This 20-Year-Old Survived a Bear, Shark, and Rattlesnake Attack, but His Reaction Is the Craziest Part

The saying that lightning doesn’t strike twice is certainly lost on this 20-year-old adventurer. In fact, lightning struck three times for Dylan McWilliams of Grand Junction, Colorado.

McWilliams defied the odds of 893 quadrillion to 1 of having three deadly animals attacking him over three years, National Geographic reports. He lived to tell the tale, but his reaction (page 5) will convince you this Colorado animal lover truly is a total badass. Check out his astonishing story, and learn the odds of these animals attacking you (page 6).

1. It started with an innocent hike

Dylan McWilliams was first bitten by a rattlesnake. | Dylan McWilliams via Instagram

McWilliams was bitten by a rattlesnake while hiking in Utah in 2015, according to National Geographic. McWilliams said he assessed the situation and thought the bite didn’t have much venom in it.

Next: What should you do if a rattlesnake bites you?

2. He made this insane decision after the bite


Rattlesnakes can be very deadly. | Loren Elliot/AFP/Getty Images

Even though he was sick for a few days following the hike, McWilliams decided to skip a trip to the hospital. Was that wise? For most people, rattlesnake bites are a medical emergency and can result in serious health issues and even death, according to Healthline.

Next: McWilliams should sleep with one eye open next time he camps.

3. Just when you think you’re safe from an animal attack

A bear attacked him. | Dylan McWilliams via Instagram

McWilliams tussled with a bear while camping during a 2017 backpacking trip in Canada. A 280-pound black bear took a bite out of McWilliams’ skull while he slept at a campground.

Although groggy from sleep, McWilliams’ quick thinking saved his life. As the bear tried to drag McWilliams into the woods, he poked the bear in the eye and threw a few punches. “He dropped me as soon as I did that,” he told the Honolulu Star Advertiser. He ended up with nine staples in his head, which still hurts a bit when McWilliams pushes on the area.

Next: You won’t believe what happened next.

4. And when you thought it was safe to go back in the water

Then came McWilliams’ shark attack. | Dylan McWilliams via Instagram

While boogie boarding in Hawaii, McWilliams met his new match: a nearly 8-foot tiger shark. After a wave knocked him off his board he felt extreme pain in his right calf, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reports. “At first I panicked,” he said. “I didn’t know if I lost half my leg or what.”

Luckily, again McWilliams fought back, kicking the shark before he swam to shore. Paramedics arrived, but true to form McWilliams told them he was fine. Instead, he got a ride from a good Samaritan to the hospital, where he received seven stitches.

Next: Three dangerous animal attacks later, and McWilliams says this shocker.

5. 3 attacks later, McWilliams drops this bomb

Through it all, McWilliams still loves animals. | Dylan McWilliams via Instagram

McWilliams seems unfazed, despite three dangerous animal attacks. “I’ve always loved animals and spent as much time with them as I could,” he told the BBC. “I don’t blame the shark, I don’t blame the bear, and I don’t blame the rattlesnake.”

Next: This is how likely you are to be attacked by these animals.

6. What are your odds of the same attacks?

a close-up of a tiger shark face from the left

A tiger shark like the one bit McWilliams. | Lapandr/iStock/Getty Images

It sounds like either animals attacks are more common than originally thought or McWilliams is one unlucky guy. According to statistics published by National Geographic, it’s the latter.

  • Shark attack odds: 1 in 11.5 million
  • Bear attack odds: 1 in 2.1 million
  • Venomous snakebite odds: 1 in 37,500
  • Odds of being struck by lightning: 1 in 5,000
  • Odds of being killed in a car accident: 1 in 112

Next: Despite his luck, McWilliams says this.

7. Does McWilliams still love nature?

McWilliams says he wouldn’t change a thing. | Dylan McWilliams via Instagram

Three animal attacks are not going to stop this wilderness lover from seeking more adventure. McWilliams says he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. And he told BBC, “I still go hiking, I still catch rattlesnakes, and I will still swim in the ocean.”

Stay tuned.

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