“Mysteries of Survival” is a video I used to show in some of my classes. It once aired on CBC “Wild Docs” from a National Geographic film. I believe it can be ordered on-line.
It is a mystery that scientists are determined to solve. Why do some people survive exposure, predators, starvation and trauma, while others succumb? We explore the incredible and dramatic real life mysteries of three people struggling to survive against all odds.
Pablo Valencia is left stranded in the searing heat of the desert for days without water; hiker David Boomhower is lost and alone for more than two weeks and Charles Horton shatters his leg while skiing in a remote part of Colorado and battles freezing temperatures, sleep deprivation and starvation for days on end. Ultimately, only two of these men survive. We follow their individual stories throughout their respective ordeals, seeing how different responses to the situations either help survival or spell potential disaster. And, we’ll reconstruct some of the key scenes in which they made these fateful choices.
Luck plays a major part in determining who will survive a sinking ship or a killer hurricane. But scientists have long suspected that some people are better at controlling the body’s reaction to trauma…and that survival of the fittest cam sometimes mean the fittest mind.
Using CGI, we look at the human body and its defenses in great detail, including its reactions to heat, cold, starvation, and dehydration. We also review the science of our skin. Plus, what causes our minds to have strange thoughts or bouts of negative and positive feelings in such extreme conditions. Mysteries of survival follows these three men as they battle with pain, madness and hallucinations to prove that psychological strength and will to live can be as vital as physiological strength and stamina when the human body is put to the ultimate test.