We all meet thousands of people throughout our lives, and many of them will quickly fade into distant memory shortly after we do. Some, though, manage to affect us so profoundly from a single meeting that we remember them for the rest of our lives.
Whether it's a stranger who was there to help in a time of need, a kind word during a really hard time, or someone who just happened to say exactly the right thing at the right time—sometimes the memory just sticks.
Reddit user direwolf107 asked the folks at r/AskReddit about their profound encounters with strangers, and got some wonderful answers.
I was about 16 and getting the bus home from school. It was always super crowded and and you'd be really lucky to get a spot on before the driver closed the doors and drove off. You could wait 4 or 5 buses before one came along that you could get on.
Anyway, me and my friends had been really lucky that day and managed to squeeze on to the first one, just about. The lady behind us started begging to be let on, saying she had a job interview. The bus driver said he was sorry, but the legally couldn't because of how many people were on. He kept asking us to move down but there wasn't any room and people were starting to get mad and telling him to just go. The woman started sobbing. It was about 2010 so we'd all been hit really hard with the economic crash, and jobs were hard to come by.
Like, it broke my heart. It was the first time I'd really seen an adult publicly in such distress. So my friend and I just got off and she got on. We didn't even look at her or exchange any words. The bus was free for teenagers, all we lost was 30 minutes that we would have normally waited anyway. But my parents were fairly comfortable, I'd never had to face how bad things were before. It feel like a big moment for me.
I still think about her from time to time. I hope she's okay, I hope she got that job. I can't imagine how it must have felt to be that desperate.
I was on my way back from Disneyland Paris, sat in the airport and a guy beside me was typing away on his laptop. A little curious at what he was writing I peeked over and saw the title "the last letter I'll ever write". I was frozen for a few minutes, im 24 and I had absolutely no idea what to do. I thought maybe he was a writer and if I ask ill look stupid. Eventually though I turned round to him and said, "Look man, I really hope I'm making a fool of myself, but are you OK?".
Turns out he and his long term partner had broken up, and they were meant to be coming on this holiday, that he'd now come on with his dad. He blamed himself, and he'd been going to therapy for a while to get out of a a pretty dark place but some days were better than others, and writing the letters was an exercise from his therapist.
We chatted for a bit, about her, his dad, me, life in general. Turned out his brother lived nearby me and frequented a coffee shop right by where I used to live.
Eventually my plane got called, and we hugged and I told him I really hope things get better for him and that at the very least I'd had a lovely time talking to him. We left there and I still wonder what happened to him. I hope he's happy now, I hope that he's managed to find some good in the world again. But I guess I'll never know for sure.
When I was a kid, I flew by myself for the first time. At the airport, when I was about to check in, I spotted an elderly lady looking at me. Deeply. At first I thought I accidentally hit her or something, so I asked if she needed anything. She nodded. Didn't give it much importance so I just checked in and headed to my plane. Later, already on the plane, I see the very same lady, looking for her seat. Of course I helped her and asked her what number her seat was. She handed me her ticket. "B37". I'll never forget it because I was the C37. She sat right next to me. I was scared. I was a kid, and I wasn't used to coincidences. Anyway, long flight.
When we arrived and were waiting for the plane to land for us to head out, she finally says "You know, you really look like my daughter, I even thought you were her! But she passed away 5 years ago, silly me. Here, this is her with my grandkids". She handed me her phone with a zoomed in picture. I was paralyzed when I saw her.
She looked EXACTLY like me. But she was 28 and I was 10. I couldn't even talk. Now that I am older, every time I look in the mirror for my birthday, I remember that lady and the picture. I am a living photo of her daughter. Every year that goes by, is a year that I look more like that woman in the picture.
When I turn 28, I hope this memory will finally scare me less.
A stranger I interacted with at Wall-Mart about 4 years ago is still engraved in my brain.
I was with my mom shopping, and we found ourselves at the yogurt section. I love this stuff, so I was looking around at all the flavors pretty carefully. Well, after a little while a searching, a older man came up and started also searching through as well. He was maybe mid 40s or early 50s. I remember him being really tall, and he had a resemblance to my features. He had my build, same skin complexion, same hair color, you name it.
As we're searching through, he chuckles and says how he's gotta find the perfect flavor, and I agree with him. It's like our little mission to find the best kind - it was a lighthearted feeling just searching through the brands and flavors with him. He asks what my favorite flavor is, and turns out we had the same favorite. I thought that was pretty cool.
A little bit more looking through the section goes by, and he introduces himself as John.
My name is Jonathan.
He then found the ones he wanted, which were the same brand as the ones I was getting, and he put them into his cart, smiled at me, and rolled away.
I have not seen him since, but every time I remember the story I can't help but think that there's always a possibility I met my future self - even if it's just a silly idea.
When I was fresh out of college I drove over two hours away for a job interview and got into a car accident like a block away from the building. My car was completely totaled. A woman who was stopped at the stop sign near my accident pulled over and got out to make sure I was okay. I was completely fine physically but have very bad anxiety and immediately had a panic attack. I was sobbing and couldn’t catch my breath and this complete stranger sat with me the entire time telling me to breathe and just being so caring and supportive. She waited with me for the police to come, she helped me talk them through what happened, she called my mom for me, she even called the office I was on my way to so she could let them know about the accident and that I would call them to reschedule my interview. As if that wasn’t enough, once she found out that I was that far away from home and it was going to take my mom two hours to get to me, she CANCELLED HER MEETING THAT SHE WAS ALREADY LATE TO SO SHE COULD DRIVE ME HALFWAY.
