For millennia we have been fascinated by bizarre and macabre deaths. The ancient Greeks, for example, believed that their revered poet Aescyhlus perished after an eagle dropped a tortoise on his head.
These monarchs, warlords and popes lost their lives in the strangest ways: to monkey bites and nosebleeds, gluttony and laughter.
Here are 10 historical figures who died unusual deaths:
In this exclusive piece Helen Rappaport reveals the untold story of modern Russia's obsession with the Romanov family and the place where they died.Watch Now
The Russian mystic, healer and society figure Grigori Rasputin led a life which was almost as unusual as his death.
Born a peasant in a small Siberian village, Rasputin became a close friend to the last Russian Tsar and his wife Alexandra. The royal family hoped Rasputin would use his alleged powers to heal their son, who suffered from haemophilia.
He quickly became a powerful figure in the Romanov court and was even rumoured to be having an affair with Tsarina Alexander herself. Fearing Rasputin’s influence over the royal family, a group of nobles and right-wing politicians conspired to kill him.
First they poisoned Rasputin with cakes laced with cyanide, but these had no effect on the monk at all. Rasputin then calmly asked the nobles for some Madeira wine (which they also poisoned) and drank three full glasses.
When Rasputin still showed no signs of ill-health, the shocked nobles shot him in the chest with a revolver. Thinking him dead, they approached his body. Rasputin leapt up and attacked them, then fled into a palace courtyard. The nobles pursued him and shot him again, this time through the forehead.
The conspirators wrapped up Rasputin’s body and dropped it into a river, just to be certain they had finished the job.
2. Adolf Frederick, King of Sweden
Adolf Frederick was King of Sweden from 1751 to 1771, and is generally remembered as a weak but peaceful monarch. His lifelong passions included making snuffboxes and fine dining.
Frederick passed away on 12 February 1771 after consuming a particularly enormous meal. At this dinner he ate lobster, cavier, sauerkraut and kippers, all while drinking copious amounts of champagne. This was topped off with fourteen servings of his favourite desert, semla, a type of sweet bun which he liked served in hot milk.
This astonishing amount of food was enough to end the king’s life, and he remains one of the few rulers in history to have eaten himself to death.
3. Captain Edward Teach (Blackbeard)
‘Capture of the Pirate, Blackbeard’ by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris
Blackbeard’s fearsome reputation for robbery and violence has persisted for 300 years. He is famous for forming an alliance of pirates to blockade the port of Charles Town, ransoming its inhabitants.
On 21 November 1718 Lieutenant Robert Maynard of HMS Pearl launched a surprise attack against Blackbeard as he entertained guests aboard his ship. After a long struggle, Blackbeard was surrounded by Maynard’s men who began to shoot him and slash at him with their swords.
Blackbeard finally perished after sustaining an extraordinary number of injuries. An examination of his body showed he was shot five times and received twenty sword wounds. Equally shockingly, a letter was discovered on his corpse which showed the Governor of North Carolina was colluding with Blackbeard and his pirates.
4. Sigurd the Mighty
To coincide with ' The Vikings Uncovered ' on BBC1 and PBS, Dan takes us behind the scenes and talks about his extraordinary experiences making the show.Listen Now
Sigurd Eysteinsson was an Earl of Orkney in the 9th century. His deeds during the Viking conquest of Scotland earned him the epithet ‘the Mighty’. Sigurd’s unique death was caused by the tooth of a decapitated rival.
Near the end of his reign, Sigurd tricked and killed his enemy Mael Brigte, beheading his enemy’s corpse. He then tied Brigte’s head onto his saddle as a trophy.
As Sigurd rode off, Brigte’s tooth scratched the Viking’s leg, which became inflamed. Soon after, the scratch became a major infection which killed the Viking warlord.
Doug Bolender is a research assistant professor in the Anthropology Department and the Fiske Center for Archaeological Research at University of Massachusetts Boston.;This is part 2 of the 4 part series timed to coincide with the upcoming broadcast of ' The Vikings Uncovered ' on BBC1 and PBS.Listen Now
5. Pope Adrian IV
Born Nicholas Breakspear, Pope Adrian IV is the only Englishman ever to become pope.
When he died, Adrian was involved in a diplomatic struggle with the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick I. Shortly before the Emperor could be excommunicated, Adrian perished while choking on a fly which was floating in his wine glass.
6. Attila the Hun
Attila the Hun built a vast empire for his people across Eurasia, and nearly brought both the Western and Eastern Roman Empires to their knees. Despite his successes as a warlord, Attila was killed by a nosebleed.
In 453 Attila held a feast to celebrate his latest marriage to a girl named Ildico. He had married countless other wives, but Ildico was renowned for her great beauty. He drank copious amounts of wine at the party, and when he passed out on his back in bed he suffered a heavy nosebleed.
Attila was unable to wake owing to his drunken stupor, and blood streamed down his throat and choked him to death.
7. Martin of Aragon
Martin of Aragon was King of Aragon from 1396 until he passed away in strange circumstances in 1410. Several reasons for his death have been recorded: one source states that he succumbed to the plague, others that he died of kidney failure or even poison.
