It is a truth universally acknowledged; and yet we hardly ever talk about it: how are we going to die?
There’s no easy answer to one of life’s biggest questions. It is perhaps the one thing in the world that unites us all. Death has no prejudice to race, creed, color, gender, sex, or class. It’s coming for all of us.
That being said, there are objectively good, bad, or peculiar ways that people can die. While we all hope to gently go in our sleep surrounded by friends and family, some people aren’t so lucky. Here, we recognize some of those people.
Death By Segway
Segways were the machines that never quite entered the mainstream as much as anyone had anticipated. After wooing over the gadgets in films like Back To The Future, it’s strange we weren’t more prepared for
Having bought the company from Dean Kamen in 2009, he wanted the world to know just how great they were. Sadly, one year after buying the company, the 62-year-old drove one off a cliff and died.
Death By Eating
We all love food, right? We often describe a piece of chocolate cake as ‘to die for’, but do we really mean it? It turns out King Adolf Frederick of Sweden absolutely did. In 1771, the 61-year-old ruler ‘ate like a king’ one night, which may have cost him his life.
In one sitting, he consumed a lobster, caviar, cabbage, smoked herring, and a bottle of Champagne. He then washed it down with 14 servings of his favorite dessert, semla in hot milk. Unsurprisingly, he died later that night.
Death By Kicking
That name might ring a bell: Daniel was the creator of ‘Jack Daniel’s’ whiskey in Tennessee. When you make a drink that remains popular for 145 years, you’re probably a bit of a control freak.
Daniel had a short temper and would often become hot-headed when discussing how to make the perfect whiskey. One day, he became a bit too impassioned and kicked a nearby iron safe. His toe became infected from the kick and he died soon after, at the age of 61.
Death By Scarf
Famous dancer Isadora Duncan wowed audiences in France and the USA with her amazing moves. In the early 1900s, many people would travel to see her perform. However, no one could have expected just how tragically her life would end.
At the age of 49, she was driving her car in Nice, France, when the scarf around her neck got trapped in one of the axels. In a split second, her neck was snapped and she died. To this day, it is known as one of the most unusual and random deaths recorded.
Death By Bottle Cap
Tennessee Williams is one of the greatest playwrights in American history, being the mastermind behind works like A Streetcar Named Desire. Unfortunately, he had always battled addiction and drug dependence, which hindered some of his later work.
It was in these later years of his life when Williams was found dead in a hotel room, aged 77. Authorities immediately assumed that he had overdosed, but the truth was even weirder. He had choked by swallowing an eyedropper bottle cap.
Death By Laughing
They say laughter is the best medicine, just don’t tell that to Chrysippus! The Greek stoic was a leading thinker during ancient Greece and often taught the values of stoicism. Ironically, a true stoic would argue that you cannot be controlled by the desire for pleasure or the fear of pain.
Chrysippus died by literally laughing too much when he forced his donkey to get drunk and watch it attempt to eat figs. Aurelius would be ashamed!
Death By Hat
You might recognize the name ‘Draco’. Aside from Harry Potter’s nemesis, Draco Malfoy, it is also the name of a Greek lawmaker in the 7th century. In fact, he was so strict in his rulings that it inspired the term ‘Draconian’ – a term still used today.
One day, he was giving a particularly encouraging speech which caused admiring Greeks to throw their hats and cloaks down to the stage. Sadly, Draco suffocated under the pressure of all the garments thrown on to him and he died at age 50.
Death By Orange Peel
One day, a man slipped on an orange peel and fractured his leg. No big deal, right? The fractured leg was to get infected and the man was to die only two months later. This story may seem strange and sad, but it’s even weirder when you consider that the man was Bobby Leach.
If the name doesn’t ring a bell, then he’s also known as the second person to ever journey down Niagara Falls in a barrel. After surviving that massive stunt, it would be a piece of fruit that would kill him.
Death By Hair
Ask anyone around her: Jasmine Beever was a perfectly normal college student. She attended class and had a bunch of friends. Her one habit proved to be strange and deadly – the desire to eat her own hair. Months would go by and no one thought anything serious about it.
In September 2017, Beever dropped dead. An autopsy report showed that the copious amounts of hair she had been swallowing caused a ball in her stomach, causing an infection. The disorder is called trichophagia, or ‘Rapunzel Syndrome’.