She did not think it was a big deal whatsoever. She just stepped up to the plate to help without question. I would have been completely alone and lost without her that day. She was an angel, honestly. I lost her business card between all the paperwork from the accident and I've been kicking myself over it for the last five years. All I want is to call her and tell her how thankful I am and that I've kept her in my thoughts ever since. Roxanne if you're out there, thank you so so much. And please for the love of god send me your last name so I can send you some flowers.
I was having a rough day and I thought I'd get an ice cream to cheer myself up. I was standing in the line and this old lady looked at me and asked if I was okay. I said I was fine and just had a rough day. I got up to the front to get my ice cream and she tells the cashier, "I've got this young man, he's had a rough day". She smiles at me and says enjoy your ice cream. I still think of her whenever I have a rough day. I send her my good vibes.
An old man I overheard telling his grandkids that if their dad got accepted to the job he was interviewing for in town, they would move there and then they could visit each other all the time. I never even saw the guy interviewing for the job but I really hope he got it
A year after graduating from a tiny college on Idaho, I was at Disneyland with a high school buddy. I was totally convinced that I saw a college friend, Adam, in line at Pirates of the Caribbean. I kept waving at him, but he looked at me like I was out of my mind. My high school friend tried to talk me down, saying that "Adam" clearly had no idea who I was...it's not him...everyone has a twin...yada, yada, yada.
The line finally snakes around to where I am standing right next to "Adam" so I tap him on the shoulder and ask "hey, aren't you Adam M?" And he says "no, I'm his twin brother Aaron"
34 years later and I still tell that story at parties. I only met Aaron once, in 1986, in line at Pirates, but I do wish him...and Adam...a very happy birthday on Facebook.
I met my husband's doppelganger once. The man looked EXACTLY like my husband. I was eith someone at the hospital waiting for their medical transport to pick us up and I saw who I thought was my husband across the street. My husband was supposed to be at work so I was confused. I called out to him but he didnt respond. My patient and I walked over to him but I stopped short a few feet away because I started to realize maybe it wasnt actually him. His clothes were different and this man was assisting someone in care giving type role -my husband absolutely would not do that.
The guy noticed me staring at him and so I explained why and even showed him a picture of my husband. He swore that was a picture of him and this was all some practical joke. I had to show him pictures of my husband and I together for him to realize the pictures were not of him. This man could have been his identical twin. I often think of that encounter and how insane it was. I also think of the astronomical chances that not only did my husband have a doppelganger but that we lived in the same city for a while and I happened to cross paths with him.
Once I was walking to work past a homeless shelter pickup spot. It was a sunny day, middle of summer. A small lady was standing on the sidewalk wearing rain boots, a yellow raincoat, and wrapped completely in a blue vinyl tarp. As I walked by her, she leaned into me, looked me in the eye and said, "...fish monster...?"
I still think about her. Did she think I was a fish monster? Was she concerned that I had seen a fish monster? Perhaps she felt I was unprepared, and her questioning tone was more about if I'd heard about the potential of fish monsters.
Such a surreally complex interaction in just two words. One thing I know for certain is that whatever the fish monster status was, she was clearly the best prepared of everyone present.
Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or "🤐" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk to him about it.
Staying in someone else's house can be a bit unsettling in any situation, but Airbnb rentals are often more so because of the fact that you don't know the owner.
Sometimes that feeling of being unsettled can quickly become being creeped all the way out when something particularly off happens. Whether it's discovering that the owner is actually kind of creepy, or never even interacting with them at all because they send someone else to deal with you, things can go downhill fast.
Reddit user eazyp96 asked the folks at r/AskReddit:
My fiance and I were staying at an AirBnB in Helsinki to visit family. When we got there and got settled, we were chatting about things we thought were missing in the apartment, specifically I remember saying I wished there was another towel hook in the bathroom (there was only 1 and obviously 2 towels being used). The next day we went out and were out pretty much all day, and when we got back that night there was another towel hook in the bathroom...
I had a similar experience with a landlord. It was an "apartment" (about 200 square feet) built on to the side of his house. I moved in during the summer. When it started to get cold, I joked to my bf that I should preheat the oven and leave the door open to warm the place up. The next day he came over and said he had a space heater he was bringing over, "so, ya know, don't use the oven to heat the place, haha".
My sister and I were staying in a cute little detached house in a wealthy part of San Diego. It was right by the beach, but the house was super hippy and relaxed, the man who lived there was out of town, so some of his stuff was out, he was literally making his own kombucha. He had a bathroom attached to his little house that had a door that led to outside. He shared this bathroom with a tenant in another house who didn't have one. Around 4am she comes home drunk, goes into the bathroom, and starting banging on the door to our room viciously. She's screaming about how he stole her phone yesterday...this man has been out of town for a week. It was scary to wake up to in the middle of the night, but our stay was still great.
I got to an airbnb in the middle of nowhere in Kansas, at about midnight. The airbnb was 12 dollars for a night. The property was a quaint little house on some farmland, and I had passed the nearest house about a half a mile down the road. The host was already asleep when I got there so I let myself in and made my way to the couch where I was supposed to sleep. It was eerily quiet and pitch black outside, and I was already nervous so I couldn't get to sleep. The living room was decorated with all kinds of random artifacts and treasures, I was looking around and taking everything in.
There were cool rocks and souvenirs, but most curiously there were weird religious objects and books with cultish symbolism. I googled a word I saw on a tapestry, which turned out to be the name of the religion the host followed. The religion revolves around UFO's, the 'bible' they follow is basically just a categorization of hundreds of types of space ships. I was a bit on edge after reading that, but after MUCH research, I concluded that it wasn't a murderous death cult, just super weird.
