By definition, odds provide a measure of the likelihood of a particular outcome. Sometimes odds are very likely, like the fact that nothing good will come out of 2020 (and thankfully, we are almost past it!), and sometimes not so much.
But on very rare occasions, odds-defying things happen against all possible likelihood, proving that after all, this world of ours is inherently random. So this time, we’re taking the ride of a lifetime featuring this selection of nearly impossible odds as presented by the r/nevertellmetheodds subreddit.
Created in 2015, the online community has a whopping 1.7m members who are all in for bizarre and wonderful chances that shouldn’t have happened. The subreddit’s description says it’s all about “Nearly impossible feats of achievement, those with a great degree of difficulty or incredible odds,” so let’s find out what exactly all this fuss is about.
Many Of You Might Have Seen This . But For Those Who Haven't
No matter what we think we know about odds-defying things, the truth is they do happen and they happen more often than we think. British statistician David J. Hand claims that even “extremely improbable events are commonplace.”
This is due to the improbability principle that’s comprised of five laws “analogous to the four laws of thermodynamics or Newton’s three laws of motion.” David insists that “These laws, the law of inevitability, the law of truly large numbers, the law of selection, the law of the probability lever, and the law of near enough, explain exactly why we should expect to encounter highly unlikely events, and indeed why we should expect to do so on a regular, even frequent, basis.”
In 1990, A Panel Of The Windscreen On British Airways Flight 5390 Fell Out At 17k Feet, Causing The Cockpit To Decompress & Its Captain To Be Sucked Halfway Out Of The Aircraft. The Crew Held Onto Him For More Than 20 Minutes As The Copilot Made An Emergency Landing. The Pilot Made A Full Recovery
This is where mathematics comes into play to define these principles and calculate what effect they have on each other. For example, the law of near enough “says that events that are sufficiently similar may be regarded as identical,” David explains.
In fact, this similarity is what precisely makes a dramatic difference. David adds the law of truly large numbers and the result is that “given enough opportunities, the probabilities of even very unlikely events can mount up to be almost certain.”
Those laws raise the number of opportunities for any unlikely happening to actually happen. Read more about David’s philosophy of probability in his book “The Improbability Principle.”