Another famous account relates how Martin perished from indigestion and laughter. One night, the king was suffering from severe indigestion (after eating an entire goose) when his court jester entered the room.
Martin asked Borra the jester where he had been, and he replied with a joke about a deer he had seen in the vineyard. On hearing the quip, the sickly king died of laughter.
8. King Edward II
Infamous for his alleged homosexual relationship with Piers Gaveston, Edward II was forced to abdicate and was imprisoned in 1327. Edward’s death was surrounded by rumours. However, a common account which circulated among contemporary chroniclers was immortalised by the English playwright, Christopher Marlowe.
This story relates how Edward was pinned onto the ground by his assassins and a red-hot poker inserted into his anus.
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10. Mary, Queen of Scots
Mary, Queen of Scots was sentenced to death after a letter emerged revealing a plot to murder her cousin Queen Elizabeth I
On 8 February 1587 Mary was led out to the execution block to be decapitated by a man named Bull and his assistant. Bull’s first blow missed Mary’s neck entirely and hit the back of her head. His second blow didn’t do much better, and Mary’s head remained attached to her body by a bit of sinew.
In the end, Bull used an axe to saw Mary’s head from her shoulders and held it aloft by the hair, with her lips still moving. Unfortunately, Mary’s hair was actually a wig, and her head tumbled to the ground. Adding to the strangeness of the execution, Mary’s dog chose this moment to poke out from beneath her skirts.
Dan talks to Helen Castor about her book on Elizabeth I and the way she governed.Listen Now
Who Died Today in History?
- Louise Élisabeth d'Orléans, Queen consort of Spain, dies at 32 Johann Baptista Ruffini, Italian trader (b. 1672) Giulio Alberoni, Spanish-Italian minister and cardinal, dies at 88 Joseph Butler, English philosopher, dies at 60 Jean-Baptiste-Louis Gresset, French poet and dramatist (b. 1709) Konrad Ekhof [Hans Konrad Dieterich Eckhof], German actor and director, dies at 57 Sir Francis Bernard, Governor of New Jersey and Massachusetts (b. 1712) Benjamin Tupper, Continental Army officer, and pioneer to the Ohio Country (b. 1738) Louis A count d'Affry, general/French ambassador in Netherland, dies Johann Adam Hiller, German composer, dies at 75 Georg Wenzel Ritter, composer, dies at 60 Franz Pforr, German painter and cartoonist (Lukasbund), dies at 23 Frederik Willem, Duke of Brunswick (1813-15), dies in battle at 43 Charles-François Lebrun, duc de Plaisance, Third Consul of France (b. 1739) Josef Schnabel, German composer, dies at 64 Valentino Fioravanti, Italian composer, dies at 72 William Lawson explorer of New South Wales, Australia (b. 1774) John Gorrie, American scientist and inventor (cold-air process of refrigeration), dies at 51 John Snow, English epidemiologist, 'Father of modern epidemiology' studied cholera, dies of a stroke at 45 Joseph Méry French poet (b. 1798)
1959 George Reeves, actor (Superman, Gone with the Wind), commits suicide by shooting himself in the head at 45
- O C Scott, cricketer (WI leg-spinner in 8 Tests), dies Marcel Junod, Swiss physician (b. 1904) Reginald Denny, English actor (Rebecca, Cat Ballou, Batman), dies at 75 Harold RLG 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis, British field marshal, dies at 78 Jan Hanlo, Dutch poet (Oote oote boe), dies at 57 Karl Hubert Rudolf Schiske, composer, dies at 53 Elsa Triolet [Ella Kagan], Russian-French writer and Resistance fighter, dies at 73
Wernher von Braun
1977 Wernher von Braun, rocket scientist (V1/V2), dies at 65 of smoking
- Ben Weber, American composer (Thorne Music Award 1965), dies at 62 Liselotte Welskopf-Heinrich, writer, dies at 77 Ignatius Kutu Acheamphong, Ghanaian dictator (b. 1931) Nicholas Ray, American film director (b. 1911) Humphrey Keervelt, director (Suriname Planning Bureau), murdered John S Knight, American journalist and publisher (Knight Newspapers), dies at 86 Jule Gregory Charney, American meteorologist, dies at 64 James Honeyman-Scott, English rock guitarist and vocalist (The Pretenders - "Brass In Pocket"), overdoses on drugs at 25 James Arthur Calata, African National Congress (ANC) leader and Anglican clergyman, dies at 87 Lew Andreas, American basketball coach (b. 1895) Harmonica Slim [Travis Blaylock], American blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter ("You Better Believe It"), dies at 49 Maurice Duruflé, French organist (St. Etienne-du-Mond, 1929-75), composer (Requiem, Op. 9), and teacher (Paris Conservatory, 1943-70), dies at 84 John Mikaelsson, Swedish race walker (Olympic gold 10k 1948, 52), dies at 73 Miguel Piñero, Puerto Rican playwright, actor, and co-founder of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. (b. 1946) Eva Turner, British operatic soprano, dies at 98 Thomas Cowling, British mathematician and astronomer, dies at 83
2017 Helmut Kohl, German chancellor (West Germany, 1982-90, unified Germany, 1990-98), dies at 87
Top 10 Most Unusual Deaths of Famous People1 Tycho Brahe's death was caused by his good manners that prevented him from going to the bathroom in time
He was a 16th-century Danish astronomer whose research helped Sir Isaac Newton devise the theory of gravity.
