The Deadly Outdoors
The Deadly Outdoors
Michael Largo (Author) gives expert video advice on: What are the chances of dying from an avalanche?; What are the chances of dying from a meteor?; What is the likelihood of dying in an earthquake? and more...
How likely am I to die from Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is a parasite that is transmitted in a tick. A deer tick is the normal carrier. Lyme disease occurs in a variety of North-eastern states, from Minnesota all the way through New York and New Jersey and deaths from Lyme disease usually occur when the people go out into the woods after sunset. That's when most ticks come out. Ticks are a parasite in themselves. They are a two-part insect that attaches to your body and digs in and sucks the blood. What it does in order to get the blood out of your body, it uses capillary action and pushes a little blood back in. That's where the parasite comes into the body and effects it. Lyme disease is a particularly deadly disease. Over 1 million people have died from ticks over the last 100 years.
What are the chances of dying from an avalanche?
Every ten seconds an avalanche is occuring somewhere in the world and there is no way to prepare or to know when it is going to occur. One hundred people a year are dying from avalanches, more than there were 50 years ago, predominantly because people are purposively seeking extreme experiences by going in remote areas that aren't monitored. The advice is to be given that you should wear a beacon if you are in an avalanche-prone area so that they can find you. But if you are not found usually within the first three hours after an avalanche, your chances of survival are decreasing at least 10% per hour thereafter. Advice has been given if you have ever been caught in an avalanche is to keep your backside to it and don't face the avalanche. You will have a better chance of survival.
What are the chances of dying from a meteor?
Every 10,000 years a meteorite will land on the earth and cause massive destruction. We are due for one statistically any time soon. Most of them burn up, but they're trying to find ways to prevent and keep an eye on the skies for that giant meteorite that they predict will hit again. The meteorite could cause massive destruction within the next anywhere 100 to 500 years.
What is the likelihood of dying in an earthquake?
One of the most natural disasters that cause fatalities worldwide is earthquakes. They also occur all the time. Earthquakes are constantly occuring, the earth is constantly shifting. The sysmatic plates are always moving, and at one point all the continents were supposedly together. The theory is that they will keep shifting until they are all back together again. Since 2000, 2001, over one hundred thousand people have died from the effects of earthquakes. A lot of times they occur on massive scales but there are small earthquakes that occur. Last year people died from an earthquake in Pennsylvania for example, which was very small. But, it knocked over a chimney, a brick chimney and killing a few individuals at a time. So earthquakes are still no way to actually know when they are going to occur, and it's the element of surprise that kills so many people with that natural disaster.
How likely am I to die from a lightning strike?
Lightning strikes are responsible for killing over 9,000 people in the last 50 years. Predominately they occur in males, 84% of the time. The reasons are, some people believe, that males may take more risks, or they don't come in the midst of a game or something, moreso than females. Another interesting statistic is that most lightning strikes occur in July throughout the country and they usually occur on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays, between 2pm and 6pm. Usually that's afternoon storms during the summer on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays for how various holidays fall on. But over the last 50 years, that time period has become the most dangerous and the most likely time that you will die from a lightning strike while outdoors.
How deadly are landslides?
Landslides are like avalanches, but landslides usually involve earth rather than snow or ice, which is predominantly an avalanche. Landslides are avalanches of usually just dirt alone; mud and rock. Avalanches kill 50 people a year. It's sometimes, you know that they're going to occur because it's been a rainy season or on a hill, but sometimes even in dry weather the earth underneath shifts either from a ground spring or from even mining activity that can be two or three miles away, creating a pocket underneath the earth and an unexpected landslide occurs, killing over 50 people each year.
How deadly are tornadoes?
At least 100 tornadoes occur each year of the size and magnitude that can cause harm to humans. 15 people die from tornadoes each year. And one of the problems with tornadoes is developing a warning system, because it's one of those natural occurrences that sometimes only give people 2 or 3 minutes to take cover--as opposed to some other natural disasters, like hurricanes, where there's a long warning period. So the fatality from tornadoes occurs when people are caught unexpectedly such that over the last 50 years, they're much more deadly than the meteor-grabbing hurricanes; tornadoes kill 15 each year.
