Everybody has that one story. That time something happened that was so unbelievable that you just can’t help telling about it again and again. We went to AskReddit to ask people to share that time they experienced something that most others haven’t, and their stories did not disappoint.
Comments have been edited for clarity. The source can be found the end of the article.
My crazy (then) boyfriend was threatening me with a knife. If you’ve ever been physically abused you know that the worst part isn’t first contact…it’s the anxiety of waiting for the first hit. So I snapped and said “So stab me already!” and he did.
Ive had my house raided where cop cars immediately block the driveway, theres cops everywhere, even in the backyard. They all had masks. They got a tip that we were selling illicit substances. We werent selling anything.
They proceeded to put us all in handcuffs and sat us outside trying to interrogate us while they turn the house upside down. They said something amongst each other and just uncuffed us and walked off. It was the wrong house. We know because the house around the corner was raided about a week later and they WERE actual substance dealers.
My dad just told me this week he woke up during a hip replacement surgery. Opened his eyes and said ahem and the surgeon yelled, knock him out! My dad is 64 and was about 300 lbs of solid muscle at the time so I think they severely underestimated the amount of medicine needed to keep him under.
I donated bone marrow to a stranger I’ll never know. They put me under and poked probes into my hip bones to suck out over a liter of marrow. When I woke up I was tired, like going on a very long run. Honestly the very worst part was having 2 IV lines. Everything else was not bad at all. I would highly recommend getting swabbed and donating. I ended up saving the guy’s life and we never exchanged names. I want him to always question whether that random person on the subway might have saved his life. Plus now I can say I once saved a man with just my butt bones.
I once went to this overnight theme park/caravan campsite when I was younger (around 7?) to stay with my family for the weekend. My sister and I were on a roller coaster that was enclosed in some sort of giant room and absolutely pitch black. After our cart had rolled away from the workers and entered the black room, I realized the harness you pull down over your head was not buckled, and I had nothing holding me in. I started to panic because it was impossible to see what was coming up next, and for all I knew I was about to go upside down and plunge to my death.
There was a hilarious older Scottish woman in front of me who kept yelling obscenities once she found out what was going on, and was trying to hold my harness down as best as she could by reaching her arm back, along with my sister. Even though I thought I might die, her commentary was enough to keep me laughing still. Luckily there were only some high drops, but no upside down loops. I’ve never been afraid to go on roller coasters or any other rides after that, and still love the adrenaline rush. But I always triple check that my harness is on properly.
I was riding my bike home from the gym and right when I turned the corner on my street a moth flew into my ear. I’m talking about INSIDE my ear, not around the edges, but deep inside. It was the most disturbing feeling I’ve ever had in my entire life. I ran inside, freaked out, but didn’t feel anything for a moment so I thought it’d fallen out. Then the little buzzing and clawing began. I could feel it digging into my head. Thinking about it still gives me the shivers. So, I started screaming, and this was when I lived with my parents.
They came running asking what was wrong, so I yelled and cursed about the moth in my ear. It was starting to actually hurt really bad at this point, so I threw myself to the ground and started banging my head on the carpet trying to dislodge it. My dad had to hold me down and pour rubbing alcohol into my ear, which caused it to start coming out for air. He grabbed it with tweezers and finally got it out. This has to be the worst thing I’ve ever felt, and even talking about it is making me cringe all over. I can’t even begin to describe the sensation. Hope it never happens to anyone.
A cop called me back after giving me a $380 ticket. He told me he had acted rashly and in anger and told me to rip up my ticket and he was doing the same. He really was a great cop. Even though he said he was mad I didnt feel that he was angry with me. He just seemed stern. Then quite nice at the end.
I fell off a Ferris wheel. I was in Puerto Rico and eight years old. There was a foot rest, a seat, and the bar that clicked in at about shoulder height across the front. I hadn’t ever recalled being so high, and I saw really far. I stood up to get a better look, and almost immediately after that, the ride stopped, the seat lurched, and I fell out. It was about 5 meters. Woke up a few days later in a cast with a catheter. My dad wanted my mom to sue, but she said it was my own fault for not following the instructions (I had a problem with doing what I was told as well as balance when I was younger).
