5 People Who Calmly Stared Death In The Face

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by Eamon Lahiri

Remember the feeling of sheer, unadulterated panic from that time you stayed up the whole night to get that assignment ready, only to accidentally delete the entire file while filling in the bibliography? Or that other time you woke up with fifteen minutes to go for your final year exam? For the vast majority of people living fast, deadline-oriented lives, that feeling is a way of life. If, however, you’re anything like the legends below, you’re probably scratching your head and wondering what “panic” even means ...

Editor’s note: A couple of the stories and descriptions in this article are pretty brutal.


Man Is Split In Half By A Truck ... Calmly Asks For His Organs To Be Donated

23-year-old Harish Nanjappa was riding his motorcycle when a gruesome collision with a truck sliced his body in half, the lower portion flung several feet away from the top. Very soon, people gathered around him, but they were more interested in taking pictures, because sometimes the world is a surrealist’s nightmare. Harish lay in the road for 20 minutes, but even in a situation as hopeless and dark as this one, he made the best of what he could.

Showing a clarity of mind that most of us wouldn’t be able to muster after so much as stubbing our toe on a chair, he gave out the contact details of his parents and relatives so that they could be informed of the accident. He then repeatedly requested that his organs be donated after his death. This was a guy lying in a pool of his own blood, missing the lower half of his body, knowing for certain he was going to die ... and he was calmly getting his affairs in order.

Pictured: The kind of badass we should all aspire to be.

Ambulances arrived, but he passed upon arrival at the hospital. The doctors who saved his organs were shocked out of their scrubs over how a man in Harish’s situation could display the level of clarity and magnanimity that he did. The people who transported him to the hospital said that he barely made a fuss in the ambulance despite being conscious pretty much the whole time.

Restaurant Owner Foils An Armed Robbery By Pretending The Robber Doesn’t Exist

Violent crime, and violence in general, is usually about one person exerting power over another. Since violent people are often unpredictable, you can’t really say, “Here’s how to handle it if you’re ever in this situation.” Every scenario is different, and there are often lots of factors at play. Said Ahmed, however, found a way that worked for him: He flat out ignored the robber.

It was past closing time at his Egyptian kebab shop in New Zealand. Said was the only employee left on the premises, serving the last few customers, when a robber entered the shop with a gun and approached the counter for the usual business robbers get up to.

Ahmed, who in his own words isn’t scared of guns, reacted to this development by paying exactly zero attention to him. He calmly continued preparing chicken souvlaki for a customer, and then packed and handed it to him. All the while, the robber just stood there awkwardly with his gun:


The funniest part about this, though, is the customer who steps right past the gunman to pick up his food like, “Hey, man, I paid for this, and I’m hungry. You guys have a nice day.”

Eventually, Said turned his back on the robber and coolly walked to the back to call the police, completely indifferent to the prospect of being shot. It was at this point that the robber realized he was dealing with a final level boss, panicked, and ran the hell away in shock.

Man Shoots A Nail Into His Heart ... Drives 15 Minutes To The Hospital And Waits Politely To Be Seen

Wisconsin resident Doug Bergeson was working on framing up the fireplace at a new house he and his wife were building when his nail gun misfired. Before he realized what had happened, he saw the end of a 3.5 inch nail sticking out of his chest.

When he felt the nail twitching with every heartbeat, he knew it wasn’t exactly a good sign. But instead of calling 911 or freaking the hell out, Doug began to carefully assess his options. He could’ve called a neighbor for help, but in his own words, he isn’t the kind of guy who “likes bothering people.” He considered trying to pull the nail out himself, but then remembered how a similar attempt had resulted in the death of the celebrated Australian conservationist Steve Irwin.

While that analogy was erroneous on his part (Irwin’s initial wounds were too severe for him to have had any chance of survival) the fact that a man with a freaking nail throbbing inside his heart could even compare and contrast similar situations is beyond remarkable.

“Seriously, guys, I’m really sorry about all the fuss.”

Eventually, he decided he’d better get it checked out at a medical center, so he drove the 15 minute trip, himself. The bumpy road, coupled with the extra physical work he’d just been doing, didn’t make things any easier for his poor heart.

Upon reaching the facility, he looked for a good parking spot (hey, the fact that you’re dying is no excuse for a parking violation) and then waited politely in line, chatting away with the security guard. When he eventually made it to the operation room, the doctors probably had to check to see if the nail was plastic and this was just some elaborate prank played by a rather poor actor.

Unsurprisingly, Doug was busy texting his wife (we assume about the groceries he’d be late bringing home) while the doctors were working on him.

Man Clinging For Life Amidst A Raging Flood Sets Up A News Interview To Pass The Time

When Texas flood victim Kerry Packer got on the phone with KVUE for an interview, the pair of anchors on-air naturally assumed he was speaking from dry land. And that’s what the audience assumed, too, from the totally composed, even cheerful tone in which he introduced himself and continued throughout his story.

Then, mid-conversation, he casually mentioned that he was speaking from 20 feet up a tree, to which he was clinging for dear life amidst raging flood waters that resembled “the middle of a lake.” Cue jaw drops and multiple WTFs of disbelief.


Just how did he get up there? Well, that’s another story involving Packer giving the finger to death. In fact, Packer had recorded his entire ordeal on his phone as his car was being pulled half a mile away by the flood, with the water breaking in and slowly drowning his car. He had managed to escape through a window right before the car was hauled underwater. He then climbed up the tree, where he called his wife to set up an interview with the local news to pass the time.

His television appearance managed to raise enough of an alarm about his situation that, eventually, a helicopter was deployed to rescue him. We assume he was relieved to be rescued from his boredom and yelled, “WHEEEEE!” during the entire ride back home.

A Man Calmly Narrates As A Massive Tornado Passes Over His Car

Sam Smith was a normal guy, living a quiet, average life in North Carolina. We mean, he was named “Sam Smith”—it doesn’t get much more normal than that. Well, normal right up until the day he saw a giant tornado racing toward him over the horizon, while driving a company car from Minnesota to Indiana.

It wasn’t just any old tornado either. It had been categorized as EF-4 by the National Weather Service, churning out winds up to 200 miles per hour. The thing is, Sam wasn’t one of those daredevil stormchasers. In fact, he had never even seen a tornado before in his life, which probably explains the eerie calm which accompanied his subsequent actions.


Far from getting out of his car and running for his life (which admittedly isn’t a good idea), he stayed put and recorded the swirling mass of superfast winds approaching his car and passing inches away from it. All the while, Sam was giving a running commentary on events as they were taking place, with the matter-of-fact tone of a bored sports commentator: “It is coming right over the top of me. It’s a little bit scary.” Then after it passes, he rolls down the window and calmly repositions his mirror, the tornado still not more than a couple hundred feet past his truck.

Remember that execution rehearsal scene from The Green Mile where Harry Dean Stanton is being sarcastic about his mock-tryst with the chair being a “shocking” experience? It was like that, except Sam was doing it in Mother Nature’s face.

Like this article? Check out “5 Times People Looked Disasters In The Face ... And Had Their Big Day Anyway” and “5 Modern Day Captain Planets Who Are Helping Save Nature”.

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