There are moments and stories in the world that would have been written off as pure fiction unless there was an image documenting it. Sometimes, true stories are stranger than any book that our imagination can produce. Moreover, there is never an end to knowing about stuff precisely because of this – you never know what you might encounter. So, we have prepared this article as a good opportunity for 50 true stories and instances that will enrich your knowledge in some way:
1. Vulture Bees
This is the close-up of a beehive, as hard as it may be to believe. It looks different because it belongs to ‘vulture bees’. Unlike normal honey bees, this species does not make their honey from the nectar of flowers. Instead, they make it using the dead flesh of rotten carcasses. As a result, the honey is much more nutritious. However, they only produce enough for their own sustenance.
2. The Deadliest Plant
The world’s most dangerous plant is not some giant exotic-looking plant. It is actually this harmless plant that would not look dangerous at all at first glance. This is a rather common plant in Australia, where it is known as the gympie-gympie. Folktales say it is so poisonous that horses would jump off the cliff to their deaths when they get stung. Needless to say, the extreme pain can also kill humans within hours.
3. Miracle Medicine
This is Robert Cheseborough, Vaseline’s inventor. He regarded the product as nothing short of a miracle medicine. In fact, he was such a firm believer that he claimed to have eaten one spoonful of the jelly every day. Of course, do not try this. Moreover, when he was in his 50s, he suffered from pleurisy. He told his nurse to cover him in Vaseline on every inch of his body. Regardless of the reason, the man survived and lived till 96.
4. Lone Survivor
This is a fairly recent image, and it is not photoshopped. It is a picture of the aftermath of Lahaina, immediately after wildfires ravaged the resort city. This particular surviving house is in Maui. Even if it might seem like a miracle, the owners had installed almost every fire-resistant measure possible in 2021. It turned out to be an amazing decision.
5. The Youthful Fad Of The 50s
There is a lot of talk on the internet about how the younger generation has lost its intelligence. Well, the thing is, it’s been the same story for every generation. Youthful fads will always have some stupid idea of fun involved. This one was called ‘booth stuffing’ and was prevalent in the 1950s. It involved teenagers trying to see how many of them could stuff themselves inside a telephone booth.
6. There Is Always Hope
This is Steve Fugate, who had, at the time, recently lost his two children. One was lost to suicide while the other was claimed by illness. Determined not to let the depression destroy him, he walked across the entire United States over a period of 12 years. The sign ‘love life’ was meant to inspire anyone who saw him to never give up on life. According to Fugate, he would walk about 7 to 14 miles per day, taking him between 6 and 8 months to make one trip across the nation.
7. A Historical Door
This is an oak door installed in Westminster Abbey in Great Britain. This is the nation’s oldest door. The door was installed at least 950 years ago during the reign of Edward the Confessor. So, it is estimated to have been made during the 1050s. The door comes from a single oak tree.
8. A Successful Headshot But Not A Kill
On September 19th, 1863, Jacob Miller, a soldier of the Union Army was on the end of a musket ball that lodged straight between his eyes. He had fallen down, and his captain had left him for dead. However, the man survived and later moved a crushed bone back to re-install his left eye that had fallen out. Two months after being declared dead, he managed to get in contact with his friends and family.
9. The Rare Airplane Accident That Had Survivors
It took a lot of tragic accidents for air travel to become as secure and safe as it is today. On April 28th, 1988, this Aloha Airline’s roof was ripped off while it was cruising at 24,000 feet in the skies. Miraculously, the plane landed to land without crashing. Even more amazingly, there was only one fatality.
10. Struck By A Meteorite
The year is 1954 in Sylacauga, Alabama. Ann Hodges was taking a nap on her couch. In a short moment, a rock the size of a softball came crashing through her roof, bounced off the radio console, and struck her on the thigh. This was the injury she suffered. The rock was actually a meteorite having a weight of 8.5 pounds. Ann became the first documented human to be struck by a meteorite.
