Death is a somber and reflective part of life. In history, it is usually just a date, an end of an era or life, and sometimes a bit of a story. If we know of a passing, it's usually because it was a person deemed important by history, or it marked the start or finish of something.
But sometimes we know about deaths because of the stories themselves. And sometimes the stories of death are what made the people involved famous. These are some of the most bizarre end-of-life circumstances we came across in 2021.
- 11,755 VOTES
A Doctor Was Decapitated By An Elevator
In 2003, Dr. Hitoshi Nikaidoh was decapitated as he stepped onto an elevator at Christus St. Joseph Hospital in Houston, TX. According to a witness inside the elevator, the doors closed as Nikaidoh entered, trapping his head inside the elevator with the rest of him still outside. His body was later found at the bottom of the elevator shaft, while the upper portion of his head, severed just above the lower jaw, was found in the elevator.
A subsequent investigation revealed that improper electrical wiring installed by a maintenance company several days earlier had effectively bypassed all the elevator's safeguards, thus enabling it to move under any circumstances.
- 21,466 VOTES
György Dózsa Of Hungary Endured A Royal Roasting
György Dózsa established himself as "Prince of the People" during the first years of the 1500s, tasked with freeing Hungary from oppressive nobles. He rallied peasants in towns like Karcag and Cegléd, purportedly giving speeches to inspire them to join his cause:
The Hungarian nobles, who keep you in servitude, do not consider you as citizens, but treat you as slaves... Whatever grows on the fields, thanks to your toil and sweat, belongs to them. You plow the soil, plant the grapes, breed cattle and sheep so that the nobility can profit from your labor. What is left for you is serfdom and misery.
Dózsa and his followers were initially successful, but he was later captured and executed. His demise was especially heinous, as the "Peasant King" was sentenced to sit on a heated iron throne while wearing an iron crown and holding a scepter - both burning hot.
As Dózsa sat on a heated metal throne, his men - who had been starved for the occasion - watched as executioners used hot pliers to pull off his flesh. They were then told to tear Dózsa with their teeth. Those who didn't swallow what they'd pulled off were slain.
- 31,676 VOTES
A Man Attempted To Soak In A Thermal Spring At Yellowstone And Was Dissolved
In June 2016, 23-year-old Colin Scott and his sister Sable were visiting Yellowstone National Park when he decided to soak in a thermal pool. The pair left the defined boardwalk area and entered into dangerous territory. This area was forbidden from guest access due to the danger of its geothermal activity.
When they reached a pool, Scott attempted to dip his toe in to test the water, but slipped and fell in completely. Search and rescue was called off after several hours when authorities determined that, due to the water's acidity and heat, any remains were most likely dissolved.
- 41,152 VOTES
The Inventor Of Leaded Gasoline And Freon Was Strangled By Another One Of His Inventions
Thomas Midgley, Jr. was responsible for popularizing the use of two of the most dangerous substances of the 20th century. He helped popularize the use of lead in gasoline (and contracted lead poisoning while working on the project), led the team that discovered freon, and helped popularize the use of chlorofluorocarbons in refrigeration. Both lead and chlorofluorocarbons have been cited as particularly harmful pollutants in the atmosphere.
When Midgley was 51 and disabled from illness, he devised an elaborate system of ropes and pulleys to lift himself out of bed. He became entangled in his invention and strangled to death.
- 5943 VOTES
Inalchuq Was Executed With Molten Silver
Inalchuq was the governor of Otrar, located in the Khwarezmian Empire in the Middle East, during the early 13th century. As Genghis Khan extended his influence across Central Asia, he sent a group of merchants to Otrar in 1218. Inalchuq, suspicious of the group, executed them and took all of their goods.
After he heard about what happened, Genghis Khan sent envoys to demand reparations, but Inalchuq refused; he had the ambassadors executed as well, prompting the Mongolian ruler to send a military response.
Genghis Khan and his Mongols unleashed an onslaught on Otrar, one that led to an extended siege. After several months, the Mongols breached the city walls, plundered Otrar, and took many of its inhabitants captive.
Inalchuq suffered a different fate, however. He reportedly had molten silver poured into his eyes, ears, and, by some tellings, down his throat.
- 61,331 VOTES
A Man Tried To Prove That A Window Was Unbreakable - Unfortunately, The Window Frame Wasn't
Garry Hoy worked for a law firm in Toronto, Ontario. The 38-year-old corporate and securities lawyer had a bizarre party trick that he enjoyed demonstrating for visitors to his office on the 24th floor. To demonstrate the strength of the unbreakable office windows, Hoy would launch his body at them and bounce off.
On July 9, 1993, he was giving a tour of the firm to young law students when he decided to showcase his trick. Unfortunately, while the glass did not break, the entire window popped out of its frame, and Hoy fell to his demise.