For as long as humans have existed so has a fascination with all things morbid. Humanity has a pretty horrifying history of all things macabre. Terrifying historical torture techniques still make us cringe to this day and haunted abandoned hospitals are must indulge in experiences for people from all walks of life.
It’s probably also not far fetched to think that many of us have conceived a thought to the tune of, “I would never want to die that way.” I mean, I know I have (drowning, I would never want to drown.) Yet is there any basis for our fears other than the scenario seems terrifying?
Well, like many things throughout time, science has come to the rescue. If by rescue we mean helping us understand a definitive list of ways we definitely don’t want to die. Or I suppose if you’re a bit sadistic ways you may want your enemies to die.
So how did this conversation even come about?
You can thank your good friends at Reddit, of course.
In a recent thread, Reddit users inquisitively quizzed two outstanding individuals on the subject of death. Asking to the tune of “the most interesting ways you can die,” led us to a very creative and creepy thread. Creative writer Cody Cassidy teamed up with a senior scientist at San Francisco’s Exploratorium Museum, Paul Doherty (who was also on the research team for the Viking Mars expedition) to indulge the darkest fantasies of the deep, dark web and they did so expertly with dark and grizzly responses.
See what they had to say for yourself:
1. Stuck Inside A Plunging Elevator
Like a scene from a horror movie we can picture it now: plummeting to your death, trapped in an elevator. This is the death nightmares are frequently made of. But hey, the two dudes had some solid advice for anyone who may find themselves needing it: “Laying flat on your back is the best way to spread out the G forces evenly through your body. If you’re standing up, your organs may keen falling even though your body has stopped. You should also hope that the elevator fits snugly in its shaft, so the pillow of air below the car slows the fall and the broken elevator cable below can provide some cushioning.”
2. Floating Too Close To A Neutron Star
Because being ripped apart via medieval times wouldn’t be as fun, take a sneak peek at how Doherty described dying in this manner (and prepare to cringe, hardcore:)”Let’s assume the neutron star is unnaturally quiet. You’ll be in free fall, and as usual, it’s not the fall that kills you. Gravity is stronger at close distances and weaker further away. This means if your head is pointed toward the neutron star it will be tugged toward the star much more strongly than your feet and this tidal force will rip you apart.” Click on the next page to see more.
3. Drowning At The Bottom Of The Mariana Trench
As if being terrified of drowning wasn’t enough, Doherty and Cassidy intensified the game by thinking of the worst possible place in the world one could drown: The Mariana Trench. The Mariana Trench is the deepest point of the Earth’s oceans and is riddled with mystery and darkness to this day. So, what did Cassidy and Doherty say? “Fortunately, you’re mostly water, and water is incompressible. So you would retain your basic human shape. The air pockets inside you, namely in your nasal cavity, throat and chest, would be a problem. These would collapse inward, which would [be] fatal. Because you wouldn’t have any air, you wouldn’t float to the surface and you would likely stay at the bottom to be consumed by the bone-eating snot flower, which usually eats whale bones but would probably make an exception in this case.”
Here’s a bit of comfort for those of you worried you’ll die from insomnia! Doherty and Cassidy specifically reflected on a popular story of 1964 high school boy, Randy Gardner, who tried to stay awake as long as possible. Apparently, it’s not actually possible to die from not sleeping. What happened to Randy boy? “Though he hallucinated that he was a professional football player, mistook a street sign for a pedestrian and eventually lost muscle control he was fine and recovered after a day of sleep. It seems that unless you are put on some diabolical machine that forces you to stay awake, like a few unfortunate rats have been, your body will make you sleep.” How long did Randy stay awake? 11 days.
Whelp, that’s certainly more than enough terrifying descriptions of torturous deaths for us today. Have fun pondering these!