia.org
Tiger Woods’s admission of multiple illicit affairs with women cost him his wife and $750 million. He also lost his sponsorships with Gatorade and others, but even worse, the shareholders of the companies with Tiger Woods endorsements lost an estimate $5 to $12 billion dollars in the wake of the scandal.
6. Gambled and Lostselective focus photography of bubblePhoto by Daniel Hansen on Unsplash
The Spanish telecom company Terra took a gamble when they purchased the search engine Lycos in 2000 for almost $12 billion. At the time, Lycos was the third most visited site in America...but that was before the dot com bubble burst. In just about a year, most internet companies in America lost millions in value. And Lycos was perhaps the biggest loser.
Terra would eventually sell the search engine in 2004 for just $95.4 million. That's an astonishing loss of $11.6 billion dollars on their investment.
7. I Accidentally Taped Over It!Buzz Aldrin on the moon in front of the US flagPhoto by NASA on Unsplash
Back in the days of data tapes, it was easy to accidentally tape over earlier recordings. Unfortunately for NASA, that’s exactly what they did, and the original tapes of the moon landing were erased and re-used. Luckily, they were able to restore the original broadcast and offer the world a glimpse of the historic event.
The admission that NASA accidentally erased the original footage had fed rocket fuel to conspiracy theorists, who already believed the entire lunar program that landed people on the moon six times between 1969 and 1972 was staged on a Hollywood set.
8. The Worst Nuclear Accident in U.S. HistoryFile:Exelon Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station.jpg ...commons.wikimedia.org
The nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island in March of 1979 was the result of mechanical failures that were made worse by poor training and oversights in the human-computer interaction design. It was the most significant nuclear disaster in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant history.
There are conflicting reports on the cost of the disaster, with some sources stating that the radiation exposure wasn't significant enough to result in additional instances cancer, while others insist the radiation caused thousands of cases.
9. Loss of Cultural KnowledgeFile:The Great Library of Alexandria - Colorized.jpg - Wikimedia ...commons.wikimedia.org
The Great Library of Alexandria was one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world, and was dedicated to the Muses—the 9 goddesses of the Arts.
The burning of the library resulted in an irreplaceable loss of knowledge and literature.
10. Didn’t Understand the Food ChainFile:Mao Zedong 1959 (cropped).jpg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
From 1958-1962, Chairman Mao Zedong of China launched the “Four Pests Campaign,” which would exterminate rats, flies, mosquitoes, and sparrows. What they didn’t realize was that sparrows ate a large number of insects. Without the sparrows to eat them, locust populations grew and created an ecological imbalance that exacerbated the Great Chinese Famine, which claimed the 15-30 million deaths.
That's right, when Chairman Mao Zedong ordered the extermination of sparrows, he accidentally sentenced 15 million citizens to death, all because he didn't realize that sparrows were mission critical for pest control.
11. Is That Leaning?people walking on green grass field near white concrete building during daytimePhoto by Jainam Mehta on Unsplash
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a free-standing bell tower in the city of Pisa Italy.
The tower is famous for its lean, but that wasn’t by design. The foundation for the tower was built on ground that was too soft to support its weight, and it started to lean during construction.
12. Threw Away Millionsblack and red UK flag pedal trash bin near white wooden doorPhoto by Steve Johnson on Unsplash
A lottery winner in England lost $181 million when her husband accidentally threw away her winning ticket. The woman knew the announced numbers were hers, because she always wrote them down on a separate sheet of paper before giving the ticket to her husband.
13. Brought Down by FoamFile:Space Shuttle Columbia launching.jpg - Wikipediaen.wikipedia.org
On Feb 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia disastrously disintegrated on re-entry, claiming the lives of all seven crew members. Back when the shuttle launched, a piece of foam fell from the shuttle’s external tank and punctured the shuttle’s wing, causing damage that made the rocket unable to withstand re-entry.
NASA knew about the problem when it occurred, and came under scrutiny for their negligence.