He died because he didn't make it to the bathroom in time. In that society it was considered an insult to leave the table before the banquet was over. Brahe had too much alcohol but was too polite to ask to be excused - he instead allowed his bladder to burst, which killed him slowly and painfully over the next 11 days.
Seriously? That's crazy! That poor polite fellow2 Jean-Baptiste Lully died from an overdose of 'musical enthusiasm' - he drove his baton through his foot and succumbed to blood poisoning Jean-Baptiste Lully was an Italian-born French composer, instrumentalist, and dancer who spent most of his life working in the court of Louis XIV of France.
He was a 17th-century composer who wrote music for the King of France. While rehearsing for a concert, he became overexcited and drove his baton right through his foot which caused blood poisoning.
Seriously? Big oof. And that, kids, is why you don't become a musiscian3 Francis Bacon died while trying to prove his theory that snow can preserve meat - by stuffing snow into a chicken
He was an influential English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator and author in the 16th century. But he became a victim of his own experimental scientific method. Inspired by the possibility of using the snow to preserve meat (instead of salt), he tried to test his theory outside in the snow by stuffing a chicken. The chicken didn't freeze but Bacon did. He contracted a fatal case of pneumonia and died a week later.
I have to admit that his idea was great but was ahead of its time - F. Bacon just didn't have the needed technology/inventions (currently we all use freezers and fridges to preserve meat, I.e. low temperatures).4 John Bonham drank 40 shots of vodka, vomited and choked on his own vomit
In 24 hours Bonham drank around 40 shots (1-1.4 litres) of 40% ABV vodka, after which he vomited and choked.5 Marvin Gaye was shot by his own father Marvin Gaye was an American singer, songwriter, and musician, and is regarded as one of the greatest singers of all time.
He was living in his parents house at the time because he was depressed and suicidal. His father shot him after an argument over misplaced documents. Gaye's father had reportedly been beaten by the singer prior to the shooting, and received 5 years of probation after pleading guilty to manslaughter charges.
Why? That's terrible! What a bad father/son relationship
Why would his father do this. And what’s worse is that he died literally the eve of his 45th birthday.6 David Carradine, 72, died of auto-erotic asphyxiation, the intentional restriction of oxygen to the brain for sexual arousal David Carradine, born John Arthur Carradine (December 8, 1936 - June 3, 2009) was an American actor and martial artist.
The family has strongly contested this.
I didn't know that that was a think7 Tennessee Williams choked on a bottlecap Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams III was an American playwright. Along with Eugene O'Neill and Arthur Miller, he is considered among the three foremost playwrights of 20th-century American drama.
He choked on a bottlecap which he had removed from a bottle of eyedrops and placed in his mouth. The bottlecap slipped down his throat as he titled his head back to place the eyedrops in his eyes. After his death, drugs were found in his room and there were suspicions that these contributed towards his death.
I'm not going to laugh. Nope8 Michael Hutchence died from autoerotic asphyxiation Michael Kelland John Hutchence (22 January 1960 – 22 November 1997) was an Australian musician and actor. He was a founding member, lead singer and lyricist of rock band INXS from 1977 until his death in 1997. 9 Isadora Duncan's death was caused by her long silk scarf
She was an American dancer, often cited as the creator of "modern" dance. She was a passenger in a car when her long scarf, draped around her neck, got entangled around one of the vehicle's open-spoked wheels and rear axle. She "was hurled in an extraordinary manner from an open automobile" and "instantly killed by the force of her fall to the stone pavement." She was almost decapitated by the sudden tightening of the scarf around her neck.
Being fancy isn't a good thing10 Keith Relf died from electrocution while playing electric guitar Keith Relf was an English musician, well known as the lead singer for the psychedelic band The Yardbirds.
No, almost all sources, including wiki, say he died in his basement. He stood on a gas pipe and "because the guitar was ungrounded, the electrical current resulted in a severe shock to his body."
Because the Relf family remained private about his death, a rumor began to grow that the singer was foolishly playing an electric guitar in the bathtub.
He was the lead singer and harmonica player for The Yardbirds. At 33, he died from electrocution, at his home, while playing his improperly grounded electric guitar.
You forgot the best part, he was rehearsing IN THE BATH TUB with his PLUGGED-IN electric guitar!11 Attila the Hun died from a nosebleed on his wedding night - he drowned in a snoutful of his own blood Attila, frequently called Attila the Hun, was the ruler of the Huns from 434 until his death in March 453.
