In the ’70s, Russian scientist Anatoli Bugorski was a researcher at the Institute for High Energy Physics, working with the Soviet particle accelerator known as the Synchrotron U-70. On July 13, 1978, he popped his head into the Synchrotron to check on a malfunctioning piece of equipment when all of a sudden — zap! A safety mechanism went kaput at exactly the wrong moment, shooting a proton beam straight through his head. Although he felt no pain, Bugorski reportedly saw a flash “brighter than a thousand suns.” The beam entered through the back of his head and exited through his nose. Soon after, the left side of his face swelled up like a balloon, and he was rushed to the hospital — to be treated, of course, but also to be studied, as nothing like this had ever happened before. People believed he’d be dead within a few days, at the most.