I also nosily read through a journal that was just sitting on a coffee table, where the host had written things about her travels. One entry was about how she traveled to Peru and saw a space ship, she wrote about how she'd never seen one that close before. It was all very strange, but I eventually got to sleep regardless.
When I woke up in the morning, the host made me coffee and unprompted, began telling me about her religion, among other conspiracies, like the government being able to control tornados. She was very kind and not overbearing, just eager to tell someone her truth. We talked for an hour or so before I got back on the road, and she sent me away with a bunch of stuff to research and an airbnb magazine. Best airbnb i've stayed at. Close second would be the gay nudist hostel in memphis.
Okay, I’m going to need more information about the Memphis one.
Was looking for cheap airbnb’s on the same road trip as the crazy lady’s airbnb. Going thru memphis I found a pretty cheap ‘hostel’ which was really just this guys house. The host said that nudism was encouraged but it’s ok if you’re not comfortable. It was really bizarre to hang out with naked dudes but I eventually got comfortable with it (after a few drinks) and had a great night nudily chatting it up and watching Impractical Jokers. The whole place was squeaky clean and I felt safe the whole time. The host even made me some costco lasagna for dinner. He also really liked nudist puns. News article about the airbnb
A few years ago, some friends and I rented an AirBnB flat in London for a convention. We'd been corresponding with the owner, who had told us that she would meet us in front of the building to give us the keys and show us around. We messaged her when we got to London, and got a message back confirming the building address and flat number, and telling us the keys were in a lock-box on the front of the building. Weird, but fine.
When we got to the building, there was no lock-box, so we messaged her again. Got a message back saying something like "oops, wrong flat, on my way". (Which was weird considering she'd confirmed the address in the same message?) We waited 30 minutes and then messaged her again, asking how much longer she'd be. It was around 10pm and raining, and we were all tired. She messaged back about 10 minutes later that she was sending someone else, and to wait inside the building. Which we couldn't, because the door was only accessible by key/buzzer.
At around 11pm, a car pulled up with a guy in it, who yelled out the window "keys?". One of my friends went over and the guy just handed him a set of keys, with a tag on it that said the flat number we'd been told. He didn't ask our names, or for ID or even identify himself, just handed over the keys and drove off. It was at this point that my other friend suggested we should just bite the bullet and go see if we could get a hotel room, because this was kinda sketchy, but as we were all so tired, we decided to just see if we could get into the flat, and if it was the one in the pictures, we'd stay at least that night. It was (it was super nice, actually!), so we stayed.
We messaged the owner a few times during our stay, but didn't get a response until the night we were due to leave, when we just got told to leave the keys on the kitchen table and pull the door shut behind us. No reply to any of our questions about anything else. Weird experience.
Stayed at one in Rome. The door had 5 deadbolt locks on it. The windows were barred. Found out why. Randomly though the day people would try to open the door and look through the windows.
Multiple times we would turn around and see people peeking though cracks between the curtains.
We weren't even there a lot. Usually a quick meal or drop stuff off then back out to see the sites. Really nice place though.
Stayed in an airbnb recently that was pretty insane. It was a shared space with several other people in it, but I had my own private room and small living room with a mini fridge and counter. I stayed in room and barely came out since covid-19 quarantine measures had just started to be enacted. Pretty soon after getting there I started having shortness of breath and vertigo. I started finding drawings in a sketchbook I had that I had no memory of drawing.
I didnt speak to anyone for days and started getting really paranoid that someone was going to try to come into my room while I slept. After about a week there I thought I had already died and everything I was seeing was a hallucination to get my mind ready for death. I lived with that and other weird thoughts for another week till I read something on reddit about carbon monoxide poisoning. Called the gas company and turns out, sure enough there was a natural gas leak in my room. Lucky to be alive. Took weeks to get the host and airbnb to even compensate me for my stay.
I messaged the host asking for towels. She told me they were under the bed in a drawer. They were in the second drawer that I opened. The first drawer was stuffed full of sex toys and bondage supplies. To each their own, that's her sexual expression. But you gotta put that somewhere else when you have guests staying over. I shouldn't have been surprised since she had about 30 framed photos on the wall in the tiny studio apartment. Photos of herself from various pole dancing competitions and boudoir shoots.
A last minute long weekend to Montreal, my first trip to this incredible international city that is affordable and close for people up north in the US. My card was hacked during booking. I arrive and the address doesn't seem to exist. It was just northeast of mile end, I forget exactly where, but it was right near a freeway that split the road in two. Google maps showed the air bnb to be right where the highway was that divided the street. I almost gave up as scammed and returned home. On one last loop I found the address, tucked behind an iron stairwell.
I parked, walked up, and the front door was unlocked. I was freaking out because I thought someone was home and didn't know they had been the target of an air bnb hack and things might get out of control. I sit there for a few and a big guy walks in through the back door. I'm now shitting bricks. He says "oh, hi, you must be [username]. I'm [whatever]. Did you have trouble finding the place?" Turned out to be a super nice guy who was a decades long, successful professional musician and couldn't have been nicer. When I told him the story and asked about door locks, he replied "you must be from the States. Montreal is the safest city in North America. I never lock the door and nobody will ever bother you here." That was mostly true. On one hand, I saw a guy blink out a contact lens and everyone stopped to help him find it and not crush it. On the other hand, a group of quite rough people who hang out near McGill gave me sh!t for not having a Canadian accent.