Read: Sleeping Woman Nearly Hit by Meteorite That Crashed Through Her Roof
11. A Distinct Border
Like the earlier photo of the lone-standing house, this is not photoshopped either. Keinichi Ohno captured this astounding scene where a bird is in a perfect position for an optical illusion. The water is actually reflecting a wall, creating a distinct border.
12. When God Protects You
In 1724, the most prevalent of capital punishment was still hanging by the neck. However, Margaret Dickinson survived being hanged. The fact that she was alive was discovered only after the hanging had been carried out. As such, Scots Law allowed her to be free since no person could be executed twice for the same crime.
13. Real-life Tarzan
Even if not raised since birth, Colombian Marina Chapman had Capuchin Monkeys for parents for 5 years. Her parents had abandoned her in the jungle. Hunters discovered her at the end. At that point, she was extremely dexterous with her hands and could not only scale trees but catch rabbits and birds without any tools.
14. The Wrestler-Pastor
Going by the stage name Fray Tormenta, priest Sergio Guttierez Benitez had a noble cause. He used whatever he earned as a wrestler to feed any orphaned kids he could find. If you have seen the movie ‘Nacho Libre’, then you might know that this is the person depicted in that film.
15. Bubble of Air
Harrison Okene’s boat had capsized 20 miles from the Nigerian Coast. It then gradually sank till it reached the ocean floor. Sixty hours later, divers reached the wreckage to locate and recover dead bodies. To Their utmost surprise, they found Harrison alive and conscious in this tiny pocket of air. He had been in complete darkness in this situation for the entire 60 hours. The divers’ footage of the rescue is also available on the internet.
16. The Hulk’s Dream
Mark Ruffalo, who you might better know as the actor playing the Marvel superhero Hulk recently, had a dream/prophecy back in the day. He dreamt that he had a tumor in his brain despite having no symptoms or even slight indications that there might be one. When he described the dream’s vividness, the doctors ran a CAT scan. To their surprise, Ruffalo’s dream was completely true. Unfortunately, the position of the tumor meant that even after being removed, he still lost hearing in one ear.
17. The Oldest Registered Complaint
This is a clay tablet that is about 3,700 years old from the Babylonian Empire. Interestingly, it is actually a letter sent by a customer to a copper merchant. The customer is complaining that the copper is not up to the promised standards and would, thus, like a refund. So far, it is the world’s earliest written complaint.
18. Invisible Ink
On April 19th, 1995, a certain MacArthur Wheeler carried out a bank robbery, even though he knew there was CCTV surveillance. Even if he looked like he had no disguise, Wheeler had rubbed his face with lemon juice. Wheeler knew that lemon juice could be used as invisible ink so he believed that rubbing it on his face would make it invisible as well. He was shocked to see the police identify him later on when he was arrested.
19. Reunited Family
On October 17th, 1988, Li Jinghzi’s husband Mao took their 2-year-old son Jia Jia out to play in a Xi’an neighborhood. He had then gone to a hotel to get a cup of water for his son. When he came back Jia Jia was nowhere to be found. Li Jinghzi then spent the next 32 years combing through the vast nation of China in search of her son. She went through 20 provinces, and several hundred towns, and reunited 4 different families with their children before she managed to locate Jia in Sichuan.
20. The Oldest Good Boy
On February 2nd, 2023, Guinness World Records granted Bobi, a Portuguese dog, the record of being the oldest dog to ever be alive on record. Bobi purebred Rafaeiro de Alentejo. He was born on May 11, 1992. On May 11th this year, Bobi turned 31 years old! Of course, he still remains the best of boys to his owner.
Read: Woman With Longest Fingernails Ever Grew Them Out For A Heartbreaking Reason
21. Heroic Teacher
Absolutely anyone can be a hero. All that is required is an extremely brave heart, with all the focus on saving a life. In 2012, a 3-year-old kindergarten student of Ina Koenig accidentally fell into a mine shaft that was 75 feet in length. The German kindergarten teacher jumped in without hesitation to ensure the kid’s safety. There was cold water filling the shaft. However, Koenig spent the next 2 hours keeping the child above the water level, saving his life.
