10 Bizarre Deaths in History


We know that death comes to everyone sooner or later and it's not something that many would like to ponder on. Many times, death comes in very unusual ways. Here are some strange deaths that have happened throughout history.

Tennessee Williams (1911 - 1983): Death by Bottle Cap

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Williams was a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning American playwright known for psychological dramas such as "The Glass Menagerie" (1945), "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1948), and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (1955). Williams died in his room at the Hotel Elysee in New York after accidentally choking on a bottle cap. He would customarily open the eyedrop bottle with his mouth, and then lean backwards to place eyedrops in each eye. According to the police report, his lack of gag response was largely the result of drugs and alcohol abuse.

Thomas Midgley, Jr. (1889 - 1944): Death by Strings and Pulleys

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Midgley was an American mechanical engineer turned chemist best known for his controversial discoveries of tetra-ethyl lead (TEL), a gasoline additive dubbed as ethyl by General Motors to avoid any mention of the highly toxic substance lead that prevents internal combustion engine from knocking; and Freon, a chlorinated fluorocarbon (CFC) used as a non-toxic refrigerant in household appliances. In 1941, Midgley contracted polio that left him severely handicapped, so he devised an intricate network of strings and pulleys to assist others lift him from bed. This system became the ultimate cause of his death when he got himself entangled and died of strangulation in 1944, some three decades prior to the discovery of the destructive effects of CFC on the ozone layer.

Attila the Hun (c.405 - 453): Death from Nosebleed

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Attila, the leader of the Huns, earned the nickname the "Scourge of God" for his brutality and rapacity. Under his leadership, his army conquered large areas of central and eastern Europe and ravaged Italy in the declining years of the Roman Empire. In spite of his fearsome reputation, Attila was well-known for being a light eater during large banquets. However, on his very own latest wedding feast, he let himself loose, stuffing himself heavily with food and drink. He suffered a severe nosebleed sometime during the night and drowned in his own blood in a stupor.

Tycho Brahe (1546 - 1601): Death from Failure to Heed Nature's Call

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Brahe was a Danish nobleman credited for the most accurate astronomical and planetary observations of his time, a remarkable achievement in the days before telescopes. Brahe, known for his immoderate drinking habits, already had bladder problems but was not able to relieve himself before the banquet started. However, he made his condition worse by drinking excessively during dinner that he had to hold his pee for the entire duration of the unusually long banquet for it was taken as an extreme insult to the host to leave an unfinished meal. His actions resulted in an infection caused by a severely strained bladder, ultimately leading to his painful death 11 days later.

Li Bai (701 - 762 AD): Death by Embracing the Moon's Reflection

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Li, considered as one of the greatest poets in the history of China, was well known for his love for alcoholic beverages and often created in his best poetries while intoxicated. One evening, Li Bai drowned in the Yangtze River, having fallen off his boat in his drunken attempt to embrace the moon's reflection in the water.

Adolf Frederick (1710 - 1771): Death by Favorite Dessert

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Adolf Frederick was the King of Sweden from 1751 until his death due to indigestion, after having overindulged himself with more than a dozen servings of his favorite dessert, semla served in a bowl of hot milk, on top of a meal comprising of lobster, sauerkraut, caviar, smoked herring and champagne. Accordingly, he is most remembered as "the king who ate himself to death" by Swedish schoolchildren.

Clement Vallandigham (1820 - 1871): Death by Court Demonstration

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Vallandigham was a controversial Ohio politician who resumed his successful law practice after the American Civil War. He was one of the defense attorneys representing the murder suspect Thomas McGehan in a case for killing a certain Tom Myers during a barroom scuffle. He sought to demonstrate to the jury of the possibility that Myers accidentally killed himself while attempting to draw his pistol from a kneeling position. He reenacted the scene grabbing a gun he thought to be unloaded and ended up shooting himself. Though he died from his wound, he succeeded in convincing the jury and got his client acquitted.

Franz Reichelt (18?? - 1912): Death by Parachute-Overcoat Failure

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Reichelt was an Austrian tailor who attempted to combine his interest in tailoring and aviation by creating a garment that would serve both as an overcoat and a parachute. He desired to demonstrate his invention by jumping off the Eiffel Tower, which was the tallest man-made structure in the world at the time. He had informed the authorities that a dummy would first be used, but decided at the last minute to do it himself. On February 4, 1912, he stepped from a platform of the Eiffel Tower with unfounded confidence and fell to his death, all of which were recorded by the press cameras.

François Vatel (1631 - 1671): Death by Delayed Delivery

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Vatel, chef to Louis XIV of France, was famous for creating the sweet vanilla-flavored whipped cream known as the Chantilly cream, which was served at the banquet given by Louis II de Bourbon in honor of the king. At the very same banquet, Vatel was overly distressed over the tardiness of his seafood order that he ran himself through a sword as he could not bear the disgrace of a delayed meal. His body was discovered by his assistant, who was sent to inform him that his order had arrived.

James Creighton, Jr. (1841 - 1862): Death by Baseball Bat Swing

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Creighton, a baseball player regarded by sports historians to be the game's first superstar, was credited for throwing the first fastball and accomplishing the first recorded triple play. In 1862, the 21-year-old Creighton suddenly died in the middle of his greatest season yet. At the time, players swung huge bats almost completely with their upper body; and it was alleged that Creighton swung the bat too forcefully causing an internal injury, probably a ruptured bladder or inguinal hernia. He managed to continue playing despite the excruciating pain; and died a few days later at his parents' place.