Weird History The Most Bizarre Deaths in History  

Christopher Shultz
82.4k votes 19.8k voters 2.2M views 20 items

List Rules Vote up the most bizarre death.

It's a common wish for most people to die peacefully in their sleep, but this doesn't always happen. Some people 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 death 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
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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, 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 begin 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 has never been satisfactorily resolved, and to this day it is still shrouded in mystery. (info via the New Times Los Angeles, reprinted here)
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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 "Dance Plague," nor 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 by 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, we will unfortunately never know.
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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 indeed, 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 being the first, 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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David Phyall — 2008: Death by ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Bizarre Deaths in History
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David Phyall — 2008: Death by self-inflicted chainsaw decapitation

Protest-driven suicides are nothing new, the most famous perhaps being Thích Quảng Đức's self-immolation in protest of the Vietnam War. But David Phyall's is perhaps the most gruesome on the books. The long-time resident of Bishopstoke, Hampshire in England had refused to leave his home in a housing edition slated for demolition. To apparently "draw attention to the injustice of his situation," Phyall carefully arranged a chainsaw in his boardroom and decapitated himself. Deputy coroner Simon Burge was quoted in the Independent as saying, "In the 15 years I have been sitting as a deputy coroner, this is the most bizarre case I can recall...It is an appalling way to take one's life but that is what happened in this case."
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