Remember Aron Ralston, the famous hiker who got trapped in a canyon in Utah, with a boulder crushing his arm? The movie came out last year, but I read the book several years ago. It’s truly an amazing story. For those of you who don’t know, to summarize the story, he ended up cutting off his own arm with a pocket knife to escape and save his life. It involved hours of breaking his own arm bone, cutting through flesh and nerves, and finally tearing it away and leaving the arm pinned in the canyon.
This article that I read in the HuffPost talks about how humans aren’t the only ones who realize that they may have sacrifice some limbs in order to save their life. The article has a video that shows a crab cutting off its own claw after being injured in a bird attack. The bird attached the crab after it tried to invade the nest and steal eggs. ”Even the crab’s hard carapace is insufficient defense against the rapid-fire thrusts of the booby’s powerful beak,” the narrator says. And when the crab’s right claw is badly injured by the attack, he pauses on the sand, and cuts it off with his other claw.
However, unlike humans, crab claws grow back. So this story isn’t all bad. It typically takes about a year for the claw to grow back. My question is to you, what would you be willing to do to save your own life? Cut off your own arm? Your own leg? Thinking about the incredible pain of the nerve fibers and the breaking of the bone makes me cringe- but certainly it would be worth it to be able to live. Or would it? What kind of pain would you be willing to suffer to save your own life?