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We often have a physical response to watching others in danger, even if we ourselves face absolutely no threat, and the subreddit r/SweatyPalms proves it.

Created back in 2012, this online community now boasts 2.3 million members who constantly share footage of people's stunts on tall skyscrapers, close encounters with wildlife, and everything in between.

So, we invite you to join us in scrolling through some of the subreddit's most popular posts and see which of them elicit a reaction from you. Let's test our limits!

#1

Active Volcano Looks Like Damned Souls Being Dragged To The Depths Of Hell

Active Volcano Looks Like Damned Souls Being Dragged To The Depths Of Hell

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Wood Carver
Community Member
8 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

One presumes this is where the subterranean flaming pit of punishment myth originates. Easy to see how people who already poorly understood the mechanics of the fire hole would come to that conclusion.... also that is scary as hell 😳 would not stand

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#2

In 1990, An Accident Caused A British Airways Captain To Be Sucked Halfway Out Of The Cockpit. The Crew Held Onto Him For 20 Minutes As The Copilot Made An Emergency Landing. The Pilot Survived And Made A Full Recovery

In 1990, An Accident Caused A British Airways Captain To Be Sucked Halfway Out Of The Cockpit. The Crew Held Onto Him For 20 Minutes As The Copilot Made An Emergency Landing. The Pilot Survived And Made A Full Recovery

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We managed to get in touch with the moderators of r/SweatyPalms and they were kind enough to have a little chat with us about the subreddit. 

"We actually don't have to do much policing," the team told Bored Panda. "Like any sub on Reddit, we get spam and repost bots. We guard against those, but that's mostly it."

#3

Diver Sitting On The Edge Of Underwater Sea Cliff

Diver Sitting On The Edge Of Underwater Sea Cliff

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RandomPerson
Community Member
8 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh, thalassophobia! Its been a long time since I've seen you old friend!

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#4

Getting Up On The Wrong Side Of The Bed Is Not An Option

Getting Up On The Wrong Side Of The Bed Is Not An Option

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#5

Let Me Quickly Nope Out Of Here

Let Me Quickly Nope Out Of Here

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Krastina Dimitrova
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think this is in Ginnie Springs Florida, at least there is a sign just like this one in the spring there.

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The moderators said that the members are fairly active, and the posts receive a fair number of comments, too. "We generally get a good representation of Redditors who appreciate a jolt of fear and a good, old-fashioned adrenaline rush."

"The pics that garner the most attention on our sub are the ones that involve everyday people in pretty extreme situations. I think those are the ones that resonate with members the most because it really doesn't take much imagination to see yourself in those (very) terrifying scenarios!" they added.

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#6

Some Final Destination S**t

Some Final Destination S**t

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Bill Swallow
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Looks like the Jupiter Mining Corporation has gotten off to a good start with their pickup trucks. But it's going to a long road from there to the mining ship 'Red Dwarf'!

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#7

Talk About Sweaty Palms. Astronaut Bruce Mccandless Taking The First Untethered Space Walk

Talk About Sweaty Palms. Astronaut Bruce Mccandless Taking The First Untethered Space Walk

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#8

Gorilla Family Checking Out Wildlife Photographer

Gorilla Family Checking Out Wildlife Photographer

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According to Nathalia Gjersoe, who is a senior lecturer in developmental psychology at the University of Bath, there are various reasons why our body responds like this in the absence of any real threat.

For instance, do you wince when someone is punched in a movie or squirm when someone is shamed or humiliated on screen? "These reactions are triggered by empathy: feeling the same thing we believe someone else is feeling," Gjersoe says. "Empathy allows us to put ourselves in someone else's shoes."

#10

Safety Standards In The 1960's

Safety Standards In The 1960's

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Maureen Sullivan
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Exactly what my mom would do “back in the day” when driving with us and had to hit the breaks a bit.. Those were the days.

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#11

I’ve Been Told By Employers That My Current Linkedin Photo Makes Them Nervous

I’ve Been Told By Employers That My Current Linkedin Photo Makes Them Nervous

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"Brain imaging studies have shown that there is a great deal of crossover in brain networks when we experience pain ourselves and when we observe others in pain. For example, people shown videos of patients being injected in the mouth showed activation in many of the same parts of the brain as if they themselves were being injected in the mouth."

So when we turn on footage of people cycling down incredibly steep precipices or dangling from precarious overhangs, part of our physical nervousness on their behalf is because we are imagining ourselves in their situation and how scared we would be.

#13

Hell No

Hell No

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Another contributing factor might be the fact that the sympathetic nervous system, which coordinates our fight or flight response, may not differentiate that much between real and not real.

"Visual information that conveys a threat might be translated directly into feelings of anxiety or urgency, which in turn trigger responses such as muscle contractions or increased heart rate," Gjersoe explains.

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#17

Someone's Illegal Pet Tiger Got Loose In A Houston Neighborhood

Someone's Illegal Pet Tiger Got Loose In A Houston Neighborhood

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#19

Glass Bridge In China Breaks During High Winds

Glass Bridge In China Breaks During High Winds

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Menacing Duck
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Imagine being on that bridge and your hear cracking sounds underneath you...