14. Cutting CornersDeepwater Horizon - Wikipediaen.wikipedia.org
In April 2010, a BP oil rig burst in the Gulf of Mexico, pushing nearly five million barrels of oil from the well. It was eventually determined that years of BP favoring speed over safety and cutting corners were the true causes of the accident.
15. Couldn’t Corner the Marketwhite and black striped textilePhoto by Andrew Kliatskyi on Unsplash
Yasuo Hamanaka, the former chief copper trader at Sumitomo in Japan attempted to corner the market (get enough market share to manipulate the price) on copper back in 1996.
Before prices dropped and the scheme collapsed, Sumitomo controlled as much as 5% of the world’s copper. He was known as "Mr. Copper" because of his aggressive trading style. On June 13, 1996, Sumitomo Corporation reported a loss of US$1.8 billion caused by unauthorized copper trading by Hamanaka on the London Metal Exchange. It was later revealed that the true losses caused by Hamanka totaled $2.6 billion dollars.
16. Should Have Prepared for WinterFile:RIAN archive 301 An attack.jpg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
In June of 1941, Hitler was riding high on his victories and was determined to claim the Russian territories to fulfill Germany’s destiny. Convinced that he would easily win, he ignored the warnings of his military, and reportedly told them that “We have only to kick in the front door and the whole rotten Russian edifice will come tumbling down." Thanks to some strategical miscalculations on the German generals' part, and their unpreparedness for Russian winter, the Germans were eventually forced to retreat.
17. That’s Not the System We Used!a red planet with a black backgroundPhoto by Planet Volumes on Unsplash
A group of Lockheed engineers used Imperial units of measurement to build the Mars Orbiter, but the rest of the team used Metric. The use of two different systems caused the spacecraft to approach Mars on a trajectory that brought it too close to the plane. It disintegrated as it passed through the upper atmosphere. The mistake cost NASA approximately $125 million back in 1999.
18. Guitar Groups are OutFile:Beatles ad 1965 just the beatles crop.jpg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
Dick Rowe, an A&R man at Decca Records at the time of the Beatles’ audition, is known in history as "the man who turned down the Beatles." Sources that after Rowe first heard the Fab Four, he told their manager that “Groups with guitars are on their way out.”
After their rejection, he went on to sign the Rolling Stones and several other famous groups, but missing out on the Beatles was a big one: The Beatles have sold 600 million albums worldwide and 177 million in the United States alone.
19. They Defeated Themselves
On September 18, 1788, during their conflict with Turkey, a group of Austrian soldiers bought some hard beverages from a band of locals in the town of Karansebes. They had too much and began to shout that the Turks were coming.
Mass confusion ensued (partly due to language barriers), panicked men began firing at the supposed "Turkish invaders" and by the morning, 10,000 of their own men were dead. With Friends like that, who needs enemies?
20. Safety First.Free Images : live, equipment, spray, training, flame, fire ...pxhere.com
Oil workers on the Piper Bravo Oil Rig were evacuated after an explosion killed 167 of the 226 men working on the rig in July of 1988. A safety inspector forgot to replace a valve after a routine check, and when a worker (unaware that a valve was missing) pushed the start button, gas leaked out.
21. Poked the Wrong BearFile:YuanEmperorAlbumGenghisPortrait.jpg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
The Sultan of the Khwarezm Empire in present-day Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Iran had agreed to a trade treaty with Genghis Khan, but when the caravan arrived, the Governor of Otrar seized the goods and had all but one of the merchants killed.
Khan then sent a delegation to the Shah to demand punishment, and he responded by shaving the heads of the ambassadors and sending the interpreter home headless. Kahn retaliated by invading and conquering Otrar.
22. A Not-So-Controlled Burna large fire is burning in the mountainsPhoto by Mike Newbry on Unsplash
In 2000, the Cerro Grande fire in New Mexico began as a controlled blaze, but things quickly turned into a disaster. High winds and drought let the fire spread rapidly, and soon authorities had completely lost control. The fire burned for more than a month, destroying 48,000 acres, and displacing more than 400 families.
