Death is inevitable. But history has in its records some strange deaths. Here is a list of five of the most bizarre deaths that have occurred in history ...
Francis Bacon (January 22,1561 ¨CApril 9, 1626)
Manner of death: Stuffing snow into a chicken
Francis Bacon; statesman, philosopher, creator of the English essay, and advocate for the scientific revolution (he established ¡°The Scientific Method¡± still used today), was one of very few people to die as a result of one of their own experiments.
In 1625, whilst gazing out the window at a snowy afternoon, Sir Francis Bacon had an epiphany of sorts. Why would snow not work as preservative of meat in much the same way salt is used? Needing to know and unheeding of the weather, Bacon rushed to town to purchase a chicken, brought it home and began the experiment. Standing outside in the snow, he killed the chicken and tried to stuff it with snow. The experiment was a failure; the chicken didn¡¯t freeze, and as a consequence of standing around in the freezing weather, Bacon developed a terminal case of pneumonia. Trying to stave off the inevitable, Bacon roasted and ate the chicken. That too was a failed experiment. He died.
King Adolf Frederick of Sweden (May 14, 1710 ¨C February 12, 1771)
Manner of death: Eating too much pudding
Adolph¡¯s Frederick was the titular King of Sweden from 1751 ¨C 1771. The omnipotent Riksdag or senate held the reins of power despite Adolphus¡¯ best efforts to wrest it from them.
Adophus Frederick is often known by Swedish children as ¡°the king who ate himself to death¡±. On February 12, 1771, after partaking of a banquet consisting of lobster, caviar, sauerkraut, smoked herring and champagne he moved on to his favorite dessert, Semla, a traditional bun or pastry made from semolina/wheat flour, served in a bowl of hot milk. One or two portions would have been sufficient; 14 servings was excessive. He died shortly thereafter of digestion problems.
Christine Chubbuck (August 24, 1944 ¨C July 15, 1974)
Manner of death: Suicide on live TV
Christine Chubbuck was the host of ¡°Suncoast Digest¡± a well regarded public affairs program on WXLT-TV in Sarasota, Florida. Breaking format, her guest was waiting across the studio at the news anchor¡¯s desk; Christine read eight minutes of national news stories before the tape reel malfunctioned while describing a shooting at the Beef and Bottle restaurant. Seemingly unfazed by the technical glitch, Christine looked into the camera and said:
¡°In keeping with Channel 40¡äs policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts, and in living colour, you are going to see another first: an attempted suicide.¡±
Taking a revolver out from under her desk, she placed it behind her left ear and pulled the trigger (she learned this was the most effective way to commit suicide from the police while researching a project for her show). She tumbled violently forward as the technical director slowly faded to black. Some viewers called 911 while others called the station to see if it was real. Camerawoman Jean Reed later stated that she didn¡¯t believe it to be genuine until she saw Christine¡¯s body twitching on the floor.
Aeschylus (525 BC/524 BC ¨C 456 BC)
Manner of death: An eagle dropped a tortoise on his head
Aeschylus, the founder of tragedy, is the first of the three ancient Greek playwrights whose work still survives. While visiting Gela on the island of Sicily, legend has it that an eagle, mistaking Aeschylus¡¯ bald pate for a stone, dropped a tortoise on his head killing him. Some accounts differ, stating that a stone was dropped on his head, the eagle mistaking his shining crown for an egg.
Grigori Rasputin (January 22, 1869 ¨C December 29, 1916)
Manner of death: Drowning after being poisoned, shot, stabbed, and bludgeoned
The Mad Monk, Grigori Rasputin, was a peasant and mystic healer who found favor with the royal court of Russia by providing relief to Crown Prince Aleksey, a hemophiliac and heir to the throne. Wielding much influence on the royal court, the unkempt, vulgar, and amazingly resilient Rasputin made many political enemies. He had to go; much easier said than done. The conspirators first tried poison, enough poison to kill a man three times his size, but he seemed unaffected. Next they snuck up behind him and shot him in the head.
This should have done it, but no; while one of the assassins was checking his pulse, the mystic grabbed the conspirator by the neck and proceeded to strangle him. Running away, the would-be assassins took up the chase, shooting him three times in the process. The gunshots slowed him down enough to allow his pursuers to catch-up. They then proceeded to bludgeon him before throwing him in the icy cold river (Russian winter). When his body was recovered an autopsy showed that the cause of death was drowning.