22. A Loyal Comrade
In 2007, Brian Dennis, a US Marine on duty in Iraq met and befriended Nubs, a stray dog. Brian had nursed a screwdriver-stabbing wound that the dog had. Eventually, Brian had to go back to base camp, but Nubs did not give up. He followed Brian’s scent for 70 miles through the desert warzone of Iraq. When he reached the base camp, Brian and his colleagues built Nubs a doghouse. However, Brian eventually had to fly him back to the United States via a fundraiser to keep Nubs safe.
23. Superhero Dive
In 2018, Brad Lewis enacted a scene straight out of a superhero film without having any powers. His youngest son had chased after a Nerf bullet when he slipped and fell over the railing of the balcony. Brad dived after him across the balcony, caught up to the child, and cradled his head in his chest to mitigate the impact. Brad’s biggest injury was a fractured skull. Fortunately, both the father and the son survived.
24. Human Echolocation
Daniel Kish’s eyes were removed when he was not even 13 months old to treat eye cancer. He then learned how to echolocate using the click of his tongue – an ability that you may have heard of in bats and dolphins. He can navigate traffic, differentiate between car types, and identify buildings from as far as 1000m away. Kish, along with his organization, has also taught at least 500 blind kids across the globe this skill as well.
25. Onsite Emotional Assistance
Chen Si, a Chinese resident, spends his weekend on top of the largest bridge in the nation. His mission? To prevent anyone who tries to jump from it. To date, the man has prevented over 300 suicide attempts just by himself.
26. Help Across Species
In this picture, the wild orangutan is actually extending his hand to the man to help him up. The man is in a snake-infested pool, trying to deal with the infestation so that the apes are safe. However, it seems like the orangutan is more worried about the safety of the man! A kind gesture cannot be divided based on species.
27. Superhero Cat
A parent’s love has no equal. In 1996, Scarlett, a female cat, ran into a burning building in New York City 5 times to save her 5 kittens. The effort had left her severely burned, with her coat extremely singed, her paws and ears burned, and her eyes blistered shut. After rescuing them, she used her nose to ensure that all the kittens were present. Unfortunately, the litter’s weakest did not survive. However, Scarlett, as well as the others, did and recovered. Scarlett lived till October 11, 2008.
28. The Great Blizzard
One of the worst blizzards that the USA had to face in recorded history took place in 1888, simply called the Great Blizzard. There was somewhere between 10 and 58 inches of snowfall across the East Coast leaving it paralyzed. This picture shows an anonymous man standing in New York City between Madison Avenue and 40th Street after it was shoveled.
29. Derailed Out Of The Station
On October 22, 1895, Paris witnessed one of the more bizarre train accidents in history. This picture shows the aftermath of the Montparnasse Derailment. The driver attempted to get to the station in time as it was running late. Unfortunately, he could not control the speed, and the air brake failed to slow it down on time. The train ran over the buffer, and the station concourse before crashing through the wall of the station. This is the Place de Rennes, where it finally fell into. There was one fatality which was a woman hit by the falling masonry.
30. Michelin Man
Believe it or not, this is how the lovable white mascot of the Michelin Tire company looked more than a century ago (1920, to be precise). This is also the origin of the restaurant rating system – the Michelin stars. Michelin reviewed restaurants in the hope that people would travel further using cars to experience them. As such, the more stars they are, the more it deserve a journey that wears down your Michelin tires.
31. Old Croghan Man
In June 2003, researchers discovered Old Croghan Man, the well-preserved remains of an Irish native believed to have died between 362BC and 175BC. The span of his arm signifies that the man was 6 ft 6 in (1.98m) in height – an exceptionally tall human for that time. His final meal is possibly buttermilk and wheat based on the analysis of his stomach contents.
