In the Beatles’ classic, “All You Need is Love,” John Lennon sings, “There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.” While the line may sound a little cryptic, the 10 people in these videos will understand it perhaps better than anyone else. These people had brushes so close to death that had they been in the same spot a second earlier or a second later, or had been in a spot a few inches away, they’d have been killed in rather gruesome ways. But luckily fate was on their side that day, and not a single person on this list was permanently injured. Thankfully.
10. Costa Rican Tour Guide
American crocodiles, which are found in some rivers in Costa Rica, can grow up to be 15 feet long, and while they have been known to attack humans, they generally try to flee from them. That is, unless a human decides to tease them with some food, which is exactly what this Costa Rican tour guide decided to do to entertain his group. As the man slowly backs up from the crocodile, teasing him with food in his hand, he suddenly loses his footing in knee deep mud.
While this is a nightmarish scenario to a lot of people, the man keeps calm and luckily gets his foot unstuck. He is able to escape with all his limbs attached and the crocodile got his snack. All we can say is that hopefully the people on the tour tipped him well.
9. Gray Harkleroad
When you’re on the road, even if it’s the sidewalk, it’s important to be aware of moving cars. After all, they are large metal machines that weigh over a ton and can reach high speeds. In fact, they’re so dangerous that not even people indoors are safe from them.
A scary example of this is the video above that was captured on CCTV cameras in November of 2012. On that day, 16-month-old Gray Harkleroad was playing inside his father’s jewelry store in Savannah, Georgia. On the video, Gray is seen walking to the right side of the store and he disappears into his father’s office. Mere seconds after doing so, a car driven by 84-year-old Christina Wands smashed through the front of the store, destroying two display cases, and the crash sent Gray flying three feet, all while his horrified family watched on. Miraculously, Gray wasn’t injured and neither was the driver. She was charged with reckless driving.
8. Mao Zhihao
On most days, driving a bus is about as mundane of a job as someone can have. But of course, when you’re driving in traffic, anything can happen and this realization probably dawned on bus driver Mao Zhihao on March 25, 2013. Zhihao was driving a bus in the Chinese province of Zheijang when an accident unfolded in front of him and knocked down a light pole. The light pole came straight through the windshield, and with reflexes that would make Spider-Man nod in approval, Zhihao managed to duck just in time, which literally kept his head on his shoulders.
After the pole crashed through the bus, Zhihao managed to get the bus to stop against a guardrail and then helped the passengers off. Zhihao was taken to the hospital and his only injury was a ruptured spleen. After the video was released to the public, Zhihao was commended for his heroic efforts after nearly being decapitated, but there was no word if he was sought by casting agents for work in action movies.
7. Saudi Arabian Glass Pane Miracle
In this video, an unidentified man was walking outside of a building in the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh. As he wanders, he slows down momentarily to check the bottom of his shoe before carrying on. Moments later, a large pane of glass falls off the building, grazing the man enough just to knock the keffiyeh off his head.
After being hit with a speeding pane of glass, the man immediately gets up and, despite being a little dazed, was seemingly unhurt. Had the man been just one inch to the right, or hadn’t checked the bottom of his shoe, he would have died a death that would have made him closed casket material. Instead, he was able to walk away from the situation a bit dusted up and a little flustered. And, presumably, death will be coming for him soon if the Final Destination movies have taught us anything.
6. The Donbass Arena Accident
For most of us, tripping while walking would be part of a bad day. Amazingly, tripping on her own two feet is what saved the young girl in the video above. The amazing moment caught on CCTV outside the Donbass Arena in Donetsk, Ukraine, in October of 2014, shows a young girl running outside the soccer stadium. She trips, and then a second later, a large part of the stadium’s exterior crashes to the ground; exactly where the girl would have been if she hadn’t tripped.
The girl appears to be okay because she is helped up and runs away from the scene of the crash. It is believed that the stadium was damaged during shelling between the Ukraine Military and rebels.
5. Circuit of Ireland Rally 1995 Crash
Easily one of the most badass brushes with death ever caught on video is this clip from the 1995 Circuit of Ireland Rally. In the video, a photographer is standing beside a concrete wall that is about shoulder height, watching as cars make a leap after speeding over a small hill and then race by him. That is until a yellow car goes over the hill, loses control and slams head on into the wall where the man is standing.
The car literally brushes the photographer, including his most private parts, who was amazingly unhurt and even unfazed. After the crash, the photographer doesn’t even move – he just calmly takes a picture of the wreck! If this guy was in an action movie, he would be one of those guys who doesn’t look back at an explosion as he walks away.
4. Boston’s Drunk Subway Woman
If you’ve had too much to drink, it’s highly recommended that you take public transit as an alternative to driving. What you shouldn’t do is get too close to the tracks of a train, or a subway, like the woman in the video above. Captured on CCTV in Boston in November of 2009, the woman, who was never identified, was stubbing out her cigarette with her foot when she slipped and fell onto the tracks in the worst place, at the worst time. She fell right near the entrance where trains enter the station just as a train was approaching. Immediately, people started waving their hands and a transit employee on the platform, Jackie Osorio, radioed the driver, Charice Lewis, to tell her that there might be someone on the tracks. Lewis acted quickly and put the train into emergency mode and it stopped just inches from the woman. Lewis thought that she had run her over, but was amazed when the woman’s head popped up and she was smiling.
The woman was treated for minor injuries and both Lewis and Osorio were praised as heroes and given commendations by the Governor of Massachusetts.
3. Royal Bengal Tiger Attack
In May of 2004, two royal Bengal tigers left the boundaries of the Kaziranga National Park in Northeast India, and started to kill animals in a nearby village. Obviously this posed a danger to the villagers, the livestock, and the tigers, so park officials set out on elephants to tranquilize the tigers and transport them deeper into the park. As they tracked one of the tigers, the animal seemingly appears out of nowhere in the long grass and charges while growling at the elephant.
Then it leaps several feet in the air, managing to get its front paw higher than the elephant’s behind and catches one man’s hand, shredding it in one swoop. The man was taken to the hospital and made a full recovery, which is incredibly lucky because had the tiger aimed more at the man’s center of gravity, he could have died as part of a tiger’s lunch. As for the tigers, they left the area after the interaction and ventured back into the park.
2. A Lesson in Gun Safety
The man in this video starts off on the right foot when it comes to gun safety because he is wearing a bright colored vest. Unfortunately, other people with guns aren’t the real threat to him.
After firing a few shots, the man’s gun jams. Forgetting rule number one of gun safety, which is always point the muzzle in a safe direction, he decides to investigate the jam by looking down the barrel of the gun. Luckily, this man, obviously a Rhodes Scholar, learned why that’s the most important rule by just losing his hat and gaining a terrible headache. Hopefully it’s nothing that some Advil and a lot of Pabst Blue Ribbon couldn’t fix.
1. Brian Bews
In July of 2010, Captain Brian Bews of the Royal Canadian Air Force was practicing for an air show at the Lethbridge County Airport in Alberta. When Bews was doing a maneuver in a CF-18 Hornet about 300 feet from the ground, the right engine stalled and Bews was forced to eject. Less than two seconds after ejecting, the plane crashed and burst into a giant ball of fire. Bews’ seat blew clear of the explosion and he landed less than 100 feet from the wreckage.
In the accident, Bews suffered three compressed vertebrae, but ultimately made a full recovery. It’s believed that a sticky piston was the reason that the engine stalled. Ironically, the song that Bews was using for his routine, which can be heard in the background of the video, is the Bee Gees’ classic “Stayin’ Alive.”