The Top 11 Most Bizarre Ways To Die
Benjamin Franklin said it best, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” While the president and Congress debate raising taxes on the heals of the deadline for filing your taxes for 2010, I thought it would be a good time to examine life’s other certainity. Death is inevitable. It also can be unpredictable, indiscriminate, and in a weird twist of fate, can be so macabre, bizarre or ironic that you have to shake your head in amazement. After combing through encyclopedias, old newspaper clippings and wire stories, various Internet sites, and even an essay by a former congressman, Life Quotes insurance has compiled a list of the strangest instances of death – from hoarding to a serious mathematical miscalculation. Here’s a list of some of the most unfortunate and most memorable causes of death:
Crash Course: In an attempt to prove to his partners at his Toronto law firm that the glass in the Toronto-Dominion Center was unbreakable, lawyer Garry Hoy threw himself through a glass wall on the 24th story floor in 1993. He was proven wrong, the glass shattered and he fell to his death.
Hoarder Horror: Perhaps the most famous hoarder of all time, Langley Collyer, died in his own squalor. He lived with his blind and paralyzed brother, Homer, in a three-story mansion in New York, which was filled floor to ceiling with junk and was booby-trapped to send debris showering down on any unsuspecting intruder. In 1947, the police found both brothers’ bodies under piles of rubble. Homer had starved to death and Langley was suffocated by one of his own booby traps.
Not On His Game: A 28-year-old South Korean man, Lee Seung Seop, collapsed and died after playing the online game “Starcraft” at an Internet cafe for 50 straight hours, with few breaks. Authorities presumed he died from heart failure stemming from exhaustion. No word on whether he was winning the game.
It Just Doesn’t Add Up: His peers described Johann Underwald, a Swiss mathematician, as the next Albert Einstein. Ironically, it was a mathematical error that led to his death in October 1999. Underwald made a 250-foot bungee jump with a 300-foot bungee cord and died on impact.
An Una(peel)ing Death: Bobby Leach was the first male to successfully take a barrel ride over treacherous Niagara Falls in July 1911, but he couldn’t survive a slippery banana peel, or maybe it was an orange peel, as some reports claim. Either way, Leach slipped on a peel in 1926, his leg became infected and eventually gangrene necessitated the leg’s amputation. He died two months later.
The Defense Rests: Clement Laird Vallandigham was a lawyer known for his involved style of defending clients. In 1871, he demonstrated in court that it was possible for the deceased to have shot himself accidentally – by shooting himself accidentally. He died, but his client, accused of murder, got off thanks to his all-too convincing demonstration.
Where Eagles Soar: A 2008 issue of England’s Sun newspaper tells the story of two car passengers in Iran who were minding their own business driving along the road when a clumsy eagle flying overhead accidentally dropped a cobra that was gripped in its claws into their vehicle. The cobra bit them, killing both passengers.
Electrifying Twist Of Faith: Michael Anderson Godwin managed to escape the electric chair after being convicted of murder and sentenced to death. He had his sentence reduced to life in prison, but he couldn’t escape fate or his own stupidity. He ended up dying in 1989 while trying to fix his TV set while sitting on a metal toilet. He bit into a wire and was electrocuted.
Scooped Into The Hands Of Death: A man in full scuba diving gear was found lying dead in the midst of a California forest fire. The man had been enjoying a dive in the nearby ocean in 1998 when he was scooped up by a large water bucket attached to the helicopter and dropped into the fire zone. The diver died of massive internal injuries.
Playing Chicken With Chicken:
Sir Francis Bacon was considered one of the most influential minds of the late 16th century, but was done in while stuffing snow into a chicken. According to “The Strange Death of Sir Francis Bacon: The Do’s and Don’ts of Appellate Advocacy in the WTO” by former U.S. Rep. James Bacchus, Bacon was struck by the notion that snow could be used to preserve meat much like salt did. He stood outside in the cold stuffing the chicken full of snow to freeze it. The chicken didn’t freeze, but Bacon did.
A Prickly Predicament: David Grundman and his roommate, James Joseph Suchcochi, had packed their guns and took off for the desert in 1982. Snopes.com reports Grundman had success shooting up a small saguaro cactus, which quickly thumped down dead. So he shot for the big one – 26-feet big. He killed the cactus, sending one of its 4-foot arms tumbling down – right on Grundman, crushing him to death. It is the only known case of a plant taking revenge on a human