23. Blind BeliefFile:Fukushima radiation dose map 2011-04-29.png - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
The triple meltdowns at the Fukushima Number 1 power plant occurred largely because the Japanese government had a blind belief that the plants were so safe, a major disaster was impossible—despite warnings that the aging plants were vulnerable. The accident will take an estimated 40 years and billions of dollars to clean up.
24. They Should Have Listenedunderwater photography of titanicPhoto by NOAA on Unsplash
Stop me if you've heard this one...
In April 1912, the largest passenger ship ever built began its maiden voyage across the Atlantic from England to New York. It would never finish the trip.
The Titanic was called "unsinkable". It wasn't. The ship sank in the early morning hours of April 15, after crashing into an iceberg and taking on water.
Long before the actual incident, the Titanic's crew received warnings about icebergs in the area. In the interest of saving time, the warnings were ignored. That mistake claimed the lives of 1,517 people.
25. Billion-Dollar Write-DownFile:Sony Movies Logo.svg - Wikipediaen.wikipedia.org
Sony thought that they were making a smart purchase when they scooped up Columbia Pictures for $3.4 billion in 1989. The cost of the deal increased when they had to spend $200 million on another production company, and another $500 million to settle a lawsuit. In the end, they were forced to take a 3.2-billion-dollar write-down on the acquisition.
26. They Thought It Was UselessSydney Opera House, AustraliaPhoto by Photoholgic on Unsplash
Dutch navigators extensively explored Australia almost a century before Captain James Cook claimed it for Great Britain in 1770, but they chose not to settle there because it failed to live up to their expectations. The island had been fabled to be overflowing with gold and giants, and they were disappointed by the seemingly barren coastline.
27. Equipment Failureflying stealth plane during dayPhoto by Matt Artz on Unsplash
America’s most expensive jet was destroyed on a practice flight in Guam when faulty sensors caused the plane to stall on take-off and crash. Luckily, both pilots were able to eject safely.
28. They Wished They’d Kept Itbrown wooden signage on gray sand during daytimePhoto by Alexis Mette on Unsplash
At the end of the Crimean War, Russia was weakened and had very little money, and they knew that Britain could simply take over their Alaskan territory if they wished. As far as the Tsar was concerned, it was just a useless piece of barren land, so he decided to sell it to the United States, rather than lose it to their British enemies.
Neither party knew about the gold and oil that lay beneath the land. If they had, Russia likely wouldn’t have sold it for 2 cents an acre.
29. There Was No Feastbrown concrete statue under blue sky during daytimePhoto by Azzedine Rouichi on Unsplash
In 1532, Conquistador Fransisco Pizarro lured the Inca ruler Atahualpa to a supposed feast in his honor. It turned out to be a trap. Pizarro’s men massacred 80,000 Inca warriors, and captured Atahualpa. As a final humiliation, Pizarro forced Atahualpa to convert to Christianity before executing him.
30. An Unsuccessful Mergerblue audi coupe parked on green grass field during daytimePhoto by Udo Meyer on Unsplash
Unfortunately for Mercedes Benz, their 1998 merger with Chrysler failed to work out as planned, and less than a decade later in 2007, Mercedes sold the company for $7 billion—about $13 billion less than they’d paid for it.
31. Hydrogen Is FlammableFile:Hindenburg burning.jpg - Wikipediaen.m.wikipedia.org
The Hindenburg disaster marked the end of the airship era, claiming all 35 passengers and one member of the ground crew. The airship caught fire because of a spark that ignited leaking hydrogen. As the Germans discovered, hydrogen is an extremely flammable and dangerous substance, and using it to fill airships perhaps wasn’t the smartest idea.
32. Fire and Bloodsilhouette of trees during night timePhoto by Henrique Malaguti on Unsplash
A hunter was responsible for starting the biggest fire in California’s history back in 2003. He lost a lit signal flare near the San Diego County Estates and the fire spread. Close to 300,000 acres and 2,322 homes were destroyed. 14 people also lost their lives.
33. Who Left the Gate Open?brown concrete building under blue sky during daytimePhoto by Raimond Klavins on Unsplash
Forgetting to close a gate isn’t normally that big a deal--unless you’re the unfortunate Roman who forgot to close the Kerkoporta Gate at Constantinople. That unfortunate soul single-handedly lost a siege.
