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10 Bizarre Deaths in History

Published by eddiego65 in History
November 4th, 2008

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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  1. Kavalec
    Posted November 4, 2008 at 9:25 am

    Y’all forgot Aeschylus!

    In the year 456 B.C., the Greek playwright, Aeschylus was killed when a turtle was dropped on his head by an eagle.

  2. Posted November 4, 2008 at 9:32 am

    Very interesting. Seems dying in your sleep isn’t so bad afterall.

  3. Posted November 4, 2008 at 9:54 am

    Really strange! Great work!

  4. david irvine
    Posted November 4, 2008 at 10:06 am

    great article. loved it

  5. papaleng
    Posted November 4, 2008 at 10:14 am

    I like this one Sir Ed, this only shows that death comes in many fashion.. LOL.

  6. Posted November 4, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Great article. There are lots of things that it would be nice to be famous for, but dying in a bizzare way is not one of them.

  7. Posted November 4, 2008 at 10:25 am

    I love this! I have heard of some of them but your research and writing is wonderful. I can’t wait to read more from you. And here’s hoping we all have a long happy life and die in a less unusual way!

  8. Posted November 4, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Fun to read.

    (How do you find the time to look all this stuff up : )


  9. Posted November 4, 2008 at 10:41 am

    Nicely written, informative, holds the readers interest. Excellent piece :)

  10. Posted November 4, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Very informative piece and I agree with Cameron Drew, this article definitely holds the reader’s interest. Job well done!!

  11. Posted November 4, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    History is another favorite of mine,your article makes me laugh though. Brilliant piece!

  12. Posted November 4, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    That’s very bizarre!

  13. Posted November 4, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Whoa! This is just truly unique!



    -Liane Schmidt.

  14. Posted November 4, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Wow, well i guess you could die just about any way.

  15. Posted November 4, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Great stuff, but very bizarre

  16. Posted November 4, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    you forgot a lot of people…

    Julius Ceasar – Died because of fever
    Aeschylus – A turtle hit his head
    Achilles – an arrow hit his ankle
    (I forgot the name of the kid) – died because of playing computer games for 50 hours straight
    Ferdinand Marcos – He died because he was rotting to death
    Bob Marley – Bugs in his hair
    Nasty Mac – Died because of high blood pressure at the age of 22

    a lot more… I can’t remember their names

  17. Posted November 4, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    These deaths are truely strange.

  18. Posted November 4, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    excellent article…

  19. Posted November 4, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    a really good read. thank you for this one! :)

  20. Posted November 4, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    Very interesting.

  21. Posted November 4, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    always answer when nature calls

  22. Posted November 4, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    That parachute/overcoat thing was a pretty serious wardrobe malfunction:)

  23. Posted November 4, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    Love the one about the parachute overcoat!

  24. Posted November 4, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    Very strange.

  25. Unofre Pili
    Posted November 5, 2008 at 12:39 am

    Brahe’s work is the springboard of all the Theory of Gravitation. It’s so strange he died in such death!

  26. Posted November 5, 2008 at 12:57 am

    what a wonderful article about odd deaths of many people in the history.

  27. Posted November 5, 2008 at 1:03 am

    Bizarre indeed!

  28. Posted November 5, 2008 at 3:50 am

    Thanks for all your wonderful comments!
    Take care and God bless!

  29. Posted November 5, 2008 at 5:22 am

    Wow I learned a lot of new stuff here today Eddie! Thanks that was interesting.

  30. Juancav
    Posted November 5, 2008 at 8:14 am

    Rare deceased.

  31. Posted November 5, 2008 at 8:39 am

    LOL I loved this article!

  32. Posted November 5, 2008 at 8:47 am

    Ouch… death by not peeing. I hold in sometimes. Gotta try and not do that anymore.

  33. Chris Wallace
    Posted November 5, 2008 at 10:02 am

    I guess we have to live day by day.Because tomorrow is not promised to no one.

  34. Posted November 5, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Man’s ingenuity is showed even in his ways of exiting the scene. Cool!

  35. tim maguire
    Posted November 5, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Read this one second, pleased to see you included Tycho–death by burst bladder is always a classic. In college I saw a film made up of old “age of invention” pre-WWI clips and it included the jump by Franz Reichelt. I still laugh when I think about it. It’s not funny, I know, the guy died, but I can’t help it. It was hilarious.

  36. johnny yuma
    Posted November 5, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    Doesn’t these make anyone else wonder how they will die? They do me! I have had some odd things happen to me in my life like when I got thrown through the windshield of my brother’s car and didn’t even have to go to the doctor. I can’t help but wonder what it will be that brings me down–probably die in my sleep, but I sure would like to know for sure.

    Great piece–it sure got me to thinking again.


  37. Paul Corvus
    Posted November 6, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Nice work, I really enjoyed it. Its like a Darwin Awards spanning all of history, good stuff.

  38. harpersinclair
    Posted November 6, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Another fantastic piece.

  39. Posted November 6, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    cool stuff

  40. darkwriter
    Posted November 6, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    awesome, it’s so cool to read stuff that is off the wall.

  41. Posted November 6, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    This was very interesting…almost sad in a way, but interesting nonetheless! Thanks for sharing! :)

  42. Posted November 6, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    that was really interesting to read i liked it very much

  43. kj
    Posted November 6, 2008 at 10:37 pm


    death by unusual means always deserves attention!

  44. Posted November 7, 2008 at 3:10 am

    These articles are great, keep them coming!

  45. Posted November 7, 2008 at 9:12 am

    So people have been stupid for a long time! How refreshing, I thought it was a modern day invention, stupidity that is.

    Great article, I love reading stuff like this.

  46. Posted November 8, 2008 at 1:41 am

    Excellent. Informative. Bizarre.

  47. Jo, Fl. USA
    Posted November 9, 2008 at 9:03 am

    Ha! I just went through both parts to this series and was fascinated by the information.

    I especially enjoyed the clips of Rasputin and Alexander Litvinekno.

    My writer’s mind is already working these two tid-bits over.

    Great work.

  48. Dave
    Posted November 10, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    JP Baclayon, mostly good stuff, but where did you hear that absolute garbage about Marley? Bugs in his hair? Seriously? Unless that’s some ghetto slang for brain cancer that I’ve never heard of…

    Otherwise, great post!

  49. Paul Lewis
    Posted November 10, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Well done! Another Great Article. I am your fan

  50. Posted April 21, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Very interesting information. Unique deaths, mostly of which that I have never heard of before. I like how you added Rasputin on the second one. Jack Daniel’s was a very ironic story. Thank you!!!

  51. ellen saltse
    Posted March 25, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    I am looking for weird facts on fish not anything else

  52. Posted September 9, 2010 at 5:10 am


  53. Bong Ga
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 2:53 am

    Interesting. I like it

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