64 Facts That Can Save Your Life

64 Facts That Can Save Your Life

Everyday life isn’t just about sunshine, rainbows, and cat memes. It’s also not the harsh, joyless reality that we often see on the evening news. Life’s… complicated. That means that you have to be ready to dodge or take the punches that it’s guaranteed to throw your way. Part of that is knowing about the things that could save your life. Forewarned is forearmed, after all.

The internet is a great resource for learning new things (as long as you take all advice with a large grain of salt and double-check everything), and the people of Reddit have been sharing some insightful tips and tricks over on r/AskReddit that might end up saving your life. Bored Panda has compiled this list of handy advice for you to look through, so go ahead and have a read. From health tips to help about what to do if someone attacks you, you’ll find everything (and more!) below.

Remember to upvote the bits of advice that you believe are the most important. Meanwhile, let’s go expand our minds and learn something new, dear Pandas. It might make the difference between staying safe and getting hurt.


If a service dog comes up to you without its human, FOLLOW IT.

Image credits: Rusalka1960


Fighting mental health sometimes requires medicine and counseling. Don't be too proud or scared to seek help.

Image credits: nameABOVEall


Crawl out of a burning building, breathing as close as possible to the floor as you move.

Toxic smoke rises while air remains more breathable nearest the floor.

Image credits: Back2Bach

Staying safe is a weird state of being when you think about it. There is never any guarantee that you won’t get hurt. No matter how prepared you are, something will always (eventually) go wrong (given enough time). In short, you can’t be ready for everything, but you can be ready to overcome at least some of the challenges that will undoubtedly come flying your way. Trying to think of all the possible ways in which you could get hurt can lead to analysis paralysis and you won't get much done in life this way.

Keeping physically and mentally fit can make you better suited to tackling those challenges. Having a few survival skills and the willingness to reach out for professional help when you’re unsure about your health are things that also don’t hurt your chances of living a long and happy life.


When in an emergency situation, tell someone to call 911 by pointing at them and saying "Hey you, in the [descriptive] shirt...call 911].

Shock is a real thing and some people need to be delegated roles explicitly.

"You there, control the traffic around the scene." "Run to the nearest library or mall and get a defibrillator, you will see a sign of a heart with a lightening bolt through it."

Delegate and be descriptive. Get them working for you.

Image credits: 1------6EQUJ5-11--1-


If you're outside in a lightning storm and your hair starts floating, seek immediate shelter. You're about to be struck by lightning.

Image credits: Deodorized


If a canker sore in your mouth or on your tongue isn't healing in about 2 weeks, it might not be a canker sore.

I'm going in to surgery today, and they will likely remove 100% of my oral cancer, because of early detection.

Image credits: T1N0M0

However, just because the internet is a wonderful place full of animal memes doesn’t make it 100% accurate. Unfortunately, the net is full of misinformation and fake news that can be a tad tough to separate from the kernels of truth in between.

Lee McIntyre, from Boston University, explained to me how we should approach fact-checking. He told Bored Panda earlier that we should prioritize finding accurate sources of information and reliable news websites. Though all sources make mistakes from time to time, reliable ones make fewer and they’re less likely to be biased.


When someone shouts 'duck' , don't question it and freakin duck.

Image credits: ZedlsBae


Don't swim in Florida waterways at night, dusk, or dawn, because teeth. But if you should find yourself in the mouth of a hungry gator, don't go for the standard eye poke, go for the nostril poke. Jamming your finger in their nostril breaks the seal they use to keep water out of their airways when submerged and they will release you instantly.

Image credits: taku240se


If the accelerator in your car gets stuck and you cannot stop, shift your car into neutral.

Image credits: just-s0me-teenager

“It would be exhausting to fact check every single news item we hear. In fact, insisting on this degree of skepticism is something that demagogues use to get us to be cynical, because when we doubt that it is possible to know the truth—even when it is staring us in the face—we are riper to their manipulation. So I'd say the best thing with news is to do a little investigation into finding a reliable source," Lee said.

"Look for an organization that does investigative journalism (and doesn't just repeat information from other sources), double sources its quotations, discloses conflicts of interest, etc. Once we've found that we can relax a bit and trust the reporting behind the stories. Do we still need to be on guard? Yes. Even The New York Times can make mistakes. Or individual reporters can have biases. But that doesn't mean 'all sources are equal.'"


3 minutes without air. 3 days without water. 3 weeks without food.

Image credits: porkscrapple


If you ever get held at gunpoint and asked to get in a vehicle, you fight with everything you've got to not do that. Run zig zag, punch and kick, do whatever even if you die in the process. Because 99% of the time, people who get in the car do not come back. Especially if being moved from a public place to a private place.

