Home > Uncategorized > Think Indiana Jones cool? He ain’t got nothin’ on this real-life badass.

Think Indiana Jones cool? He ain’t got nothin’ on this real-life badass.

Today’s post has little to do with the themes of the blog (haha, as if I have themes yet). But this is about an awesome person (defn: inspiring awe)–a man a bit like Indiana Jones, except totally, 100% real. An explorer…

Roy McDiarmid, a senior herpetologist with the U.S.G.S. in Washington, said that when he first met Mr. Brewer-Carías 30 years ago,

“I wondered if such a person could actually exist.”

Let’s back up a sec, OK? I love Indiana Jones. I don’t care if he’s fictional. Raiders is the greatest adventure film ever made. I dare you to disagree. Interestingly, over the years, many people have been said to be the real-life inspiration for Indiana Jones. Funnily, none of them may actually have been. But there’s a twist. You won’t get this from reading the Wikipedia article, kids. I may be stretching the truth a little (or a lot) to connect this man with Indiana Jones–most importantly, he isn’t a professor, and doesn’t appear to have fought Nazis–but this dude is actually alive, and he is awesome. TL;DR Indiana Jones exists….   kind of.

His name is Charles, Charles Brewer-Carias. He’s seventy-three, Venezuelan, and looks like a holdout from the British Victorian era—partly his ancestry (he was born into an aristocratic family with his father a British diplomat), partly his old-fashioned views, and partly his wicked ‘stache. See for yourself:

He has ….

  • discovered hundreds of new species, with 16 plants, three reptiles, two insects and one scorpion named in his honor (as of 2006): “while several hundred new species of plants, insects, snails and frogs have been discovered and collected on my expeditions, only 28 new species or genera have actually been named after me”
  • discovered the world’s oldest organism (300,000+ years old)
  • discovered the world’s largest quartzite cave….  and the world’s oldest cave….    and the greatest sinkholes on Earth
  • led a scuba expedition in the waters of the Caribbean and found the place where 18 ships of Louis XVIs “Westerly fleet” disappeared  in 1678
  • has written dozens of books
  • has survived being shot from 2 feet away (which happened as he successfully fought off several armed criminals in his house)
  • practiced dentistry among the Yekuana tribe, whose language he speaks fluently (was a dentist before becoming a full-time explorer)
  • has undertaken over 250 expeditions (on some of which not everybody returned from alive)
  • on these expeditions, he has survived/endured a raft of tropical diseases, including deadly leishmaniasis…  and once survived by eating roasted termite larvae
  • has a home decorated with butterflies, tarantulas and huge bugs in glass cases
  • has a world record–informally, anyway–for starting a fire with sticks (2.7 seconds)
  • has done almost all of this in his geographical ‘backyard’ in Venezuela
  • claims to have discovered the city referred to i myth as El Dorado:

“The name refers to a man who lived by a lake near Manoa. I know the site very well.” he said. “I’ve been there, picked up ceramics. I will go back there with my son and two companions. We have made our plans. Together we will discover El Dorado.”

I obtained all of the (epic, mind-blowing) facts listed above from the following three articles:

  1. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/26/world/americas/26brewer.html
  2. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/06/charles-brewer-carias-naturalist-venezuela
  3. http://www.theadventurists.com/the-jibber/a-brief-chinwag-with-legend-of-adventure-charles-brewer-carias-esq
Categories: Uncategorized
  1. kip1981
    August 12, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Great post, Adam. I want to be more like this badass.

    • August 12, 2012 at 10:08 pm

      I hope you have the chance to check out some other posts Kip, like maybe What about unborn children. Yeah, it’s probably rather naive philosophy, but I think you might like the subject(s)–and my friend Sid helped clarify some thoughts on the topic (in the comments).

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