Latest posts by Shreshtha Verma (see all)
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All human beings have to die some day or the other. It is a tragic, yet inevitable part of life that has been happening since the dawn of humanity. Some people wish to die peacefully in their sleep; others want to leave this world with a bang. No matter what your preference is, chances are you wouldn’t want to suffer any of these 40 unusual deaths that will leave you scratching your head. So let us look at what are those.
1. Canadian lawyer Garry Hoy died while trying to prove that the glass in the windows of a 24th-floor office was unbreakable, by throwing himself against it. It didn’t break – but it did pop out of its frame and he plunged to his death.
2. Monica Meyer, the mayor of Betterton, Maryland, died while checking her town’s sewage tanks – she fell in and drowned in 15 feet of human waste.
3. Clement Vallandigham, a 19th century US lawyer, accidentally shot himself dead while defending a murder suspect – because he was trying to demonstrate that a supposed victim could have accidentally shot himself dead. (It worked because his client was acquitted.)
4. In 2007 the deputy mayor of Delhi, Surinder Singh Bajwa, died falling off a balcony while trying to fend off a troop of attacking monkeys.
5. The owner of the company that makes Segways died in 2010 after accidentally driving his Segway off a cliff.
6. Robert Williams, a Ford assembly line worker, is the first human in history to have been killed by a robot. He was hit by a robot arm in 1979.
7. Sigurd the Mighty, a ninth-century Norse earl of Orkney, was killed by an enemy he had beheaded several hours earlier. He’d tied the man’s head to his horse’s saddle, but while riding home one of its protruding teeth grazed his leg. He died from the infection.
8. US congressman Michael F. Farley died in 1921 as a result of shaving – because his shaving brush was infected with anthrax.
9. Several people danced themselves to death during the month-long Dance Fever of 1518 in Strasbourg, during which hundreds of people danced for about a month for no clear reason.
10. In 1923, jockey Frank Hayes won a race at Belmont Park in New York despite being dead — he suffered a heart attack mid-race, but his body stayed in the saddle until his horse crossed the line for a 20–1 outside victory.
11. Paul G. Thomas, the owner of a wool mill, fell into one of his machines in 1987 and died after being wrapped in 800 yards of wool.
12. Russian physician Alexander Bogdanov performed pioneering blood transfusions on himself, believing they would give him long life. They actually killed him after he suffered an adverse reaction.
3. In 1900, American physician Jesse William Lazear tried to prove that Yellow Fever was transmitted by mosquitoes by letting infected mosquitoes bite him. He then died of the disease. Proving himself right.
14. Edward Harrison was playing golf in Washington state in 1951 when his driver snapped, and the shaft lodged in his groin. He staggered about 100 yards before bleeding to death.
15. The Greek philosopher Chrysippus of Soli is said to have died of laughter after watching a donkey trying to eat his figs.
16. In 1567, the man said to have the longest beard in the world died after he tripped over his beard running away from a fire.
17. Austrian tailor Franz Reichelt thought he’d invented a device that could make men fly. He tested this by jumping off the Eiffel Tower wearing it. It didn’t work. He died.
18. And the first pedestrian ever killed by a car was Bridget Driscoll of Croydon, London, in 1896.
19. Mary Ward was a pioneering Irish female scientist who is sadly better known as the first person in history to ever be killed in a car accident – while driving with her family in their experimental “road locomotive steam engine”.
20. British actor Gareth Jones died of a heart attack while performing in a live televised play in 1958 – in which his character was scripted to have a heart attack. The rest of the cast improvised around his death and finished the play.
21. General John Sedgwick was killed by a sniper in the American Civil War shortly after uttering the words “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.”(Contrary to popular belief, though, they weren’t his last words. They were his second-last. His last words were agreeing that dodging was, in fact, a good idea.)
22. Engineer Horace Lawson Hunley pioneered submarine design in the American Civil War – although most of them sank. He died when his final model, named after himself, sank while he was in command of it.
23. Carl Wilhelm Scheele was a brilliant Swedish chemist who had an unwise habit of tasting all the chemicals he discovered. He died in 1786 as a result of his exposure to lead, hydrofluoric acid, arsenic and various other poisons.
24. Queen Sunanda Kumariratana of Siam (now Thailand) drowned in 1880 in full view of many of her subjects – because they were forbidden to touch her, so couldn’t rescue her.
25. In 1992, Greg Austin Gingrich died in the Grand Canyon after jokingly pretending to fall to his death, then losing his footing and actually falling to his death.
26. Health fanatic Basil Brown managed to kill himself by drinking a gallon of carrot juice, in the belief it would make him healthy.
27. An Irish woman died in 2008 after voluntarily having sex with a dog. The exact cause of death is unclear, although it was speculated that an allergic reaction to dogs might have been the cause.
28. The first people ever killed in an air accident were hot air balloon pioneers Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and Pierre Romain, in 1785.
29. And eight people died in the London Beer Flood of 1814, when a giant vat at a brewery burst, sending over 3,500 barrels of beer pouring through the nearby streets.
30. Twenty-one people died in the Boston Molasses Disaster of 1919, when a massive tank of molasses burst on a warm day, sending a 25ft high wave of sweetener through the city at 35 mph.
31. And the first person ever killed in a powered airplane crash was Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge in 1908, in a plane piloted by Orville Wright.
32. Starry-eyed poet Li Bai tried to kiss the reflection of the moon in the water next to his boat when he fell overboard and drowned.
33. In 2013, Brazilian Joao Maria de Souza was killed when a cow fell on him through his roof as he slept.
34. King Adolf Frederick of Sweden didn’t die hungry. The king suffered fatal digestion problems after eating caviar, sauerkraut, smoked herring and champagne, lobster, and 14 servings of his favorite dessert served in a bowl of hot milk. Swedish children today still remember him as “the king who ate himself to death.”
35. It was rumored that King Edward II of England was murdered by having a red-hot iron inserted into his anus. Before his death, Edward was dethroned and imprisoned by his wife, Queen Isabella, and her lover, Roger Mortimer.
36. Be careful what you wish for. American revolutionary James Otis Jr. often told his friends that he wanted to be killed by a bolt of lightning when his time arrived. His wish came true when he was standing in the doorway of his friend’s house and lightning struck the chimney.
37. Picky eaters, take note. Austrian-American logician Kurt Godel died of starvation while his wife was being hospitalized. He suffered from extreme paranoia and refused to eat unless his wife prepared the food.
38. Bernd-Jurgen Brandes of Germany was stabbed repeatedly before being partially eaten by Armin Meiwes. It was later discovered that the two had agreed to this arrangement on the Internet and Brandes had explicitly written in his will that he wished to be murdered and eaten.
39. A drunken man from St. Petersburg, Russia, was having an argument with his wife one night. In anger, his wife kicked that handle of the folding couch he was lying on and it trapped him in the wall. She returned three hours later to find him dead.
40. A 28-year-old Russian man bets two women he could have nonstop sex with them for twelve hours. He won the $4,300 bet only to suffer a heart attack several minutes later because of the entire bottle of Viagra he had ingested before the challenge.