As far back as the English Civil War in 1643, soldiers have credited objects in their pockets — usually bibles — with blocking bullets that could have ended their lives.
In World War II, some soldiers were even issued with steel-covered editions for this very purpose.
Today, that tradition has taken on a thoroughly modern twist.
If images circulating on social media are accurate, an iPhone may have recently stopped a bullet hitting 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 stashed in the boot of a vehicle.
The device’s glass screen and back cover are completely smashed, with cracks radiating from a central point of impact.
There isn’t any footage of the incident itself, so it’s hard to verify the damage was indeed caused by a bullet — and that a soldier was wearing that vest at the time.
— julio / Caronte (@jmscaronte) July 17, 2022
But it does chime with numerous other stories of phones blocking or slowing down bullets that could otherwise have killed their owners.
Many people people joke they couldn’t live without their phone — but in some cases, this may actually be true.
A Texan woman recently described being saved by her phone when she was shot in the chest at a party back in 2019. The bullet travelled through her phone, which she was holding in her hand, taking much of the impact.
During the tragic Las Vegas mass shooting in 2017, a taxi driver claimed a woman he ferried from the incident at the Mandalay Bay hotel survived the attack in a similar manner.
After fleeing the scene, she discovered what appeared to be serious damage from a bullet on her iPhone. It’s not clear if she was holding the phone or if it was in her bag, but a CNN reporter at the scene said it was ‘just inches away from her body.’
— Jason K. Morrell (@CNNJason) October 3, 2017
Back in 2015, a student in Fresno, California, told police that the iPhone in his pocket had saved him during a mugging. He said a thief tried to shoot him with a semi-automatic handgun while attempting to steal his laptop.
The phone was damaged beyond repair, but the student left the incident unharmed.
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