In this scientific era, we believe everything is driven by logic and subject to scientific explanation. Those stories which do not fall under these categories are often discarded as urban legends. But even today, some incidents occur which defy all logic or appear to be just plain crazy. Both people and nature are still capable of surprising us in mind-blowing ways. Here are ten such unbelievable sounding stories that are 100% true.
1. In 1993, a Colorado fisherman, pinned by a boulder, amputated his own leg, crawled half-mile to his truck, and then drove another half-mile to the hospital.
On 6 October 1993, fisherman William Jeracki started his day at a remote lake near St. Mary’s Glacier. The lake was small and bordered by steep ridges. Jeracki was scrambling up a boulder field when a large rock fell, landed on his leg and pinned him. He tried to free himself but neither the boulder nor his leg would budge an inch. Temperatures in that region were already below freezing. Jeracki was wearing a long-sleeved shirt, fishing vest, and long pants but had no coat. He knew that if he stayed overnight then he would probably die.
After a lot of struggle, Jeracki decided to escape by cutting off his leg. He pulled out a pocket knife and a small rope. He used the rope to create a tourniquet and then used his pocketknife to carve off his leg right below the kneecap. After freeing himself from the boulder, he crawled towards his truck which was a half -mile away. Then he drove for another half-mile towards Twin Lakes to get some help. There, the paramedics treated him before he was he was helicoptered to a Denver hospital. At University Hospital in Denver, Jeracki underwent almost two hours of surgery, mostly to clean the wound. Searchers afterward found the leg which then also was helicoptered to the hospital within a half-hour. But the leg was not reattached as it was too late.(source)
2. Convicted of armed robbery, Cornealious “Mike” Anderson was mistakenly not sent to jail. Thirteen years later when authorities realized the mistake, Anderson was married, had a job, four children, and was a local soccer coach.
In 2000, a man named Cornealious Michael Anderson III was convicted of armed robbery. He was sentenced to 13 years in the Missouri state prison system. Shortly after his conviction, he was released on bail pending an appeal. When his appeal failed he was told to await instructions on when and where to show up to begin his incarceration. He did exactly that, except the instructions never came. As the years rolled by, Mike turned his life around. He got married and started working as a carpenter. During the 13 years of his sentence, he had four children and even became a local soccer coach.
In 2013, when Mike was scheduled to be released from prison, the authorities realized their mistake. Mike was not sent to jail because of clerical errors and miscommunication. The Missouri Department of Corrections thought he was already in prison. After the discovery of the error, Mike was arrested on July 25, 2013, in order to serve his 13-year sentence. The case soon gathered both national and international attention. It became a matter of controversy especially since the victim of his crime did not believe he should be in prison. Mike’s attorney filed several appeals and petitions for his release from prison, and on May 5, 2014, Anderson was released from prison.(1,2)
3. After being married for seven years, a Brazilian couple found out that they are actually brother and sister whose mother left them in their infancy.
Until August 2014, Adriana, 39, and her husband Leandro, 37, were living their life as a normal couple. They had known each other for ten years and had a six-year-old daughter. Both lived in Sao Paulo and had been searching for their mother for a number of years. Adriana knew her mother’s name was Maria. Her mother left her when she was one and she was brought up by her father. Leandro knew his mother was called Maria and that she had abandoned him at the age of eight. He was brought up by his step-mother. Since Maria is a common name in Brazil, they believed their mother to be two different women.
To find her mother, Adriana went on Radio Globo’s The Time Is Now program, which specializes in finding lost relatives. On the show, she was reunited with her birth mother. During the heartfelt reunion, live on radio, her mother revealed she also had a son called Leandro who did not know her. Adriana, shocked at the realization that her husband was also her brother, said: “I don’t believe that you’re telling me this. Leandro is my husband.” Shocked by the news, Adriana broke down on the set and began to cry uncontrollably. While the couple was never actually married legally, they told Radio Globo following the revelation that they would continue to stay together despite the familial relation.(1,2,3)
4. A Japanese man set up a CCTV camera in his kitchen to catch the thief stealing his food but discovered a homeless woman who had been living in his cupboard for over a year.
