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Unlock the secrets to survival with these life-saving facts that might just be your ticket out of a perilous situation. From the unexpected to the downright astonishing, arm yourself with the knowledge that could make all the difference when the stakes are high. Your next adventure might thank you.

Service dogs

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If you’re in a public space and a service dog comes over to you on it’s own, you should follow it. This usually means that it needs help. Service dogs are trained to go and search for help if their owners are in trouble, so if this happens to you, go with the dog and get ready to call for help if required.

Smelling fish?

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Ever walked into a room and something just isn’t right? If a room in the house has a fishy scent, check your electrical outlets and start unplugging appliances. That smell could indicate overheating electrical components. You might just save yourself from an electrical fire. If something seems fishy, it probably is.

Need help in a foreign country?

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Ever been in an emergency and needed to ring for help, but haven’t known what number to ring? If you dial 911, or whatever country code comes to your head first, you’ll automatically be re-directed to the emergency services for whatever country you are in, and don’t worry, the person on the switchboard will usually speak enough English to be able to help you.

How to help authorities if you get kidnapped

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If you are ever kidnapped or someone tries to grab you, you should try and dig your nails into their skin. Not only could this injury deter your attacker from hurting you, it will leave their DNA under your nails, meaning that you will be able to help the authorities catch the bad guy with biological tracking.

What to do if a tornado isn’t moving

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If you see a tornado in the distance that is moving, that’s probably going to be terrifying enough. However, if you see one that isn’t moving, that doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear. If it’s not moving, it probably means that the tornado is coming towards you. If this happens, take shelter somewhere or get as far away from it as possible.

What to do if you think you’re being pursued

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If you think that someone is pursuing you in their car, you should drive so that you take four right turns. Eventually, you’ll end up driving in a circle and if that car is still behind you, it probably means that you are being followed. If this is the case, you should ring the police or drive to the nearest police station.

Spit in an avalanche

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Avalanches will kill you in a matter of minutes. If you end up buried in snow, the disorientation will hit you before the cold does, and you could end up digging further down into the snow. If you spit, gravity will do it’s work and you’ll know which direction to dig in. Also, you should use a swimming motion to try and escape.

What not to do if you smell gas

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If you wake up in the middle of the night and you smell gas in your house, it could mean that one of your appliances has leaked. If this does happen, it would be natural to want to turn on the light and investigate. Don’t do this. Turning the light on could cause a spark that may cause the whole house to explode.

What to do if you disturb a bee’s nest

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If you accidentally disturb a bee or wasp nest, you might have heard that you should look for a body of water that you can submerge yourself in. If you do this, the insects will wait for you to resurface. What you should do is run as fast and as far as you can, because eventually they will stop following you.

Don’t touch the blue frog

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These animals might look pretty, but animals that are unusual colors look like that for a reason. This is nature’s red flag, or blue flag, if you will. These animals are trying to tell you that they are poisonous and you should stay away from them. If you do approach, they could be forced to unleash their venom, and some venoms can be fatal.

Don’t drink something that tastes salty

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If you are out for drinks and all of a sudden your cocktail tastes a little salty, stop drinking it immediately and get help. Rohypnol, a common drug used for roofieing, is said to have a salty taste. However, it often doesn’t have any telltale signs so it’s best to keep your drink within your eye-line or covered at all times when you’re out.

Eyes reflecting white in photos?

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Sometimes, when a photo of a child is taken using a flash, one or both of the eyes may have a white glow or reflection in it. This is known as a white reflex, which can be a sign of a rare from of eye cancer that appears in babies and children under the age of six.

Polar bear problem?

Credit: WWF

If you ever find yourself in The Arctic and are being pursued by a polar bear, you should take all your clothes off. No, seriously. Polar bears have serious ADD and will have to thoroughly investigate your clothes before they resume their chase. This should give you enough time to escape, but make sure you’re able to find some more clothes once you’re safe!

What to do if you’re stabbed

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If you or someone else is stabbed with a knife, it’s generally advised not to pull it out. Removing the knife may worsen bleeding by disrupting clots that may have formed. Instead, leave the object in place, apply pressure around the wound, and seek immediate medical attention. Medical professionals will be able to remove the object safely.

Square waves

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In some regions of the world, you may notice the creation of a chessboard-like pattern on the surface of the water. The phenomenon is rare yet extremely dangerous. If you see square waves in the ocean, get out of the water as soon as possible. Why? Because the phenomenon is usually associated with strong and localized rip tides, which can cause boat accidents.

Face to face with a mountain lion?

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If you see a mountain lion whilst out hiking, make sure that you keep eye contact and try to intimidate it. Raise your arms and open your jacket to make yourself look larger. If you’re with others, group together to appear more intimidating. Make noise, speak loudly and firmly. Use a confident and assertive voice to show dominance.

What to do if a wolf attacks

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As scary as it sounds, a wolf is another predator that you should stand up to if you come across it in the wild. If a wolf thinks that you’re it’s alpha, it will back off. Stand tall, make eye contact and don’t run. If you run, it will incentivize the creature to chase you, which is what you definitely don’t want to happen!

Don’t mess around at a bowling alley

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You’ve probably seen those videos of people belly-sliding down a bowling alley so as to knock over all of the pins. This may seem like a lot of fun, but don’t try it. The bar that comes down to clear the pins is actually very heavy and could crush you to death. While this might seem very Final Destination, just stay at the correct end of the lane!

Ingested windshield wiper fluid?


If you somehow end up ingesting windshield wiper fluid or anti-freeze, you should drink as much vodka as possible until you are able to get to the hospital. This isn’t for calming your nerves though, the alcohol will stop the substances from shredding your liver. Once in the hospital, you should be able to get treated quickly.