One of the most bloodthirsty men in history died from a nosebleed. He was too drunk to notice the problem with his nose.
An alternative theory is that he succumbed to internal bleeding after heavy drinking, possibly a condition called esophageal varices, where dilated veins in the lower part of the esophagus rupture leading to death by hemorrhage.
More recent theories have tended toward murder by poisoning.
Well, he kinda deserved it.
Rest in peace. Dimebag was a legend and one of the greatest guitarists of all time
It happened while on location filming the Steven Spielberg-produced “Twilight Zone: The Movie”.
Spielberg, pilot Dorsey Wingo, and director John Landis were ultimately acquitted of involuntary manslaughter and Morrow’s daughters settled out of court.
Character actor and politician Albert Dekker was found dead in 1968 in his home. "He was naked, kneeling in the bathtub, with a noose tightly wrapped around his neck and looped around the shower curtain rod. He was blindfolded, his wrists were handcuffed, there was a ball gag in his mouth, and two hypodermic needles were inserted in one arm. His body was covered in explicit words and drawings in red lipstick".
Autoerotic asphyxiation is an intentional restriction of oxygen to the brain for sexual arousal.
Chrysippus: Death By Performing Donkey
Chrysippus is one of the greats when it comes to philosophy. He helped create propositional logic and helped lead a group of philosophical badasses called the Stoics. But, like the greatest philosopher of the modern age (Andrew WK), when it was time to party, he would always party hard.
Cause of death:
Legend has it, the man was partying with his donkey, who will go unnamed, and the donkey had a little too much to drink. No, we're not making this up.
The rumor further has it that the inebriated donkey then tried to eat some figs. Now, a donkey eating figs is apparently the most ridiculous thing possible, since Chrysippus started laughing so hard he keeled over and died. We're trying to picture it, but we're almost afraid to. Even if his donkey got up on its hind legs, batted the fig across the room with its dong, and then caught the rebounding fruit in its mouth, it wouldn't make him laugh that hard, would it?
Unless of course he was stoned out of his mind.
The whole incident was a huge blow to the field of Greek philosophy--not only because the Stoics lost one of their greatest advocates, but because most philosopher parties after the death of Chrysippus were totally lame.
Related: 5 Crazy Street Performers (Who Happened to be Geniuses)
4 The teen who committed suicide by throwing himself to "Piranhas"
An 18-year-old Bolivian picked a bizarre and gruesome way to commit suicide, police say. The intoxicated teen jumped out of his canoe into a stretch of river infested with piranhas and bled to death after suffering dozens of bites. Police believe the death was suicide because the teen was a fisherman who knew the river well and was aware that it was swarming with the flesh-eating fish. Horrible choice of death!
Top 10 Famous Deaths Caused by Animals
Though highly uncommon, several well known people throughout history have died from the result of an animal. Whether an attack, an indirect occurrence, or some kind of allergic reaction, it does happen. Here are the ten most famous records of death by animal.
10. Alexander I of Greece (1893-1920) &ndash Monkey
Although history has unfairly described King Alexander as a careless pet owner who died from a bite &ldquofrom his pet monkey&rdquo, the 27 year old monarch actually died after defending his pet dog from an attack during a walk through the Royal Gardens, and he suffered wounds from two of the monkeys. The attack occurred on October 2nd, 1920. In the report dispatched from Europe, it was stated that King had been walking in the park with a pet dog, when the dog was attacked by a monkey. The King beat off the monkey with a stick but in the fight the monkey bit him on the hand slightly. Within days he died of sepsis.
9. Joselito Gomez (1895- 1920) &ndash Bull
José Gómez Ortega, commonly known as Joselito or Joselito el Gallo, or Gallito, was a Spanish Matador in the early twentieth century. He was born in Seville in the famous neighborhood of La Macarena. His father was the matador Fernando Gómez García, known as &ldquoEl Gallo&rdquo. He was the younger brother of the matador Rafael Gómez Ortega, also known as &ldquoEl Gallo&rdquo. Joselito was the youngest bullfighter to receive the title of matador, at the age of 17. Joselito was fatally gored in the ring at the age of 25 during a competitive bullfight with his brother-in-law. The day he died will also be remembered for being the only day in which the Virgin Macarena wore black clothes. Belmonte and Gómez are considered the two greatest bullfighters ever.
8. Kenneth Pinyan (1960-2005) &ndash Horse
Kenneth Pinyan was a Gig Harbor, Washington (a suburb in the greater Seattle-Tacoma area) resident was a prolific Boeing employee who engaged in receptive anal sex with full-size stallions at a farm near the city of Enumclaw . He videotaped those sex acts and distributed them informally under the name Mr. Hands. During a July 2005 sex act, which was being videotaped by a friend of his, he suffered a perforated colon, and later died of his injuries. The story was reported in the The Seattle Times and was one of that paper&rsquos most read stories of 2005.
Pinyan&rsquos death prompted the passing of a bill in Washington State prohibiting both sex with animals, and the videotaping of the same, some months later. However, the video seen by many others was before the accident. The image above is from a documentary of his life released last year called Zoo that one several awards at The Sundance Film Festival.
