One of my fun little quirks is that I have an oddly deep reserve of the most random knowledge.
About twice a month, some curiosity will overeagerly and uninvitedly worm its way into my brain until I set aside enough time to sate the cat. Which, in turn, strengthens my jack of all trades persona.
The most recent occurrence of this? Gator attacks.
Granted, this one has some back story.
I often dream lucidly (this is when a person can tell their dreaming even while still asleep), and the other night I dreamt that I was swimming in a pool. While there, people began to shout that a gator was in the water.
At this point in my dream, I began racking my mind for what to do when confronted with a gator and found myself in utter shock at not having a single clue.
Not a one.
So naturally, as soon as I woke up from this night terror I began my Google search.
It was horrifying.
Here are five major takeaways about croc/gator attacks that I learned during my deep dive.
1. You are not safe in a boat.
People often mix up alligators and crocodiles, but crocodiles are the more aggressive of the two. And they are not shy about showing that. Crocs have been known to deliberately attack and capsize boats in order to drag people into the water.
In some areas it even happens so frequently that boaters have ceased to report these occurrences to authorities, chalking it up to crocs just being crocs.
But don’t worry. If you do ever get capsized, you can channel this man who fought off crocodiles by himself for three hours after they overturned his boat.
2. Alligators can fly.
Maybe not fly but definitely catch some solid air. Up to five feet of it actually.
They manage to do this by propelling themselves upward with the strength of their tails, launching themselves straight out of the water. This is a way for them to catch any low hanging prey who may think they’ve found safety just because they’re above the water.
Now, they can only propel themselves while in water so if you’re on dry land, you should be clear from any leaping (giant) lizards. But don’t find yourself getting too relaxed. They can also climb fences.
3. They’re slow on land.
Everyone knows that you should run in zigzags whenever you’re being chased by a croc or a gator, right?
Run fast, run straight, and run away from the shoreline.
The top land speed of most crocodilians is 10mph which is slow enough that a human can usually surpass it in short distances. Plus they do not like to run on land.
However, and this is important, they are able to launch themselves up to 30mph in short bursts of energy. So if you’re within ten feet or so of some snapping jaws…well, try to widen that gap a little.
4. The little dangly thing that swings in the back of their throat.
Or the palatal valve if you’re fancy.
During submersion in water, crocodilians have a flap of tissue covering their throats. Regardless of whether the crocodile’s mouth is open or closed, this flap prevents water from flowing into its throat and prevents drowning.
This is important because if you get snatched and dragged into the water, you may have no other choice but to grab hold of this valve.
Getting a hold of the valve will result in water flowing into the crocodile’s throat, forcing it to release you.
Beware, it probably feels gross but totally worth keeping your arm. Or your life.
5. Channel Mike Tyson
And now the most important piece of information. If ever attacked by a crocodile or gator…
Fight like hell.
Kick, punch, head butt, all of it. And aim for the head.
The eyes especially are the most sensitive part of the crocodilian so gouging them as much as possible will give you your best shot at survival, especially if caught in the infamous death roll.
But of course, the best way to beat a croc or alligator?
Just never ever ever go anywhere near water again.
This article holds my own opinions on the reported content. To read more of my musings on the world today, follow me on Newsbreak.