Fallen powerline?

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If you are near a fallen powerline, don’t just run away. As inconvenient as it sounds you should bunny hop to prevent electricity from flowing through your body. if you run, a part of your body is always touching the ground which could lead to you being electrocuted. You might look silly, but it could save your life!


Credit: Edinburgh Live

If someone gets into your car and forces you to drive somewhere, take the opportunity to crash the side of a road, preferably a busy one. The chances are that the perpetrator won’t have their seatbelt on and will be hurt in the crash, so that you have a few precious moments to escape and get help – just try not to damage yourself too much.

Falling elevator?

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This is everyone’s worst nightmare. In the unlikely chance that you end up living out this nightmare and are in a falling elevator shaft, you should lie down on your stomach so that you have the best chances of survival. This position will absorb the impact as much as possible, reducing your chance of a fatal accident.

Hair standing on end?

Credit: Heart Magazine

If you are out on a walk in an open space and your hair stands on end by itself, this means that you are about to be struck by lightning. You have a few seconds to act – try and get under the cover of a nearby tree or some other non-metallic item that is taller than you.

What to do if you’re going to vomit

Credit: Manhattan Gastroenterology

If you feel like you’re going to vomit but don’t want to make an embarrassing mess, you should start humming. This might freak everyone out at the dinner table, but it’s almost impossible to engage your gag reflex if you’re humming. It’s also less freaky than vomiting all over the table.

What to do when an alligator attacks

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If an alligator manages to sneak up on you and drag you underwater, you should try and stick your fingers in it’s nose. This will automatically cause it to release it’s jaw and set you free. Those teeth are sharp, so whatever you do, don’t try and thrash about once he has his grip on you. In fact, other than to do this, it’s better not to move at all.

What to do if you fall on the tracks

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If you fall onto the tracks in a subway station, your first instinct would obviously be to try and get back up onto the platform. However, if a train is coming you might not have enough time to get back onto the platform. Subway cars have a built-in crawl space underneath them so that you can lie flat and not get hurt.

When not to drive

Credit: Men’s Health

If you’re out and about in your car during the night, try to avoid Saturdays between 1am and 3am. This is because this is the most common time for drunk drivers to be out and about on the roads. Although we’d like to think that people have more sense, they don’t, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Don’t drink from brown coconuts

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Brown coconuts are older than green ones, so the green coconuts contain a higher water content. If you’re just looking for some tropical refreshment, it doesn’t really matter what coconut you choose, but, if you’re stuck on a desert island, those green coconuts could quench your thirst and save your life.

Don’t eat the white snow

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You’ve heard f not eating yellow snow, for obvious reasons, but did you know that you should be careful with clean snow too? If you’re in a survival situation and there is snow around you, by all means, use it for hydration, but melt the snow first. This stops you from getting hypothermia and could save your life.

Deer on the road?

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If you come across a dear on the road, you should speed up so that the animal goes over your windshield. The speed at which you hit the deer should cause it to go over your car roof, rather than through the windshield. If you swerve away from the animal you could end up crashing the car and injuring yourself anyway.

What about a moose?

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Moose are a whole other story, though, If you’ve seen one in real life, you’ll know exactly why. Moose are huge and no matter what speed you drive at, you’re not even going to make a dent in that thing. If you do see one, your best chance at survival is stopping the car or swerving out of the way.

No signal?

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If you’re ever in an emergency situation and you don’t have any signal on your phone, fear not. Technology has come a long way and as well as taking up a huge part of our lives, it can save our lives too. If you have no signal or credit on your phone, you’ll still be able to make calls to emergency services.

Only have AAA batteries?

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If you’re in a pinch and really need something that requires AA batteries eg a torch or a radio, but you only have something containing AAAs, you can make it work. Just scrunch up a bit of tinfoil and place it in the gap, the aluminium will act as a conductor and your device should work perfectly.

Trapped in a trunk?


If you end up kidnapped and trapped in a trunk of a car, your best bet is to mess with the brake lights. You can access the wires from the trunk and cut these so that one of the brake lights goes out. When the police pull the car over, you’ll be able to make some noise to get their attention.

Sleep with the door closed

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You may be someone who likes to keep things open plan around your home, but it’s important to sleep with the door closed during the night. This is because in the event of a fire, that door could buy you precious time and even save your life, as it can keep the fire contained outside of your room.

How to escape a moving car

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If you ever need to escape a moving car, don’t try the duck and roll that you see in the movies. You’re better off trying to take a step down with one foot so as to run out of the vehicle, rather than jump. This will significantly slow your speed down and reduce your chances of seriously injuring yourself.

Water smelling like Christmas?

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If you pour yourself a nice glass of water and it has a cinnamon-y scent, this might smell pleasant, but is a major red flag. In certain cases, people have been caught sneaking cinnamon into water pipes to disguise the scent and taste of poison. If this is the case, don’t drink it and get your water checked.

Stuck at a railroad crossing?

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If your car happens to break down in the middle of a train crossing, you’d be well within your rights to panic completely. If you look around you, you should see that the crossing has a unique number on it, call emergency services and give them this number. That way they’ll be able to find you and stop any oncoming trains until you and the car are removed.

How to preserve phone battery

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If you are in a situation where you are without a phone charger and need your phone your phone to last so that you can communicate with people and find your way, there are a few things you can do. Keep the brightness down, turn it off when you’re not using it and keep it face down on surfaces.

What to watch out for at the beach

Credit: Redwood Coast Tsunami Work Group

If you’re relaxing on the beach, gazing out at the shore and you notice that it starts to recede suddenly (and dramatically) – get to high ground as quickly as possible. This sudden ebbing of the tide means that there is a tsunami coming and your life is it immediate danger. If you can, try to evacuate others too.