Death by Diarrhea
It’s believed Arius, presbyter of Alexandria, may have ingested poison before his gruesome death. He was walking across the imperial forum in Constantinople when he suffered sudden diarrhea followed by hemorrhaging, eventually causing his intestines to be expelled from his anus.
A Poetic Way to Perish
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 in the 8th century. It has been said the poet had a penchant for liquor, which may have played a factor in his demise. He even wrote a poem before his death titled, “Alone and Drinking Under the Moon.”
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.”
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.
Be Careful What You Wish For
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 in 1783 when he was standing in the doorway of his friend’s house and lightning struck the chimney.
The Case of a Lifetime
U.S. Congressman Clement Vallandigham was defending a murder suspect in court in 1871 when he argued that the victim could’ve accidentally shot himself while drawing his gun. In an attempt to reenact the scene, he drew the gun, which he believed to be unloaded. It accidentally discharged, killing him. Needless to say, he won the case.
A Mystical Death
Infamous Russian mystic Grigori Rasputin reportedly survived being poisoned by a group of nobles only to be shot four times, beaten, and flung into a freezing river in 1916. An autopsy revealed he died of hypothermia.
A Sticky Situation
Truly a sticky situation, The Boston Molasses Disaster of 1919 killed 21 people and injured 150 when a tank holding over 2 million gallons of molasses exploded. The blast sent a wave of the viscous substance through the city at a speed of about 35 miles per hour.
No Laughing Matter
They say laughter is the best medicine, but apparently, too much of it can kill you. Alex Mitchell of England learned this the hard way in 1975 after laughing nonstop for 25 minutes during a comedy show called “The Goodies.” He died of heart failure from the lack of oxygen.
An Illogical Death
Picky eaters, take note. Austrian-American logician Kurt Godel died of starvation in 1978 while his wife was being hospitalized. He suffered from extreme paranoia and refused to eat unless his wife prepared the food.
By the Skin of His Teeth
American author Tennessee Williams made a habit of holding the cap of his eye drop bottle between his teeth while he inserted his eye drops. This ritual ultimately caused his death one night in a New York hotel room in 1983 when he choked on the cap and died at the age of 71.
You Can’t Escape Your Fate
Convicted murderer Michael Anderson Godwin faced the death penalty until his sentence was changed to life imprisonment in 1983. However, while adjusting the earphones plugged into his prison cell’s TV six years later, the 28-year-old bit into a wire and died. He had been sitting on a steel-rimmed toilet at the time of his death and died of electrocution.
Dying to Be Right
In 1993, an attempt to prove to a group of visitors that the glass of the Toronto-Dominion Centre was “unbreakable,” proved fatal for 38-year-old lawyer Garry Hoy as he threw himself against a window. He fell to his death from the 24th floor when the window popped out of the frame. In his defense, the glass did not break.
His Dying Wish
Bernd-Jurgen Brandes of Germany was stabbed repeatedly before being partially eaten by Armin Meiwes in 2001. 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.
In 2001, Chante Jawan Mallard hit Gregory Biggs, a homeless man, with her car on her way home. He became lodged in the windshield but suffered no instantly fatal injuries. However, he died of his injuries a few hours later after Mallard left her car in the garage with Biggs still stuck in the windshield.
Folding Under Pressure
A drunken man from St. Petersburg, Russia, was having an argument with his wife one night. In anger, his wife kicked the 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.
A Little Too Long
A 28-year-old Russian man named Sergey Tuganov bet two women he could have nonstop sex with them for twelve hours in 2009. 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.
Killed by His Own Creation
Jimi Heselden, owner of the Segway Motorized Scooter Company, died when he accidentally drove his Segway off a cliff in 2010.
Wisdom is in the Head and Not in the Beard
The Swedish proverb is right. A beard does not necessarily denote wisdom. Hans Steininger, 16th century Austrian man renowned for his 4.5 foot beard, found this out the hard way when he neglected to roll up his beard to escape a fire. He stepped on it, causing him to lose his balance, break his neck, and die.
Don’t Upset the Grim Reaper
In 1911, daredevil Bobby Leach became the second person ever to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. He went on to defy death several more times throughout his life during other stunts. However, death snuck up on him one day when he slipped on an orange peel and broke his leg so badly it had to be amputated. He died due to complications from the surgery, reminding everyone that death can come when we least expect it.
Singapore Zoo janitor Nordin Montong committed suicide in 2008 by entering the white tiger enclosure and provoking them with brooms and a pail until he was mauled to death.
Hoarders: Buried Alive
Brothers Homer and Langley Collyer would have been excellent candidates for a modern-day hoarding show. The two obsessively collected junk and even created booby-traps to protect their prized possessions from intruders. One day in 1947, Langley accidentally set off one of his own booby traps while crawling through a tunnel of newspapers to bring food to his paralyzed brother. He died instantly, and Homer died of starvation a few days later. It took police nearly two weeks to uncover Langley’s body after removing 100 tons of garbage from the house.
Tooth and Nail
Sigurd the Mighty, second Viking Earl of Orkney, decapitated his enemy and attached the head to his horse’s saddle. The head’s teeth grazed against his leg as he rode, causing a fatal infection that cost him his life.
Oh, the Irony
In 1985, the lifeguards of the New Orleans recreation department threw a pool party to celebrate their first drowning-free season ever. Despite the fact that more than half of the people in attendance were lifeguards and there were four lifeguards on duty during the party, the body of a 31-year-old man was discovered at the bottom of the pool after the party. The cause of death was ruled a drowning.
Throughout history, people have gone to extreme measures to protest against things they disagree with. However, most wouldn’t consider David Phyall’s level of protest. The last hold out in a block of flats set to be demolished in Bishopstoke, England, he took his own head off with a chainsaw to protest the injustice of being forced to move out.