Welcome to the first post of ThatBiologist Does Halloween! An entire week dedicated to the goulish things in the world of biology. Today I’m going to jump in the deep end with 10 weird deaths.
7 – Anthrax
Anthrax is an infection caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. It can affect the lungs, skin and cause gastrointestinal infections too. It can be extremely deadly without treatment and extremely uncomfortable. Anthrax spores have been used as biological warfare in the past. However, one weird death caused by Anthrax was of US congressman Michael F. Farley in 1921 when his shaving brush was infected with Anthrax.
6 – Carrot Juice
Carrots are delicious and nutritious! Although they do not actually provide any form of night vision, they are a great source of vitamin A as well as having vitamins K and B6. However, Basil Brown used to drink a gallon of carrot juice a day in the belief it would make him healthy. In 1974 he died after warning that this behavior would cause damage to his liver and overdosing on vitamin A.
5 – Robots
Many of our every day items are produced by robots as well as almost everything we do. The first human ever to be killed by a robot goes to Robert Williams who worked in a Ford assembly line. He was hit by a robotic arm and subsequently died.
4 – Yellow Fever
Yellow fever is a viral disease and the infection is common in parts of Africa, South America, Central America and the Caribbean. In some cases the disease can be fatal but a standard infection can cause symptoms such as mild infection with fever, headache, chills, back pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle pain, nausea, and vomiting. Vomiting up blood and kidney failure are some of the more severe symptoms. It is spread by mosquito bites and the slightly weird death here is in 1900, American physician Jesse William Lazear tried to prove that Yellow Fever was transmitted by mosquitoes by letting infected mosquitoes bite him. He then contracted the disease and died proving himself right!
3 – Laughing
Some say laughter is the best medicine and most of the time it is. However there have been a few cases of death from laughter. One such case was of Alex Mitchell, he laughed at a TV programme for 25 minutes solid. He finally stopped and died from suffocation causing heart failure.
2 – Snakes
Snakes are wonderfully strange creatures and some are highly poisonous. The poisons can have all sorts of affects which can include causing organ failure leading to death. However, many snakes are very peaceful creatures and will run away first and if you see a snake it’s often better to turn and walk away too! Mack Wolford never got that message though. He was a pastor that believed Christians should handle snakes in order to show their faith in god. He however died from a rattlesnake bite in 2012. Stay away from snakes kids!
1 – Explosive powder
Explosions are dangerous I didn’t need to tell you that. We see enough evidence of it on the news. You would think then if ever you had to work with an explosive powder you would be hyper aware of its dangerous properties! Not for Vladimir Likhonos who had a habit of dropping his gum in citric acid powder to increase the sour flavor. He one day mixed up the two powers causing him to chew the explosive powder and consequently blow off his jaw!
It has amazed me some of the deaths I read researching this piece! I guess its a little reminder to always be grateful for what you have, anyway happy Halloween! See you tomorrow!
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