32 Incredibly Unusual Deaths That Will Make You Glad To Be Alive

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1Draco

In 620 B.C., Draco of Athens, an Athenian lawmaker, was reportedly smothered to death by gifts of cloaks and hats showered upon him by appreciative citizens at a theatre on Aegina.


2. In 1903, Topsy the elephant was executed by poisoning, electrocution, and strangulation. A 74-second video of the electrocution was recorded and preserved. It may have been the first time death was ever captured in a motion picture film.


3. One ancient account of the death of Chrysippus, a third-century B.C. Greek Stoic philosopher, tells that he died of laughter after he saw a donkey eating his figs; he told a slave to give the donkey neat wine to drink to wash them down with, and then, "...having laughed too much, he died."


4. Danish nobleman Tycho Brahe contracted a bladder or kidney ailment after attending a banquet in Prague and died 11 days later in 1601. According to first-hand account, Brahe had refused to leave the banquet to relieve himself because it would have been a breach of etiquette. After he had returned home he was no longer able to urinate, except eventually in very small quantities and with excruciating pain.


5. In 2013, Elisa Lam, from Vancouver, British Columbia, was missing for several weeks before being found dead in a large water tank on the roof of the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, after guests complained about the taste of the water.


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6Thomas Urquhart

In 1660, Thomas Urquhart, a Scottish aristocrat, polymath and first translator of François Rabelais's writings into English, is said to have died laughing upon hearing that Charles II had taken the throne.


7. In 832 A.D., Sigurd the Mighty, the second Earl of Orkney, strapped the head of his defeated foe, Máel Brigte, to his horse's saddle. Brigte's teeth rubbed against Sigurd's leg as he rode, causing a fatal infection.


8. In 1993, Garry Hoy, a lawyer in Toronto, Ontario, fell to his death from the 24th floor of the Toronto-Dominion Centre while demonstrating to a group of visitors that the building's windows were "unbreakable". Hoy threw himself against the glass, which indeed did not break; rather, the window popped out of its frame.


9. On 18 February 1478, George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, was allegedly executed by drowning in a barrel of Malmsey wine at his own request.


10. In 2010, Jimi Heselden, owner of Segway Inc., died after apparently riding his own product (Segway) off a cliff.


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11Great Molasses Flood

In 1919, a large storage tank burst in Boston's North End, releasing a wave of molasses which killed 21 people and injured 150. This event was later dubbed the Great Molasses Flood.


12. In 1975, after watching the "Kung Fu Kapers" episode of "The Goodies", a man named Alex Mitchell laughed continuously for 25 minutes and then fell dead on his sofa from heart failure.


13. In 1131, Crown Prince Philip of France died while riding through Paris when his horse tripped over a black pig running out of a dung heap.


14. In 2016, the death of a 40-year-old Indian bus driver named V. Kamaraj was recorded as one of the rarest deaths ever in the world. The odds of this death is 1 in 1,60,0000. He was killed by a meteorite which left a 2-foot (61 cm) crater.


15. In 1982, a man named David Grundman who was shooting at cacti with his shotgun near Lake Pleasant, Arizona, was crushed when a 4 foot (1.2 meters) limb of the cactus detached and fell on him.


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16Jonathan Capewell

In 1998, Jonathan Capewell, at the age of 16, died from a heart attack brought on by the buildup of butane and propane in the blood after excessive use of deodorant sprays. Capewell was reported to have an obsession with personal hygiene. An autopsy showed that Capewell had 0.37 mg of butane per liter in his blood, and the same amount of propane, whereas 0.1 mg per liter can be fatal.


17. In 1258, Al-Musta'sim, the last Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad, was executed by his Mongol captors by being rolled up in a rug and then trampled by horses.


18. In 1983, a bouncer named Jimmy Ferrozzo died in Condor Club, San Francisco while engaging in sexual intercourse with his girlfriend Theresa Hill on a grand piano that was lowered from the ceiling by a hydraulic motor. Ferrozzo accidentally activated the lifting mechanism which pinned him against the ceiling leading to his suffocation. Hill survived the accident.


19. In 564 B.C., Arrichion of Phigalia, a Greek pankratiast, caused his own death during the Olympic finals. Held by his unidentified opponent in a stranglehold and unable to free himself, Arrichion kicked his opponent, causing him so much pain that the opponent made the sign of defeat to the umpires, but at the same time breaking Arrichion's neck. Since the opponent had conceded defeat, Arrichion was proclaimed the victor posthumously.


20. In 2016, 27-year-old Russian actor Anton Yelchin, living in Los Angeles, known for portraying Pavel Chekov in the Star Trek reboot movie series, was found pinned between his car and a brick wall. His driveway was on an incline and his car was found running and in neutral.


21Bernd Brandes and Armin Meiwes

In 2001, Bernd Brandes, a German engineer from Berlin, was willingly slaughtered so that he could be butchered and eaten by aspiring cannibal Armin Meiwes. Brandes had responded to an internet advertisement which Meiwes had placed for this purpose. In prison, Meiwes became a vegetarian.


22. In 1567, Hans Staininger, the burgomaster of Braunau (then Bavaria, now Austria), died when he broke his neck by tripping over his own beard. The beard, which was 4.5 feet (1.4 meters) long at the time, was usually kept rolled up in a leather pouch.


23. In 258 A.D., the deacon Saint Lawrence was roasted alive on a giant grill during the persecution of Valerian. Prudentius tells that he joked with his tormentors, "Turn me over—I'm done on this side". He is now the patron saint of cooks, chefs, and comedians.


24. In 1771, Adolf Frederick, the King of Sweden died of indigestion after having consumed a meal of lobster, caviar, sauerkraut, smoked herring, and champagne, topped off with 14 servings of his favorite dessert: semla served in a bowl of hot milk, called "hetvägg". He is thus remembered by Swedish schoolchildren as "the king who ate himself to death.


25. In 455 B.C., according to Valerius Maximus, Aeschylus, the eldest of the three great Athenian tragedians, was killed by a tortoise dropped by an eagle that had mistaken his bald head for a rock suitable for shattering the shell of the reptile. Pliny, in his Naturalis Historiæ, adds that Aeschylus had been staying outdoors to avert a prophecy that he would be killed by a falling object.

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