7. Cleopatra (69 BC &ndash 30 BC) &ndash Asp
The ancient sources, particularly the Roman ones, are in general agreement that Cleopatra poisoned herself by inducing an asp to bite her. The oldest source is Strabo, who was alive at the time of the event, and might even have been in Alexandria. He says that there are two stories: that she applied a toxic ointment, or that she was bitten by an asp. Several Roman poets, writing within ten years of the event, all mention bites by two asps, as does Florus, a historian, some 150 years later. Vellieus , sixty years after the event, also refers to an asp. Plutarch, writing about 130 years after the event, is the main source of the story that has come down to us with all its detail of Cleopatra being found dead, her handmaiden Iras dying at her feet, and another handmaiden, Charmion, adjusting her crown before she herself falls. He then goes on to tell us that some say an asp was concealed in a basket of figs that was brought to her by a rustic, and finding it after eating a few figs, she holds out her arm for it to bite. Others say that it was hidden in a vase, and that she poked it with a spindle until it got angry enough to bite her on the arm.
6. Aeschylus (525 BC &ndash 455 BC) &ndash Turtle
He is often recognized as the father or the founder of tragedy, and is the earliest of the three Greek Tragedians whose plays survive, the others being Sophocles and Euripides. He expanded the number of characters in plays to allow for conflict among them previously, characters interacted only with the chorus. No more than seven of the estimated seventy plays written by Aeschylus have survived into modern times. As legend has it, an eagle, mistaking the playwright&rsquos bald crown for a stone, dropped a tortoise on his head (though some accounts differ, claiming it was a stone dropped by an eagle or vulture that mistook his bald head for the egg of a flightless bird).
5. Timothy Treadwell (1957 &ndash 2003) &ndash Bear
Timothy Treadwell, born Timothy Dexter, was an American bear enthusiast, environmentalist, amateur naturalist, and documentary film maker, who lived among the coastal grizzly bears of Katmai National Park in Alaska for approximately 13 seasons. At the end of his thirteenth season in the park in 2003, he and his girlfriend Amie Huguenard were killed and devoured by one or possibly two grizzly bears. An audio recording of the attack survived. Treadwell&rsquos life, work, and death were the subject of the 2005 documentary film by Werner Herzog titled Grizzly Man.
4. Marty Feldman (1934-1982) &ndash Shellfish
Martin Alan &ldquoMarty&rdquo Feldman was an English writer, comedian and BAFTA award winning actor, notable for his bulging eyes, which were the result of a thyroid condition known as Graves Disease. Feldman died from a heart attack (as a result of shellfish food poisoning) in a hotel room in Mexico City during the making of the film Yellowbeard. The famous cartoonist Sergio Aragones was filming a movie nearby and when he introduced himself to Feldman earlier that night, he frightened Feldman and possibly induced his heart attack. He has told the story with the punchline &ldquoI killed Marty Feldman&rdquo. The story was converted into a story in Aragones&rsquo issue of DC Comics&rsquo Solo.
3. Tom and Eileen Lonergan (1998) &ndash Shark
Tom and Eileen Lonergan were a married couple from Baton Rouge, Louisiana who had just recently completed a three year tour of duty with the Peace Corps. They were stranded January 25th, 1998 while SCUBA diving with a group of divers off Australia&rsquos Great Barrier Reef and were never found. The group&rsquos boat from the Outer Edge Dive Company accidentally abandoned Tom and Eileen due to a faulty head count taken by the dive boat crew. Upon leaving the diving area, the twenty-four other divers and five crew members failed to notice that the couple was not aboard. The couple was left to fend for themselves in shark-infested waters. Although their bodies were never recovered, they likely eventually died of dehydration, drowning, shark attack, or a combination thereof.
2. Christopher Reeve (1952-2004) &ndash Horse
Stephen Robert Irwin, known simply as Steve Irwin and nicknamed &ldquoThe Crocodile Hunter&rdquo, was an Australian wildlife expert and television personality. He achieved world-wide fame from the television program The Crocodile Hunter, an internationally broadcast wildlife documentary series co-hosted with his wife Terri Irwin. Together with her, he also co-owned and operated Australia Zoo, founded by his parents in Beerwah, Queensland. He died in 2006 after his chest was fatally pierced by a stingray barb.
Top 10 Unfortunate Or Embarrassing Deaths
History is littered with heroic and great deaths &ndash most of which we are all familiar with. But in the dark recesses of the past, there are a number of very embarrassing or unfortunate deaths. Deaths that their victim would prefer us not to know about. This list is all about throwing the light on these poor people who have the misfortune of being remembered partly for a shameful end. This list is in chronological order.
Manner of death: Threw himself into a volcano to become immortal
Empedocles was a Greek philosopher who is probably best remembered for his classical theory of the four elements. He was the last Greek philosopher to write his theories down in verse form. Legend has it that Empedocles threw himself into the active volcano Mount Etna in Sicily in order to fool his followers into believing that his body had vanished and that he would return as a god. Unfortunately for Empedocles, one of his sandals survived the fury of the volcano and it was discovered by his followers &ndash revealing their leader&rsquos deceit.
