People Share Survival Myths That Can Actually Get Someone Killed
Chase Baker on Unsplash

People can learn a lot from movies, but it would be wise for audiences to take any imparted wisdom with a grain of salt.


A majority of blockbusters are fiction of course, and even films loosely based on real-life stories can have false information unless a notable director is helming the picture.

To show that some popular beliefs people believe to be true can be dangerously spurious, Redditor kuroi_sny asked:

"What survival myth is completely wrong and can get you killed?"

The desert is beautiful. But it can also kill you. Beware of the following myths.

Nourishment From Desert

"Drinking water from a cactus. If absolutely needed for survival, you could get some water out of a Fishhook Barrel Cactus but only in limited amounts, most cactuses have various acids and other fun things in the water that will make you sh*t yourself to death, dehydration in the desert isn't a laughing matter and you don't want to lose the precious bit of water left in your body to the desert ground."

– Kraymur

The Intense, Dry Heat

“'The desert is hot and little clothing is best.' Cover up during both the day and the night. The sun will burn you and dehydrate you very quickly. During the night it’s really common for people to die of hypothermia because the temperature drops so fast. And honestly living here, during the winter it gets to the low 20s f pretty often. And the wind is awful."

"Edit to add: it’s dry heat here. There’s no moisture in the air majority of the year. You can drop dead from heat stroke 'barely' sweating."

– Curious_Wrangler_980

In the face of immediate danger, you may want to unlearn these popular "tips."

See Ya Later Alligator

"Running in a zigzag to outrun an alligator. Alligators don't run for long distances, so this will probably just waste your energy. They can also climb some fences and trees as well."

– TchaikenNugget

Seal Yourself In

“'If you’re in a tornado, open all your windows to equalize the pressure inside to match the outside.'”

"If you’re in a tornado opening any window or door will create a wind tunnel that rips your entire roof off."

– NightOnF'kMountain

Lightning Pattern

"Lightning never strikes twice in the same place."

"If lightning has found a path that it likes to the ground it's extremely likely to strike there multiple times. That why lightning rods work."

– CatboyInAMaidOutfit

When Encountering Jaws

"If a shark is coming after you, swim away."

"If a shark is coming towards you in the first place, it's most likely just curious and wants to check you out. Swimming away and thrashing about will further intrigue it to keep following you. Instead, redirect it by running your hand along its side and carefully positioning it to swim away from you."

"(Side note: If one happens to bite you, poke/stab it in the eyes or pull on its gills instead of bopping it in the nose. Gills and eyes are far more sensitive than a shark's nose.)"

– swaggy_kyu

Are you lost? You won't be found as easily if you fall for these unfounded suggestions.

Change Your Voicemail When Distressed

"That bullsh*t 'change your voicemail if you are lost' PSA that was making the rounds over the last year. You need a cell signal to change your voicemail, if you have a signal then why wouldn't you just call for help?"

"Moreover it misses the most important thing about US cell phones and being lost: 911 will work on any cell tower regardless if it's 'in network' or even if you have an active phone plan or not. So in an emergency always TRY dialing 911 regardless of your phone appears to have signal or not."

"EDIT: To the dozens of people who replied that you are supposed to change your voicemail before going out, this is still a bad idea. If you're lost or injured in the woods, your survival depends on being found quickly. Waiting for someone to get worried enough about you not coming back to try calling you is just going to waste precious time. It's much better to just tell your friends/family where you will be and set up a check-in time so they know you made it back safely."

– Histidine

Getting Your Bearings

"That moss grows on the north side of a tree. It can grow all over the tree, so it’s not a steadfast rule that you should make important decisions solely on."

– dildorthegreat87

Just in case you're planning a solo hike in the desert or go scuba diving in uncharted waters of the deep, your newly acquired knowledge here could save your life, thanks to these anonymous Redditors.

It's a good reminder to double check on the things you've heard to be true to get a solid confirmation.

A brief research can literally be a matter of life or death.

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People Share Which Survival Tips Could Actually Get You Killed
Photo by Andreas Wagner on Unsplash

For the most part, survival tips have been taught to us from a young age. We know to call 911 if there's an emergency and to put pressure on a bleeding wound. Boy Scouts know to be always prepared. Hikers know to conserve water, campers know how to build a fire, and anyone who spends a great deal of time outdoors knows how to locate shelter.

However, those skills are pretty basic. If you get into real trouble, you'll need more specific survival skills in order to get yourself out of trouble.

Some people can give you survival tips that can mean the difference between life and death. Others may give you tips that seem to make sense, but will probably only lead to death. It can be a great skill to learn the difference.

That's probably the thought process that led Redditor scarredforlife164 to ask:

"What "survival tips" would probably get you killed?"
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