On Reddit, people are offering survival techniques that, rather than saving your life, will kill you. It turns out there are a lot of them out there, and you’ve definitely heard a few of them over your life. Here is a list of the best/worst of them. At best, you could get devoured by an alligator, and at worst, you could poo yourself to death in the desert. If anything has to be clarified, we’ll jump in.
“If a tornado strikes, evacuate your home and seek cover beneath the nearest motorway underpass.” “A local news camera team hid behind an underpass at El Dorado Lake, Kansas, during a tornado in 1991. The video became viral (as popular as anything could go in the 1990s) and convinced many people that underpasses were the ideal location to seek refuge “TheMightyGoatMan, a user, contributed.
“It turns out that the El Dorado Lake underpass had some peculiar structural elements that actually provided some protection, and the news team was extraordinarily lucky with the angle at which the tornado struck.” While beneath the bridge, you are more likely to be struck by debris and may be subjected to increased wind speeds due to the tighter path.
“If lightning finds a path to the earth that it loves, it’s quite likely to hit there several times,” CatBoyInAMaidOutfit wrote. “That’s why lightning rods are effective.” Yep. In actuality, lightning strikes the Empire State Building roughly 25 times every year, or “more than once” if our calculation is right. It’s advisable to get indoors if you can, or at the very least stay away from any clear lightning pathways to the earth.
Frostbite, “Do not massage someone’s frostbitten skin or throw hot water on it to warm them up if they have frostbite,” wrote kuroi sny. “Such procedures will exacerbate the skin’s deterioration.” In an ideal situation, you would rewarm the frostbitten region in a whirlpool bath containing mild antiseptic under medical supervision. If it fails, a bath with water that is 37°C to 39°C (98.6°F to 102.2°F) is advised, or dry blankets or body heat.
A cactus may provide you with water. “Any liquid inside a cactus will be very acidic, causing nausea and diarrhea and further dehydrating you,” aixbelle accurately points out. There are a few species of cactus that will not give you diarrhea or worse, such as prickly pear cactus. Even when correctly prepared, they can induce diarrhea, nausea, and an increase in stool volume.
Don’t try to preserve water. “Drink water if you have it,” Deminla wrote. “Many persons have been discovered dead with a stash of water in their possession. Although it may appear short-sighted, in a genuine survival emergency, long-term survival is something to consider once you’ve addressed your immediate needs.”
Make a nuclear explosion with your thumb. “The concept that you should compare your thumb to a mushroom cloud to check if you’re a safe distance away in the case of a nuclear strike, supposedly popularized by Vault Boy from the Fallout games,” Bhamv said. “This ‘rule of thumb,’ according to nuclear specialists, is meaningless, and it has never featured in any nuclear safety document or guideline.”
While the rule is useless, physicists at the University of Leicester investigated it for a paper published in an undergraduate journal and concluded that it could work for smaller blasts. “This investigation found that if a 15 kiloton nuclear bomb detonated and your thumb extended at arm’s length just covered the blast, you could survive most negative radiation effects by running laterally to the direction of the wind for a minimum of 1.65 km in half an hour given that you are standing directly upwind to the blast,” they wrote in the paper, before adding, “having the stem of the mushroom cloud smaller than your thumb may mean that you could be raped.”