Manner of death: Killed when he was stunned by a tile thrown by an old lady
Pyrrhus of Epirus was one of the greatest conquerors &ndash his heavy losses in one campaign has led to the term &ldquopyrrhic victory&rdquo being coined in his honor. Pyrrhus was such a great warrior that a Spartan royal (Cleonymus) asked him to defeat Sparta and put him on the throne. Pyrrhus was defeated &ndash having underestimated the strength of the Spartan warriors, so he moved on to his next campaign in Argos. As he entered the city through the narrow streets on the back of an elephant, an old woman (unhappy with the conflict) threw a roof tile at him from her balcony. The tile stunned Pyrrhus which allowed a common foot soldier to stab him &ndash killing him.
Manner of death: Killed by the elephant he killed
Eleazar Maccabeus&rsquo death is told in the Old Testament book of &ldquoI Maccabees&rdquo. During the Battle of Beth-zechariah, Eleazar thought he saw the enemy King Antiochus V riding an elephant near by. Thinking he would perform a heroic act by killing the elephant and king, Eleazar jumped under the elephant and stabbed it in the stomach with his spear. The dead elephant fell right on top of Eleazar killing him instantly. To add insult to injury, it was not even the King&rsquos elephant.
Manner of death: Used as a footstool then skinned
Valerian was a noble Roman who became Emperor Valerian I. During his disastrous reign, the western empire fell into total disrepair. In 260 AD, Valerian was defeated in the Battle of Edessa and taken captive by the Persian King Shapur I. In order to humiliate the Emperor, Shapur used him as a footstool. When he grew tired of his footstool, Shapur had Valerian skinned and had his skin stuffed with dung and straw and put on display in one of the large Persian temples.
Manner of death: Speared through the anus
Humphrey do Bohun was a member of a very powerful Anglo-Norman family in England. He spoke out against the excesses of the King (Edward II). While leading troops at the Battle of Boroughbridge, Humphrey de Bohun (4th Earl of Hereford) met with a rather unpleasant end:
&ldquo[Humphrey de Bohun] led the fight on the bridge, but he and his men were caught in the arrow fire. Then one of de Harclay&rsquos pikemen, concealed beneath the bridge, thrust upwards between the planks and skewered the Earl of Hereford through the anus, twisting the head of the iron pike into his intestines. His dying screams turned the advance into a panic.&rdquo
Strangely, death via anal insertion was not entirely uncommon during this period of the middle ages, as the next item will attest.
Manner of death: Speared through the anus with a hot poker
Edward II was King of England for 20 years (from 1307 &ndash 1327). Edward greatly upset the nobility in England because he preferred low-born citizens and had many &ldquospecial&rdquo male friends &ndash who received extravagant and expensive gifts. After he abdicated the throne and was imprisoned, his wife Isabella (disturbed by the close relationship the king had shared with a young man in the Royal Court) brought about his execution in secret:
&ldquoOn the night of 11 October while lying in on a bed [the king] was suddenly seized and, while a great mattress&hellip weighed him down and suffocated him, a plumber&rsquos iron, heated intensely hot, was introduced through a tube into his secret private parts so that it burned the inner portions beyond the intestines.&rdquo
Manner of death: Tripped over his skirts and fell down some stairs
Humayun Mughal Emperor who ruled modern Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of northern India from 1530&ndash1540 and again from 1555&ndash1556. He was a great lover of the arts and astronomy and left behind a great legacy as a consequence. However, he was also very religious and this is what led to his downfall (literally). As he was carrying books from the library, Humayun heard the call the prayer. It was his habit to kneel on one knee when the call was made, and as he bent his knee, his foot got caught in the folds of his long robes. He happened to be standing at the top of a small flight of stairs. Humayun fell all the way down and hit his temple on a jagged rock &ndash which killed him.
Manner of death: Beaten to death with his wooden leg
Sir Arthur Aston was a lifelong professional soldier, most noted for his support for King Charles I in the English Civil War. He was a great soldier who saw a great deal of action during his lifetime. In September 1644, he fell from a horse and ended up with a wooden leg which was later used in his murder. In 1649, Oliver Cromwell&rsquos forces attacked his town in the Siege of Drogheda and ordered that everyone be executed. Aston offered to surrender but the soldiers who captured him believed that he was hiding gold in his leg. They ripped it off and beat him to break open the leg. Unfortunately it was solid wood and it killed Aston.
Manner of death: Ironically ate himself to death
Julien Offray de La Mettrie was a French doctor, philosopher, and potentially the founder of cognitive science. He believed that sensual pleasures (such as eating, sex, and play) were the sole reason for life, and so he decided to live his life by that principle. Julien was an atheist and believed that life on earth was just a farce to be lived and ended in self-gratification. Ironically, he died rather painfully after eating too much truffle pate at a feast held in his honor by a man he cured of an illness.
