In an age where people spend more time on their smartphones than with human beings, we’ve become less intrepid and more content with our games and apps. But as these mind-blowing feats prove, humans haven’t always been that way. In fact, these examples demonstrate that we are capable of almost anything.
Here are 10 human feats that beggar belief.
1. 50 Marathons in 50 Days
The American runner Dean Karnazes famously ran 50 marathons in 50 US states which, even over the course of a lifetime, is highly impressive. But Karnazes’ feat was made more impressive due to completing all 50 marathons in 50 consecutive days. That’s 26 miles of a running a day for almost 2 months. The achievement, which has now been dubbed the 50/50/50, made Karnazes a household name in his country, and after completing the 50th marathon in New York City, the talented runner decided to jog back home…. to San Fransisco.
2. A High School Student Stayed Awake for 264.4 hours
Richard Gardner, like most teens his age, didn’t think sleep was all too critical to one’s emotional and mental health. Keen to prove his theory, Gardner enlisted the help of the Stanford University sleep researcher Dr. William C. Dement. Amazingly, not only was he able to demonstrate his point, but he also broke a world record after going 264.4 hours without sleep (over 11 days). Speaking at a press conference after waking up, Gardner said, “I wanted to prove that bad things didn’t happen if you went without sleep. I thought, ‘I can break that record and I don’t think it would be a negative experience.'”
According to William C. Dement, Gardner even beat him at a game of pinball, 10 days into the experiment.
3. A Spanish Diver Held his Breath Underwater for 24 minutes and 3.45 seconds
Holding your breath for longer than a minute underwater is considered an achievement in itself. But when Spanish professional free-diver Aleix Segura Vendrel set the record for the longest underwater held-breath at 24 minutes and 3.45 seconds, it left many people asking if he was even human.
4. A Czech man was Buried Alive for 10 Days
Before you shriek in horror, the Czech magician Zdenek Zahradka was under constant supervision. Equipped with only a ventilation pipe, he spent 10 days without any food and water in a tiny coffin, admitting after the experiment that he spent most of his time sleeping and meditating about his life.
5. The Longest Ice Bath
Ice baths aren’t pleasant. They’re blisteringly cold, and leave your whole body stinging from the sub-zero temperatures. But Wim Hof, who holds 20 other world records, managed to stay grounded in one ice bath for 1 hour, 52 minutes, and 42 seconds, breaking his own previous world record in the process.
6. Highest Dive
Diving off rocks and cliffs with our friends in the summer months is an experience many of us share, but few dare to jump beyond anything death-inducing. But trying telling that to the gutsy diver Lazaro “Laso” Schaller who made history when he threw himself feet-first off a 58.8-meter cliff in Switzerland. To get an idea just how spine-tingling it was, you can watch the video here.
7. Extreme Surfer Garrett Mcnamara Broke his own Record When he Surfed a Mammoth Wave off the Coast of Portugal
Often associated with chilled vibes and tranquil beaches, surfing is a sport that many beach bums enjoy. But for the extreme and intrepid, their mantra is the higher the wave, the better. One such surfer who is a living embodiment of that is the American Garrett Mcnamara, who broke his own world record when he surfed a 95-meter high wave off the coast of Portugal.
8. An 18-yeard old inadvertently holds the record for the longest amount of time without food and water
It’s the stuff of nightmares. You’re left somewhere, only to be forgotten. Only, for 18-year old Andreas Mihavecz, he found himself locked in a prison cell. In 1979, the Austrian teen was arrested after being a passenger in a crashed car. Forgotten for 18 days, both police officers presumed that one of them had released him, and, as his cell was in the basement, his screams could not be heard. Remarkably, Mihavecz survived to tell the tale, and now holds a record that is unlikely ever to be beaten.
9. American Weightlifter Paul Anderson Holds the Record for the Heaviest ever Weight Lifted by a Human
Even though there are now various ‘Strongest Man’ competitions, power-lifter Paul Anderson once squatted 2844.02 kilograms (6,270 pounds), a record he still holds according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
10. A Serbian Woman survived a plane crash, which saw her fall over 10,000 meters to the ground
Vesna Vulovic holds a record few would want. Involved in a plane crash which later exploded, the former flight attendant fell 10,160 meters (33,333 ft) to the ground, making it the highest human fall without a parachute. Suffering multiple injuries, which included two broken legs and being temporarily paralyzed from the waist down, Vulovic spent the next 27 days in a coma before miraculously waking up. Not long after the ordeal, she returned to work and in 1985 was later awarded a Guinness Record title by Paul McCartney.