With all the lion-related deaths in the news lately, it seems like everybody and their brother is talking about how long they could last against a lion in one-on-one combat. Okay, so maybe not everybody is talking about it, but we here in the Dumpster have been pondering this thought for quite some time…
If you were completely alone and unarmed in the middle of the Serengeti or where ever the fuck lions live these days, how long would it take before the lion spotted you, caught up to you, and tore you apart? You have no weapons to use, no trees to climb, no significant martial art skills; you have nothing. You are not Usain Bolt, nor are you Chuck Norris or Jackie Chan. Just the average human and the average lion in a wide open field…
TALE OF THE TAPE
Lion (Panthera leo)
Nickname: King of the Jungle, Big Fucking Killing Machine
Weight: 400 lbs.
Average Speed: 50 mph
Strengths: Razor sharp teeth, razor sharp claws, fast, always hungry
Weaknesses: Easily confused, no opposable thumbs, sleeps too much
Human (Homo sapiens)
Weight: 200 lbs.
Average Speed: 12 mph
Strengths: Intelligent, articulate, opposable thumbs, once got a handjob in art class
Weaknesses: Doesn’t have razor sharp teeth or razor sharp claws, slightly overweight, slow, scared of wild animals
So here it is. We have your average lion against your average human, as pictured above. Now, for starters, terrain is a big factor. Where is this showdown taking place? In the middle of New York City? How about at the San Diego Zoo? No. We gotta give the lions homecourt advantage in this one, so this deathmatch is taking place in the lion’s den, if you will. In the middle of fucking Africa.
How did the average human aka “Steve” get there, you might ask? Since I know some people live and die by reason and logistics and bullshit like that, let’s just say “Steve” was the lone survivor of a hot air balloon crash in the middle of the Serengeti. Also, since physical condition can play a huge role in a situation like this, we’ll say that “Steve” had a nice meal before the crash and was completely unharmed in the accident that killed all of his family and friends. Hydrated? Yes. Well-nourished? Yes. Mentally stable? Not so much.
So here is where the debate begins. Let’s say “Steve” is walking through an endless field a few hours after the crash, desperately hoping to find some kind help. As he is walking along he spots a lion in the distance. Let’s say a half mile away. The lion doesn’t see him…yet. “Steve” looks around and sees nothing but miles of uncivilized land. As we mentioned before, there’s no climbable trees, he has no weapons, there is nothing for this poor bastard to work with. Just him and the lion…alone.
I’m assuming this is the face one would make upon encountering a lion
As “Steve” begins to run, the lion, using those solid hunting skills of his, sees something in the distance that looks edible. He begins to move towards it. Now they say that the best way to dodge a lion (if there is any best way at all) is to make a lot of noise and panic and throw your arms in the air in attempt to confuse the lion. “Steve” does all of this when he spots the lion because he is about to shit his pants in fear. He sprints away, the lion sees him a few minutes later, and it’s on.
At this point, I give “Steve” about 10 minutes to avoid this lion before that beast of a killing machine finally catches up to him. There’s only so much you can do to hide from a lion. Maybe you can hide behind a rock for a little bit, but eventually he’s gonna find you. Maybe you can try and swim away. Lions hate water, right? Well, odds are you would get devoured by a crocodile, so maybe that’s not the best option either. And it’s not like you can run forever. Even those in peak physical condition can only run for so long. Sure, instincts would kick in to fucking haul ass out of there, but eventually you’re going to get winded. The lion? Maybe not so much.
So, let’s say you run/hide from a lion for about 10 minutes. 15 minutes at the most. Eventually he closes in on you, catches up to you and attacks. Does he kill you right away? Well, you can only hope so. But what if he decides to jump you from behind, throw a quick slash of the paws across the back, and then rip you down by your waist? What if after all that, you are still alive, and the lion proceeds to slowly eat your legs? I’m not an expert on the killing tactics of a lion, but I imagine he would probably kill you first before doing anything else. No one wants their prey squirming around and screaming while they try and enjoy a nice meal. That being said, if the lion takes his sweet time in eating you, you’re fucked. This could add at least two or three minutes of miserable lion time to your grand total. The quicker the better, but then again, lions aren’t all that considerate.
Between hiding, running, and physically being mauled to death, the Dumpster has concluded it would take the average human a maximum of 15 minutes before the average lion finally ripped it to shreds.
Think it should be more? Less? Feel free to comment with your responses.