Death is, by default, untimely. Most deaths caused by the natural world are usually relatively uneventful, but nature can be cruel and spectacularly gruesome from time to time, providing science with the unenviable task of teasing out how these deaths happened, step by step.
Here’s a selection of some really horrific and accidental ways to throw yourself into oblivion, and the science behind them. Most of these ways of dying are relatively painless for the victims, but it would be quite gruesome to accidentally observe. Be careful if you don’t have a sensitive stomach.
We spend a lot of energy to avoid thinking about death and falling into it, but death is an inevitable state of being human, for the time being. And despite the fact that it has been happening, either on purpose or by accident, since before humans were human, there has been no real scientific consensus on what kinds of deaths we should try to avoid.
Maybe dying by drowning is the worst? Being burned alive? We may have thought of this in an impersonal way, as something that appears in the movies or even that can only happen in our reality in really strange circumstances. If you talk about it, it is likely that, after a short time, the subject will turn the page and you will continue with your life calmly.
But the deaths that haunt our nightmares have some common features, and we can pull together a number of different scientific perspectives, read between the lines, and get an answer to the question of “the worst way to die.”
Regardless of allergic reactions or shark attacks, it is clear that the answer is not going to please anyone.
Scientist Paul Doherty and writer Cody Cassidy they sat down to ponder the age-old question of what might be the worst ways to die, and came up with some unlikely, albeit terrifying, scenarios. Their answers considered seemingly impossible or unlikely situations, and we can find them in “And then you’re dead: What Really Happens If You Get Swallowed by a Whale, Are Shot from a Cannon, or Go Barreling over Niagara”, a book published by Penguin Books and that the New York Times described as “entertaining and heartbreaking”.
PS: We repeat, it is not suitable for delicate stomachs.