Manner of death: Died after eating pufferfish which he claimed to be immune to
Band? Mitsugor? VIII was one of Japan&rsquos most highly regarded Kabuki (a type of dance/drama) actors &ndash so much so that he was declared a national treasure. On the 16th of January, the natural treasure decided to dine out on fugu liver (highly toxic) claiming that he was immune to it. The fugu chef who served him said that he simply could not refuse to serve the deadly livers to such an esteemed gentleman. Needless to say, Mitsugoro died within 7 hours.
10 Most Mysterious People In History
Mysterious people are dotted all over history. Although we don’t know much about them, what we do know is both amazing, and mysterious. These are the 10 Most mysterious People In History.
Green Children of Woolpit
You can’t talk about mysterious people without mentioning these guys. Two green children suddenly appeared out of nowhere. They were brother and sister, and were found in Woolpit village, in the UK. The children ate nothing but beans, and couldn’t speak English. After a while they finally managed to learn English, and ear other foods. Their skin eventually turned white which implies it might have been their diet that turned them green. The boy unfortunately became sick and died, but the lived longer and said that they were from a place called St Martin’s Land. She said in St Martin’s Land everything is green, and it’s underground.
Unknown Woman Of The Seines
Some time in the 1800’s a mysterious body was found in the river Seine. Her body was in an unusual condition. She had drowned but her body showed no signs of violence which meant it was most likely suicide, but her body also didn’t show signs of drowning which makes it even more mysterious. When the body was brought to a morgue the pathologist there saw her face and thought she was so beautiful that he had to make a death mask of it. A death mask is cast made of someones face after they die. Her death mask became incredibly popular and copies started being made so that it could be sold on a large scale. Even though she became so famous her identity was never found.
Karl Frantisek Koecher was a Czeck double agent famous for being able to infiltrate the CIA. He was picked to be a spy because of his exceptional English language skills. A lot of people think he may have been a double agent who started working for the CIA. The FBI caught on and accused him of being a spy, however they improperly investigated his case he was released back to his home country where he was considered a hero.
Dan cooper was one of the most famous criminals in American history, and the only person to successfully hijack a plane in mid air, and get away. On 24th November 1971, Dan Cooper hijacked a Boeing 727 mid flight and took everyone on board hostage. He told the pilots to contact air traffic control, and tell them to give him the equivalent of 1 million dollars, or he would blow up a bomb he had in his suitcase. He managed to get what he asked for and then released the passengers, except for the cabin crew. He flew off to Mexico but at some point during the flight he go out and parachuted out of the back of the plane. He was never found even though the FBI put on one of their most expensive man hunts ever which has been going on for more than 4 decades.
An American Chemist, and spymaster, he’s famous for his involvement in the CIA’s mind control experiments. After getting his PHD in chemistry, he became an expert in poisons, and started doing research into biological weapons for the CIA. He experimented with LSD, and pscho-active drugs to try and crush the human psyche to the point that it would admit to anything, in other words, a mind control drug. He also organised Operation Midnight Climax, where the CIA purchsed a lot of different houses and then hired prostitutes to lure people in. While the random people had sex with prostutes, scientists watched from a two way mirror.
In Mexico City, 1593 a Spanish soldier appeared out of nowhere. He was just in the Philippines and had no idea how he had gotten to Mexico. He tried to explain to people that he was from the Philippines but nobody believed him, and thought he was talking nonsense. It wasn’t until the assassination of the Governor of Manila that people started to believe, because he had predicted it before hand. However by then he had already disappeared.
The Last Jew in Vinnitsa
A picture from 1941 shows a Jewish man kneeling in Vinnitsa, Ukraine. In front of him is a grave full of Jewish bodies, and behind him is a fascist holding a gun, about to execute him. He’s surrounded by racists and has no way to escape, on the back of the picture it says, “ The last Jew of Vinnitsa.” In Vinnitsa there were two mass shootings, totalling 28,000 deaths. Like so many mysterious people, his identity is still unknown.
Adam Rainer is the only person in the world, to be both a dwarf, and a giant. He spent the beginning of his life as a dwarf. He was around three feet tall, by the age of eighteen. He then had the biggest growth spurt in recorded history. It’s believed to be caused by a pituitary tumor. By the time he was 31 years old, he was 7 ft 2 in. By the age of 51 he was 7ft 8 in. He died soon after reaching this height.
Wolf Messing was a famous psychic before world war II, and even interested Albert Einstein, and Sigmund Freud. He once predicted that if Hitler ever attacked Russia, it would not end well for Germany, and would end in Hitler’s death. Hitler was greatly offended by this, which caused Messing to flee the country. Messing’s prediction later came true, when Germany’s invasion into Russia failed, and he later committed suicide.
