1. “I survived a ‘nonsurvivable’ plane crash. I was on an old Po-2 (famous for being very safe and uncrashable) on a tour of the desert in western China when I was 7. My father’s friend who piloted the plane didn’t survive, but somehow I got out with only a concussion. I apparently passed out for almost a day in the wreckage on the edge of the desert, 50 kilometers from the town/airport.
“The people who found me were some tree planters. (They plant greens in the desert to protect towns from sandstorms — a lot of people who live in these desert towns in China do this.) They found me while they were picking up a shipment, and the only reason they looked was that they were making a bet to see how quickly an egg could cook in the sand, and they went off the road to test it.
“According to my dads, I survived because the plane was mostly made out of fabrics and wood, so when the plane crashed, the front half collapsed and took the majority of the impact. I was knocked out and was luckily covered under the wreckage and in the shade, so that cooled me off enough to survive for a day or so.”
2. “I have the rarest type of synesthesia, which means I can actually taste words. It’s called lexical-gustatory, and less than .2% of the population has it. I have to physically say the words out loud to taste them (so reading silently to myself won’t do it). When I was younger, I’d always repeat words that tasted good in my head, and I’d avoid saying words that tasted bad.”
“Now I can mostly ignore it. It only happens if I speak, so I don’t taste from other people during conversations. For example, ‘Sam’ tastes like lemon juice mixed with salt, almost like a chili-lime flavor without the spiciness; ‘Jon’ tastes like raisins; and ‘Noah’ tastes like avocado.”
3. “I was kidnapped while leaving work one day and was held captive for 18 months, along with two other girls. The guy who took us claimed himself to be an ‘ineffable lower god,’ and he used cult tactics, manipulation, and control to have us be his family.”
“I was allowed to leave to go to the grocery store as an errand, but I knew if I didn’t come back, the others would receive my punishment. I finally got away by stabbing my captor when I believed he was going to kill me.”
4. “My father and I went to a casino for the first time. I had $50 in my pocket, with the intention of that being the only money we’d spend. We played roulette and quickly lost 45 bucks. As I had a $5 chip, I placed it on the number 5. The ball started spinning and actually landed on that number. We cheered. I decided to leave the whole bet on 5 again. Rinse and repeat. The ball fell on number 5 FOUR times in a row. We walked out with almost $43,000 in the bag after taxes. Never went in a casino again in my life.”