Bear Grylls is one tough dude. Best known for his television series "Man vs. Wild," the 37-year-old was the youngest Briton to climb Mount Everest (when he was 23) and was a member of the U.K. Special Forces. In 1996, he badly injured his spine when his parachute failed to completely deploy, sending him plummeting to the ground which he hit with high speed. Eighteen months later, he was standing on the summit of Everest.
In addition to his climbing feats, Bear has crossed the North Atlantic in an inflatable boat, circumnavigated the U.K. on a jet ski, paramotered over both Mount Everest and Angel Falls in Venezuela, and even once rowed for 22 miles, naked, in a homemade bathtub along the Thames River to raise money for a friend who had been badly injured in a climbing accident.
Bear was introduced to most Americans through "Man vs. Wild," now one of the Discovery Channel's most popular shows. His MO is to drop into the wild and then run around madly with his camera crew showing how to survive cold nights, animal encounters, and lack of food and water.
He has gained a reputation for his willingness to eat and drink just about anything remotely edible that crosses his path (including, famously, his own urine). This has led to some awesome television. I've collected some of the best clips here. (It might be a good idea to put down your sandwich while watching these.)
Rhino beetle (click photo to watch)
In this clip, Bear gets lucky and comes up with a rhino beetle, heavily armored but best known for its rhino-horn like protuberance. Fans of the movie "A Bug's Life" might remember Dim, the lovable rhino beetle character. Well, that's what Bear ate in this clip. He ate one of Dim's cousins. Crunchy! It's painful watching this one. It's even more so thinking about how it's going to feel coming out the other end.
Raw crab: Sand, salt, and goo (click photo to watch)
Bear finds a beach while sprinting through a boulder field and decides it'd be a good place to find shelter and a place to cook some maggots that he had found. In the hunt for some mussels stuck on the sea rocks, he comes across a cute little crab. You can guess what he did next.
Fish head soup and boiled plastic drinking water (click photo to watch)
This clip made the list for its combination of being both gross and terrifically toxic. Bear cooks up a fish head left over from the previous night's dinner (gross) and then boils water to drink in a plastic bottle (toxic). In a real life survival situation you would obviously choose risking the negative long-term effects of drinking water boiled in a plastic bottle over dying of thirst, but still. Eww.
Bear eats and sleeps in a rancid camel
His own pee
A tick (click photo to watch)
Bear wins points on this one for its sheer gratuitousness. Bear wakes up from a rough night of sleep and finds a tick on his body. He could have just as easily tossed it aside after pulling it off, or used a couple of rocks to crush it if he really needed to kill it, but instead, he uses his mouth. One quick bite to the tick's head and it's done. Gross.
More larvae (click photo to watch)
Bear Grylls just can't help himself when there are larvae around. In this one he comes across an ant nest and uses his wits to trick them into bringing their larvae out and underneath the shade provided by his jacket. He shakes off the angry ants and pops the larvae into his mouth like popcorn. Antalicious!
Polluted water enema
Video stills: Discovery Networks
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