In the 1700’s accounts of real life vampires began appearing all over eastern Europe. People in Transylvania started seeing dead bodies come to life, and start attacking people. Four deaths were attributed to vampires. As word spread, two military doctors came to Transylvania came to investigate the strange phenomenon. What they found was shocking. They dug up the body of someone who was seen walking the streets after death. His body was undecayed, and had fresh blood coming from his nose, eyes, mouth, and ears. The two doctors firmly believed he was a vampire, and stabbed him in the heart before burning his body. And that concludes our list of the most mysterious people from history.
10 Most Ironic Deaths In The History That Are Hard To Believe
Death is inevitable. Every living thing has to come to an end one day. But what’s different is the way of one’s death. Some are peaceful, some others are not. But some deaths in history are related by really strange coincidences. Let’s have a look at some of the most ironic deaths in the history:
PS- We do not wish to mock anybody’s death, we’re just stating facts.
1. Owner of Segway company died after he drove off a cliff while riding a Segway
Jimi Heseldon, owner of Segway inc., died from the injuries he sustained after falling from a cliff while driving a Segway scooter.
2. The strongest man in the world died after getting stabbed in the knee with a nail
Zishe Breitbart was a Polish performer who was was known as the strongest man in the world during the 1920s. He was famous for performing feats such as climbing a ladder while carrying a baby elephant, supporting enormous weights such as automobiles carrying upto 10 people etc. But as luck would have it, he died after getting stabbed by a small nail. That’s right, he accidentally stabbed himself in the knee with a small nail and the wound eventually became infected which ultimately led to his death.
3. Garry Hoy died after trying to demonstrate the strength of an unbreakable glass
Garry Hoy was a lawyer in a Toronto law firm. One day, in an attempt to prove to a group of students that the glass in the Toronto-Dominion Centre was unbreakable, Hoy threw himself through a glass wall on the 24th story. The glass did not break, but unfortunately, the window frame gave away and Hoy fell to his death. Tragic isn’t it!
4. Jerome Moody drowned at a pool party, which had many lifeguards as guests
Though Jerome Moody wasn’t a lifeguard himself, there’s no denying the irony in his death. He was a guest at a party for lifeguards celebrating their first drowning-free swimming season. His body was found at the bottom of the pool after the party ended.
5. A convict who escaped electric chair got himself electrocuted on a metal toilet
Michael Anderson Godwin was a convicted murderer who was at first sentenced to an electric chair but later his sentence was overturned to life imprisonment. But ironically, one day Michael accidentally electrocuted himself while sitting on a metal toilet seat in his prison cell.
6. Mel Ignatow, the killer who died the same way he killed his girlfriend
Mel Ignatow was a convicted murderer who killed his girlfriend by tying her to a glass table and slicing her. Years later he himself fell on the glass table and died from the cuts. Ironic justice?
7. Jim Fixx, the guy who wrote a book on running, died while jogging
Jim Fixx was a guy who’s credited with helping start the America’s fitness revolution. He also wrote a best-selling book on the benefits of jogging. But at 52 years of age, he died of a heart attack doing what he loved the most, jogging!
8. A woman died of shock after waking up at her OWN funeral
Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov was wrongly declared dead by doctors. But when mourners gathered to pay their last respects, she suddenly woke up and was so shocked to find herself in a coffin that she suffered a heart attack and died.
9. Lawyer who shot himself after trying to show the judge that a person can accidentally shoot himself
Clement Vallandigham died while representing a defendant in the court against a murder case. He was trying to prove to the jury that the victim accidentally shot himself while pulling the gun out and his client was innocent. But unfortunately, Mr. Vallandigham actually shot himself while demonstrating how a person can accidentally shoot himself, and died.
10. Bobby Leach, the guy who survived after falling from Niagra falls, died after falling from a height of 4 feet
Bobby Leach is the second person in the history to perform the daredevil stunt of going over Niagra falls in a barrel. But ironically, the cause of his death was a minor fall from a height of 4 feet. One day, he accidentally slipped on an orange peel and suffered a leg injury, which got infected by gangrene and his leg had to be eventually amputated. Sadly, due to some complications, he passed away a couple of months later.
Sometimes the biggest irony in life comes in the form of death, doesn’t it?
The Dyatov Pass incident
In February 1959, searchers in the northern Ural Mountains in Russia found the abandoned campsite of a ski-trekking party of nine people who had been missing for several weeks. The tent had been torn in half, apparently from the inside, and filled with shoes and other belongings, while several sets of footprints, in socks or barefoot, led away into the snow.
The bodies of all nine hikers were eventually recovered, in May of that year, after the snow thawed. Most had died from hypothermia, but two had fractured skulls, two had broken ribs, and one was missing her tongue.
The case has become known as the Dyatov Pass Incident, after the name of the group leader, Igor Dyatov. The party was mostly made up of students or graduates from a university at Yekaterinburg in Russia&rsquos Sverdlovsk region.
Although the official Soviet investigation found the cause of the deaths was a "compelling natural force" — probably an avalanche — there is still no clear explanation of the events that occurred at Dyatov Pass. Some theories speculate that the party was attacked by wild animals, or that a mass panic caused by low-frequency sounds dispersed the group. There are even highly speculative links to alleged reports that UFOs had been seen in the area near that time.