Death By Caramel
Do you think working in a candy factory is all fun and games? You haven’t spoken to enough Oompa Loompas. You definitely haven’t spoken to Natalia Nemets because she’s dead. The 36-year-old Russian mother was busy at work one day in a Candy factory when her colleagues noticed she had gone missing.
A few hours went by until they saw nothing but Natalia’s feet sticking out of a large vat of molten caramel. The melted confectionery had boiled her alive after she had accidentally
Death By Tortoise
When that apple dropped on Sir Isaac Newton’s head, the world was changed forever. Gravity was discovered and it transformed the way we view our universe. When a tortoise dropped on Aeschylus’ head, he was immediately killed.
It turns out that the Greek playwright was on a walk for some inspiration when an eagle flew over him. He looked up to catch the beautiful site and came head to head with a tortoise that the eagle dropped from its claws. To make matters worse, the tortoise lived and the eagle went hungry.
Death By Unbreakable Glass
Oh, what lawyers won’t do to prove themselves correct in an argument. For Canadian lawyer Garry Hoy, his ego cost him his life. In 1993, the 38-year-old was trying to prove that the glass windows in a 24-story building were unbreakable.
What’s the best way to prove that they won’t break? By throwing yourself at them, of course. Hoy flew through the pane and fell all the way to his death. Ironically, the glass itself didn’t break – it was knocked out of its frame.
Death By Poo
In 1980, the Mayor of Betterton, Maryland, took a tour of the town’s revolutionary sewage system. The 70-year-old went underground and greeted a group of dedicated workers who risk their lives every day to keep her town clean.
Unfortunately, Monica Meyer’s life was taken after the first day. In her first visit, she slipped and fell into a sewage tank full of human waste. The poo acted as quicksand and she sank all the way to the bottom, suffocating to death.
Death By Racehorse
In 1923, a racing Jockey prepared for a race. He thought he had good odds: his horse was well-rested, as was he, and he felt he had luck on his side. Frank Hayes knew his odds were slim – 20-1 – but that didn’t bother him.
He saddled up, ducked down, and got ready to go. Against all odds, his horse did end up winning. Sadly for Hayes, he never got to find out: he suffered a heart attack during the race and died while riding the horse.
Death By Drowning
Sadly, death by drowning in and of itself isn’t too peculiar. Thousands of people die every year when they enter the water and no one sees when the victim starts struggling. But that’s the thing: usually, no one sees.
In 1880, the whole town saw the Queen of Siam (now Thailand), Sunanda Kumariratana drown. No one saved her because commoners were not allowed to touch royalty at the time. So she drowned in front of the whole city.
Death By Heart Attack
Again, heart attacks are no laughing matter and too many people die of them each year. Unfortunately for comedian Tommy Cooper, he was in the business of laughter. The iconic British entertainer made a name for himself with his self-deprecating humor and seemingly failed magic tricks.
So they laughed and clapped when Cooper fell to the stage halfway through a trick. Little did they know he was having a heart attack on stage – and he died a few moments after the curtain fell in 1984. The show was broadcast live to millions of people at home.
Death By Wool
Sometimes our biggest accomplishments can be our biggest downfall. In 1987, Paul G. Thomas thought he was on Cloud 9: as the owner of a wool mill, he was making millions.
Unfortunately for Thomas, it wasn’t a cloud he was walking on, but some of his own wool when he fell into one of his machines. It continued to operate, wrapping him up in more than 800 yards of his own creation. He was turned into a Mummy and died. He was 47.
Death By Cow
In 2013, a man named Joao Souza was lying in bed fast asleep one night when he died. However, it’s not as pretty as it sounds. You might think that he gently passed on after battling a serious illness like a truly noble man. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Souza was a perfectly healthy 45-year-old man who just happened to be sleeping underneath his cow upstairs. When his cow fell through the roof, it crushed Souza to death. Fortunately, both his wife and the cow were safe from injury.
Death By Parachute
Austrian tailor Franz Reichelt was convinced that he had just invented the first device that could make men fly. I mean, he had done the maths and everything. He wore a large cloak and climbed all the way to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Holding his breath, he prepared to jump off and meet amazed fans at the bottom. People at the bottom were amazed, to say the least: they had just watched Reichelt jump to his death. No one has tried since.