Ive flown through a narrow canyon in a helicopter to escape a high arctic blizzard. I was working as a research technician and beginning my Master’s during the summer of 2002. Part of my work was to look after a small series of weather stations on Cornwallis Islands in the Canadian High Arctic. I was stationed at Resolute Bay and a call came in that the professor in charge of one of these stations had misprogrammed it on her last visit. Thus, I had to requisition a helicopter to fly out to this station to change one line of code.
‘Jerry The Newfie’ had a day off and a free bird and offered to fly me to the station. We made it there safely, I did my work in the middle of a vast snow field under the blazing, blue sky and we proceeded to fly back to Resolute. However, the Gods of Weather (GOW) were not on our side: Coming in from the ocean, we could see a wall of snow racing across the rocky wasteland. When the weather changes in the High Arctic, it changes FAST and it appeared that we were about to be cut off from our only route back to town.
Jerry hovered in midair and pondered the situation: Land the helicopter and spend the night cuddled up with a big, smelly technician or take a risk and be back in Resolute in time for broads and fried baloney. He spied one of the canyons criss-crossing this desolate landscape and abruptly dove into it. With the walls of the canyon no more than 10 meters from each side of the helicopter, the reverberations were deafening. The blizzard raged above us as Jerry navigated the twists and turns with a samurai’s grip. I had visions of Will Smith outrunning alien spaceships. Twenty minutes later, the canyon dumped us out over a shoreline, we checked the GPS and realized that we were five minutes from home.
Famous story around our hospital. Very bright doctor at the hospital (quick thinker) driving down the road to work, with his 13 year old son in the car. He was only 5 minutes away when he lost his sight. Pulled over, realized in a flash ‘boiler just serviced’ and ‘we’ve all had headaches.’ Before he passed out he said to his son “run to the Emergency Department, tell them I’ve got carbon monoxide poisoning, then tell them to send an ambulance to your mother and your brother at home to get them out.” Son did just that, they believed him (!) got the father (one of their own doctors) and then got the rest of the family out of the house. Correct diagnosis, son did everything right, all saved.
There was this really surreal string of moments where we were realizing that we could not swim forward back to shore and that we were slowly being pushed further out. REALLY strange to be there with friends and realize that we all were in danger of dying if we didn’t figure something out.
Thankfully, we figured out that we could swim parallel to the beach much faster (probably kind of at a slant, since we were still being pushed), and we were able to swim to a breakwater that wasn’t far away.
We cut ourselves climbing up onto the stones of the breakwater and slowly walked back to the beach, where the lifeguard (who apparently hadn’t noticed til now) yelled at us. We were all pretty giddy though at still being alive!
After performing a cover at a Humane Society charity event, I was approached by a “professional” band (as in these guys tour and pay all their bills with this job) and I was having a heart attack. Like are these guys about to talk to ME? We spoke for a while, really awesome guys. Shallow Wake was the band I believe. Then the singer asked me where my table was with my merch and CD’s.
Because he wanted my CD. THEY wanted copies.
I thought I was going to wet myself. Too bad I’ve never recorded anything, it would have been an honor to give them one.
I took a redeye from NYC to LA once and chased the setting sun across the country. I’ve seen both Pacific and Atlantic oceans in the same day. Maybe not all that rare, but special to me.
Oh, and once I asked my brother to throw me a Hershey kiss at a barbecue, and he unwrapped it and threw it at me. I caught it upright on my tongue from like 30 feet away. I’m oddly proud of that one.
I have strong auditory synesthesia. Most of what I hear is visual difference (my ceiling fan has six blades and five lights so I hear the mismatch, flashing lights, interrupted patterns, any movement). I also hear bright colors and textures, textures sound different to my hands and my mouth. The best example is that touching jello with my hands sounds like a squeegee on a too dry window but in my mouth it’s a clear high beep.
People always ask me “what does THIS sound like?” And most things just…don’t have a real analog. A flashing red light sounds like a flashing red light and every flashing red light sounds the same. For years I was sure that a stoplight changing from red to green made a noise. I’ve been told it doesn’t and if I can’t see the light, I can’t hear the sound. Apparently the turn signal noise is real though?
I once had a full on street brawl with 3 guys, all smashed each other’s faces in and then just stopped when I started laughing (a nervous response). We were all big rugby type guys who could give as well as take a punch. We all started laughing and joking about how absurd it was.