I'm not sure if this applies,we ALMOST got the room but bailed out quickly. So, here's my story:
My parents and I were on vacation, and we were searching for a place to stay (yes, I am aware it was dumb of us not to make a reservation beforehand) as soon as we got out of the bus. It's normal for people renting rooms there to approach you and ask you if you'd like to rent a room,and soon enough we were approached by this bald guy. That's the only thing I remember about him, the fact that he was bald. And shady. I didn't have a good feeling about him, even though I was only a kid. So he comes towards us,and starts talking to my already exhausted dad (who probably wasn't thinking straight at the time) and tells him he has a nice apartment nearby. We agree to go. My dad is carrying our stuff, and walking parallel with the guy, and my mom and I are walking behind them. We enter this neighborhood and we pass a café.
The waiter, a young guy of I'd presume 16-17, comes near my mom and I and quietly tells us not to go with the bald guy, because he's up to no good. At this point I was scared sh!tless, and my mom was worried ,but we decided to check the place out anyway. We arrived at the apartment and there were a LOT of stairs. When we finally went into the room, it was all stuffy and clustered and dark,bunker-style. I remember the furniture being colourful but unsettling. He asked us what we thought and my mom and I started protesting about it, saying we'd like to check out another place. He started getting weirdly desperate, telling us we wouldn't find a place cheaper, that he had other rooms, we should think about it etc. His demeanor instantly changed from calm to frustrated and almost angry. My dad finally told him we wouldn't stay there and we booked it out quickly. When we passed the café again, the waiter said that the guy had criminal ties. We got another apartment, thankfully which was pretty nice for a 10 day vacation but God, the claustrophobia and anxiety that overcame me when we stepped into that room is still real, years later. I can't help but wonder if something happened there.
My husband got us an AirBnB for our anniversary a couple of years ago in the mountains near a National Park. It was one of these where we just rented the room in a larger occupied house.
Night 1: We arrive before the host does and had a hard tine finding the property. We actually drove past it several times and dismissed it due to the large gate blocking the driveway and multiple keep out signs. Once we drive down the driveway, we realize we are there before her and use the hidden key to go inside.
There is no real furniture inside. Some old particleboard stuff and couch in the living room, but it is sparsely furnished. There is nothing but a bag of apples in the fridge.
About that time the host shows up. She describes her long commute to a city multiple hours away everyday and describes how her boyfriend worries about her. She is sure to mention a few prople in the area have bothered her before, and she is armed because of it. And also, we must ALWAYS lock the driveway gate behind us. Overall, we get a distinct feeling she is lying or hiding something. We assume it is that she actually doesn't live at the AirBnB full time but doesn't want anyone to know, so she exaggerates to throw folks off. It would explain the weird furniture, too.
Night 2: Husband and I return to the AirBnB after dark. As our headlights light up the driveway, a man in just STANDING in the middle of the gate. We jump out of our skins, but he gives us a friendly wave. We realize this must be the boyfriend (oh, he DOES exist).
We go into the house, and the host tells us they are going to a concert for the night. The boyfriend has a VERY intense stare anf literally says NOTHING. All while our host is gushing about her exciting night, he's just silent. Our host is sure to emphasize that she saw us and our car in town earlier in the day, as well. Okay, so these folks are a bit odd, no doubt.
Husband and I are exhausted, so we go to our room. I immediately notice our stuff has been gone through and put back carefully. There were not coasters in the room before, but now room temperautre water bottles are on coasters. The clothes I had out and folded feel wrong, like they've been moved and put back.
At this point, I am more angry than creeped out. We make a joke about how it was a bit like a bad horror movie, and go to sleep. We are then woken up by the couple, not only when they come home late but a none too lengthy time after they went to their bedroom. Gee, I wonder what was happening...
It is important to now note (and remember for later) that the house has two sides. One that we never saw, and one with two bedrooms (the hosts and ours). We had to pass by her bedroom to leave the house.
Day 3: Before leave for the Park, I arrange our stuff specifically to see what will happen. I also take anything with any value with us.
Night 3: The host texts us during the day that she will be staying with her intensely silent boyfriend for the night. Perfect, no more snooping our stuff; no weird noises to be expected!
We come back and go to bed early after a long night of hiking. Once again, it is clear our stuff has been looked through. A solid feeling of discomfort and just wanting to be done with the AirBnB settles in.
Guys, gals, and every other identity, things are about to get real. We are woken up in the wee hours of the morning by something that sounds like it was sliding on the roof. I notice a weird light reflected in the window sill, like car headlights heading down the driveway. And then all the power in the AirBnB goes OUT.
At this point, my instincts are telling me to GTFO. I cry out, "What was that?!" Husband grumbles that it is fine and goes back to sleep. I sleep none the rest of the night. There are no more noises, not even the sound of our host coming in late.
Moreover, what are we going to do? Look through a house we don't know, in the dark, when we have to pass by her room? I settle in for a night of tense vigilance.
Day 4: I tell husband that I am NOT staying here anymore. Husband says I am overreacting. I pack all of our suitcases and try to persuade him that SOMETHING is wrong. He is adamant a branch slide across the roof and knocked out the power.
So we go outside. There are no trees near the house. There are no trees down. The powerlines are all still intact. I am freaking out at this point, which is unusual for my husband because I am the more scientific and logical one.
Husband convinces me to leave our things at the AirBnB and go hike to mull it over.
As we leave the house, the freaking gate across the driveway is unlocked and open. OPEN. Oh, and all the surrounding neighbors have power.
At this point, I say something about the headlights, and my husband says he didn't notice the lights. At this point, I am theorizing that our host really is harassed by locals and they climbed the roof and disconnected the power (the powerline connected hust above our bedroom).
My husband calls the host to report the power issue. She mentions that her grandfather has actually passed away the night before and her brother will be on the property preparing the family graveyard shared on the property. We say something about leaving, and the host REPEATEDLY insists that we stay another night, and says she will be home in the evening, too.
