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  • Of course, Daniel Defoe based his classic "Robinson Crusoe" on Selkirk's story.

  • PastTime491

    Dang that last picture is gnarly. Great list I enjoyed it. I think the craziest survival story that I have ever heard is Beck Weathers and his experience on Mt. Everest. Here is some information if you are interested

  • PastTime491 – I wanted to give everyone the impression of the view that Paul Templer had. Scary.

    Thanks for the survival information on Beck Weathers. He certainly could have been on this list.

  • As it said in the illustration, Alex Selkirk was the real Robinson Crusoe. His real-life adventure inspired all the desert island tales to follow, from Johann Wyss and Jules Verne to "Gilligan's Island" and "Lost".

  • Tanya Bennett

    There is also Aron Ralston, the hiker who cut off his own arm after 5 days with it trapped under a boulder. He then had to rappel down and hike several miles back to his truck.

    • Aron Ralston is probably one of the most awe-inspiring stories of perseverance I’ve ever heard of. I think it teaches us all something about how to think and operate in the face of fear. When we are in that “fight or flight” mode, the limbic system of our brain (the “lizard brain”) overrules our cerebrum, which is the system capable of rational thought and problem solving. Basically, in fear, we lost control of our prized thinking processes that separates us from other animals. Therefore, I think its important to have a mental “toolkit” prepared for situations where fear could become overriding.

      I wrote a piece based on Ralston’s account a while back:

      Check it out, I would love to hear what you have to say. Cheers,


  • Gwen

    This is a great list of amazing stories. I found Mike the Chicken the most fascinating for some odd reason. I suppose because he had no head!! I read a story about him a while back containing details about his roadside show while he was headless. It was an insane story. It is just fascinating that a chicken with its head cut off could live for 18 months. Amazing.. the rest of them are as well.. Thanks for a fascinating read!

  • Gough

    I was expecting to see Poon Lim, the sailor who survived 133 days on a raft after his ship was sunk in WWII.

  • Simply Ridiculous

    The chicken story is really spooky!!

  • mccaret

    McCain's father was a senior member of the US army, as soon as he was captured he broke rank and told his captors of his famous father and received preferential treatment throughout his stay. Other soldiers who refused to blab were given the real rough treatment…they never forgave McCain, and it is those men who deserve to be mentioned. Read Rolling Stone to hear the real story, and yes it was almost certainly McCain's fault they got captured anyway.

  • Mal

    Since when is McCain a survival story? He attempted suicide – the others all fought to survive.

  • Steve Stevenson

    What about Ernest Shackleton and the men of the Endurance?

  • miranda

    when i herd about Jo Simpson and what happened i was surprised that his friend still survived it really amazed me and now i know not to go mountain climbing in the mountains

  • Matthew
  • nectar

    i really don't get why soldiers are "heroes"…i mean they decided they wanted to train to be able to kill people…and they go to war because they want 2!!!…

    i think people of peace are living a life much more challenging!!!

  • Charles

    How about the incredible story of Witold Glinski – the man who escaped from a Gulag in Siberia during WWII and trekked 4000 miles in the frozen forests of Russia, the Gobi Desert, Tibet and over the Himalayas into British controlled India. It took 11 months and four of his companions died on the way.

  • Justin

    Wheres Aron Ralston?

  • steven
  • cdm

    I read all of these. They don’t even come close to Shakleton’s crew. The feats they did no one has ever done and may never do. Some expeditions later surveyed what they did and said the only reason they were able to do those things is because they had to; to survive.

    Read the book about the endurance. If it were a fictional book and not a true story, you would put the book down saying it could never happen. But, you keep the book in hand, reading on, because it did happen.

  • Stan Latimer

    I love survival stories can anyone reccommend any books to read

    • G Rill

      Check out the incredible Martin Hartwell story — medivac plane crash in the high Arctic. It made international headlines at the time. The pilot had two broken ankles and broken knee. One passenger, an Inuit boy with appendicitis helped the pilot survive, as long as he could, until he died. In the severe cold, the pilot survived for over a month by cannibalizing the medivac nurse. Years later he survived another crash in the North. Now that’s a survivor!

  • Mike Ayres

    I survived the last storm of 2011 tropical storm Sean, after sinking my boat , and rowed back to Florida from the Bahamas , and rowed backwards due to 15ft to 30 ft seas ,a total distance of 90-150 miles over 5 days and learned a thing or two. Google Mike Ayres survivor, to see my story .

  • Cap Lock

    For all those who do not believe that all of our ‘Warriors’ are HEROs…”Put your mind in gear before putting your mouth in motion”. Here’s a Bible quote that explains it quite well…”No greater love hath a man than to lay down his life for another”. It is because of them standing in the way of evil that you can sleep peacefully and undistrubed, through the darkest of nights…

    • Kevin John Braid

      tell that to the few million Iraqis and Afghans that were killed, keep drimnking that kool aid

  • Pranit D

    Where is Bethany Hamilton the one where the shark bit her arm off?