Image credits: ohheyitsshanaj


If you are stranded in the desert do not drink the “water” in a cactus. It will induce vomiting which will dehydrate and kill you faster

Image credits: Feature_Agitated

Lee explained that media literacy is vital. It’s also something that kids are taught from a very early age in some parts of the world. So we don’t have an excuse not to give it the attention it deserves.

“There are various sources for media literacy that can help. They teach this to KIDS in Finland! It's easy to learn. Is the story copyrighted? Is it dated? Is there a byline? Are other stories by the author solid? Is it published in a source that has been reliable in the past? Does it seem plausible— if not then you can do some research," the expert said.


A lot of choking deaths are actually due to embarrassment. If you're choking, fight the urge to save face. Don't go to the bathroom to fix it yourself, don't sit silently and try to spit up the food yourself. Ask for help asap

Image credits: s0ftsp0ken


If you are deep frying something and the entire freakin pot is on fire, DO NOT PUT IT OUT WITH WATER!!!.

1) Turn off the gas/electric range. Don't pour water on it.

2) Cover the pot with a lid. Don't pour water on it.

3) If you don't have a lid, dump baking soda on it. Don't pour water on it.

If you pour water on it your house might burn down and your face might melt.

Image credits: doughnutholio


If someone gets stabbed, do NOT take the knife out if possible. If it stays in it acts as a plug to the hole and will reduce bloodloss. Apply pressure around the wound as best you can and call an ambulance.

Image credits: eternal8phoenix

"Will we get fooled sometimes in doing this? Yes. But we're going to get fooled sometimes anyway. It's analogous to how scientists form their beliefs. They are skeptics, but they also—at some point when the evidence is sufficient—give their assent. Scientists deal with warrant, not 'proof.' They are what philosophers call 'fallibilists.' You give your belief to things that are well-sourced with evidence, while always holding out the possibility that if further evidence comes to light that contradicts your belief, you should give it up because you might be wrong."


Trust your gut, if something doesn't feel right then move to the other side of the street or change direction or don't go down that dark alley that moans.

Image credits: Theijuiel


If you have a squeezing, tight sensation in the middle of your chest that travels up the jaw and shoulders, or down the left arm, chew up an aspirin and wash it down with water and then call emergency services. You are likely having a heart attack and aspirin is known to thin the blood enough to save your life.

Image credits: alabamacakelady


If you are being chased by a swarm of bees, do not jump into a lake or other body of water to escape. This isn't a cartoon. The bees will simply wait above the water to sting you, and now you have created a situation where you move slower, can't breathe as well, and suffer worse if the toxins affect you. You may even swallow a bunch of bees gasping for air. Also, water has unseen predators that you've now introduced to the equation. If pursued by bees, just keep running and running. They will defend their hive to a large proximity, perhaps even a mile. Just run until they feel they've won.

Image credits: jusjerm


If you pull a weapon in self defense, use it, immediately! I've known a number of people to be seriously injured from hesitating.

Image credits: Annasman


Yell at a knife, whisper at a gun.

If you yell at an attacker with a knife, there is a small chance that could startle them and they drop it. At the least, you are attracting attention, and can get out of the situation.

Always whisper at someone with a gun, or at least, speak slowly and calmly. If you yell, that could startle them, and you could get shot.

Most weapons are used as intimidation, so if it's your wallet they are after, talk calmly, give them your wallet, and back away slowly.

Image credits: TuckerWarlock


There is no such thing as a fair fight. If it's a life threatening situation, fight dirty. Attempt to bite if you are pinned down, and press the base of your thumbs onto their eyes if necessary. As soon as you get the opportunity, run towards the nearest place with people around, and report to the police

Obvious, but often people view fighting as a boxing match.


If you ever come into contact with a gorilla (especially a male), stay low and quiet, and no sudden moves. Don't look them in the eyes either.

They take loud noises and movement as a challenge and they'll crush you like a soda can.


Assume other drivers are out to kill you... healthy paranoia when paying attention to other drivers is a great basis for successful defensive driving

Image credits: baliniri


If you've gone two and a half or more days without water, and you have to choose between drinking water without any way to sanitize it or not drinking water, drink the water. If you don't, you'll definitely die soon. Most of the diseases you can get from bad water take a couple days to set in, which gives you more time to find help.


