25 Unusual Deaths That Will Leave You Scratching Your Head

Posted by , Updated on May 2, 2014

All human beings have one thing in common – they die. It is a tragic, yet inevitable part of life that has been happening since the dawn of humanity. Some people wish to die peacefully in their sleep; others want to leave this world with a bang. No matter what your preference is, chances are you wouldn’t want to suffer any of these 25 unusual deaths that will leave you scratching your head.

Death by Diarrhea


It is 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. 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.”


A Delicious Demise


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.”


Red-hot Scandal


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 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 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. 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 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 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.


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, he 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 an attempt to prove to a group of visitors that the glass of the Toronto-Dominion Centre was “unbreakable,” 38-year-old Garry Hoy 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. 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.


Oblivious Much?


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 when 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 that 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 bet two women he could have nonstop sex with them for twelve hours. 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.


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 forgot 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. But 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.


Tiger Blood


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, 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


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 who had drowned was discovered at the bottom of the pool.


Murder or Suicide?


Ronald Opus jumped from a 10-story window intending to commit suicide. On his way down, someone shot a bullet from the ninth floor, killing him instantly. Opus had no idea that a safety net had been installed just below the eighth floor, which would have hindered his suicide attempt had the bullet not killed him. The bullet was traced back to Opus’ father, who had a habit of threatening his wife with an unloaded shotgun. He believed the gun was unloaded when he fired the shot that killed his son. Police later discovered that Ronald Opus, the son, had put the bullet in the gun because his mother cut him off financially. Knowing about his dad’s habit of threatening her with the unloaded gun, he hoped the bullet would kill his mother so he could receive financial support from his father. Thinking that his plan had not worked, the son decided to take his life that day. The medical examiner closed the case as a suicide because the son had actually murdered himself by putting the bullet in the gun.

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