Xiao Yunzhi was taking a stroll in Guangyuan, China, when his head started feeling strangely heavy.
But it was only when the local tobacconist pointed to his skull he realised something was amiss.
As 57-year-old Xiao was passing a high-rise apartment block, a 12cm kitchen knife had fallen from an eighth-floor balcony, embedding itself up to its hilt in the left side of his head, but without piercing his skull. As soon as the problem had been pointed out, pain washed over Xiao and he sat down in the street, while someone called an ambulance.
"It was terrifying to see," his younger sister said of last week's incident. "The knife handle was sticking out of the top."
Yesterday, Xiao was still being treated in hospital, where the knife was removed.
The owner of the knife said he had left it in a flowerpot on the balcony, never thinking that it might drop.
"They told the police that the wind must have blown it off," the sister said. "They have already come to visit my brother in the hospital and have paid some of his medical bills."