You see, the walls of Constantinople were generally regarded to be impregnable. This contributed to a sense of confidence and security for the Roman defenders, who were under siege by a much larger Ottoman force.
So when one Roman guard accidentally left the gate open at night, a group of 50 Ottomans was able to sneak in under cover of night, slaughtering the Roman guards and raising their flag on the walls. This caused panic in the Roman ranks, who were left with the impression that the city had somehow been conquered overnight. The resulting loss of morale helped the Ottomans to actually conquer and loot the city with a subsequent invasion.
34. Abandoning the NavyFile:Zheng He Treasure Ship (15832736462).jpg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
500 or so years ago, China had one of the greatest seafaring fleets in the world. They boasted 5 times the size of those being built in Europe.
By 1525, the entire fleet had been destroyed. Chinese elites urged the government to destroy their own fleet, concerned about the rising status of the middle class who had benefited from the international trade that the "Treasure Fleet" enabled. The vessels were either set aflame or left to rot at port. Economists believe this act crippled China's economy and drastically reduced its world influence.
35. Serial Infidelity
Mining Magnate Dmitri Rybolovlev allegedly slept with other women on his yacht, leading his wife to accuse him of "serial infidelity." The divorce battle that ensued forced him to sell assets to raise cash for the settlement.
36. A Fatal Wrong TurnFile:HGM Wilhelm Vita Porträt Franz Ferdinand.jpg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
Who would have imagined that a wrong turn could turn the entire world on its head? That’s what happened on June 14, 1914, when Archduke Ferdinand’s driver made a wrong turn. He turned down the road where the assassin Gavrilo Princip was enjoying a sandwich. The driver, realizing his mistake, slammed on the brakes and caused the car to stall, which gave Princip the opportunity to fire into the car at close range.
37. Great Ideas That Didn’t Workclassic teal sedan near house during daytimePhoto by Peter Secan on Unsplash
In 1957, Ford introduced the Edsel.
The car was a massive gamble. For a year before its release, Ford spent millions on a teaser campaign, which billed the as-yet-unseen Edsel as the car of the future.
Turns out, it wasn't.
The car was introduced with fanfare and excitement... but Ford would stop production in 1959, just two years after the initial sale. Unfortunately for Ford, it failed to live up to the hype created by their advertising campaign. The whole debacle cost them an estimated $250 million.
38. A Strategical ErrorFile:Pearl Harbor submarine base in the early 1930s.jpg ...commons.wikimedia.org
The U.S. had three aircraft carriers assigned to Pearl Harbor at the time of the Japanese attack, but they had been displaced on missions on the day of the attack. The Japanese had received intelligence that the carriers weren’t there, but decided that it wasn’t important. This turned out to be the wrong decision, as those aircraft carriers later helped the U.S. win the fight against Japan.
39. A Flaw in the DesignFile:IAEA 02790015 (5613115146).jpg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
On 26th April 1986, engineers at the V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Station, a Soviet facility, were testing a new cooling system designed to reduce the risk of a meltdown. Their test caused a meltdown, and the resulting explosion destroyed Chernobyl’s reactor 4.
The Chernobyl Forum predicts that the eventual toll could reach 4,000 among those exposed to the highest levels of radiation. That said, what many people don't know is that the plant actually remained a fully-functioning power plant for years after the disaster.
The disaster destroyed reactor 4, but reactors 1-3 remained open for business. Due to high levels of radiation, plant employees could no longer live beside the facility, but many continued to commute to work to supply power in Europe. The final reactor only ceased operating in 2000.
40. Lost His Hard Drivegold and silver round coinsPhoto by Kanchanara on Unsplash
In 2009, James Howells bought 7,500 bitcoin when they weren’t worth anything, and by 2013, they had risen to a value of 613 British pounds each, giving him a multi-million dollar portfolio. The only problem was that he’d thrown away the hard drive where the bitcoins were stored.
When he realized his mistake, he went to the landfill to try and recover it, but he was unable to locate it.
