Trapped in a medieval tower for seven hours, Cambridge academic Dr. Krisztina Ilko ingeniously escaped using only an eyeliner pencil and cotton bud. This wasn’t just any tower; it was the former residence of 16th-century philosopher Erasmus, with thick walls and heavy wooden doors. Despite her intellect, Dr. Ilko found herself stuck in the bathroom, where a lock proved surprisingly susceptible to a sneeze.

“I tried to bang the shower head on the door, break it with brute force, and shout for help but nothing worked and no one could hear me,” she told the BBC.

“Sometimes when I hear sounds around here I joke that it is the ghost of Erasmus, then I thought I was going to join him and become a Cambridge legend.”

With no success, she resorted to her childhood TV inspiration, MacGyver, and improvised a lock-picking tool with an eyeliner pencil and cotton bud. Her escape from the historic tower turned into a tale of ingenuity and resourcefulness, sparing her from becoming a Cambridge legend in an unintended way.