The guys who I had just had a fight with then offered me a lift home and drove 30 minutes out of their way to make sure I got home alright. It was one of those bizarre ‘could only happen to me’ situations.
Launched 4 ballistic missiles from a submerged submarine during a missile test. Very noisy for a split second and the whole ship moves, but other than that no visual excitement. The excitement is knowing that something I had just worked on was flying into space and would land thousands of miles away exactly where we set it to go was very cool.
Ive died. I had a heart condition as a teenager that caused a rapid heartbeat, one day it got really bad and I went to the ER. They tried to give me some kind of medication that would essentially stop my heart, but just long enough to defibrillate it back into normal rhythm. My heart just kept slowing down then going right back up to around 300 beats per minute, which was really painful. I felt the defibrillator firing, which also hurt, then my heart stopped. I was declared deceased, my parents were informed, the whole thing. As they were moving me to the morgue I woke back up, and really scared the crap out of the hospital staff.
While sharpening a regular double bit ax in my backyard my brother-in-law came outside and said “bet you can’t stick that one.” I have a tomahawk that I throw into a target from time to time. I turned around and gave it a two-handed-over-the-head heave and it spun end over end for about 40 feet and stuck perfectly into a tree. I wanted to jump up and down and say OH MY GOD, HOLY COW etc, but I nonchalantly turned back around and started sharpening a machete. (I was clearing out a couple of soon to be dead trees, not prepping for a murder spree).
Im an animal handler and have spent a few days ICU from a venomous snake bite and another overnighter for a different snake bite.
I once contemplated giving CPR to a dying seal. Poor guy had been battered and bruised out in the big blue yonder somehow, and washed up on shore. We were called to help/assist him/her getting to a Zoo.
We didn’t expect him to last the stressful nature of the capture/catch, let alone the trip to an appropriate facility that could deal with him/her a couple hours drive away.
He seemed ok on the trip to start with, we were pretty careful and he/she was covered in wet sheets/blankets, nice and dark. Maybe we were half hour-ish from the zoo and he made few sounds and then just suddenly went dead still, literally.
I shot over the back into the wagon area he was contained in and grabbed his/her head to maybe go the mouth to mouth road… Have you ever seen the ‘chompers’ on a seal? Think big cat teeth, lions or tigers.
While I am possibly looking at crazy in the rear view window as it is, I decided I do like having a face.
I used to get picked on by a number one overall pick in the NFL (National Football League). Throwing me in the snow in my underwear, getting targeted in dodge ball, pretty harmless stuff. Im not gonna say who it was but he was friends with my older brother and it wasnt that bad. He was actually a really nice guy.
My friend’s daughter came out to him as a lesbian in her late teens. A few years later, after she had moved out, she called him and said “Daddy, I’m pregnant”. He paused a bit, and said “WORST LESBIAN EVER!!!!!!” He’s a very loving parent, and would love her either way, but never passes up the chance for a dad joke.
Ive recovered from temporary quadriplegia / Guillain-Barr Syndrome.
It’s kind of a crazy progress to be quadriplegic and begin to recover. Seeing some progress was always incredibly encouraging for me because, while most people with my condition recover significantly, it’s not always complete and my case was so extreme I was worried I’d be on the less-recovery side. When things seemed to stall for a week or more, I’d get concerned but I was stubbornly optimistic. Then, I’d usually get another little jolt of progress.
November 1st last year, I was paralyzed below the neck due to Guillain-Barr Syndrome (GBS) which had begun progressing just days before. Two days later, my lungs stopped working and I was put on a ventilator. The number of tubes connected to me was pretty crazy. And since I was intubated, I had to spell things out by pointing to letters on a sheet with a straw held in my mouth. I later was given a set of glasses with an attached laser which helped speed the process up a lot.
It took a few more weeks for me to hit rock bottom, then I finally started showing some progress. I probably had a little more neck mobility but the most obvious first improvement was being able to wiggle my fingers. GBS usually starts in the toes, works its way up, then reverses so being able to move my toes again came much later. I’m very lucky that I’m back to talking, walking, biking, and even running again (5k race on Thursday!) but my feet aren’t quite at 100% and they might not get there.