ByTim Zachary, writer at
A small town hero fighting to save the day by keeping you updated with fresh, inspiring, and uplifting stories to astonish.
Tim Zachary

[Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials](tag:1142567) is an impressive book filled with peril, struggle, tragedy, pain, and victory. Thomas puts every last ounce of courage and strength into keeping his friends and himself alive. It's brave, heroic, and inspiring.

Did you know there are people in real-life who went incredible lengths, faced insurmountable odds, to become heroes on the other side? They persevered through their own 'Scorch Trials' and are now true living legends. Who are these people?

1. Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance

The Endurance Expedition, helmed by the legendary leader Ernest Shackleton, is the greatest survival story ever to have been told. It was an exhausting, treacherous, pain-ridden voyage through Antarctica. They lost their ship near the beginning of the voyage as ice surrounded the ship and trapped them in; temperatures were regularly under -20 degrees celsius. They were forced to pull rowboats across the ice for months, living on nothing but cold bread and water. They ended up having to turn around in a last effort rescue call to the nearest inhabited island over 800 miles away. Half of the crew was left on the harsh, icy, wilderness, while the other half sailed across open sea in a few small rowboats. The rescue attempt did end up succeeding, although conditions were over-the-top excruciatingly merciless towards the men. All in all, it was an expedition that will never be forgotten.

2. Louis Zamperini

Louis Zamperini's story of survival is one of the most inspiring stories of all times. He was an incredibly naughty boy who grew up to be an Olympic runner. Then World War II hit and brought Louis' world crashing down. Louis enlisted in the Army, and soon after was shot down over the Pacific Ocean. He survived an incredible 47 days on the raft with little water and barely any food. At last he was the Japanese. He was then beat and brutally tortured for the next few years until World War II ended. The things 'Bird' did to Louis were excruciating. He survived and dedicated his life to God after he finally came back to America. If Louis Zamperini isn't a hero, I don't know who is.

3. Mauro Prosperi and the Marathon Des Sables

Imagine running a 156 mile marathon in six days through the Sahara Desert. That's the Marathon Des Sables race for you, that occurs in Southern Morocco. Mauro Prosperi, one of the racers, was in seventh place when a sandstorm hit. The rules of the race are that when a sandstorm hits, you stay in your spot until help arrives. Mauro Prosperi decided to use the storm to his advantage and race ahead of all the others. Six hours later, when the storm had died, he was so far off course that no one saw the flare he shot into the air. He forced himself to keep walking, drinking his own urine to survive. For five days, he pushed through the desert, eating the only things he could - lizards and scorpions. Eventually, he found a group of nomads who told them that he was 130 miles away from where he was supposed to be. Mauro signed up for the race the following year and made it through unscathed.

4. The Old Christian Club

The Old Christian Club, a Uruguayan rugby team, and an assortment of family members and fans were headed to a match in Santiago, Chile. The plane crashed into the Andes Mountains. Out of 45 people on the Air Force plane, only 25 survived.

To make matters worse, an avalanche hit the survivors just two short weeks later. Eight more of the passengers were killed. The remaining 17 passengers, still stuck in the snow at 13,000 feet, were forced to do the unspeakable. With no food or water left, the survivors turned on their deceased friends and families as sources of food.

Still, no help came. Food...or bodies, were running extremely low. Two of the athletes, weak and dying, decided to make a trek across the snow-capped mountains for help. For ten days, they wandered helplessly searching for anyone. They finally found a livestock herder, who immediately called for help. Search and rescue helicopters found the remaining survivors the next day. 40 years later, the Old Christian Club agreed to play the match they had missed in Santiago, and won like heroes.

5. Douglas Mawson

Douglas Mawson was an Australian scientist who went on a mission to explore Antarctica. They started off with a few days of exploring away from base. Unfortunately, it was one day too long.

Mawson was traveling with two friends, Belgrave Ninnis and Xavier Mertz. They had multiple sled dogs, a sledge, and a whole bunch of supplies with them at the time. Tragedy struck when Ninnis fell down a crevasse, pulling most of the dogs, supplies, and the sledge with him. Mawson and Mertz were forced to trudge on.

They wandered through the harsh Antarctica wilderness, carrying only a third of the food they needed and half as many dogs. In addition, they had lost their shelter supplies and were beaten by the merciless snow storms and freezing temperatures. Hunger hit them so hard that they turned on the last of their dogs. Mertz died only a few weeks later of cold and exhaustion, leaving Mawson alone with miles to go until base.

Mawson pushed further. The soles of his feet, skin, and hair were falling off due to frostbite. He had little food and water, and yet Mawson resisted death. He finally made it to his hut, only to find out that his ship had left a few hours earlier. Mawson was rescued a few days later by another ship and taken back to Australia as a hero.

Humans are resilient. We live. We fight. We survive. Every person goes through his or her own Scorch Trial. We face Scorch Trials with our friends or co-workers. It's a sign that we care, so keep your chin up. Fight the good fight! Fight for life; fight the Scorch Trial with everything you have!

The Scorch Trials hits theaters Thursday, September 17.


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