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5 Weirdest Deaths in History

Throughout history, there have been numerous bizarre and unusual deaths that have captivated the public’s attention. Some of these deaths were accidental, while others were intentional, but all of them share a certain level of strangeness that sets them apart from more common causes of death.

1. Aeschylus & Eagle

Aeschylus was an ancient Greek tragedian and playwright, known as the father of tragedy. He was born in 525 BCE and died in 456 BCE. The details of his death are not entirely clear, but it is believed that he died in Gela, a city in Sicily, Italy, at the age of 69.

According to the ancient Greek historian Plutarch, Aeschylus was killed when an eagle dropped a tortoise on his head, mistaking his bald head for a rock on which to crack open the tortoise’s shell. This story, however, is considered by many to be a legend rather than a historical fact.

Photo courtesy: unknown

Another account, which is more widely accepted, suggests that Aeschylus died from natural causes, possibly due to an illness or an injury. Some sources say that he was buried in Gela, while others claim that his remains were transferred to Athens, where he had spent most of his life as a playwright. Despite the uncertainties surrounding his death, Aeschylus remains one of the most celebrated and influential figures in the history of Western literature.

2. Francis Bacon & The Frozen Chicken

Francis Bacon, also known as Lord Bacon, was an English philosopher, statesman, and essayist who lived from 1561 to 1626. He is considered one of the greatest minds in the history of Western thought, and his works on philosophy, science, and politics are still studied today.

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Bacon’s death was indeed unusual and somewhat strange. According to accounts from the time, he was traveling in a carriage through Highgate, a suburb of London, during a heavy snowstorm when he became curious about whether cold could preserve meat. He stopped the carriage and bought a chicken from a nearby farmer, intending to stuff it with snow and test his hypothesis.

Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

However, while attempting to stuff the chicken with snow, Bacon contracted a severe case of pneumonia, which eventually led to his death on April 9, 1626, at the age of 65. Despite his significant contributions to philosophy and science, Bacon is often remembered for the unusual circumstances surrounding his death, which have become a part of his legacy.

3. King Adolf Frederick’s habit of excessive eating killed him

The Swedish King, Adolf Frederick, was obsessed with a local dessert called the ‘semla’ cream rolls. So one time, after a rich meal of caviar, lobster and various seafood delicacies, the king gobbled down more than a dozen semlas at one go. Needless to say, the large quantity of food did not sit well with the king.

Image courtesy: Royal History

After the food fest, when Frederick slowly left his seat, he felt a sickening sensation in his stomach that only worsened with time and ultimately killed him. He was not the only king who killed himself with excessive eating: the English ruler, King Henry I, also died because he was obsessed with the slimy taste of lamprey eels.

4.  Death from laughter

A laughter a day keeps the doctors away! It may seem like an old wives’ tale, yet the evidence suggests that people can succumb to death by laughing too hard. Laughing too hard can also be dangerous. Maybe you’ve heard about the Greek philosopher Chrysippus, who laughed at his own joke, only to die soon after.

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Chrysippus, the 3rd-century BC Greek philosopher, died of laughter after he saw a donkey eating his figs, he told a slave to give the donkey neat wine with which to wash them down, and then, “having laughed too much, he died”

Image credit: Sportskeda

5. Death by Beard

Hans Steininger was a historical figure who was the mayor of Braunau am Inn, Austria, in the 16th century. He is known for his unusual death, which occurred in 1567.

According to legend, Steininger had a very long beard, which he normally kept rolled up and tucked into a pouch. One day, while rushing to put out a fire, he forgot to roll up his beard, and it trailed behind him as he ran. When he reached the staircase in the town hall, he tripped on his beard, fell down the stairs, and broke his neck, leading to his death.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

While the details of the story may be exaggerated or embellished over time, it is widely believed that Hans Steininger did indeed die as a result of a freak accident involving his long beard.