In 2008, a man living in Fukuoka, Japan, became suspicious that he was the victim of repeat burglaries after he noticed food was going missing from his refrigerator. So, he decided to install security cameras linked to his mobile phone. On 28 May 2008, one of the cameras captured someone moving inside his house. Believing he had detected the burglar, the man contacted police. After an exhaustive search of the property, officers found a woman hiding in the top of a built-in cupboard designed to store bedding and mattresses.
The 58-year old woman living in the cupboard was Tatsuko Horikawa. She told the police that she had nowhere to live and had first taken up residence in the cupboard in a room that the man rarely used. She got in the house undetected about one year ago when the owner of the house had gone out and not locked the door. Behind the sliding door of the cupboard, she had laid out a thin futon and had several plastic drinks bottles. She didn’t steal any money or other items from the house but did make use of the shower and toilet. Police charged her with trespassing.(1,2,3)
5. In 2001, 10-year-old Laura Buxton released a balloon that ended up in the hands of another girl named Laura Buxton who lived 140 miles away. Both girls are of same age, same height, same eye color and appearance, and had gray rabbits, guinea pigs, and three-year-old black Labradors as pets.
In June of 2001, Laura Buxton was attending her grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary celebration in Staffordshire, England. On that occasion, she released a helium balloon along with a message. The message bore the instructions: “Please return to Laura Buxton” and her address. The balloon flew into the field of Andy Rivers in Milton Lilbourne. Mr. Rivers’s neighbors, Peter and Eleanor Buxton, had a daughter called Laura, so he gave the balloon to her.
Laura, who got the balloon from Mr. Rivers, obeyed the instruction and wrote to the Laura who had released the balloon. The two girls got in touch by telephone and later the girls’ parents arranged for them to meet face-to-face. Upon meeting each other, they discovered a number of similarities. Both of them have many similar physical features like same eye color, same height, and both were fair-haired. They even had similar pets. Their story was chronicled in a segment of Ripley’s Believe It or Not.(1,2)
6. On 19 May 1780, the sky over New England and some parts of Canada darkened unnaturally during the day. The darkness was so complete that candles were required from noon until the middle of the next night. There is still speculation as to the reason of its occurrence.
For several days before May 19, 1780, the Sun, as viewed from New England, appeared to be red, and the sky appeared yellow. Beginning halfway through the morning of May 19, the sky started darkening. Animals began to run for cover and darkness descended over New England and parts of eastern Canada. As the night descended, the moon appeared to be a red color. Soot was observed to have collected in rivers and in rain water, suggesting the presence of smoke. An eye witness from Ipswich, Massachusetts reported that a strong sooty smell prevailed in the atmosphere. Contemporary reports also indicated ash and cinders fell on parts of New Hampshire to a depth of six inches. This day was named as New England’s “Dark Day.” The darkness dispersed in the middle of the next night.
Since communications technology of the day was primitive, most people found the darkness to be baffling and inexplicable. Many applied religious interpretations to the event. Scientists believe that the reason behind this phenomenon can be found in the trees. Academics at the University of Missouri’s Department of Forestry analyzed tree trunks inland from New England where westerly prevailing winds would originate. They found signs of fire-scarred rings in tree trunks dating back to that period. One of the hypotheses is that the cause might have been a forest fire. Eyewitness accounts in New England support the forest fire hypothesis.(1,2,3,4)
7. When a train in Bihar, India stopped in its track, passengers pushed it 70 meters ahead where the locomotive touched the live wire overhead and restarted.
