1. Too much of a good thing – Water Intoxication
In June of 2007 Jennifer Lea Strange joined a short list of people who drank themselves to death with water when she fatally consumed an overdose of H2O during a radio contest called “Hold Your Wee for a Wii”. The young wife and mother agreed to drink as much water as possible as part of the contest in order to win a Wii game player for her family. Contestants competed to see who could go the longest without stopping to urinate. After the contest Strange collapsed and died resulting in a civil lawsuit against the radio station. Water intoxication which is also known as hyper-hydration can cause a fatal disturbance in the brain when the electrolytes in the body are thrown off their normal balance. Other famous deaths from water intoxication include artist Andy Warhol whose family claimed he was given too many fluids following gallbladder surgery in 1987.
2. Jumping into a Volcano
In 430 BC Empedocles a Greek philosopher who is best known being the originator of the cosmogenic theory of the four classic elements threw himself into the very active Mount Etna either to convince his followers, he was a god, or because he believed himself to be immortal. He might also have thought he would be reincarnated. The volcano put a quick end to any more hypotheses on his part.
3. Laughter isn’t always the best medicine
In 1599 when Burman king Nanda Bayin was informed by a visiting Italian merchant that Venice was without a king and therefore a free state he started to laugh. Unfortunately, for him he couldn’t stop laughing. His death was more than likely a result of brain hemorrhage brought on by the strain of his giggle fit. Thomas Urguhart a Scottish aristocrat and diplomat is said to have died in the same manner in 1660 after hearing that Charles II had been made king.
4. What a way to go – Death by Overeating
After drinking champagne and consuming a meal of lobster, smoked herring, caviar, sauerkraut, and over a dozen servings of a favorite dessert Swedish king Adolf Frederick understandably complained he didn’t feel well. He died a few hours later. Sadly, Adolf’s favorite pastimes as ruler had been to make snuff boxes and not much else. He’s therefore remembered only as “the king who ate himself to death” in his own homeland.
5. A great demonstration – Lawyer proves his case by killing himself
In 1871 while representing a defendant in a murder case lawyer Clement Vallandigham a United States Congressman and one time political opponent of Abraham Lincoln wanted to prove the supposed murder weapon could have accidentally been fired by the victim. Taking the gun from evidence Vallandigham tried to demonstrate to the jury how the victim might have shot himself. His mistake was in not checking to see if the gun was loaded. Just as Vallandigham had speculated the firearm discharged and just as he’d conjectured the result was a mortal wound. On an upbeat note at least the defendant was acquitted.
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