I tell my husband that I have no idea WHAT is going on, whether corporeal harassment or otherworldly visitors I don't believe in, but it is time to listen to our instincts. Are we REALLY going to sleep having our ONE exit trapped by this woman and her boyfriend?! We've been lied to, our stuff has been moved, and sh!t is happening.
Night 4: We come home that night, my husband packs our car while I offer my condolences, and we FINALLY GTFO. I've never slept better than that night.
Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or "🤐" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk to him about it.
Near-death experiences are fascinating enough to have captured the attention of many people over the years. Television specials about them were fairly popular on the 90's and 00's.
Some people experience a feeling of euphoria, or extreme calm, or just don't remember anything at all.
The circumstances that find people rapidly approaching death's door can be fascinating as well though, even when they don't experience any supernatural-seeming situations.
Reddit user inflake_ asked folks at r/AskReddit about their near-death experiences:
"What are some of the near-death experience you faced?"
I had one just yesterday. For context, I work at a car dealership. I had just picked up a car from a local auction house and was doing about 80 in a 75 down the highway. As I was going over a bridge in the lane closest to the edge of the bridge, a huge and also dead/dried up Christmas tree flies out of this truck ahead of me.
I obviously swerve very quickly into the shoulder and one of my back tires is in the air with the whole car about to flip. I somehow managed to reel it back in and gain control of the car again. If I had lost it and the car had flipped like it almost did, I would've gone over the edge of that bridge and I don't want to think about what would've happened to me.
Last summer i went camping in a small island in Greece with some friends. Some time after we landed we met a group of girls, but didn't meet again for a couple of days. One night we decide to go to a club so we change things up, since we were stuck to mainstream camping stuff. I got pretty f***ed up and on the way back to our tends i pass out, fall on a parked motorcycle, and the glass bottle i was holding breaks in my hands cutting 2 arteries.
My friends were stunned and couldn't act at their best, since they were drunk as well (not as much as me though). Out of nowhere the group of girls we met at the beginning recognize us and start helping me. It was like some trained drill. Apparently most of them were training for these type of cases. I eventually went to an underfunded hospital, after an ambulance arrived 1 hour later. I think its safe to say it could've been much worse.
I had a rock thrown at me, split my skull open, lost enough blood that it put me in hospital for half a year. Had to learn how to walk properly again as my muscles had wasted away from being in a bed for so long.
According to my mother, she knew exactly where I got hit because you could follow the trail of blood to where I got hit to my front door. The worst part? I was an "indoors kid", so my mum was so thankful for me being outside that when i banged on the door to be let in, i got a hearty "f**k off". I collapsed against the door and that's why she opened it.
I was diagnosed with a rare cancer that was connected to my lung and chest. When they did surgery to remove it, i flatlined twice on the operation table and again after the procedure was done. But to me it felt like i was in a dream. I was talking to someone about my life and what he said to me was 'i know you're tired but it's time to go back'. When i woke up it was a few days later and i found out i was put in a medicine induced coma to keep me from flatlining again. To this day, that man and our conversation still creeps me out.
It was more what I felt than what I saw. I almost drowned my first time white water rafting. I started out panicked, as is expected, until I realized I was truly stuck in a rapid with a raft and 4 other people on top of me that wasn't moving. At that point I honestly just gave up and started to taking on water, eventually starting to black out. My world got quiet and peaceful and my whole body got really warm. I was almost out completely when somebody jumped into the water and frantically kicked me out from under the raft.
I've spent a lot of time trying to get back to that level of serenity I experienced that day through meditation, but have never been able to feel that since then.
I was walking in the yard with my dad when I was like 10 years old. It was raining like hell but we had to get something from the shed, I don't remember what.
Lightning struck the grass maybe 5 meters in front of us.
Safe to say I don't like lightening anymore.
I almost drowned twice. Not super fun. Not much to say other than river + me + not able to keep head above water consistently = a bit traumatic.
The second time was as an adult river rafting. I fell out in a dangerous stretch of river. Couldn't seem to get any progress away from the rapids. I had resigned that I was likely going to die before the main boat caught up to me and got a paddle for me to grab on. I hadn't properly adjusted my life jacket so every time I got up for air my head was a floating a few inches lower than it should have and my gasps were met with the top of a wave.
Anyways I get back to the raft, humbled by the river and frankly terrified to get back in. We got to a big slow moving stretch and the boat captain(?) said, "I'm not going to pressure you to get back in, but if you don't do it now you will probably be too scared to swim for the rest of your life" and so against my better judgement I hopped back in.
I still swim on occasion but if even the slightest drop of water gets in my snorkel while snorkeling its pretty much an instant anxiety attack.
I burned in a gas explosion in August 2014. When I woke up 4 months later in hospital, I knew without anyone telling me that I crossed the boundary between life and death. The doc later confirmed that they did in fact, lose me during one of the operations, but I resurfaced.
I have recovered almost completely, against all odds, but I can no longer smell or taste much, and my eyesight and hearing are not great anymore, and I can no longer be in the sun.
I still wonder about my experience when I "died".
Ex and I were chilling in the lounge at her parent's house in winter and had the gas heater on. both fell asleep and when the movie ended she said we must go to bed and I wanted to just sleep down there with her (weren't allowed to sleep in the same bed you see so I thought I could get away with the couch) and she said we cant and pushed me upstairs.
I woke up the next morning to the house smelling like gas cause we had closed the lounge door without turning the heater off and it had burnt off all the oxygen and gone out so filled the room with propane.
would have never woken up if she hadn't told me to go to bed.
