What are four of the strangest ways people died?

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Answered by: Rynski, An Expert in the Weird News - General Category
Death does not always come quietly in the good night – it often comes flying through the air in the form of a tortoise. Beings slammed in the head with a tortoise is just one among hundreds of stories outlining the strangest ways people died. A sampling of four of the stories, taken from a wide range of locations and causes, offers a glimpse into some of the weirdest deaths that have been anything but quiet.

Death by tortoise easily tops the list, although such a death might not be in store for those who sport a full head of hair. The story of bald man Aeschylus, however, proves having a naked pate makes a tortoise death quite risky. Legend has it the Greek playwright was likely minding his own business while outdoors perhaps penning scene two or whatever Greek playwrights would do when a tortoise came smashing down upon his head, a deadly blow for the dramaturgist. The legend does not follow up with a report on the condition of the tortoise after its fall, although it does note the tortoise was likely dropped from a vulture or eagle looking to smash its shell on that nice, bald rock below.

Tortoises are not the only killer critters out there; death can also come in the form of the much-beloved rat. Never mind stories of rats eating through people’s eyeballs and thus fatally entering their brain, but a simple urination can be just as deadly. Irish golfer David Bailey found that one out when he went to retrieve his golf ball from a ditch and startled a rat, which scampered up Bailey’s leg and peed on the poor lad. Since the rat had refrained from scratching or biting Bailey – or chewing through his eyeball to his brain – the golfer kept on golfing. Two weeks later, Bailey would never golf again, or do much of anything again but be lowered in a casket. It ends up the rat’s urine was carrying a bacterial infection known as leptospirosis which, as Bailey found out, can be deadly.

Rat urine can therefore join the ranks of mouthwash, another substance that led to another one of the strangest ways people died. A 30-year-old Englishwoman named Sacha Rumaner went for a routine teeth cleaning at her dentist when she suddenly succumbed to anaphylactic shock. Anaphylactic shock is a severe and dangerous allergic reaction that can lead to skin rashes, a closed-up throat, a weakened pulse, vomiting, nausea and, as was the case with Rumaner, death. She died before anyone could get her to the hospital, which was painfully nearby. Although anaphylactic shock is not uncommon from latex, insect venom and certain foods and medications, the culprit in Rumaner’s case was reportedly cholorhexidine. Hers was a rare – yet no less fatal – reaction to the chemical used in some mouthwashes.

Before one begins to titter or all-out cackle at some of the strangest ways people died, it may be wise to keep in mind that long, loud cackle has also resulted in an untimely death. Englishman Alex Mitchell, 50, laughed himself to death while watching a sitcom with his wife. Mitchell laughed at one of the sketches on the show, “The Goodies,” for a full 25 minutes, a bout that made his heart give out. Rather than boycotting the show from their home, his wife actually sent a letter to the show’s producers and actors, thanking them for giving her husband several enjoyable final moments. Her letter also proved that, just as death does not always come quietly in the night, it is not always surrounded by tragedy.

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