In what ways can a hurricane kill me?
The obvious ways are through being exposed to wind but some of the unusual ways that hurricanes can kill people is through the change in barimetric pressure. One example was one individual had his power went out during the hurricane. He went into his car and put on his air conditioner to keep cool and he died of a heart attack, not from the hurricane but from when the eye of the hurricane passes over a dramatic change in barimetric pressure.occurs and his heart stopped from that. So there is a great increase of heart failures during a hurricane have nothing to do with the wind. Also people that lack caution during a hurricane. They go out during the wind or they still go out surfing to catch the heavy waves and they get pulled out in riptides, downed powerwires and downed trees are the obvious ones but hurricanes have only killed 3,500 people since the 1940s. So greater warning systems and knowing how far in advance has saved a lot of people. But last year or two years ago, more people died from trying to run away from a hurricane, mainly the Texas storm, than they did in the actual storm that occurred.
How likely am I to die while hunting?
Thirteen million people every year hunt. So statistically, it's very safe. Only 56 people a year die from hunting accidents. More than half of them are self inflicted. Hunting accidents occur when people become so obsessed with getting their target, or their game, that they've mistaken other humans for the prey that they're after. One particular individual took off his orange vest thinking that the deer wouldn't see him, when deer are in fact colour-blind and couldn't see the orange anyway, and he was killed accidentally by his fellow hunter. So those are the types of accidents that occur in hunting.
What are the chances of dying while sitting at an outdoor cafe?
Outdoor cafe's are becoming popular, they're springing up everywhere. Every restaurant wants to have seats out in front. Municipalities frown on it and don't want to give the permits for these things, but they're still very popular. Not only from insect born diseases that are infecting the foods, but also there's been a rise of deaths from traffic accidents and vehicular homicides and cars going up on sidewalks. People are very relaxed while they're sipping their latte', there's been an increase crime and murders and robberies for the casual cafe diner.
How dangerous is the beach?
Every year, millions of people flock to the beach. The most dangerous holiday on the beaches is Labor Day. More people die from shark attacks on Labor Day than any other day of the year. Most people die at the beach from riptides. Over 90% of all beach fatalities occur riptides, when the tides instead of bringing you in, unexpectedly brings you out. Another way people die from the beach is the obvious skin cancer. But there's also the anomaly where every year at least 6 people die from being buried alive on the beach. The most classic example is one guy who was very proud of the 12-foot hole he had dug in the sand. He went into the bottom and was waving to all the beach-goers when the walls collapsed. By the time they got heavy-duty industrial equipment to dig him out of this hole, he had died from being buried alive on his day at the beach.
What are my chances of surviving an attack by an alligator?
Alligator populations are now reaching pre-civilization levels, through ecology and endangered list species. Since 1950, over 325 people have been attacked by alligators in America and 21 have been killed. Most of these deaths from alligator attack occur when people are swimming late at night, or periodically, it's walking their dogs, gardening too close to the water. Last year a jogger was jogging along the track and was snatched by an alligator. So in these alligator prone areas, you do have to be alert, because alligators are prehistoric creatures that can run 35 miles an hour at a clip of 6 seconds. So alligators are very fast and they're very prehistoric. For areas that have alligators, and Florida is the number one area, there's been over 30 attacks and 2 fatalities.
What is the likelihood of dying from exposure to cockroaches?
Cockroaches themselves have no venom or poison, but they're expert carriers in spreading disease. They carry polio, tetanus, food poisoning, food borne illnesses; they carry a number of diseases. Cockroaches are one of the most hazardous insects to humans. Over the last 200 years they are attributed to over a million deaths from food poisoning and spreading of diseases from the cockroaches. They used to be so endemic in the turn of the century that sailors on ships would be bringing these cockroaches in. In order to save the sailors, they would put gloves on the sailors' hands because cockroaches like to eat fingernails, and particularly like to eat eyelashes and eyebrows.