Actual fires spread shockingly fast. We all like to play "What's the one thing you'd grab if your house was on fire?" but the real right answer is that if it's not alive, you should leave it and get the hell out. People tend to imagine a fire burning on the floor in a corner somewhere, but the reality is often that it's running across the ceiling and circling around the walls. Just get out.


Touching an electrified object If you touch an object with the internal side of your palm, the electricity will make the fist squeeze and you won’t be able to jump away. In this situation, it is better to touch something with the back of the palm — this way, it’ll be easier to pull the hand away.


If you happen to be walking near a downed power line DO NOT take your feet off the ground. This can create a potential between you and the ground and cause a discharge through your body. Take small shuffling steps away (without picking your feet up) from the power line and call the authorities.


If you're at a bar or club and some asshole antagonizes you don't let your ego get involved. Seen so many people get hurt when they could just walk away. Funny thing is most people think fighting back will defend their pride but to me and a lot of other people you just look insecure. Be the cool guy who just laughs it off. Yours sincerely. Former bartender.


Never hesitate to call police to report a missing person the "24 hour rule" is a myth.


If you EVER get bit by a wild animal, no matter how it acts. Get. A. Rabies. Shot.

Rabies becomes a death sentence upon the onset of symptoms.


If you get pulled out into a rip current at the beach, swim parallel to the shore to work your way out of the riptide rip current before trying to swim back to shore. Fighting against it directly is only going to exhaust you a ton faster.

Image credits: soulreaverdan


If your vomit looks like coffee grounds, you may have internal bleeding. Head straight to the hospital.


If you are taken to the hospital and the doctors ask you if you have taken any drugs don’t just think about the illegal stuff also tell them if you’ve had small things like Advil or Tylenol it could save your life.


There's something that's called gasping. It's the fake breathing that occurs when you're performing CPR on someone that has water in his lungs (i.e. because of drowning). It looks like a fish that's trying to breath when it's out of water. The person is not back alive then, and you should not stop the CPR.


If you feel uneasy like someone is watching you, someone or something(animal) likely may be watching/stalking you. Trust your gut feeling. Your brain picks up on things subconsciously that you do not notice.


If someone breaks into your home and you use a bat to protect yourself, put a sock overtop of it so if they grab the bat, you can take it back because the sock will slide off.


When you're waiting to make a left turn, keep the wheels facing forward until you're ready to go. If you get rear-ended, it can make the difference between just a fender-bender or getting launched into oncoming traffic and getting t-boned. They used to teach this in driver's ed, but I don't think my kids ever heard this from their instructors.


If you have a cut that gets infected and see a streak of red going up from it, go to the doctor immediately. It is a sign of serious infection that can lead to sepsis.


Learn to swim. You don’t have to be Michael Phelps racing a shark. Just learn the basics.


The headrest on car seats can typically be removed and the little metal bars that connect the seat to the head rest can be used to break the car’s glass windows in the case of being trapped in the car due to an accident or any other situation that results in being trapped.


Birch bark has flammable oil in it that lets you light a fire even if it's raining.


Don't be afraid to go to a psychologist.

It's nothing to be ashamed of. I keep telling this to a friend of mine, but he keeps refusing. I try to help and listen, but in the end, there is only so much a normal person can do


Do not pick up a person that has fainted, instead lift their feet above heart level and keep at it till they wake up to make the blood flow back in their head to deliver oxygen.


Get a carbon monoxide detector for your home and regularly check to make sure it has fresh batteries.


If you have been driving for a while and you find yourself or your mate, in the car starting to micro sleep. Pull over immediately and get some rest (~ 20 minute power nap with an alarm to wake you). Your/their reward is being alive and not wrapped around some tree.


If you have to eat crickets or similar insects, chew them. DO NOT EAT THEM ALIVE. They have spines on their legs which can cling to your throat and are very difficult to remove without a decent amount of force (i.e. you cant "shake" your throat like you would your hand to remove them). If they block your wind pipe, youll asphyxiate.

I used to work at a pet store, I've had to explain this to quite a few people who wanted to do "Fear Factor" parties or dares or pranks.


If you're ever on a dark highway at night and suddenly an unmarked car behind you flips police lights on but you don't feel right about the situation, drive slowly and cautiously to a brightly lit/populated area before pulling over. You can also call 911 to find out if there are actually any cops in the area that would be out there to pull you over. If they say no, request for a cop to meet you at a nearby location.

There are a lot of carjackers/muggers/etc. that use fake police lights to get people to pull over on a dark and lonely roads because who isn't going to stop for a cop? If it IS a real officer it may annoy them that you made them follow you for a few miles to a public area, but better safe than sorry and as far as I know as long as you're not leading them on a high-speed chase/clearly trying to evade them they can't punish you for it. IANAL though, and maybe some actual police officers can chime in.