A few years ago I was in a workplace accident that nearly killed me by a slow crushing. Time just seemed to slow down, all my senses seemed to get a lot sharper all of a sudden, lights were brighter, sound was louder, smells were stronger and a sense of hopelessness overcame me because there was nothing I could do to escape the situation, I thought I was either going to die or was going to be snapped in half and left a paraplegic, all I could think about was my daughter. Luckily neither of those things happened as the person operating the peice of machinery that was crushing me noticed that it was going at a slower rate then usual and stopped it to check why. It left me unable to walk properly without pain for about 6 months but I'm fine now.
Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or "🤐" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk to him about it.
College is a formative time in many people's lives. It's usually the first taste of real freedom, and real accountability, many people get as young adults.
Some choose to coast through the experience with as little effort as possible, while others struggle with the extra responsibility and expectations. Still others find their calling in education and really apply themselves to the whole experience.
College professors deal with a wide variety if students from different backgrounds, with different interests and abilities, and this can lead to some pretty interesting outcomes in the classroom.
Reddit user ziggiddy asked everyone on r/AskReddit:
I had one student who recorded my class and sold the recordings!!
I'm a student, and On our exams we are able to have an index card we can write notes on to use as a reference during the test. Most kids just write super small, but this genius wrote some notes in red ink, and others that overlapped in blue ink. They then used 3d glasses to be able to read the jumbled mess. I sat there in astonishment. m1234321p
I was a TA, we had a statistics course at our university that was unnecessarily hard to get through our undergrad business program. Anyways we had a student who recorded himself using doing the homework and uploading it on YouTube for the other students to understand (it was genuinely helpful). He even used different numbers and examples and what not to not give ya the answer.
The professor caught wind of it and claimed he was cheating gave him 0's on every assignment/test up to that point, threatened to sue him for using her materials to make public, and made him public apologize to the class for "academic dishonesty". That guy literally helped so many people that would struggle in the class or be in tutoring for HOURS. Forget that professor. Batterypacked123
While teaching an algorithm class, I prefer giving assignments that require no code. Instead, I ask them to write pseudocodes.
Nevertheless, most of them try to convert a piece of code into pseudocode. However, one of the students handed me in almost a full technical paper using LaTeX. I admired that student. Talked to him after grading, and told him that I wish I was that smart when I was in college.
Nobody topped him yet. PisEqualToNP
I was taking an easy elective class in college and my professor would give out 30-40 question test-like homework assignments. While googling to understand some of the concepts, I came across a site that had every question, word for word, and in order. I could tell that the questions were the same through the google search preview, but opening the page blurred everything except a subscription box in the middle. I think my teacher was trying to make extra money off of selling her own answers. Either that, or she was stealing the content.
Regardless, I'm no good with code so I didn't even think to try anything fancy. I just used a ctrl+A on the page and pasted it into a word document. It worked. I had plain searchable text I could reliably pull from the internet every week. I didn't tell a soul and got everything I needed to "pass" the class just through the homework assignments. BurberryPert
Not a college professor, but I was in a 400+ student auditorium when a bizarre incident occurred during a final exam.
Barely five minutes after we started the test, a student gets up, hands in his paper to the proctor, yells "WE OUT!", and JUMPED OUT THE WINDOW.
It was the first floor, but still. dysenterychampion
My Dad is a chemistry professor. This means that he gets to filter all the students trying to get into medical school. A surprising amount of them are cheating morons, which doesn't bode well for medical school. You can't cheat your way through a surgery. Nevertheless, I've got stories.
One time one of my dad's colleague's students managed to secretly install on his professors keyboard software that would track what was typed in. He figured out the professor's password, got into the grading system, and changed his and his friend's grades. They almost wanted to give him some credit for ingenuity, but the school makes its students sign an honor code and part of it is that they understand not to cheat, so he was booted. Poor kid. I hope he's using his clever tricks to better society.
Lately my dad's been stressing out about the whole online class thing and how you prevent students from cheating. His solution was to make tests way harder but allow use of the internet. He didn't feel he had to specify that you shouldn't get somebody else to do problems for you (edit:) after he had already stated so clearly.
But he found one of his students using this one website (edit:) called chegg where you could post the question and have people solve it for you. The students apparently making this really compelling case that he didn't know it was cheating. Maybe if he gets booted he can go to law school. CrimsonDawnSyndicate
There's always that story of the guy that showed up to class late, saw a problem on the board, and assumed it must be the homework for that week. He completed it and turned it in the week after.
Turns out it wasn't homework, but rather a famous unsolved mathematical principle that he just discovered a proof for.
I am a professor, so... My students are very bright for undergrads, but there are no real Good Will Huntings. One clever thing I notice a student do now and then is instead of (or in addition to) copying a long-detailed timeline or diagram I spend writing an hour writing out on the board, they will pull out their phone and take a picture of the board. narwhal_
I once had a student who turned in an essay not in full sentences, but in bullet points. I was about to fail the student, except that all bullet points entailed one clear, concise point, every point clearly indicated its purpose for the overall argument, and the structure was more logical than most essays I had read before.
It was a bit like going from a late-Wittgenstein to an even more condensed version of an early-Wittgenstein. I decided to use my grading scheme on it, and basically the student met all the requirements I had communicated before, so it was an A.
In another instance, a student decided that my assignment was boring, so they started the essay by arguing that the question was boring for the following reasons, coming up with a better question (which was admittedly more interesting, but would have been too hard for the assignment), and then answering this question by using arguments established in the previous part about how the original question was boring. That one was an A+. fidadst
I watched one of my students write a crib sheet on a small piece of plastic and place it perfectly inside the label of her water bottle so that it was barely visible, but readable inside. Over the course of a two-hour lecture. It was magnificent. No I did not call her out on it or demand she throw her water bottle away. It's not my business what she chooses to do in another class.
