13 Particularly Unusual Deaths

On August 22, 2014 by Lazer Horse

6) Isadora Duncan – 1927

Weirdest Deaths - Isadora Duncan

Isadora was a professional dancer. She was born in California but spent her life in Western Europe and the Soviet Union. Due to her pro-Soviet tendencies she was permanently exiled from the US and spent her life from the age of 22-50 performing throughout Europe.

Isadora was a fan of long flowing scarves, but this passion would be the end of her. Whilst being driven through Nice, her scarf got entangled in the spokes of the car wheel and broke her neck. Some reports say that she was strangled so severely that she was almost decapitated and others reported that the force threw her from the car. One thing that they all agree on is that she was killed by an incredibly unlucky, lethal scarf/wheel interface.

7) Georgy Dobrovolsky, Vladislav Volkov and Viktor Patsayev – 1971

Space Deaths - Georgy Dobrovolsky, Vladislav Volkov and Viktor Patsayev

These three chaps died of decompression just before reentry when their Soyuz-11 spacecraft depressurized. These three Russians are still the only humans to have died in space.

8) Kurt Gödel – 1978

Space Deaths - Kurt Gödel starved

Gödel, an Austrian born logician, was a magnificently bright spark; but like many bright sparks his intelligence eventually gave way to madness. At just 25 he published his two incompleteness theorems which made huge waves in the field of logic.

If you want to know what his first theorem was all about, good luck to you, here’s a snap shot that I copied and pasted because my brain couldn’t get any kind of purchase on it. His theorem states that…

…for any self-consistent recursive axiomatic system powerful enough to describe the arithmetic of the natural numbers (for examplePeano arithmetic), there are true propositions about the naturals that cannot be proved from the axioms…

OK?

As Gödel aged, he suffered increasingly deeply from paranoia. He was convinced he was being poisoned. Gödel wouldn’t trust food prepared by anyone but his wife Adele. In 1978, Adele was hospitalised for six months, and Gödel starved to death. At the end he weighed just 30kg.

9) Robert Williams – 1979

Space Deaths - Robert Williams Ford Robot

Williams worked in the Ford motorcar company and has the enchanting accolade of being the first person to be killed by a robot. A one tonne robotic arm fell on him.

10) David Grundman – 1982

Weirdest Deaths - Saguaro Cactus

Next we’re in the region of Lake Placid, Arizona. Grundman was having a great time shooting a 26 ft tall Saguaro Cactus at close range. The cactus took exception to this brutality and a huge four foot limb detached and fell on Grundman, fatally wounding him.

11) Garry Hoy – 1993

Weirdest Deaths - Garry Hoy

Hoy was a well-respected and well-liked Canadian lawyer and philanthropist. He had a party trick: he liked to throw himself at the inside of the windows of the Toronto-Dominion Centre to prove to people that the glass was indestructible. One day he carried out the gag on the 24th floor in front of a bunch of students at an office party. The glass didn’t break, but the window frame gave way leaving him to free fall to the floor.

Just so you know, the technical term for this sort of death is ‘accidental autodefenestration‘. A Toronto Detective reported at the time:

At this Friday night party, Mr. Hoy did it again and bounced off the glass the first time. However, he did it a second time and this time crashed right through the middle of the glass.

12) Jennifer Strange – 2007

Weirdest Deaths - Jennifer Strange wii

Some people will go to great lengths to win a prize and Jennifer went about as far as you can go. As part of a competiton called “Hold Your Wee For A Wii” on KDND Radio she held her wee whilst imbibing ever increasing quantities of water. Fun times!

Neither herself nor the professional radio DJs realised that you can actually die from drinking too much water. And that’s what happened to Jennifer. All for a console.

Excess water kills you by jazzing up the delicate balance of electrolytes in your body. Fluid shifts through cell walls and causes the cells to swell. In the brain, this brings an increase in pressure which isn’t ideal in the confined quarters of the skull; it can be fatal if the wrong bits and bobs are squashed too hard.

13) Oscar Otero Aguilar – 2014

Weirdest Deaths - Oscar Otero Aguilar selfie death

This is possibly the first selfie death, the first of many I fear. Aguilar, from Mexico accidentally shot himself whilst posing for a selfie. Woops.

I’m not sure there’s really a take home message for this piece. I could say something like – “be careful”. But, no one ever will, and what kind of a life would it be if we were careful all of the time? I guess the take home message is: “enjoy it whilst it lasts, and never touch guns.”

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