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#20

Dropped My Phone On This & Had A Huge "Whew" Moment When It Didn't Fall In. Drove Off & Realized My S Pen Is Missing 20 Minutes Later. Came Back To The Scene Of The Crime And Couldn't Believe My Luck

Dropped My Phone On This & Had A Huge "Whew" Moment When It Didn't Fall In. Drove Off & Realized My S Pen Is Missing 20 Minutes Later. Came Back To The Scene Of The Crime And Couldn't Believe My Luck

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Tamar Gendler, a Yale University psychologist, has proposed that we have two cognitive states for reacting to events in the world.

The first is our beliefs – those things that we believe to be true. We can say with considerable confidence that the protagonist of the movie will be okay in the end and that zombies will not subsequently break into our home and eat us.

#21

I Looked Over The Edge Of A Building In NYC And Saw This Crazy Reflection [oc]

I Looked Over The Edge Of A Building In NYC And Saw This Crazy Reflection [oc]

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#22

Alex Honnold Free-Soloing The Walls Of El Patrero Chico. Mexico, 2014

Alex Honnold Free-Soloing The Walls Of El Patrero Chico. Mexico, 2014

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Sue Denham
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Please be one of those fake shots and he's really crawling on the ground?

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#23

Brown Bear Sneaks Up On Kid Who Actually Does An Amazing Job At Staying Calm Thanks To Dad's Help

Brown Bear Sneaks Up On Kid Who Actually Does An Amazing Job At Staying Calm Thanks To Dad's Help

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Miss Frankfurter
Community Member
8 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And who helped dad stay calm? Calm enough to be recording/taking photos while your son is being eyed as lunch?

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#24

This Is The Kind Of Sh#t We Have To Deal With In Aus. I Hate Huntsman Spiders

This Is The Kind Of Sh#t We Have To Deal With In Aus. I Hate Huntsman Spiders

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deforge
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Despite their often large and hairy appearance, huntsman spiders are not considered to be dangerous spiders. As with most spiders, they do possess venom, and a bite may cause some ill effects. However, they are quite reluctant to bite, and will usually try to run away rather than be aggressive.

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The second cognitive state, Gendler suggests, is our 'aliefs.' These states are triggered by associations, instead of consideration, and can be either conscious or unconscious. We then feel uneasy even though there is no direct threat to us.

#25

Imagine If He Didn't Check

Imagine If He Didn't Check

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#26

That's Kinda High

That's Kinda High

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A dude who likes to drum
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

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#28

Why Would Anyone Attempt This

Why Would Anyone Attempt This

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Yeet_girl360
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You'd be surprised the amount of stupid things people do for "wows" and "oOoOos". . .

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"Although our aliefs may differ from our beliefs, they trigger many of the same physical responses as a real threat such as trembling, sweating, and anxiety," Gjersoe explains Gendler's theory.

"This is why I sit rigid on the edge of my seat while watching the climber dangling from the top of the skyscraper with no apparent support. I believe he will be fine and that this video signals no threat to myself, but I alieve that some threat is occurring and my sympathetic nervous system responds accordingly."

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I guess we humans aren't so different from one another, are we?

#29

A Bear Running Upstream, A Little Too Close

A Bear Running Upstream, A Little Too Close

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#30

Installing A Glass Rail On Every Floor

Installing A Glass Rail On Every Floor

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#31

Spelunker Gets Stuck In A Partially Submerged Cave Section

Spelunker Gets Stuck In A Partially Submerged Cave Section

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Yeet_girl360
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

He is extremely lucky cause he was able to turn around and go back.. but still...

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#34

A Tourist Sitting On Top Of The Pedra Da Gávea Mountain, Brazil

A Tourist Sitting On Top Of The Pedra Da Gávea Mountain, Brazil

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#35

Photographing My Friend In An Abandoned Theme Park

Photographing My Friend In An Abandoned Theme Park

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Miss Frankfurter
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Friends don’t let friends walk out on way high up rollercoaster tracks just to prove how stupid they both are.,

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#36

This Photographer Is Playing A Potentially Deadly Fight Or Flight Game With Polar Bear

This Photographer Is Playing A Potentially Deadly Fight Or Flight Game With Polar Bear

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#38

Keep Swiming

Keep Swiming

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Bear Hall
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Excuse me madam, would you mind scratching under my jaw? Yessss, that's the spot."

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#39

Always Check The Carabiners

Always Check The Carabiners

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#40

Bear With Me On This One

Bear With Me On This One

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Miss Frankfurter
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Doing my best bear voice impression. “ Just checking to see how your enjoying my river. I’ll be on my way now.”

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#41

Professional Climber Uses A “Knee Bar” To Bring Blood Back To His Arms

Professional Climber Uses A “Knee Bar” To Bring Blood Back To His Arms

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Tuna Beach
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

How do you make money as a climber. I thought it was a hobby for zealots.

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#43

This Guy Handling Those Giant Wasps

This Guy Handling Those Giant Wasps

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#45

Saw A Bentley Parked Like This In Zurich And It Immediately Gave Me Anxiety

Saw A Bentley Parked Like This In Zurich And It Immediately Gave Me Anxiety

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#48

Descending Only By Stair Frames

Descending Only By Stair Frames

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#49

Longways Down

Longways Down

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