How Leonardo DiCaprio Cheated Death Twice

Leonardo DiCaprio has lived an interesting life way beyond the amazing experiences from his status as an A-list Hollywood actor. And by interesting, we really mean terrifying. In one instance, DiCaprio was looking out the aircraft window watching the New York skyline fade to dim lights down below on a chilly November night in 2010 when one of the plane's engine blew up, Us Weekly reported. "The entire engine just turned into a fireball ... I was the only person there that seemed to see this," he said on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in January 2016. DiCaprio was on his way to Russia and surrounded by passengers who went on about their business. "I kind of felt like I'd already died and gone to heaven because no one said anything," he told DeGeneres. "And I was screaming at the top of my lungs."

DiCaprio and the others didn't die, as the pilot managed to return to the John F. Kennedy International Airport safely, according to Us Weekly. Upon landing, DiCaprio distributed autographs among crew members in an effort to demonstrate his gratitude. DiCaprio "wishes to commend the actions of the pilot and flight crew in bringing the plane to a safe landing," his rep told the outlet. The scare also didn't keep him from getting on another flight to Russia and attending a summit in St. Petersburg to discuss tiger conservation, according to the BBC

The scariest part? This wasn't DiCaprio's closest encounter with death. Or even the second closest.

Leonardo DiCaprio survived an encounter with a great white shark

As the great environmentalist that he is, Leonardo DiCaprio has had memorable encounters with all kinds of animal, big and small, including the much-feared shark. While most of them went smoothly and uneventfully, one of them nearly proved fatal. DiCaprio was filming "Blood Diamond" in South Africa in 2006 when he went scuba diving off the country's shark-riddled coast and found himself stuck in a cage with a "gigantic great white," he said on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in January 2014. 

Scuba driving instructors leave the cage open at the top and pump tuna in the surrounding area to attract the sharks, he explained in a 2015 interview with Wired. But an unfortunate event led to near disaster. "The tuna kind of got stuck on the top of the cage and the great white leaped out and tried to bite it, and it went into the cage with me," he told DeGeneres. 

Instinctively, DiCaprio dove to the bottom of the cage, to create as much distance as possible between him and the sharp-toothed animal. "I sort of fell down to the bottom and tried to lie flat. The great white took about five or six snaps an arm's length away from my head," DiCaprio said. Fortunately for DiCaprio, sharks are smart creatures and this great white managed to flip its massive body around and escape the confines of the cage. "I have it on video. It's insane," DiCaprio told Wired. 

Leonardo DiCaprio suffered a skydiving accident

Leonardo DiCaprio is all for trying new things — and doing them again if the experience proves exhilarating. Skydiving definitely proved an efficient way to get copious amounts of adrenaline through the veins, but he sure won't seek that rush twice. That's because DiCaprio's adventure didn't go as planned, he said on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in 2016. "When both parachutes don't open, you tend to not go repeat something like that, yeah," he said. The instructor who was on his back pulled the first chute only to realize it was tangled, DiCaprio told Wired in 2015.

That was it, DiCaprio thought. He was going to die. "That's when you get the, you know, 8x10 glossies of your whole life flashing before your eyes," he told DeGeneres. But things were about to get worse. When the instructor cut the second chute, it proved to be knotted up liked the first, according to Wired. "He just kept shaking it and shaking it in midair," he said. Meanwhile, DiCaprio could see that his friends were "what felt like half a mile above me," popping their colorful parachutes open. "And I'm plummeting toward earth," he laughed. 

His instructor tugged at the cords for 30 or 40 seconds before finally untangling them, he told DeGeneres. By that point, they were too close to the ground. "He told me, 'Oh, you're probably going to break your legs.'" He didn't, but it remains "one of the worst experiences of my life."