Some people, despite all the black cats and broken mirrors in the world, seem to have all the luck. These 5 people take that luck to the extreme, making fate seem more than just a philosophy.
- Frane Selak
Called “The Luckiest Unluckiest Man in the World,” Croatian Frane Selak has cheated death, not once, not twice, but an amazing seven times.]
His first brush with death was in 1962 while traveling in a train in January. The train flipped off the tracks and fell into a freezing river. Bystanders pulled him to shore and safety, with only a broken arm and hypothermia, while 17 other passengers drowned. Then, only a year later in 1963, during his first and last plane ride, the plane lost altitude and plummeted to the earth. Frane was blown out of a malfunctioning plane door and somehow managed to land on a haystack, unharmed, while the plane crashed, killing 19 people.
Three years after that, in 1966, a bus he was riding in skid off the road into a river, drowning four of the passengers. Selak, however, swam safely to the shore and only sustained a few cuts and bruises. Two years later, in what was arguably one of his weirdest reasons for almost dying, while trying to teach his son how to hold a gun, he hadn’t realized the safety was off and ended up shooting himself in the testicles. He lived, though his testicles did not. Then, in 1970 and 1973, he got into accidents where the car ended up catching fire. Aside from a few singed hairs, he managed to get out of both predicaments absolutely unharmed, again.
But his dance with death wasn’t over yet. Later, in 1995, he was hit by a bus in Zagreb but only suffered minor injuries, and a year later, he managed to avoid a head-on collision with a United Nations truck on a mountain road by swerving into a guardrail. The guardrail broke under the force of the car hitting it, and Frane, not wearing a seat belt, was ejected out of the car when the door flew open. He watched as the car fell 300 feet into the ravine below. And to top his luck off, in 2003, two days after he turned 73, Frane Selak won $1.1 million from the Croatian National Lottery. What a birthday present!
- Maarten De Jonge
Sometimes, people survive solely because they avoid the situation that would’ve put them in danger. Many of these people never consciously do so, however. They chalk it up to circumstances like they were sick or had to do something else at the time, and others say they got a strange feeling not to go.
In just four months, Dutch cyclist Maarten de Jonge cheated death by airplane twice. He booked a seat in the MH17 flight but found a cheaper flight and changed his ticket while the doomed flight he was originally intending to go on crashed midway. He was also scheduled to be on MH370, the flight that went missing in 2014 and was never found, only to reschedule it at the last moment.
- Edwin E. Robinson
The odds of getting hit by lightning is 1 in 12,000. But for blind and deaf 62-year-old Edwin E. Robinson, those odds rose to 100 percent.
Robinson wandering around outside in the field near his house (apparently looking for his chicken), swinging around his aluminum cane, and then taking shelter under the only tree when it began to rain was evidently too tempting for the lightning, which struck him to the ground. For 20 minutes, he lay unconscious, before waking up and stumbling back to his house, going to bed for a very well-deserved nap (getting struck by lightning can tire you out quite a bit, you know). But when he woke up in the evening, he discovered he could see and hear once again. He was later examined by his doctor, who confirmed he had regained both his sight and his hearing, and probably survived the blast due to the rubber-soled shoes he had been wearing.
- Bill Morgan
When his car collided with a truck and he was crushed under the impact, everyone thought it was the end of the line for Australian Bill Morgan, even the doctors. Declared legally dead for more than 14 minutes, he was somehow revived and managed to survive after only 12 days in a coma, even after family removed life support.
But his luck doesn’t end there. To celebrate his survival, he bought a “Scratch It” card and won a car worth AUS$17,000 (now worth about AUS$25,000). When the local news station heard about him and all his good fortune, they were so impressed, they did a segment about him on the show. They asked him to reenact the scene by scratching off another card, only for him to win a whopping further $250,000 again during the live show. Maybe it was Death going “my bad, dude.”
- Tsutomu Yamaguchi
During World War II, Tsutomu Yamaguchi was an employee at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which required him to travel all over the country. It was during his business trip to Hiroshima in 1945 that the first nuclear bomb was dropped. Miraculously, though injured, he survived the blast. Afterward, he quickly returned to his family and home in Nagasaki, returning to work the day the second nuclear attack occurred. You might say this made him the world’s unluckiest man, but he survived this second blast as well, which is truly amazing.
Throughout the rest of his life, Yamaguchi became a vocal protestor against nuclear weapons and technology. In an interview, Yamaguchi said, “The reason that I hate the atomic bomb is because of what it does to the dignity of human beings.” And then in a telephone interview, “I can’t understand why the world cannot understand the agony of the nuclear bombs. How can they keep developing these weapons?”
In 2009, Japan officially recognized Yamaguchi as a survivor of both atomic bombs dropped on Japan, making hin the only person in the world officially recognized to have survived two nuclear bomb explosions. Mr. Yamaguchi lived a long life until the old age of 93 and died on January 4, 2010, at his home in Nagasaki.