41. A Costly Spelling MistakePetition to File For BankruptcyPhoto by Melinda Gimpel on Unsplash
The British government was sued for £9 million after a clerical error resulted in the wrong company being recorded as in liquidation. Companies House mistakenly mistook a 124-year-old Welsh company called “Taylor and Sons” for a bankrupt company “Taylor and Son” due to a clerical error that inserted an extra ‘s’ onto a liquidation notice. The mistake cost 250 people their jobs.
42. Too Easy to CopyDay 250: Summer Addiction | I was first introduced to Snappl… | Flickrwww.flickr.com
When Quaker purchased Snapple for $1.4 billion in 1994, their goal was to sell it in every grocery store in the country. But Snapple was so successful in the smaller brand-name grocery stores that companies like Pepsi and Coca-Cola made their own copycat brands. Quaker sold Snapple after just three years for significantly less than what they paid.
43. Don’t Drink and SteerFile:Exxon Valdez Cleanup.jpg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
In 1989, an Exxon oil tanker was headed to California when it ran aground on the Bligh Reef off the Alaskan coast. The tanker spilled around 760,000 barrels of oil into the water, and the captain was later accused of being drunk at the time of the accident. He was convicted of negligent discharge of oil.
44. A Fat Finger TradetextPhoto by jun rong loo on Unsplash
A Japanese trader cost his company nearly $2 million when he accidentally sold 610,000 shares for 1 yen, instead of 1 share at 610,000 yen. It was a “fat-finger keyboard error”, a mistake in which a trader places a buy/sell order at a far greater size than intended.
45. You Can’t Dock Here!yellow and blue abstract paintingPhoto by Didssph on Unsplash
When a storm caused one of the 12 oil tanks on the MV Prestige to burst, the captain called for help from Spanish rescue workers, expecting to bring the vessel into the harbor before it sank. Because the Spanish, French, and Portuguese governments refused to allow the ship to dock in their ports, the ship eventually split in half and sank, releasing over 20 million gallons of oil into the sea.
46. No Heir, No EmpireFile:Alexander the Great mosaic.jpg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
Shortly before he gave his last breath, Alexander was asked who should succeed him. He responded simply, “the strongest"...as though that was a helpful answer.
As it turns out, men who've spent their lives conquering much of the known world tend to be a little competitive. Upon his passing, Alexander's generals immediately vied to fill the power vacuum... leaving his carefully crafted empire to crumble.
47. Houston We Have A MistakeJanuary 28, 1986 – Space Shuttle Challengerwww.history.navy.mil
Approximately 17% of Americans were watching on the morning of January 28, 1986, as the Space Shuttle Challenger launched toward space. Onboard were 6 NASA astronauts, as well as Payload Specialist Christa McAuliffe, who was set to become the first teacher in space.
Tragedy struck just 72 seconds after liftoff. Gasses in the external fuel tank mixed, exploded, and tore the shuttle apart. All 7 crew members were lost.
Prior to the disaster, the builder of the solid-rocket boosters advised NASA that they believed the O-ring seals in the solid-rocket boosters could fail at extremely low temperatures. On the day of the launch, the temperature was 15 degrees colder than any previous launch in history.
48. Rejected Harry Potter
J.K. Rowling’s literary agency received 12 rejections for Harry Potter. When the 8-year-old daughter of an editor at Bloomsbury demanded to read the rest of the book, Bloomsbury finally agreed to publish it...but also advised Rowling to "get a day job" as there was little chance of making any money with children’s books.
We get it adulting is hard.
But there are some things in life that don't require much beyond a high school education, yet so many people are clueless–particularly when it comes to matters of health and safety practices.
Curious to hear from baffled doctors and nurses about dealing with certain types of patients, Redditor babyhippo01 asked:
"Medical professionals of Reddit, have you ever had a patient so lacking in common sense you wondered how they made it this far. If so, what is your story?"
It's not rocket science.
"There is a reason the instructions for prescription suppositories say 'unwrap and insert' and not just 'insert.'"
"I’m a pharmacist. One evening shift I was working a relief shift (not my usual pharmacy). A man comes in looking distressed."
