The 5 Worst Ways To Die

Worst Ways To Die

All men must die, but some deaths are significantly better than others. Carbon monoxide poisoning sounds pretty pleasant and freezing to death is allegedly kind of peaceful. Even walking the plank could be a noble way to go, but this list isn’t about nice ways to die. From slow, to strange, to unbelievably embarrassing, here are some of the worst ways to die.

Worst Ways To Die: Execution by Elephant
Worst Ways To Die Execution by Elephant

In South and Southeast Asia, elephants were trained to crush, dismember and torture prisoners, especially mutinous soldiers, in public arenas. Because elephants are such intelligent animals, they were able to take directions well.

An Asian elephant could kill a victim immediately if that was the desired outcome, but he/she could also draw it out if they were feeling particularly vindictive. Often it would take hours for a victim to die.

Execution by Elephant

Leaders were so fond of using an elephant to kill enemies not just for physical reasons, but also psychological one. Death by elephant signified both absolute power over man as well as man’s control of nature. A combination of the two was thought to be the most complete type of power, and it validated the ruler’s position.

While the practice was suppressed and eventually eradicated (we hope) during the 18th and 19th centuries when European colonization popularized quieter forms of torture and sneakier types of suppression, many travel logs recounting public executions by elephants still exist.

Dying With Your Pants Down
Worst Ways To Die Avery Jessup

There are numerous stories of old (usually wealthy) men dying during sex. This physical activity can cause blood pressure—along with other things—to rise for a short period of time, and for people with heart problems this can lead to cardiac arrest.

It is rumored that former U.S. Vice President Nelson Rockefeller died of a heart attack while climaxing, as did British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston, and Pope John XII (although his death was reportedly caused by a stroke).

Atilla The Hun met his maker while getting down and dirty with one of his dozen or so wives. There are many theories on the specifics of what actually transpired, but here’s one of the best:

Atilla and his new bride were engaging in rough, intoxicated, and creative sex when she hit him in the face, breaking his nose. The ruler of the Huns–leader of the Roman Empire’s most feared enemy who’d crossed the Danube River twice–began hemorrhaging and eventually died from the injury.

Smallpox
Worst Ways To Die Smallpox Virus

Smallpox has no known treatment or cure. There is a vaccine to prevent smallpox infection, but the side effects are too bad to justify inoculating low risk populations.

Only about 30% of cases result in death, and it’s relatively difficult to catch without incredibly close contact with an infected person (smallpox can be transmitted through droplets in the air, or contaminated bedding or clothing). But for the unlucky few who do come down with it, smallpox is a slow, painful death.

Worst Ways To Die Smallpox

For the first 12 or so days you’ll look and feel completely healthy. Then, you’ll start experiencing flu-like symptoms. Fast forward a few days, and lesions will appear on your face, hands, forearms, and they’ll eventually spread to your whole body.

The lesions turn into pus-filled blisters, which scab and then scar. The blisters on your mucus membranes (the insides of your nose and mouth) will be the most painful, and eventually they will burst, spreading the virus through your saliva.

It’s the presence of the virus in the blood, and resulting clotting in capillaries and blood vessels, that eventually kills its victims, and it’s no fun.

Lucky for us, smallpox was successfully eradicated in 1979, and only two laboratories retained samples–one in the United States, and one in Russia. Here’s to hoping both facilities have good security.

Dismembered By A Captive Orca Whale At SeaWorld
Orca with Trainer

Like elephants, orca whales are incredibly intelligent and highly social creatures. This means that death at their fins can often be drawn out and intended to inflict the maximum amount pain and humiliation. According to orca researcher Howard Garrett, orcas have never been known to harm a human in the wild, but killer whales kept in captivity are far more likely to live up to their name.

Worst Ways To Die Captive Orca

Neuroscientist Lori Marino has studied orca brains and concluded that they have “highly elaborate emotional lives [which are] stronger and more complex than in humans.” What this means is that separating orcas from their family groups, depriving them of food as a punishment for bad behavior, and confining them, oftentimes alone, to small tanks results in similar types of behavior humans under the same conditions are known to exhibit (i.e. hyper-aggression and a tendency towards violence and killing).

Except these conditions are more detrimental to the whales than they are to humans, because a wild orca travels upward of one hundred miles a day, and his sense of self is not contained within the individual, but distributed throughout his entire pod.

The artificial groupings we see at amusement parks like SeaWorld are not an adequate substitute for the whale’s family group, since individuals from different pods use unique languages and follow different sets of customs. It would be the equivalent of throwing five people with no common language or culture into a 10×10 room, locking the door, withholding food, and expecting them to get along.

Orca Dorsal Fin

Captive orcas have been known to turn on their trainers–holding the helpless human underwater for minutes at a time, allowing the trainer to surface for a moment, only to drag him down again over and over again.

In 1999, a man who snuck into an orca’s tank at SeaWorld was found dead the next morning. He’d been stripped naked, castrated, bitten repeatedly, and the whale paraded the dead man’s body around on his back for all the staff at the park to see. The same whale would later attack and kill one of his trainers.

Smothered By A Giant Pair Of Breasts
We know that some people would kill to pull an Attila the Hun and die face deep in the pair featured above, but for one man in Washington State this is—or was—no laughing matter. In January 2013, his heavily intoxicated, 200-pound lover, Donna Lange, smothered him with her breasts until he stopped breathing.

Witnesses told police they heard the man begging Lange to get off of him, but she refused. He was pronounced dead at Swedish Medical Center. Still sound like a good way to go?



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