This segment of the television show "Human Body: Pushing The Limits - Episode 1 - Strength" claims a person was sucked up by a tornado, and when he fell out of it he broke no bones because he was unconscious.

One final twist saves Matt's life something that allows his bones to use their natural strength to the maximum.

As the storm hits, it hurls a lamp across the room, knocking Matt out cold.

Matt's body goes completely limp. All his muscles are totally relaxed. This allows his bones to evenly absorb the shock of landing.

"They said that if I was conscious then it would have hurt me more than it did. They said I was so relaxed, that's why I didn't get hurt as bad."

If it is true where else is this phenomenon documented and how does it work?

  • 1
    A similar effect is that very small children or people who are drunk (and sometimes even people committing suicides) survive falls from surprising heights with surprisingly little injuries (Ref: cbdb.cz/…).
    – Suma
    Nov 14, 2011 at 10:20
  • 2
    @Oddthinking - the concept of drunks not breaking bones when falling from heights is a fairly common urban legend. I think this is merely a variation (with the same underlying mechanism at work, assuming it's true)
    – user5341
    Nov 14, 2011 at 17:06
  • 1
    @Oddthinking - OK, if there's no such duplicate Q, someone should make it. it IS a nice skeptical claim.
    – user5341
    Nov 14, 2011 at 17:20
  • 2
    Highly skeptical of this. I await the answer eagerly.
    – Jose Luis
    Nov 15, 2011 at 19:27
  • 2
    I also heard drunk drivers often survive car accidents where sober people are killed for the same reason.
    – Sam I Am
    Nov 15, 2011 at 20:23


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