35 Bizarre and Unfathomable Ways People Have Died Throughout History


26Adolf Frederick

Adolf Frederick

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.

27. 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.

28. In 2013, a man named Denver Lee St. Clair was asphyxiated by a wedgie administered by his stepson during a fight. After St. Clair had been knocked unconscious, the elastic band from his torn underwear was pulled over his head and stretched around his neck, strangling him.

29. In 1994, a 31-year-old woman named Gloria Ramirez, died from kidney failure related to her cervical cancer. While treating her, several of the hospital staff became ill, suffering from loss of consciousness, shortness of breath and muscle spasms. Shortly before dying, Ramirez was allegedly covered with an oily sheen, which smelled of fruit and garlic. When drawing her blood with a syringe, nurses noticed it had a smell similar to ammonia and there were unusual particles floating in it.

30. In 1978, Kurt Gödel, the Austrian–American logician, and mathematician died of starvation when his wife was hospitalized. Gödel refused to eat food prepared by anyone else.

31Robert Williams

Robert Williams

In 1979, Robert Williams, a worker at a Ford Motor Co. plant, became the first person to be killed by a robot when the arm of a factory robot struck him in the head.

32. In 1977, Tom Pryce, a driver in the 1977 South African Grand Prix, was killed alongside fire marshal Frederick Jansen Van Vuuren after being struck on the head by a fire extinguisher when his car, travelling at 170 mph (270 km/h), hit Jansen Van Vuuren as he was running across the Kyalami race track to extinguish a burning car.

33. According to one account given by Diogenes Laërtius, the Greek philosopher Heraclitus was said to have been devoured by dogs after he smeared himself with cow manure in an attempt to cure his dropsy.

34. In 1926, while 16-year-old Phillip McClean and his brother were clubbing a cassowary on the family property in Mossman, Queensland, the bird knocked him down and kicked him in the neck, and opening a large cut, killing McClean instantly.

35. In 2004, 24-year-old Phillip Quinn from Kent, Washington, was killed when a lava lamp he was heating on a stove exploded and a shard pierced his heart.