Incredible Tales of Survival and the Movies That Brought Them to Life

These stories feature various aspects of human survival, from braving the elements and enduring isolation to overcoming unexpected disasters.

13 Tales of Human Survival That Made It to the Big Screen

Get ready to be astonished by these 13 accounts of human survival, each pushing the boundaries of what we might ever imagine possible. These individuals didn’t just face their challenges; they surmounted odds that many would deem insurmountable.

1. The Stranded Rugby Team of the Andes

In October of 1972, an Uruguayan Air Force plane carrying the Old Christians Club rugby team, along with their friends and family, tragically crashed in the heart of the Andes Mountains. Movie: The survival story of the Uruguayan rugby team was portrayed in the 1993 film “Alive.”

2. Shackleton’s Endurance: An Antarctic Odyssey

In 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew of 27 men embarked on what was to be the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, aiming to cross the Antarctic continent.  Movies: There have been several adaptations of Shackleton’s incredible survival story.including the 2002 television movie “Shackleton,” starring Kenneth Branagh.

3. Alexander Selkirk: The Real Robinson Crusoe

Alexander Selkirk, a rugged Scottish privateer, found himself marooned on the uninhabited island of Juan Fernández, off the coast of Chile, in 1704. Left alone after a disagreement with his ship’s captain, Selkirk was forced to survive in absolute solitude. Movie: Selkirk’s experience, has been adapted multiple times. including the 1997 film “Robinson Crusoe,” starring Pierce Brosnan.

4. The Harrowing Journey of the Essex Whaling Ship

In the early 19th century, the Essex was a sturdy whaling ship that set sail from Nantucket, Massachusetts. In a tragic twist of fate that would later inspire Herman Melville’s novel ‘Moby Dick’, the ship was rammed and sunk by a sperm whale in the Pacific Ocean in 1820.  Movie: The story inspired the 2015 film “In the Heart of the Sea,” directed by Ron Howard.

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