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10 True Stories of Survival Cannibalism


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Rugby Players in the Andes
Oct. 11, 2002: Thirty years after their planed crashed, survivors from the Uruguayan rugby team Old Christians play against the veteran team Old Boys of Chile, the game the Old Christians were headed for before the accident occurred. Julio Castro/AFP/Getty Images
Oct. 11, 2002: Thirty years after their planed crashed, survivors from the Uruguayan rugby team Old Christians play against the veteran team Old Boys of Chile, the game the Old Christians were headed for before the accident occurred. Julio Castro/AFP/Getty Images

When most of us imagine a nightmare scenario, a plane that crash-lands 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) in the Andes Mountains is usually harrowing enough on its own. Add to that 72 days of being stranded in minus 30-degree Fahrenheit (minus 34-degree Celsius) weather, along with the frozen bodies of those who died in the wreckage. Then remember to include a deadly avalanche that killed eight. And, of course, don't forget that the survivors were forced to eat the flesh of the corpses to make it through to their eventual rescue.

A lot of us know the general story of the Uruguay team that crashed in the Andes in 1972 (it was told in the 1993 film "Alive!"). But it's important to be reminded just how horrific the whole experience was. Forty-five people were on the plane, and there were only a few supplies to be divvied: wine and chocolate. This was a tight-knit bunch, and the dead bodies were close friends and even family members. The group spent a terrible two months in the frozen mountains before a group made a desperate, 10-day trek and came upon a Chilean herder who eventually led a rescue party to them [source: The Telegraph].

Happily, the survivors have ended up playing several commemorative versions of the canceled match with the Chilean team [source: The Telegraph].


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