THESE ANECDOTES ARE WAY MORE OVER-THE-TOP THAN ANY HOUSE EPISODE. And they prove what we all know: People are dumb. And it’s true that it’s mean and it sucks to laugh when someone dies, but some of these accidents are so absurd you just gotta make the best of it and have a chuckle at these poor sods’ expense.
Though some might just give you the willies. ‘Cus people are creepy.
Anyway. Now I’m depressed, yo.
1. Drowning in Beer (1814)
When 323,000 imperial gallons (1,468,000L) beer bust out of the vats of the Meux and Company Brewery and gushed into the streets–aka The Great London Beer Flood–9 people died from drowning, injuries, and alcohol poisoning. It’s true: There are worse ways to go.
2. Killer Toothpick (1941)
Author Sherwood Anderson swallowed a toothpick at a party and then died of peritonitis. Bet that toothpick was holding three little olives. Bet that wasn’t Mr. Anderson’s first martini of the evening.
3. Sweet Kiss… Of Death (1953)
Frank Hayes, a jockey, had a heart attack during a horse race. The horse, Sweet Kiss, finished first, making Hayes the only dead jockey to ever win a race. Score.
4. Colonel Mustard… With an Umbrella… In the Tube… Sort Of (1978)
Georgi Markov was a Bulgarian dissident who was poisoned by an unknown assailant who shot him in the leg with a specially modified umbrella. The brolly fired a metal pellet with a small cavity full of ricin poison.
5. Killed by a Japanese Cannibal (1981)
Renée Hartevelt, a 25-year-old Dutch woman studying in Paris, was killed and eaten by a classmate, Issei Sagawa, after he’d invited her to dinner for a ‘literary conversation.’ The cannibal killer, pronounced unfit to stand trial, was extradited back to Japan, though Japanese authorities released him from custody within fifteen months. Vice has a documentary about it that we won’t hyperlink to ‘cus it’s pretty hardcore. But you can Google it.
6. Dry Eyes Are Murder (1983)
The Cat on a Hot Tin Roof author, Tennessee Williams, died when he choked on an eye-drop bottle-cap. It was, apparently, his habit to place the cap in his mouth, lean back, and squeeze out some eye-drops into each eye every night. Until that fateful last drop.
7. Tennis Ball to the Scrotum (1983)
Dick Wertheim was an American tennis player who died at the 1983 US Open after Stefan Edberg sent a serve directly into his groin, causing Wertheim to fall and hit his head on the pavement. Shit.
8. Choking on Religion (1987)
Dude took things a little literally. Franco Brun, a 22-year-old prisoner at Toronto East Detention Centre, choked to death after trying to swallow a Gideons Bible.
9. Viagra Killed the Dictator… Maybe (1998)
Nigerian dictator, Sani Abacha, died at his home in Abuja of a heart attack… that was rumored to have been caused by the ingestion of large quantities of the Viagra pre- an orgy.
10. Death by Magnetic Field (2001)
A 6-year-old American boy was having trouble breathing while he was getting an MRI, so a helpful anesthesiologist thought a portable oxygen canister was a good idea to throw into the magnetic field. The canister was pulled from the doctor’s hands, striking the boy in the head and killing him.
11. Horsing Around (2005)
A Seattle dude named Kenneth Pinyan died of acute peritonitis after getting some ass-action from a stallion. His case led to the criminalization of bestiality in Washington State.
12. Caught in the Game (2005)
After playing the videogame StarCraft online for almost 50 consecutive hours, Lee Seung Seop, a 28-year-old South Korean, collapsed of fatigue and died.
13. Stranger than Fiction (2007)
Jennifer Strange, a 28-year-old woman from Sacramento, California, died of water intoxication while trying to win a Nintendo Wii console in a KDND 107.9 “The End” radio station’s “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” contest, which involved drinking large quantities of water without ever going for a leak. Yeah you can die from not pissing. Who knew.
14. Chewing Explosives (2009)
A Ukrainian student died after accidentally stuck a piece of homemade chewing gum into some explosives he was using for a school project. The gum exploded, blowing off his jaw and most of the lower part of his face. Snap.
15. Isn’t it Ironic (2010)
Jimi Heselden, owner of the Segway motorized scooter company, bit it when he accidentally drove off a cliff… on his Segway.