It takes between 5-600 rads of radiation to kill someone, but one physicist survived a blast of 200,000 rads when he inadvertently put his entire head in a particle accelerator "for research." The video below tells the extraordinary tale of his unlikely survival.
Anatoli Bugorski was a researcher working with the largest particle accelerator in Russia. In 1978, he was performing a routine check of the machine, which propels charged particles to almost the speed of light to contain them in a well-defined beam: a laser.
Just as he leaned over the particle accelerator, a safety mechanism failed, and the laser beam instantly shot on, going through Bugorski's skull all the way through his nose. He saw "a flash of light brighter than a thousand suns." To everyone's surprise, however, his skull was not burned to a crisp. He didn't come out entirely unscathed, though.
He spent the next days in the hospital, baffling doctors with his inexplicable survival. Watch this video for more about the particle accelerator and the fluke that saved the scientist, and learn why the Russian government didn't allow him to talk about the event for years.