Venom kills you slower if you're calm, because of your slower heart rate


Bring a small mirror or reflective item whenever you're going some place or doing an activity where you could end up stranded. The shiny reflection from a mirror can signal rescue aircraft much more easily than most other methods.


Steer into the direction of the skid!

Basically, learn how to safely regain control of your car if you lose control/grip.


The Heimlich Maneuver:
The Heimlich maneuver is an emergency procedure for removing a foreign object lodged in the airway that is preventing a person from breathing.

It saved my uncle's life when he was choking on a chicken bone.


If you encounter a mountain lion, DO NOT turn your back on it. Walk backwards.

Cats are ambush predators. They don't want to fight you head-on and will wait for you to turn around to attack.

There are videos showing this behavior with tigers at the zoo! People will sit in front of the enclosure, and as soon as they turn their back to the cat, the tiger goes into stalk mode. They turn around to face the tiger, and the tiger goes out of stalk mode.


never burn poison ivy, EVER! it makes the irritants airborne and can kill you if inhaled.


There are a hundred ways to break a strangle hold. You tube vids, self defence classes the works.

Despite what many think (thanks movies), a strangle hold doesn't just stop you breathing in, giving you as long as you can hold your breath for. You'll be unconsious in much less time than that. Think about make or break is probably 5 seconds. What if they can dodge your stamp, if their arms are too long to reach their groin, or if they're too strong to deadweight?

The only one that seems it would work despite any size / strength difference is breaking the pinky. You wedge your thumbs in, and bend that pinky until it touches their wrist. I don't think anyone could maintain a grip with a couple of their fingers pointing in the wrong direction...


If you have no other option than to fight someone with a kinfe, you will be cut. Accept this fact, and just make sure those cuts are only on your hands/arms while you do everthing you can to gain control of the knife/disarm the attacker or defeat him/her.


Your best bet in knocking a person out is to strike the side of their neck, normally with a karate chop.

A striking blow on the side of the neck requires the least amount of force than any other body part to create a blackout, and the person will pass out for 10 to 30 seconds, before regaining conciseness.

Image credits: blogerenazbo


If a friend of yours has fallen through ice into a frozen body of water and you would like to save them, lie down on the ice and crawl out to them, DO NOT walk out to them standing up. This maximizes your surface area and lessens the likelyhood that you will fall through the ice as well, getting you both f**ked.


Don't take apart a microwave without knowing what you're doing.

Biggest two things:

The high voltage capacitor can give you a lethal shock even after the microwave has been unplugged for months.

The magnetron inside a microwave can contain beryllium oxide in their ceramic insulators which can be fatal if it gets into the lungs.

You won't necessarily kill yourself but I wouldn't chance it.


Kangaroos cannot jump backward


If a hostile dog is confronting you, do not run. It can outrun you, and the minute you turn your back it'll see it as a sign of weakness and may attack.

Instead, keep eye contact with the dog and try to find something long like a branch or pole. Face the dog and start slowly backing in the direction you need to go while shouting at the dog. IF the dog comes at you hit it's face with the branch and shout, it will most likely back up out of the range of the stick. Use your phone to call for help if you can.


If you fall into cold water, instead of trying to swim you should try and float by fighting your instinct to swim this should help you get over the initial shock of the cold water.


How to recognize a stroke: FAST

Facial Droop (eyelid, lip, nose - whatever)

Arm Numbness/Weakness

Slurred Speech


We only have limited time to save your brain if you're having an ischemic stroke. The more time that you lose, the more brain that you lose. After three hours of the onset of symptoms, we can't give you TPA which is the strongest clot buster.

CALL 911 and tell them you (or your loved one) is having a stroke. This is so that the ambulance will know to take you to the nearest certified stroke center (if there is one in your region). If there is not a nearby stroke center, the local hospital should at least be alerted of what's coming in so they can start preparing transportation arrangements.


If you are scuba/free diving, and a giant octopus grabs hold of you, do not try to pry him off of you. He has more arms than you, and more ways to hold you. Focus on getting him off his anchor point -rock, pipe, whatever. He can't pull you in and pull you down without using the leverage from his anchor.


If you happen to someday find yourself on a sinking boat, and it goes underwater and you're somehow able to get free, beware. Once the air neutralizes, if you're far down enough, water pressure will kill you, and collapse your lungs.

To avoid this, scream all the way to the top. No joke. While you swim up, scream. It'll keep the pressure from killing you.
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