Man vs Jungle survival stories always make us wonder, how long do you think you would survive lost in the jungle? A day, three days, maybe a week? Let’s hope you never have to find out. Unfortunately, some people weren’t so lucky. Thrust into the mouth of the wild, their harrowing stories will shock you. They used their brains, skills, and a little bit of luck to survive some of the most insane ordeals. But, with strong odds against them, it’s hard to believe any of them made it out alive. You might even call it miraculous. How would you survive the many dangers of the jungle? Here are 10 of the most insane Man vs Jungle Survival Stories.
Shannon Leah Fraser
Shannon Leah Fraser, 30, was visiting the Golden Hole in Queensland, Australia when she got separated from her fiancé and lost in the rainforest near Josephine Falls. Completely unprepared, Fraser had no supplies with her and was only wearing leggings, thongs, and a t-shirt. For 16 days, Fraser walked through a snake, crocodile, and spider-infested wilderness. In fact, rescue workers and the family feared the worst and lost hope they would find her alive.
However, on the 16th day, banana farmer Brad Finch saw her emerge from the jungle 32 yards (30 meters) from where she was last seen. She was severely sunburned and had lost 37.5 pounds (17 kilograms). Her feat of survival was so unbelievable, that at first authorities thought it was an elaborate prank. However, her injuries and “wilderness-ravaged” appearance were evidence to her story’s legitimacy.
A woman suffering from mental health issues survived living in the jungle for a whole year. No one knows exactly how she got lost, but she was reported missing in 2006. She was later found by a farmer after he caught her stealing food from him. However, in a bizarre twist, when the girl was first discovered it was believed she had spent 18 years living in the jungle.
This is because she was confused with another missing child. Eight-year-old Rochom Pngieng disappeared in 1988 while tending a herd of buffalo in the isolated region of Phnom Penh roughly 200 miles (321 kilometers) from the Cambodian capital. When found, she was identified by a Cambodian family as Rochom P’ngieng. However, ten years after she was found by a 70-year-old Vietnamese man named Peo, claiming to be her real father. Peo agreed to pay the adoptive family $1,500 for taking care of her and is now reunited with his daughter.
Kazuo Hoshi Survived in the Jungle for Eight Years
Kazuo Hoshi, a civilian recruit for the Japanese navy’s meteorology unit, survived eight years in the jungles of Guam while running away from the American army during World War II. He was one of about 2,000 to 3,000 Japanese to have run into the jungle.
He survived by going from cave to cave and eating livestock from deserted ranches. However, after Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945, Hoshi remained hidden and would not come out. He was discovered by a hunter and then surrendered in 1952. Today, Hoshi owns an ice-making machinery business and helps the government find remains of Japanese nationals who died in the war.
Thirty-eight-year-old Denise Ciunek set out on a solo hike 15 miles (25-kilometers) into the Caminho do Itupava, a steep 17th-century track up the Serra do Mar Mountains in southern Brazil. She eventually came across a gunman who attacked her and threatened to rape her. She fended off the gunman by jumping into a river.
Though safe from the gunman, she had now lost the trail and was lost in the Brazilian jungle. Eventually, she was able to find a spot in a valley between waterfalls where she waited for help. It took 17 days, but she was found alive by firemen, but in poor condition.
Maykool Coroseo Acuña Saved by Monkeys
This is one of the weirdest stories you’re about to read. Twenty-five-year-old Maykool Coroseo Acuña was visiting Madidi National Park in the Bolivian Amazon when he mysteriously disappeared. Witnesses say that on the night of his disappearance, he was acting strange and noticeably excited. When asked to join a Pachamama ceremony—a tradition thanking mother earth for giving them permission to enter the forest—Acuña refused. Five minutes later he was gone.
Searches for Acuña turned up empty. The locals believed that a powerful mystical entity called “Duende” took Acuña to another dimension. “For myself and the rangers, this is our culture,” one of the rangers told National Geographic, “We believe that Duende is real. And we think it’s possible that Maykool was taken by him.”
Acuña was lost in the forest for nine days but was eventually found less than a mile from the campground. He was weak, dehydrated, and bitten by all sorts of bugs, but he was alive. Acuña disappeared due to disturbing thoughts that overtook his mind. He was plagued by an irresistible desire to run into the jungle. The harrowing journey through the jungle could have cost him his life, but thanks to monkeys (you read that correctly…monkeys), Acuña was able to survive. How? The monkeys gave him fruit and led him to shelter water on a daily basis. Now, if that’s not the weirdest survival story you’ve ever heard, I don’t know what is.