Ludger Sylbaris was born on 1875 in the Caribbean island of Martinique, where he worked as a laborer in the town of Saint-Pierre. He has gained a notorious reputation in his small town, even being convicted for his trouble-making behavior.
It was on May 7, 1902 when Sylbaris went out to get a drink. On his way to find water, he ended up in a riot. Because of this, he was thrown into solitary confinement. Police locked him in an underground cell without windows with only a very small slit in the door to teach him a lesson.
But this lesson saved his life.
The next day, the Mt. Pelée volcano located near Saint-Pierre started to erupt. Thousands left the countryside and took shelter in the town. It would become their biggest mistake.
Mt. Pelée exploded, causing massive destruction to the town, and killed about 40,000 people. The volcano eruption's pressure wave exceeded 1,000 degrees in temperature, which reduced the whole town to ashes.
In the wake of the disaster, the rescue team heard Sylbaris crying inside asking for help. Though he suffered some burns, his underground cell became the safest place in the town and saved his life. He told the people that he urinated on his clothes and placed it on the small slit in the door to protect himself from being burned by the high temperature.
Sylbaris was the sole survivor of his ruined town.
Sylbaris got pardoned for all his offenses and was eventually hired by the Barnun and Bailey circus, where he achieved fame as the "Living Relic" and “The Man Who Lived Through Doomsday.”
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