Culture

'Extremes' Is Our Podcast About People Who've Lived Through Wild Situations

In one episode, we meet a guy who posted himself from the UK to Australia. In another, we meet a former banker who embezzled $700 million.

by VICE Staff
30 May 2019, 6:19am

Listen and subscribe to Extremes on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

Extremes is a show about people who’ve lived through extraordinary situations. These are big stories with enormous stakes. There’s no pattern to the stories our guests tell: some are funny, others are sad. Some situations were accidents, others were created deliberately—but all provide a window into human behaviour when all bets are off.

Here are some of the episodes we've covered so far:

1562770862478-CSIRO_ScienceImage_439_Experimental_Bushland_Burning_Results

The Firefighter Who Was Caught Lighting Forest Fires

David was a 17-year-old volunteer firefighter who was caught lighting fires along Australia's southern coast. In this episode, we'll ask David what drove him to such reckless behaviour. Listen on Apple or Spotify

coma_extremes
Photo via Flickr user Alatele fr via creative commons licence 2.0

The Man Who Woke From a Coma Speaking Chinese

Ben McMahon learned Chinese in a Melbourne high school, but, like a lot of people who learn languages at high school, he accomplished only the basics. But years later, when Ben was involved in a car accident, he woke up inexplicably speaking Chinese. Listen on Apple or Spotify

1560147214835-pjimage-5

Near Death in the Antarctic

Peter Bland is an Australian businessman who was almost the first person to cross the Antarctic Peninsula unsupported. But on the home stretch, he was hit by an avalanche and washed down a crevasse. We talk to Peter about ego: the things it can propel us to achieve, and the pain it puts us through. Listen on Apple or Spotify

1559196172089-pjimage-1

The $700 Million Bank Fraud

In 2003, John Rusnak became briefly famous for pulling one of the biggest cases of bank fraud in US history. We talk to John about how he got himself into so much trouble, why he turned himself in, and whether it was worth the prison time. Listen on Apple or Spotify

1559196277458-man_in_a_box

The Man Who Mailed Himself From the UK to Australia

In 1964 Reg Spiers was in London, trying to make the Olympic javelin team. When he didn’t make the cut he found himself stranded, with not enough funds to get home to Australia. But rather than trying to save money, Reg decided to send himself back via international mail, inside a box. Listen on Apple or Spotify

1559196659232-annette_herfkens

How it Feels to Survive a Plane Crash That Kills Everyone Else

Annette Herfkens was 31 when she and her fiancé boarded a Vietnam Airlines flight in November of 1992. It was supposed to be a romantic trip; a surprise getaway organised by her fiancé who was working as a banker in Ho Chi Minh City. But instead of reaching the resort town of Nha Trang as planned, the plane hit severe turbulence, clipped a mountain, and disintegrated into the jungle.

Thirty people lost their lives in the crash, including her fiancé, and when Annette came to she found herself alone in the ruined fuselage, surrounded by luggage and bodies. And there she stayed, for a total of eight days, waiting to be rescued.

Listen and subscribe to Extremes on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.