32. The Crusade’s Remains
In October 2021, on the northern coast of Israel, this sword was found. It is 900 years old and measures almost 4 ft in length. Historians believe that it was a sword belonging to a Crusader around 1100, as he sailed to the Holy Land.
33. Unexpected Reunion
A scene from a French demonstration on April 6th, 1972 in Saint-Brieuc depicts a tragic but touching scene of a reunion between two lifelong friends. Guy Burmieux is the worker while the riot policeman’s name is Jean-Yvon Antignac. The two were childhood friends, who had gone through high school, and later parties, together. The picture was taken by Jacques Gourmelen.
34. A Horrifying Bedtime
The picture depicts a woman kneeling beside a child as they take shelter in an underground tunnel in London during WW2. There were eight deep-level shelters in London with a final capacity of about 8000 each. They could not be completed until 1942, when the German Blitz attack had ended. Regardless, with German bombing intensifying, the public was given access to 5 of the shelters in 1944.
Read: Why Did Norwegian Teachers Wear Paper Clips During World War II?
35. The War Destroys All
On April 3rd, 1945, the 9th Army of the US captured Hans-Georg Henke (pictured) who is a 16-year-old member of the anti-air squad of the Luftwaffe. In 1938, his father had died. In 1944, his family lost the mother as well. As a result, Henke searched desperately for a job to look after the remaining family. He enlisted with the Luftwaffe at 15. Everything he knew about the world was crumbling.
36. The First Person Photographed
1838, Paris. Louis Daguerre takes this photograph of a morning street in the French capital. It was the first time a picture of a recognizable person was taken. The streets might look empty, but it is an illusion. The image’s exposure time was about 10 minutes. This meant that anything that did not stand sort of still for that long, was not captured. Only the shoe-shiner and his customer were stationary enough to be a part of history, albeit inadvertently.
37. Sucked Out Of The Cockpit
In 1990, British Airways Flight 5390 was cruising over Didcot in Oxfordshire. The windscreen panel of the cockpit had not been installed properly, resulting in it getting separated. As a result, Timothy Lancaster, the captain, got sucked outside the aircraft. These are re-enacted images of the incident. Nigel Ogden, a flight attendant, held him in place while the first officer landed the plane safely at Southampton Airport. Ogden suffered PTSD and bruises and cuts on his arm. Lancaster suffered multiple fractures, shock, bruising, and frostbite. Both men lived and recovered from the incident.
Read: Flying is scary for most but this pilot had a life-changing experience at 23,000 feet in the sky.
38. The Original Models
The famous painting from 1930, named “American Gothic” was done by Grant Wood. The people depicted are a farmer, and actually his daughter (not his wife). The original models, standing here in the picture, are Nan Wood Graham, Grant’s sister, and Dr. Byron McKeeby, their dentist.
39. Houdini Himself
Harry Houdini, one of the world’s most famous escape artists, is about to plunge 30 feet off of Boston’s Harvard Bridge into the Charles River in 1908. Houdini had famously said that he may not be able to free himself, but he was confident in his swimming abilities and hoped to complete the feat successfully. The spectacle had about 20,000 spectators, including Cambridge and Boston’s mayors. The magician took about 40 seconds to resurface, although his shackles remained.
40. Nothing Stops Her Best Day
A recolored photograph shows an anonymous bride proudly and joyously strolling out to her wedding even after the surroundings recently suffered a bout of Blitz bombing in 1940. The German tactic included massive air attacks and bombing towns, cities, and industrial targets, including direct raids on the capital, London.
41. The Shortest And The Tallest
Austrian Adam Rainer was born in 1899. He is the only person in recorded history to be categorized both as a dwarf and a giant. Rainer’s height was only 3 feet 8 inches till he was 19 years old. However, when he turned 21, a tumor on his pituitary gland initiated a growth spurt. As a result, his height soared more than 7 feet in the following decade.
