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Woman's wild story of surviving 14,500 ft skydive fall because of fire ants is a must read

It's usually a bad thing to land in a mound of fire ants at 80 mph. But not if you're Joan Murray.

skydiving, fire ant bite
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Picture of a fire ant. Eek.

You have a 50% chance of surviving a fall of 48 feet, roughly equaling a 4-story building. The mortality rate rushes all the way up to 90% when you fall 84 feet, the distance of a 7-story building.

So if you’re falling from a whopping 14,500 feet, just over two-and-a-half miles, you can safely bet that you’re most definitely not getting out alive.

But one woman did. And that’s not even the wildest part of her story.

In 1999, a woman and skydiving enthusiast named Joan Murray, 47, had traveled to North Carolina to embark upon her 37th free-fall, with the purpose of testing out new equipment.

After carefully packing and prepping, Murray made her jump. Only when she pulled the cord for her parachute, nothing happened. There she was, hurtling towards the Earth at 80 mph.

According to a Star News article reporting the incident, Murray was finally able to release her emergency chute at 700 feet, but that only “swung her out of control.”

In a display of cosmic irony, Murray eventually slammed into the ground onto a live mound of fire ants. You can’t make this stuff up.

But incredibly, Murray survived the fall. Most of her bones were shattered, her teeth fillings flew out, her face was severely bitten by ants and she fell into a coma for two weeks…but she survived. As for how she survived such a harrowing fall, her doctor simply wrote “miracle” on her file.

And while Murray’s survival is no doubt miraculous, evidence suggests that those fire ants were the little angels behind it.

Murray had remained conscious after her fall (yikes) and reported that she could feel the burning sensation of the army of ants stinging her. Eventually, it was the unbearable pain of the stings, not the insane fall, that made her pass out.

When paramedics arrived on the scene, they saw Murray completely covered in hundreds of thousands of fire ants—and around 200 stings on her body. It was believed that the venom from their stings not only shocked her heart (thus keeping it beating) but caused her body to produce more adrenaline until help came.

Perhaps the most unbelievable part of this story is that Murray actually skydived again only two years after this disaster. She also turned down an offer to retire with disability from her job and Bank of America and continued her banking career that extended over 20 years.

Though Murray passed away in May of 2022, she is still remembered not only for her amazing survival, but her optimistic outlook on life.

As she shared with “People” following the accident, "Sometimes we take life for granted. I truly have fun putting my shoes on in the morning."

May we all find a way to find the same positivity…perhaps without the fire ants.

How often should you wash your jeans?

Social media has become a fertile breeding ground for conversations about hygiene. Whether it’s celebrities bragging about how little their family bathes or battles over how often people should wash their sheets or bras.

One of the debates that gets the most diverse responses is how often people wash their denim jeans.

Denim atelier Benjamin Talley Smith tells Today that jeans should be washed "as little as possible, if at all.” Laundry expert Patric Richardson adds they should be cleaned “after nine or 10 wearings, like to me, that is the ideal." At that point, they probably have stains and are "a little sweaty by that point, so you need to wash 'em," Richardson says.

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Meta/Cristina Martinez

Cristina Martinez

In the age of artificial intelligence and virtual reality it’s easy to assume that original art is in jeopardy of being replaced by technology. But Cristina Martinez, an Afro-Latina contemporary artist known for her fine art content on Instagram, sharing the often-untold stories of Black and Brown people, is an example of how technological innovations can enhance the artistic process and help bring voices to often underserved communities.

Herdandez recently took part in the Meta Sonic Listening Party in Miami, an event that brought together artists from various disciplines to collaborate in unique ways as part of Meta’s “It’s Your World” campaign, designed to bring. together emerging artists, musicians and Creators to reimagine the next generation of creative expression.

Martinez spoke with Upworthy about her experience taking part in the Meta Sonic Listening Party and how new technology is shaping her as an artist and storyteller.


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Health

We asked people what they really enjoy that others can't understand. One answer dominated.

Interestingly, research shows that these people are particularly unlikely to be neurotic.

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Some people really enjoy being alone.

We recently asked our Upworthy audience on Facebook, "What's something that you really enjoy that other people can't seem to understand?" and over 1,700 people weighed in. Some people shared things like housework, cleaning and laundry, which a lot of people see as chores. Others shared different puzzles or forms of art they like doing, and still others shared things like long car rides or grocery shopping.

But one answer dominated the list of responses. It came in various wordings, but by far the most common answer to the question was "silent solitude." Here are a few examples:

"Feeling perfectly content, when I’m all alone."

"Being home. Alone. In silence."

"That I enjoy being alone and my soul is at peace in the silence. I don't need to be around others to feel content, and it takes me days to recharge from being overstimulated after having an eventful day surrounded by others."

"Enjoying your own company. Being alone isn’t isolating oneself. It’s intentional peace and healthy… especially for deep feelers/thinkers."

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via Reasons My Son is Crying/Facebook

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