On 15 May 2007, the Patna-Buxar electric modified unit train was going through its usual route. But suddenly a passenger pulled its emergency chain and the locomotive came to a halt in a neutral zone. The neutral zone was a 14-meter length of track where there is no power in the overhead wires. When traveling in these neutral zones, the train doesn’t get any overhead power, but its momentum usually allows it to continue moving. But since the momentum was now zero, the driver could not start the train.
Usually, in such a situation, another solo engine is sent from a nearby station. But this time a unique incident occurred. The driver shared his plight with the passengers and told the passengers he was ready to disconnect the engine if they were willing to push. Once it was started, it could be brought back and reconnected. “Immediately, over 100 passengers got down and began shoving. But the engine wouldn’t move, so more joined in,” said Kumar, a resident of Dumraon near Buxar. Within an hour, the engine was pushed out of the neutral zone. The engine was restarted and brought back to the stranded train coaches and the journey resumed.(1,2,3)
8. A 67-year old woman, Mary Resser, was found burned to death in her home with only one leg remaining. Her body burnt at a temperature of around 3,500 degrees, yet nothing else in the room caught fire.
On July 1, 1951, 67-year-old Mary Resser spent her evening by receiving a visit from her son and neighbor. At that time, she was wearing a rayon nightgown, bedroom slippers, and a robe. When her visitors left her, everything appeared to be normal. The following morning her landlady arrived. The landlady soon realized that something was wrong because the house’s doorknob was extremely hot. She notified the police. When the police came and entered Resser’s house, they found her remains completely burned to ash with only one leg remaining. The chair she was sitting in was also destroyed, but there was little damage to rest of the apartment.
During the investigation, the police found no sign of a burglary or outer influences in the apartment. Detectives found that Reeser’s temperature was around 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit, but surprisingly the rest of the room was intact. Investigators also found that the fire had burned a socket which stopped a clock at 2:26 a.m., suggesting that Reeser had been burned around that time.
Physical anthropologist, Wilton Krogman, a consultant on the case, wrote: “”I find it hard to believe that a human body, once ignited, will literally consume itself — burn itself out, as does a candle wick…never have I seen a body so completely consumed by heat. This is contrary to normal experience, and I regard it as the most amazing thing I have ever seen…as I review it, the short hairs on my neck bristle with vague fear. Were I living in the Middle Ages, I’d mutter something about black magic.”(source)
9. In 2015, 100 people lifted a double-decker bus in London to save a unicyclist trapped under it.
On 28 May 2015 in Walthamstow, London, just before 6 p.m., an accident occurred. With a loud bang, a unicycle collided with a bus. Due to the accident, the driver of the unicycle came to rest under the wheel of the bus. Soon, hundreds of shocked spectators ran towards the 12-ton, double-decker bus.They stopped in front of the bus and heaved it up into the air freeing the stricken unicyclist. Some of those who helped lift the bus had just moments before been dining in nearby restaurants and left their food behind as they dashed outside to help. The male unicyclist was taken by ambulance to an east London hospital where he received medical attention.(1,2,3)
10. A 45-year-old Swedish man went into “human hibernation” for two months after being buried in a snow-covered car and survived by eating handfuls of snow.
On 17 February 2012, near the town of Umea in northern Sweden, a snowmobile stopped to scrape snow from the windscreen of a vehicle. The driver of snowmobile saw movement inside the vehicle. A man named Peter Skyllberg was found inside the vehicle huddled in a sleeping bag. He could barely speak at that moment and was taken to Umea University Hospital. There, it was found that Peter was suffering from extreme hypothermia and malnourishment. As Peter recovered, his incredible story became clear.
Peter was traveling on 19 December 2011 when suddenly his car slid off the road and he was trapped in a drift. His car got covered by snow and he became trapped inside it. For two months he survived in sub-zero temperature by eating handfuls of snow. Experts are at a loss to explain how he could survive in such harsh conditions with no food. One of the theories is that Peter went into a kind of “human hibernation” which slowed down his metabolism and pulled him through the ordeal.(1,2,3)