In the year 1567, a Bavarian gentleman named Hans Steininger broke his neck after tripping over his own beard. The offending whiskers were 4.5 feet long. He typically kept them in a pouch for easy travel, but on this day he was fatally pouch-less.
I think this is how I will die. Not specifically by beard—my modest goatee is never getting far past my chin. I mean death by weird.
For whatever reason, good or bad, I seem incapable of making conventional life decisions. My life is weird; it seems fitting that my death would be, too.
You may snicker at Mr. Steininger’s death, but I think it’s amazing. He died doing what he loved: having a giant beard. How many can claim as much?
I suspect that having five feet of beard was the coolest move you could make in Bavaria in the 1500s.
Reading about Steininger sent me down the rabbit hole of weird deaths. Which is an entirely plausible death for me: getting my head stuck in a rabbit hole and starving.
Walker wrote stuff and enjoyed fried bread. He mistook a rabbit hole for a portal and was found inside three months later, gnawed apart by vultures.
He is survived by his own cryogenically-preserved head, which WILL AWAKEN in a form chosen by the future.
Don’t get me wrong—I want more from life than immortality via listicle. But that’s not to say a person can’t have both.
Steininger may be remembered for his murderous beard, but he was also the Burgomaster of Brunau. Has anyone ever had a cooler title?
In 1771, Adolf Frederick, the king of Sweden, died after eating a single meal. That meal included the following items: caviar, lobster, smoked herring, sauerkraut, champagne, and 14 servings of the Swedish desert semla.
This is a semla:
Swedish children know Frederick as “the king who ate himself to death.” I’m sure he would rather be remembered as “the king who punched armies to death,” but you take what you can get. Not that he cares much now…
Walker enjoyed movies and pictures of cats. He died after drinking seventeen cups of coffee and picking a fight with the neighborhood emu, which kicked apart his trachea.
Walker is survived by his donated arms, which he imbued with a tendency to punch large flightless birds.
Maybe I’ve read too many futurism articles (translation: definitely), but I have to wonder how much longer we will have weird deaths at all. Once the consciousness downloading starts, wacky physical deaths may become nothing more than fun youtube moments.
Wait—too dark. Sorry about that. I’m not ready to Vanilla Sky this joint yet, either.
How about dying for love? It’s romantic as hell, and sure to please my romance author friends.
In 1667, James Betts was visiting his girlfriend Elizabeth Spencer in her college dorm room when her father arrived. She hid her lover by sealing him inside a cupboard, where he died of asphyxiation.
That’s one for the romantics AND the claustrophobics.
This post was fairly morbid, but I hope it had some laughs, too. I’m certainly not hoping to die by falling into an industrial chocolate mixer; it just seems appropriate.
I usually end these posts with a question. But today that would mean asking “HOW DO YOU THINK YOU WILL DIE?” so I’ll skip it this time.