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Sailors Break Down The Most Unusual Thing They've Ever Witnessed On The Open Sea

Sailors Break Down The Most Unusual Thing They've Ever Witnessed On The Open Sea
Image by Gerhard Bögner from Pixabay

Often, thoughts of life sailing large ships across the high seas feel like distant fantasies.

We encounter those scenes in novels, high budget films, old myths, and video games.

But we cannot forget that there are so many people across the world that earn their living working as a crew member on a large ship that crosses vast distances of open water.

The consumer products we buy and the food we eat is so often only at our door thanks to the hard work of freighters around the world.

And, as one recent Reddit thread illustrated, each of those ships has a crew full of people with stories to tell.

The unique conditions of exhausting, difficult life far from land can't help but make for some very eerie occurrences, whether they be real or imagined.

HijoDelSombreron asked, "Sailors, seamen and overall people who spend a vast amount of time in the ocean. Have you ever witnessed something you would catalog as supernatural or unusual? What was it like?"

Some people discussed the times they truly felt that they'd come into contact with a haunted, supernatural being. There simply was no other way to explain a horrifying feeling they got out of nowhere.

Saving Spirit

"Sailed on tallships for a good while, among other things."

"Saw some green flashes, a moon bow, lots of phosphorescence, big whales, st elmo's fire on our mast (steel ship this time)."

"But the only creepy story was at port. The only person who had ever died on the ship was over a hundred years ago, and he fell from the rigging. Went splat. One of the crew was up furling sails, and was about to step out onto the foot rope that runs along the yard. He said he got an overwhelming urge to not step on it, and felt a tug on his harness keeping him from stepping out."

"He was so freaked out he kept the other two guys behind him from getting on the line as well. The other guys started getting a really bad feeling too, and they decided to check out the footrope. It had been really degrading on the inside, even through the outside looked mostly fine."

"The line probably would have snapped as they climbed out there, and they would have fallen, as you are pretty much free climbing until you get to a stopping point."

-- ToTheSeaAgain

A Heaviness

"When I was roving patrol on a submarine I always thought I saw someone walking parallel to me down missile compartment upper level. If I was on the port side then I saw them on the starboard side and vice-versa. I always chalked it up to pipes and valves creating weird shadows. Additionally, it felt 'heavy' on that level like there was some sort of presence - the feeling you get when someone's watching you."

"I never told anyone, then one day a few weeks into patrol, one of the other rovers asked me if it felt 'weird' up there. He specifically said that he saw someone up there too just like I had. We shared stories and then talked to the third rover and he said 'I only go up there to do my rounds every hour then get the fu** out of that haunted level.' "

-- praxis4

Other people shared similar experiences, but often chalked it all up to the work of their own brains. Life on the open ocean is apparently very conducive to hallucinating.

Who's Out There

"In the Gulf of Aden having been at sea for a while and with absolutely blistering heat, I heard my nickname called 3 times. Clearly and loudly. It was my first time with this particular crew and none of them knew my nickname."

"My best guess is dehydration and stress but I'll never forget it."

-- imarriedanarcissist

Was Someone Left?

"Distress flares in the middle of the Indian Ocean sailing Nigeria-Japan at night when I was a Third Mate. Looked less than 4 miles away. Altered course to it, called the Old Man. Found nothing and no one over the course of two hours. I was the only one to see it, and I know what I saw. (My watchman was down closing cabin shades.)"

"I understand why we had to move on. Keeps me up some nights though. Did we come so close to saving someone's life, and just leave them there? Alone in the ocean. No food or water. Did someone think they were rescued but we ended up too far from them? Should we have waited until daytime? Did I just hallucinate?"


Group Hallucination

"On my first deployment to south east Asia I was flying over the Sea of Japan and saw a large pulsing aura of red light far enough below the surface I could not make out a source. We were 30ish miles from shore and had not been briefed on any assets in the area that might make something like that make sense. No erroneous indications on instruments or radio chatter."

"Just slow steady pulsing red light. We saw it, circled it a few times, made a note of the time and location we encountered it and my crew chief asked if I wouldn't mind getting the hell out of there. So we finished our transit and I made a note of everything in my debrief. I passed it up the chain of command but they basically wrote it off as some sort of visual phenomenon we had from a long day of flying in dry suits. It's always been hard to imagine our entire crew hallucinating the same thing."

-- sanesteve2020

Night Duty

"I was a sailor in the navy. While I was on lookout duty on the bridge at night, a dude walked and stood beside me, breathing hard. I was looking out at sea and I was blocking the stairs going down, so I turned around to whisper 'sorry,' and what do you know, there's no one. I was tired so I chalked this up to hallucination, but it felt real."

-- wolf-bot

Others discussed experiences driven by the very real, believable aspects of the ocean's whims and all the air does out there.

Sometimes, the natural world can terrify us--while it calms us too.

Sudden Stop

"The closest to supernatural or at least something I can't explain, happened half way between Cornwall and the Scillies. We were sailing in a fresh breeze, 5-6 ft. swells maybe. That's perfectly fine sailing weather but the boat will rock and there will be quite a bit of noise from the wind, the sails and waves."

"So we sail happy along when suddenly the sea is perfectly flat and every thing is quiet, like somebody turned the sound off. I look around and the water is pitch dark. It only lasted for a minute and then everything was back to normal but I got a really eerie feeling."

-- SicarioCercops

Interrupted Glass

"The ocean water was so still, it appeared that we were sailing on glass; not one ripple. I have never seen this again." -- TheLatty

"Experienced the same while traversing Makassar strait going to Surabaya, Indonesia."

"It was like sailing through a lake and the only ripple you can see was from the wake of the ship. Wished all the of the seas were the same haha." -- Gunner000

Pin Drop Tension

"Spent a lot of time sailing commercially in the Irish Sea, on night watch you are always acutely aware of everything around you due to the silence and darkness. Some of the sounds you hear are deeply unsettling."

"I remember on a perfectly still night just hearing a gentle knocking noise coming from what seemed like the outside of the hull at the waterline. No idea what it was but it freaked me out all shift."

-- Brockers55

Blurring Horizon

"I was standing in the hangar bay waiting for morning muster at dawn somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Looking out at the ocean, I was intrigued by how smooth as glass the water was reflecting the clouds in the sky. Then the most beautiful, confusing, mesmerizing, and terrifying thing I ever saw happened. The water, for a moment, was so smooth that the horizon disappeared from view."

"The water was so smooth and reflective that it was impossible to tell where the water ended and the sky began. I honestly got dizzy knowing I was in the middle of the ocean floating on water, but my eyes were trying to convince me the ship was floating on nothing. Then the water started slightly rippling and the horizon was visible again. Every morning at sea after that I looked at the horizon hoping it would happen again, but it never did. I've never found out what caused this scientifically. The closest thing I could ever find was it was some sort of variant of the fata morgana mirage."

"I don't think I will ever see anything as beautiful in my life ever again. Words fall extremely short at describing the feeling in that moment."

-- rosso222

So if you were ever thinking about signing up for an extended period of time sailing on the open water, make sure you're prepared to encounter some or all of these bizarre events.

You never know what might happen when you're out there.

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People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.