Mar 11, 2010

How To: Survive A Crocodile Attack

I watched an episode of I Shouldn't Be Alive last night. It was about the family that went on a little fishing trip in a crocodile-invested river somewhere in Africa. First, they boozed it up which was Mistake #1. Then their boat was attacked by a herd of hungry hungry hippos. After the commotion, one of the members of the group, we'll call him Bob, decided to swim for the shore, despite the fact that there were hippos and crocs in the water. Mistake #2. Then he almost made it to the shore, but then saw a croc staring at him from about 10 yards away. A normally person would have just got the fuck out of the water. But not Bob. Instead, which leads to Mistake #3, Bob decided to "try to scare the croc" by going underwater and intimidating it with his stupidity. The croc didn't buy it and attacked him. It grabbed on to his arm, ripped his shoulder out of it's socket, and left some gnarly teeth marks in the arm that was snapped in 3 places. The only way Bob was able to escape was by punching a flap of skin in the back of the crocs throat that prevents water from going down it's throat. How Bob knew how to pull this move but did not know how to get out of the water is beyond me. Bob drug himself to safety after the croc let go of his arm and laid on the shore in horrible pain for a day. He was attacked by army ants and made friends with a water buffalo buffalo. Mistake #4. Don't lay on ground if ants are eating you. Eventually he was saved. But he didn't even need to put himself through the mess in the first place. With a little common sense, this all could have been avoided.

First and foremost, everyone has heard the old saying that a shark can smell a drop of blood a mile away. Crocodiles can do the same thing, sort of. Let's imagine you are standing at one end of a swimming pool that is the size of a football field. On the other side is a crocodile. You stick you toe in the pool to test the water. Splish splash. The croc can sense the ripple effect from you testing out the water. Yes, from that far away. The croc can also get from one end of the football field sized pool to the other in about 10 seconds. So if you can see him, he already knows you're there.

If you find a crocodile running at you, try not to panic. All you have to do is run in zig-zag lines and you will live to see another day.

If you find your arm down a croc's throat, punch the flap like Bob did. That might work if you're in the water, otherwise you will have larger problems, such as the fact that your arm is in an crocs mouth. Try punching its eyes if you can. You can also hold its jaws down with two hands if the mouth is closed. They can clamp down as hard as the best of them, but the muscles are weak when it comes to opening their mouth. The trick is keeping it closed, and when you're in the middle of a deadly gator roll, that will be quite difficult to do.

Lastly, stay the hell out of the water. Sharks can't live in pools, but gators can.