The London Beer Flood and other strange ways to die
It’s never fun to die – but if you have to, these would be the ways to go
To those who died, the cause is largely inconsequential. But we all have to perish someday, and drowning in litres of beer is a spectacular way to go. Here are some of the most memorable and bizarre ways to die.
The Boston Treacle Flood
The US version of the beer flood took place in 1919, when a steel tank of black treacle (or Molasses, as it’s known in America) burst open. Some 26m pounds of treacle spread over the city, creating a sticky wave that reportedly reached heights of 25 feet. Those with a sweet-tooth may salivate at the thought of swimming in treacle, but 21 people died in the flood.
Death during sex
Of all the (relatively) great ways to die, this is the most common. Misuse of Viagra can cause a heart attack during sex, as a 28-year-old Russian man discovered when he bet two women £2,600 that he wouldn’t be able to have sex with them continually for 12 hours. The man took an entire bottle of Viagra pills and successfully won his bet but died of a heart attack soon after. It’s non just Viagra-popping scallywags who die during sex. In 964 AD Pope John XII is said to have died from a stroke during sex with his mistress – though it’s also possible that her husband found them together and beat him as revenge.
Death by Chocolate
The name given to countless rich, chocolaty desserts was also considered as a serious murder weapon. During the Second World War, Nazis planned to kill Sir Winston Churchill with a bar of exploding chocolate. Adolf Hitler’s bomb-makers coated explosive devices in a layer of dark chocolate, then packaged it in expensive-looking black and gold paper. The Nazis apparently planned to plant the bars inside luxury items that were taken into the War Cabinet’s dining room. Thankfully – for Churchill, Britain, and the world as we know it – they were not successful.
Death from a cow falling through the ceiling
A Brazilian man died last year after acow fell on top of him while he was lying in bed with his wife. The animal was thought to have climbed onto Joao Maria de Souza’s roof, which immediately gave way under the weight of the huge animal. Mr de Souza’s wife and the cow both reportedly escaped unharmed.
Dying of happiness
Death from happiness is the only truly good way to die without regrets. Scientists discovered that happiness really can kill, as “highly cheerful” children went on to die younger than their more sombre classmates. The research – which was based on the lives of children from the 1920s to old age – concluded that more joyous children are more likely to live lives carefree of risk and danger.
Of all the ways to die, surely at the end of a long and happy life is the best?