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As early as the English Civil War in 1643, soldiers credited items in their pockets—mostly biblical—with blocking bullets that could have ended their lives.
In WWII, some soldiers were even given a steel-covered edition for this purpose.
Today, that tradition has taken on a thoroughly modern twist.
If the images circulating on social media are correct, an iPhone may have recently stopped a bullet that hit a soldier in Ukraine.
A short video posted to Twitter and Reddit appears to show the soldier pulling an iPhone out of the pocket of a vest stored in the trunk of a vehicle.
The glass screen and back of the device have been completely destroyed, with cracks radiating from a central impact point.
There is no footage of the incident itself, so it’s hard to verify that the damage was indeed caused by a bullet — and that a soldier was wearing that vest at the time.
But it does ring with plenty of other stories about phones blocking or slowing bullets that could otherwise have killed their owners.
A lot of people joke that they couldn’t live without their phone – but in some cases, this can actually be true.
A Texas woman recently described saved by her phone when she was shot in the chest at a party in 2019. The bullet traveled through her phone, which she held in her hand, absorbing much of the impact.
Phone, multimedia device, camera – and apparently a bullet shield too. (Photo: @thewarshal)
After fleeing the crime scene, she discovered what appeared to be serious damage from a bullet to her iPhone. It’s not clear if she was holding the phone or in her purse, but a CNN reporter on the scene said it was “just inches from her body.”
In 2015, a college student in Fresno, California, told the police that the iPhone in his pocket had saved him during a robbery. He said a thief tried to shoot him with a semi-automatic pistol while he was trying to steal his laptop.
The phone was damaged beyond repair, but the student survived the incident unharmed.
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