9 Unbelievable Acts of Devotion or Self-Sacrifice

1Man Keeps Right Hand Raised for 42 Years

Raise your hand if you love Shiva!

In 1973, a New Delhi man named Mahant Amar Bharti Ji felt he needed to completely devote himself to the Hindu Diety Shiva and world peace. In 1970, he left his wife, family, and job and began to wander the streets of India, but he decided that wasn't enough. He raised his arm and kept it there. Now, 42 years later, it's completely useless as an appendage, but has become a source of inspiration for other Hindus.

2Devoted Dog Who Waited 9 Years for Master

Last photo of Hachiko

Hachik? was an Akita that lived in Japan and was the pet of a professor at the University of Tokyo. At the end of every work day, Hachik? would greet his master at Shibuya station and the pair would walk home together. One day in 1925, the man suffered a brain hemorrhage and died. Hachik? didn't understand what had happened and waited for him to return. For nine years, Hachik? waited at that train station, and eventually became a symbol of devotion for the Japanese people. After his death, a statue was erected at the station in his honor. The photo above shows the man's wife and the train station staff with Hachik?, shortly after he was found dead on a nearby street.

3Friar Who Volunteered to Die for a Stranger at Auschwitz

Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish Franciscan friar whose church provided shelter to thousands of refugees, including Jews, during World War II. He was eventually arrested and imprisoned in 1941 and placed in the notorious Auschwitz concentration camp. In July of that year, three men escaped, and as punishment, the SS commander ordered ten men to be starved to deter further escapees. Fr. Kolbe was not one of the men, but when one of the chosen begged for mercy, he volunteered to take his place. During the entire time, he calmly led the others in prayer, and after three weeks, he was the only one left. Eventually, the commander ordered him to be killed with an injection of carbolic acid. Fr. Kolbe willingly gave the executioner his arm. He has since become a saint.

4Tomb of Unknowns Guarded Continuously Since 1937

Commemorating the fallen unknown soldier is a very serious commitment. The Tomb of the Unknowns (aka the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier) at Arlington National Cemetery has been guarded around the clock since July 2, 1937. In 1948, the Tomb Guards officially took over the task. They pace for 21 steps (in honor of the 21 gun salute fired at military funerals) and are switched every 30 minutes during summer and every hour in winter. Becoming a Sentinel is considered one of the highest honors and fewer than 700 people have passed the rigorous test, including just three women. A guard has been on duty through all calamities, including Hurricane Sandy and 9/11.

5Couple Who Never Spent a Day Apart in 68 Years Die within Hours of Each Other

George and Dorothy Doughty were married in 1946. The pair had met after Dorothy's previous husband died in World War II. George was in the same regiment and wrote a letter of condolence to the grieving widow. Soon, their correspondence blossomed into love. They were said to have never spent a single day apart since their wedding and had two sons, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. At age 91, George was admitted to the hospital with a chest infection and Dorothy, 92, was admitted a couple days later for shingles. Dorothy passed away first while George was still in a coma. Unaware of his wife's passing, he died 10 hours after she did.

6Man Reads To His Wife Every Day from 75-Year Old Diary

Here's another older devoted couple that may bring tears to your eyes. Jack and Phyllis Potter have been married for more than 70 years. Sadly, she is suffering from dementia and has been living in a nursing home since 2007. The devoted husband visits his wife every day, reading from a series of diaries he has kept since 1938 to keep connected to her. She does recognize her husband and often smiles as he reads entries.

7Woman Who Devotes Her Life to Saving Animals Around the World

Jan Creamer is no ordinary animal lover – she often risks life and limb to rescue them. She says she first became an animal rights advocate in the 1970s when she was handed a pamphlet showing dogs forced to smoke cigarettes in a laboratory experiment. Since that time, she founded Animal Defenders International with her husband Tim and travels around the world to help tortured animals. She once caught dengue fever while helping rescue 25 lions from Bolivia. Animal Defenders International has succeeded in changing laws around the world to ban circuses from keeping wild animals.

8Man Dies Donating Part of Liver to His Brother

Talk about brotherly love. Chad Arnold had always been sickly, and in February of 2010 he went into liver failure. He was hoping for a cadaver transplant, but when none were available, it was decided that a live donor was the only option. Live liver donation is very rare, but his younger brother Ryan didn't hesitate to offer part of his. Chad didn't want his brother to do it because of the dangers involved, but Ryan was adamant. Unfortunately, tragedy struck and Ryan died of complications shortly after the surgery was completed. Chad survived, and the loss brought the family, all devout Christians, closer together and closer to God.

9Man Who Has Eaten 26,000 Big Macs

Here's a form of devotion that's a little more lighthearted. Wisconsin resident Don Gorske loves Big Macs so much he's literally eaten a ton of them. The love affair began May 17, 1972, when he bought 3 to celebrate a new car. He's been hooked ever since and has now eaten at least 26,000 Big Macs. He was even featured in the movie Super Size Me. He keeps a calendar noting his purchases (he usually buys 6 on a Monday and 8 on Thursday to reheat) and keeps receipts as well as some of the different containers McDonalds has used over the years. In 2008, he released a book called 22,477 Big Macs.