42. The Return Of Heroes
This is the British Navy’s RMS Queen Elizabeth as it enters New York. This is in 1945 when the WW2 has ended. She was an Ocean Liner, specializing in high-speed transport across the naval route. The Titanic was also an ocean liner. Here, it is carrying more than 900 crew members and more than 15,000 passengers – all of them are soldiers returning from the battlefield.
43. Hachiko, The Legendary Loyal One
Chances are you have heard of the heartwarming story of Hachiko – the Japanese Akita dog famous for loyalty. Hachiko waited nine years for Hidesabura Ueno, his owner, even after the owner had passed away at Shibuya Station, where the two used to meet at the end of Ueno’s work day. This is the final picture of Hachiko after he passed on March 8th, 1935.
44. Saving A Life At A Baseball Ground
On August 8th, 1982, Jonathan Keane, a 4-year-old got hit on the head at Fenway Park by a line drive foul ball. Jim Rice (pictured), jumped out of the dugout, ran through the crowd, scooped up the kid, and took him to the medical team of the Boston Red Sox. When doctors managed to attend to the boy half an hour later, they said that Rice’s actions were vital in ensuring the boy survived. Jim later visited the boy and paid for the bill himself after seeing the modest conditions of the boy’s family.
45. An Insane Human Chain
On 23rd August 1982, citizens of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania formed a 420-mile (675.5 km) long human chain. There were approximately 2 million people involved. It was a sign of protest against Soviet oppression and their intense wish to break away from the Russian idea of communism.
46. Cultural Exchange
This picture from 1962 shows 9-year-old New Yorker Kevin interacting with Dionni, the son of a Masai tribal chief. Kevin’s stepfather was a guest of the tribe. Kevin recorded that he learned a lot of things from the Masai. He had learned how to shoot the heaviest bow. In exchange, he taught Dionni baseball and how to write his name in English. Kevin claimed he learned 11 Swahili words from the exchange.
47. Leave No One Behind
In 2009, Sergeant Dakota Meyer was directly ordered to retreat and give up his position. Meyer refused. Instead, he kept going back in multiple times to get fellow wounded soldiers back to safety from a firefight nearby. Meyer had dived back in 5 times, reducing 36 lives. When asked why he did what he did, he said, “That’s what you do for a brother.”
48. A Heist Avoided
In 1836, the Bank of England’s directors received a letter from an anonymous source claiming they had direct access to the bank’s gold. They ignored it before a second letter offered them to meet the writer at a time of their choosing inside the vault. They agreed. At the designated time, they saw a man pop up from beneath the floorboards. The man was a sewer worker who discovered an old drain during a routine inspection that led directly below the vault. The man had not taken anything, even though he had the chance. As such, the directors awarded him £800 for his honesty. It amounts to about £80,000 today.
49. A Novel Bus Fare
Worried about not getting exercise while out on the road? In the Romanian city of Cluj, people can pay for their ticket for the bus by squatting 20 times. Moreover, the elderly and disabled can ride the bus for free too!
50. Just To Get More Time
In 1993, James Scott decided to intentionally damage a levee and cause an enormous flooding of the Mississippi River. After a lot of investigations, it was revealed that his motive was to strand his wife, Suzie, on the other side of the river so he could have more time to party, fish, and have an affair. Scott already had a pretty considerable history of criminal charges, including arson. This act landed him in prison with a 20-year sentence, which he is serving to date.
Keep Reading: 50+ Mysterious Things Found Trapped in Ice
- “50 Real-Life Stories That Are Nothing Short Of ‘Fascinating’.” Bored Panda. Adelaide Ross and Gabija Palšytė. September 15, 2023.
- “45 Of The Most Captivating Historical Pictures, As Shared By This Instagram Account.” Bored Panda. Mindaugas Balčiauskas and Rokas Laurinavičius. September 14, 2023.