Students cheat for a lot of reasons, but often times we find it's because the professor's expectations are ridiculously f*cked (it's usually this one), or because the student is dealing with far too much on their plate and cheating can alleviate at least some of that burden of stress for an underprivileged student. I'm not saying it's right, but I understand it.
A friend of my brother's was doing a Bachelor in Pharmacology and the only elective that fit his schedule was Philosophy. He had no interest in it but had to pass with at least a C in his final year. When he got to the exam there was one question on the paper:
"Is this a question?"
After the 3 hour exam he was talking to fellow classmates and asking what they had come up with. They had discussed word etymology, structures of thought, ideas on different cultural elements of language, the impact of spiritualism on philosophical questioning and reasoning and so on. He said "Oh no" and got real worried. Then a fellow student said "What did you write?"
He said "I wrote "If that's a question then this is an answer" and then left the exam room after 5 minutes. To his astonishment he got an A+
I taught a lab that had a microscopy section back in the late 00s. Despite having a microscope camera for taking pictures of the field of view in my own high school labs and the technology being readily available, it was not something the university was willing to spring for the students of a 100 level class. One of my students just stuck his IPhone camera right up to the ocular lense of the scope and took a picture. I was floored. Now looking back I'm thinking "of course that would work why wouldn't it?" but at the time myself and my Blackberry were very impressed.
We had assignments based on the daily lectures in class. Assignments were due at the end of the week, but this one student always turned his assignments in minutes after each class. I notice on his laptop, while everyone else was taking notes on theirs, he would be filling out the assignment as the professor went through his powerpoint. He would also ask the professor questions about the lecture that gave him the answers to the assignment. Not only was he learning from essentially taking notes, but he never had to do homework outside of class.
Not me, but I took and Intro To Accounting class that was required for all Business Majors where we had a teacher that was teaching his first college class ever. He said T Accounts were for nerdy accounting people and wanted to show everyone how to look at the P&L and Balance Sheet like a business does.
He would assign us things to do and if you couldn't figure out the answer he would tell you to re-read the chapter the answer was in there. As you could guess a ton of kids struggled or had to cheat to get by after the first test.
But then there was some kid who had taken accounting before at a different university and the credits didnt transfer so he was forced into this class and he knew all the answers. He hosted a Homework Review in the library on a whiteboard and answered any questions and helped everyone study. I think we all just learned from that dude more than the teacher.
I'm a TA for a chemistry class. Twice a week the students have to turn in a worksheet to me, and I require them to have them stapled because of the mess it turns into otherwise.
Anyway, one student made it through the class without buying a stapler because they figured out some wierd oragami like way of folding the corners together in such a way that you physically could not get them unstuck without carefully undoing the folds. Now I teach it to my students and tell them if they don't own a stapler they can just do that.
On an exam, a student answered a question about DNA topology with an answer that neither the prof nor I had ever seen...and it was correct. And neither of us had come up with it.
And that made us have to go back and re-grade the entire class's answers to that question.
This wasn't so much genius as it was ballsy, but in the last class I taught, students were required to give a 10 minute persuasive speech about a topic. I listed some common topics from previous classes like whether college athletes should be paid, legalizing marijuana, stuff like that. They were supposed to do a little bit of research and incorporate empirical evidence into their presentations.
This guy did a whole 10 minute speech, complete with a powerpoint presentation, on why one food item was better than another, similar food item. It was completely and totally irrelevant, subjective, and not related to anything the course discussed.
However, the presentation was very well done. Where students often struggle with the use of filler words, improper preparation and a flat, boring speaking voice, this student was engaging and seemingly excited about the topic.
Because I use a rubric, I told him I had to take off points for the fact that his "research" relied mostly on personal opinion rather than evidence, but I still gave him an A- because the actual presentation itself was well done. Honestly, it was one of the better speeches I heard that semester, if you don't factor in the content.
My math professor told the class a story about an incredible student he had. He liked having both calculation questions (solve the diffeq, etc) and proofs testing conceptual things in the class. Well one time, this incredible student managed to proof things that were well beyond the scope of the course. She would also ask questions that suggested incredible insight about the class.
He was impressed and had to see what her math background was. Well, it turned out she was a C and D student. In fact she failed Calc 3 and got a C (I think) the second time. Her first exam also suggested that she had a very difficult time solving and applying the kinds of things learned in the course. Yet she could prove the bonus question extremely well.
He realized that she just had a hard time with applied math but was incredibly gifted at pure math. So he went to the head of the math department and after some fighting, managed to convince the department chair to give her harder exams on the account that the exam must be approved. Well that's what he did. And the department was astonished at the difficulty of the 2nd exam. She could never complete this! But she did. And she got an A in the course.
To this day he and her are good friends and she visited the class near the end of the semester (she was doing a pure math phd).
This stuck out to me. Honestly, I don't think she would have pursued mathematics. And that would have been a shame. The professor stood out to me. Not only was he an incredible teacher but he really cared about his students.
I was taking a Romantic era lit class in University, due to some quirk of scheduling it was twice a week, 6-9 pm. We all had to do presentations for a tiny part of our grade on whatever the topic of the day was throughout the term. We were encouraged to take a very wide ranging view of what could constitute a presentation. This prof was pretty great and actually managed to get a bunch of 20 year olds to dress up in period costumes to read poetry to the class, or to tell pulpy stories about all the banging the Byrons and/or Shellys got up to.
Buddy was a super friendly guy who had time for everybody. Imagine the personality of Jack Black in the body of a 24 year old Harry Potter.