"Man: I had sexual relations with a woman I do not intend to pursue a long term relationship with. (Yes. He said it just like that)"
"Me: okay. I’m assuming there was an accident or it was unprotected. How long ago did it happen?"
"Man: last night, at 7pm on the couch. (Woah TMI, I just need to know approximate time to know if plan B will work o.o)"
"Me: we have this medication called Plan B, and since the incident happened within 72 hours-"
"Man: oh yes, I got that for her already yesterday right after we finished. We want to know if there is anything we can do to know if she is pregnant now."
"Me: unfortunately not. She’ll have to wait 3 weeks or so to see if she gets her period, and if she doesn’t then she can do a pregnancy test then. Theoretically you could do a blood test for faster results, but that would also not be until a couple of weeks, at least."
"Man: we’re just really anxious because she really doesn’t want to be pregnant. Is there anything that she can take to prevent the pregnancy? Any multivitamin? Minerals? Food?"
"Me: she’s already taken it, which was the plan B. There are some other options but those are prescriptions. And no, there are no over-the-counter products she can take."
"Man: What about me? Is there anything I can take now to prevent the pregnancy? Any multivitamins or minerals?"
"Me:……………………………..No sir. There isn’t anything you can take now."
"73 here, former clinical microbiologist, LONG ago."
"Still, I found myself all over the clinical lab at times, not just infectious disease."
"So, one day, this 20-something guy (wife and mom in tow) walks in with a paper request for semen analysis, pre-computer era."
"Ok, not the most comfortable encounter, but I'm a professional and did this drill many times."
"He had not been briefed by the doc and had no idea how establishing infertility in males was done."
"Well, OK, a challenge, then."
"I took him aside and... using standard medical terminology told him how a diagnosis is made and what he needed to do to provide a specimen."
"He couldn't/wouldn't believe that I was asking him to masturbate into that container. Astonished!"
"Then he played dumb, as if the word was unfamiliar to him."
"We looped through the medical terms and procedure again, and I eventually resorted to every word I knew to describe the 'act.'"
"It was like a George Carlin bit!"
"A half hour later, he emerged from the toilet with two inches of urine in the cup. God Almighty."
"The report went back 'patient provided improper specimen.'"
The following examples are relating to drinking problems.
The Giver Of Life
"Paramedic. Elderly woman complains that her mouth is dry and she felt a bit dizzy climbing the stairs earlier. Go through the whole rigamarole of getting a medical history, vitals, more detail on symptoms. Ask her what she's had to drink today."
"A cup of tea, ten hours ago."
"Any water? No."
"Guess what fixed it within five minutes."
"Physical Therapist - Had a patient with neck pain and spasms, also complained of anxiety and heart palpitations. Asked about caffeine intake and patient revealed drinking and average on 15-20 cups of coffee daily."
Oh, you're not ready for these stories.
Man At The Mower
"Had a buddy who was an EMT, he was called out to a location for a gunshot wound."
"Apparently what happened is a father was mowing his lawn when he accidentally touched part of the mower near the engine and burned his hand. He got mad at the lawnmower, pulled out his pistol, and shot it. The bullet ricocheted and hit his son in the leg."
"Not me but my mother would pick up shifts as a nurse sometimes in Labour and Delivery and she had met a handful of women who didn’t know the baby was going to be coming out of their vaginas. Like no clue. My mom usually said something like 'how you got it in is how it’s coming out honey'. This was the late 90 early 2000s."
One Small Detail
"Rural ER doc here: 35 year old female walks in with right sided jaw/neck swelling. 'I think it happened because I ate some meat yesterday that my body is reacting to' … 10 minutes later : 'oh yeah, and I accidentally swallowed a bee and it stung me in my mouth right before this happened. Sorry I forgot to mention that.'"
Parents might be blamed for their kids' intelligence levels.
Some teachers could be responsible for overlooking teaching the basics.
Or maybe it's the rural locale where they were born and raised having something to do with it.
Whatever the circumstances, it's confounding that anyone capable of communicating and thinking for themselves can be so oblivious.