Weird History The Most Bizarre Deaths in History  

Christopher Shultz
97.8k votes 22.7k voters 2.3M views 20 items

List Rules Vote up the most bizarre deaths.

It's a common wish for most people to die peacefully in their sleep, but this doesn't always happen. Some people's deaths are mysterious; some die in freak accidents or otherwise strange, unusual, or downright weird manners that are just plain baffling to the living.

Whether you find this list creepy or thought-provoking, vote up the bizarre deaths you find the most mind-boggling.

Gloria Ramirez — 1994: Death B... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Bizarre Deaths in History
Photo: via Reddit
1 13,439 VOTES

Gloria Ramirez — 1994: Death By Bodily Toxic Fume Emission

Gloria Ramirez entered the hospital while suffering complications related to cervical cancer, but when the staff attempted to administer medications, perform heart defibrillation, and draw blood, they noticed a garlic-like smell coming from Ramirez's lips and strange, manila-colored chunks in her blood. The syringe also smelled of ammonia.

At this point, members of the staff began to pass out, and some later suffered medical complications, which they attributed to whatever had happened with Ramirez's body. A HAZMAT team was eventually brought in to decontaminate the hospital room. The case was never been satisfactorily resolved.

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Dozens of Strasbourg Citizens ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Bizarre Deaths in History
Photo: Woodcut by Pieter Bruegel/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
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Dozens of Strasbourg Citizens — 1518: Death By Dancing

We don't have exact records of just how many people died during this "Dancing Plague," nor do we know what exactly caused the epidemic. It began with a woman known to history as Frau Troffea, who, in July of 1518, stepped out of her house and begin to dance fervently in the street. Soon others followed her lead, and in a month's time, a crowd of about 400 citizens were boogying through Strasbourg, many succumbing to starvation, malnutrition, and extreme exhaustion.

It is even reported some continued to dance as they lay dying in the streets. Was the plague a result of mass hysteria, poisoned or drugged food, or something supernatural, as many believe? While there is probably a scientific explanation of the event, it remains of one history's secrets.

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Polonus Vorstius — 1470: Death... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Bizarre Deaths in History
Photo: via Reddit
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Polonus Vorstius — 1470: Death By Spontaneous Human Combustion

Spontaneous human combustion is a bizarre way to die, in part, because we're still not sure exactly what causes it. Many scientists even refuse to admit these fires, which seem to randomly arise without any source of ignition, are actually sparked internally. Whatever the cause and however valid, there are numerous cases of this phenomena recorded throughout history, Polonus Vorstius is the first of these, having been recorded in the Historiarum Anatomicarum Rariorum, a tome of strange medical phenomena by Thomas Bartholin.

As Jackie Rosenhex of Doctor Review writes, "Apparently, the hapless (and soon headless) horseman enjoyed a few glasses of strong wine at his home in Milan in 1470, and then began to belch fire. Then, the story goes, he proceeded to burst into flames and die, in front of his horrified parents."

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21 Bostonians — 1919: Death By... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Bizarre Deaths in History
Photo:  Boston Public Library/Flikr/CC BY 2.0
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21 Bostonians — 1919: Death By Molasses

According to the issue of The Boston Post published on January 16, 1919

A 50-foot wave of molasses – 2,300,000 gallons of it – released in some manner yet unexplained, from a giant tank, swept over Commercial street and its waterfront from Charter street to the southerly end of North End Park yesterday afternoon. 

Ensnaring in its sticky flood more than 100 men, women, and children; crushing buildings, teams, automobiles, and street cars – everything its path – the black reeking mass slapped against the side of the buildings footing Copp's Hill and then swished back towards the Harbor.

The event resulted in 21 dead and another 150 injured.

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