12 Incredible Life-Saving Facts That Everyone Should Know!

By Sughra Hafeez in Facts and DIY On 22nd August 2015

#1 If you get stuck in a riptide, remain calm and swim parallel to the shore; if you swim towards the shore, you will tire faster.

Before we get any further, let's understand what riptides are. Firstly, they are not so much tides as currents; secondly, these currents move from the shore to the sea with startling rapidity and are powerful enough to drag an unsuspecting person with them. Statistics indicate that 80% of all open-water rescue attempts are because of riptides, which claim over 100 lives every year.

Most are quick to assume that deaths caused by riptides are a result of the current pulling the person under; however, it is more likely that the person begins swimming against the rip in panicky desperation, becomes tired, and drowns. It shows more sense on your side, therefore, were you to swim parallel to the shore, perpendicular to the rip. Once you traverse the rip, swim towards the shore at an angle.

#2 If and when you might be crying for help, call out to specific people: something like – “You in the green shirt!”. This will prompt people to act and not be affected by the bystander effect.

When you find that your survival is threatened, remember the rule of the threes (although this may change from person to person depending on one's body):

3 minutes without air

3 hours without shelter against the elements

3 days without water

3 weeks without food

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#4 If you see a photo (particularly that of a child), and the person has a red-eye from the flash in only one eye, this could be a sign of retinoblastoma – a type of eye cancer.

Retinoblastoma is a malignant tumour on the retina, caused primarily due to excessive growth of retinoblasts (the cells that constitute the retina). These tumours can spread to other parts of the eye as well as other organs. Often, those diagnosed are children below the age of 5, with over 300 children diagnosed in any given year.

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#5 If you are trapped in a fire in a building, stoop low: the breathable air will be near the floor.

#6 If a man pees on a pregnancy test strip and the result shows positive, it might be a sign of testicular cancer.

If you're a man, and the recent pregnancy test that you took (just for fun, of course) shows that you're about to be a mother, you need to get yourself into the oncologist's clinic really fast! The pee-on-a-stick home pregnancy tests can be useful to detect testicular cancer: this is because several testicular cancers produce an elevation in the levels of beta human chorionic gonadotropin the same hormone produced during pregnancy.

#7 High atmospheric pressure affects the bubbles in your coffee: if the bubbles happen to be concentrated in the center, expect rain or stormy weather.

If you thought that your cup of coffee is only good for keeping you awake, you are wrong it can also help predict the weather: if the bubbles in your coffee tend to stay near the edges of the cup, expect the weather to be pleasant; if the bubbles show a preference for the center, it is very likely that it would rain. The reason for this is that high atmospheric pressure that pushes the bubbles to the edge of the cup is an indicator of good weather.

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#8 Provided that the husk is intact, coconut water is isotonic, as well as sterile. It is because of this that it is sometimes injected directly into the bloodstream as a substitute for an IV bad in underdeveloped countries.

Coconuts have been used as healthy substitutes for an IV bag to rehydrate people in some countries, and although they are not the ideal option, they are, nevertheless, highly effective. As long as they remain sterile, they have pretty much the same specific gravity as blood plasma. However, if used for a longer period, the high levels of potassium may bring about cardiac or renal problems.

#9 Scientists use Calvin Klein’s perfume – “Obsession for Men” – to count the population of wild cats such as cheetahs, tigers, and jaguars because these are attracted by the smell.

Scientists are not sure why, but all kinds of cats seem to be, well, obsessed with this scent: when scientists sprayed the perfume on a number of things, big cats seemed to be drawn inexplicably to them. The perfume is being used as an efficient means to calculate the feline population in reserves and natural parks.

So make sure you don't use it while you're on a safari: next thing you know, a wayward cheetah might become obsessed with you, taking it upon itself to never leave your side something that does not necessarily have positive connotations.

#10 Bikers, cyclists, runners and pedestrians, listen up! Never, ever stop in a driver’s blind spot. Ever.

Blind spots are the areas which cannot be seen through the driver's rear-view and side-view mirrors. If you happen to be driving in the blind spot of a driver, you are at higher risk of being in an accident that you would be otherwise. It is also important to remember that different vehicles have different blind spots: keep this in mind while you drive to remain on the safer side.

#11 If someone is stabbed or punctured by a sharp object, leave it inside.

Do not absolutely do not try to pull it out! Leave the object in until help arrives. Pulling it out will only double the damage: the object can considerably reduce and stop the flow of blood by exerting pressure on the injured area. The moment you pull it out, blood flow is likely to increase.

#12 Canes (cattail) you see in swampy and water-logged areas have edible roots and can be eaten any time of the year.

Cattails contain high levels of manganese and other minerals, which can help sustain an individual. They contain high levels of starch, and all parts of the plant, starting from the root spurs to the stalks are edible. They are also very good sources of vitamins A, B, and C, and phosphorus and potassium.