8 survival myths that could cost you your life

You probably know a few tips to help you survive in the wild. But not all of them can be followed. We explain why you can’t beat a shark on the nose, rub your frostbitten ears, or put on a theatrical performance in front of a bear.

All kinds of shows and films about survival in the wild are always popular with the public. However, the advice they offer is not always useful in real life. Moreover, some of them can even be deadly. As an example, we have compiled for you some popular survival tips that should never be followed.

1. Suck the poison out of the wound.

If you are bitten by a snake, then its venom will rather quickly begin to enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body. Therefore, sucking the poison from the wound, especially if more than five minutes have passed after the bite, is completely pointless. It can even aggravate the situation if you have any sores or injuries in your mouth.

2. Pretend to be dead.

In some sources, it is recommended, when meeting with a predatory beast, to fall to the ground and pretend to be dead. However, in reality, this can only arouse increased interest in your person from the side of the perplexed animal. It will want to investigate you, and it is not known what will then come into its head.

In this situation, it is best to leave the meeting point slowly and carefully. As a rule, the predator does not plan to eat you, but just wants to scare and get rid of your presence.

But it is better to take measures in advance to avoid such a meeting altogether. When moving through the forest, try to make as much noise as possible. Sing, talk, whistle, strum dishes. Animals will know in advance about your approach and will try to get away.

3. Search for food.

The heroes of some survival shows try to provide themselves with a supply of food in the first place. They immediately set off in search of some larvae, collect snails, make bird snares and fishing rods.

In fact, food should only be your third concern. Under extremely unfavorable weather conditions (heat or cold), a person can die in just a couple of hours. Without water, a person can live only three days, while a lack of food can be sustained for several weeks. Therefore, first, you need to look for water and provide yourself with shelter.

4. Drink plant juice.

If you are experienced enough to pick one of the many types of plants that you can actually sap, then this tip might work. But in other cases, if you are wrong, the juice will only cause you severe poisoning, accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea, which will lead to rapid dehydration.

5. Determine the cardinal points by moss.

This is probably one of the longest running and widespread myths. I wonder how many tourists, extreme lovers and travelers got into trouble because they were looking for moss growing on the northern side of trees and rocks?

All this is complete fiction. Moss grows where conditions are most favorable for it (shade, moisture). It can be north, south, or any other side of the world.

6. Eat horrible things.

The most exciting episodes of survival programs show us how the hero bravely eats some worms, chews grass and eats raw mushrooms. “What animals eat can be easily eaten by a person,” they explain to us from the screens.

Don’t follow this rule. Berries, plants, and insects eaten by animals are far from always safe for humans. At best, you get mild food poisoning, at worst, death.

7. Rub the frostbitten ears.

If you have been in the cold for a long time, then the ears, nose, fingers, and toes are primarily at risk of frostbite. First, you need to try to warm these parts of the body, but in no case should you rub them. This only threatens to damage the frostbitten tissues even more.

It is necessary to slowly and carefully warm the victim with warm blankets, under which it is better to put several bottles of warm water. You can also give hot drinks, pain relievers. After that, you should bandage the damaged area and send the person to a hospital.

8. Beat the shark in the nose.

Yes, I understand that very few people have a chance to face a shark. Apparently, this is exactly what the authors of the completely insane advice to punch in the nose at the moment when it attacks are hoping for.

Indeed, the nose, eyes, and gills are the most sensitive places on the body of a predator. But it is highly unlikely, unless, of course, you are Chuck Norris, that you will be able to deliver really serious blows to fish underwater, and even under stress. Therefore, it is better not to rely on the strength of your fists, but to move as quickly as possible to the shore or boat.


I'm writing about the world, sports, relationships, and advice that are needed to survive. I dive into scientific research and meta-analysis with PubMed so that readers get only verified information. You can join us if you want and share your talents, knowledge, and hard work with others.

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