1. Jeff Rowley
Surfer Jeff Rowley conquered waves higher than 50 feet in Maui, Hawaii - and he was brave enough to paddle it in. Meaning, he didn’t use a jet ski tow-in. Because GET OUT OF HERE, this is man v. nature. Not man and machine v. nature.
2. Beck Weathers
There’s an area on the ascent of Mt. Everest called the “death zone” - which we think should be ample discouragement from attempting to climb the thing. But Beck Weathers, who has the most awesome name, tried anyway and ended up surviving 18 hours in the so-called “death zone” before somehow regaining the strength to crawl to safety. He lost both his hands and a good chunk of his face to frostbite, but whatever. Worth it.
3. Felix Baumgartner
In October of 2012, Felix set a skydiving world record by jumping from 24 miles in the air. He was the first person to break the sound barrier without vehicular power. Someone told him the sky’s the limit and he was like - shut up, idiot.
4. C. Dale Peterson
Professional hunting guide C. Dale Peterson was on a leisurely stroll in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, when he happened upon an aggressive grizzly bear. A fight to the death ensued - guess who won? Peterson used his teeth and hands to pinch off the bear’s jugular until it passed out from lack of blood to the brain. Any other human would have been a bear snack, but not this guy.
5. William Jeracki
In 1993, William Jeracki’s fishing trip in Denver was cut short when he saw ominous clouds. He started heading home, when he accidentally dislodged a huge boulder, and it fell directly on his leg. Knowing that a pretty severe storm was coming, and that he was miles from help, he took a hot minute to make his decision. After only about an hour, he amputated his own leg, crawled to his truck, and sought help.
6. Bill Morgan
This is a man who looked death in the face and said NOPE. Bill Morgan suffered a massive heart attack in 1998 - he was clinically dead for 14 minutes. After waking up and slipping immediately into a coma, doctors advised his family to pull the plug. They didn’t, 12 days later Bill woke up with all of his mental faculties. Immediately after waking up, he proposed to his then-girlfriend, won a car from a scratch card, and two weeks later won $170,000 off another scratch card. This man didn’t just beat death. He humiliated death.
7. Werner Freund
German Wolf Park owner Werner Freund does more than just take care of his wolves - he lives among them, and has asserted himself as the Alpha. This man has a pack of wolves hanging on his every word. He’s a national hero.
8. Unknown Swedish Man
This unknown man was found huddled in a sleeping bag in his car in Sweden after two snowbound months. He had virtually no food, and authorities were completely confused as to how he survived. Turns out he essentially became a bear. Due to the low temperature, his body switched to a temporary state of dormancy. So, yeah, he hibernated. When death came to get him, he said nahh, I’m a bear now.
9. Anna Allen
Looking forward to hitting the slopes, Anna Allen ventured out onto the Alpine Meadows when an insane avalanche struck. Three days later, after going in and out of consciousness, Anna was found and told that she was the sole survivor of North America’s deadliest avalanche in history.