Death is inevitable. It is a part of life and is something no one can avoid. Many people die of natural causes, while others die unexpectedly due to accidents. But some had “grand exits,” and others, unfortunately, met their end in a weird and baffling way. Reading the following unusual deaths will make you feel glad to be alive!
1) Killed by a falling cow
It was a seemingly ordinary night in 2013 when a 45-year-old man named Joao Maria Souza was sleeping soundly. But all of a sudden, a cow fell through the roof of his home, crushing him. His wife, who was also sleeping on the bed, narrowly escaped death.
Apparently, the one-ton cow was grazing on a cliff right behind the couple’s house in Caratinga, Brazil. The animal stepped on the house’s asbestos roof, which collapsed under its weight. Souza was taken to the hospital and died the day after, reportedly due to internal bleeding.
The funny thing is that it wasn’t even the first time that it happened. Local media said it was the third time such incident occurred, but there were no casualties in the two previous incidents. Caratinga is a hilly town where cattle farming is widely practiced.
And what happened to the cow? It came out unscathed.
2) A deadly demonstration
In 1993, a Toronto lawyer named Gary Hoy wanted to demonstrate that the glass in the windows of a 24th-floor office was unbreakable. He threw himself against the window pane. While the glass itself didn’t break, it popped out of its frame and sent Hoy plunging to his death.
3) Dancing fever
Nowadays, there are dance crazes that become viral in your Facebook feed, YouTube or TikTok. But have you heard of a “dancing fever”? And would you believe that dancing can be deadly? If not, you’re in for a treat.
In 1518, as many as 400 people began dancing in Strasbourg, Alsace (modern-day France). And they didn’t stop. They went on dancing for about a month until they collapsed from exhaustion, with many of them dying from strokes and heart attacks.
It was the most famous case of a “dancing plague” or “dancing mania” that swept Europe from the 14th to 17th centuries, where people just danced for no apparent reason. This strange phenomenon afflicted men, women, and even children.
4) The dead horseman
In 1923, jockey Frank Hayes won a steeplechase at Belmont Park despite being dead. He suffered a fatal heart attack mid-race, but his body remained in the saddle until his horse, named “Sweet Kiss,” eventually crossed the finish line. The horse won by a head with Hayes still technically sitting on her back, making him the first and the only jockey to have won a horse race after death, thus far.
5) Proving himself right
During his research on malaria and yellow fever, American physician Jesse William Lazear wanted to prove that yellow fever was caused by mosquitoes. He allowed himself to be bitten by an infected mosquito in order to study the disease. Seventeen days later, Lazear died of yellow fever on September 25, 1900, proving himself right.
6) Death by a beer flood
Water floods are common, but have you heard of a beer flood? This one unusual disaster took place in London, in 1814, when a 22-foot-tall wooden vat of fermenting beer at a brewery began to burst. It caused over 3,500 barrels of beer flooding through the streets, killing eight people. Whether it’s by actual drowning or intoxication, or both, we will never know!
7) Another deadly demonstration
Another fearless lawyer on this list! A 19th-century American lawyer named Clement Vallandigham defended a murder suspect by contending that the victim could have accidentally shot himself. Vallandigham grabbed a gun and demonstrated how the mishap would have been carried out to prove his hypothesis. In doing so, Vallandigham accidentally shot himself, thus successfully proving that the victim could have accidentally shot himself. Although the lawyer died, his defense worked, and his client was acquitted.
8) Falling prey to monkey wrath
On October 20, 2007, Surinder Singh Bajwa, a deputy mayor of Delhi, was attacked by a troupe of rhesus monkeys at his home. He fell from the first-floor balcony, sustaining head injuries. He died a day later.
9) What a crappy way to die
Monica Meyers, mayor of Betterton, Maryland, drowned in a sewage tank. While cleaning the sewage tank – a job that she had done free of charge for many years – the 70-year-old fell in and drowned in 15 feet of human waste.
10) Wrapped in wool
In 1987, Paul Thomas, a wool mill owner, was operating one of his machines when he accidentally fell into it. He suffocated and died after being wrapped in 800 yards of wool.
If you are interested to read more stories about unusual deaths, you may also check out our article about the Most Bizarre Deaths Throughout History.