His day to present comes up and the poem is Rime of the Ancient Mariner. At first he doesn't show. The Prof goes through the preliminary matters and then before she can ask where he is, Buddy KICKS down the door to the class and struts in with somebody dressed as a fisherman and a woman in a showy prom dress. These people are not in our class.
He proceeds to take a literal boom box (this is like, 10 years after those stopped being a thing?) to the front of the room, plug it in, and start playing the Rime of the Ancient Mariner metal song by Iron Maiden. We think "Ok, cool, this is his presentation..." NO!
Dear reader that is not what happened.
What happened next was a 60 plus minute reenactment of the overall story of Rime of the Ancient Mariner through a Hunter S. Thompson Lens. The woman is initially the guest going to a wedding whom he stops, but then terrorizes her and holds her captive with a reenactment (a presentation within a presentation) with his captain friend about how he killed an Albatross in an aviary while pressuring this captain figure into driving him around to score more drugs as things kept spiralling out of control.
As this is going on the girl at first seeming terrified of them, circles around throws on some dark makeup and suddenly, with everyone's attention on this weird gonzo reenactment, makes her entrance as death and his rival from the play, lecturing them for their mortal hubris and both demanding her attention and ignoring her.
The metal song stopped playing 15 minutes ago and the whole class is caught off guard by this reversal when they thought the whole thing was wrapping up after he got to the part in his weird story about the dead bird.
But she keeps going in a fury! She throws out the sea captain / driver. And then she and he finish out the rest of the poem, with the mariner receiving his curse. They must have been rehearsing for weeks, there's no reference to anything written down, and they are just LIVING the emotional depths of this reckoning.
As they draw to the end she resumes being the woman waiting for a bus / wedding guest. They finish. Take a bow. The class is part amazed, part confused, and just besides themselves. There is some scattered applause, then he abruptly takes his boombox and they storm the fu*ck out.
Never came back to the class that night.
The proff takes a break, pokes her head out to look around. Tries to talk about the poem but she just can't. We've all just witnessed something together. Something weird, and wonderful, and spell binding. None of us put a stop to it, least of all her. There was nothing left to say about Coleridge.
No presentation I have ever experienced in my educational or professional career will ever approach the time I saw a gonzo re-imagining or Rime of the Ancient Mariner in a lit class.
It's easy to see how the many unsolved mysteries of the world easily grab our attention and hold on to it once we learn about them. There was a whole long-running television series dedicated to the subject, after all.
It doesn't take much to get lost down the research rabbit hole on a slow afternoon researching your favorite mystery, trying to find the answer to what really happened.
Reddit user the-salt-of-dungroon asked:
The Voynich Manuscript. It's a book that's totally undeciphered, and written in an unknown language, with pictures of plants that aren't any identifiable plants, and other strange things like women coming out of pipes. It's carbon dated to the 1400's but nothing else is known about its origin, and all attempts to figure it out have been debunked.
In some cases they took artistic liberties but a lot of it is just a bit crude and limited in color
An obscure one I learned from Unsolved Mysteries: the 1987 Arkansas murders of Don Henry and Kevin Ives, the Boys on the Tracks
True Crime Garage did a brilliant 4 part series on this. Highly recommended listening to it, some of the twists and turns in this story are unbelievable and everything points to some very shady characters in high places being involved.
I hate to be cliché, but I really want to know what's in Area 51.
To be honest? I think it really is just an experimental aircraft testing site. Lots of old reports and descriptions of UFOs from the area are super consistent with modern day stealth bombers. Plus, who knows what kind of secret things they could have made that we don’t even know about?
Sounds right. A massive government cover up seems incredibly unlikely. Not because they wouldn't..just because there's way too much in-fighting and incompetence for anything to stay secret for this long.
Brian Shaffer’s disappearance from a bar in Columbus. There is no footage of him leaving the bar at all that night, despite there being footage of the one entrance/exit all night (even capturing him leaving and going back into the bar prior to closing).
He was a good looking med student who had everything going for him and he was 6’2”... not likely that he’d get grabbed without someone noticing or become victim to a random attack.
He was never located and his phone even rang three times once when dialed. His friend refuses to sit for a lie detector and there is speculation that Columbus PD thinks he may be alive.
It just feels so sinister.
The Villisca Axe Murders because a whole family and a couple of their kids friends were violently murdered via axe. The killer was never caught (I'm assuming because it happened in 1912). I'm going to school for forensic investigation and one of my friends told me about how one of her professors had made her class write a paper analyzing the murders and stuff (I had to do a paper on the important evidence of the O.J. Simpson trial).
What happened to [Australian Prime Minister] Harold Holt?
I’ve been to that beach where he went missing a few times. It’s scary dangerous how rough the water is even on relatively calm days. It’s got lots of rock ledges, thick seaweed and washing machine water flows. I think he was crazy just to think of going swimming there.
There’s another theory that he was picked up by a Russian or Chinese Submarine.
Typical Aussie sense of humour moment - a swimming pool is named after him!
Malaysia Airlines flight 370. Would do anything to learn what actually happened on that flight.
Just goes to show how big the ocean is that even a 777 can just disappear forever in it's depths....
There are a lot of undeciphered languages out there. A large portion are because the languages either grew up in isolation or didn’t leave any descendants. I often wonder what those languages recorded that we’ve never seen.
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum theft of $500 million worth of art on March 18, 1990.
There's a reward of $10 million for return of the stolen art from Boston's museum.
D. B. Cooper.
The fact that the moment he jumped out of the 727, nothing about him was ever uncovered again. Did he die? If not, what happened to him?