Ok, so you might be thinking that is a heartless topic to base a show on, but look at it this way, once you’ve seen how incredibly stupid some people have been, it may prevent you from doing the same. We see all manner of crazy stunts online these days, videos that often come with the FAIL tag.
We hear stories about death by selfie, or near deaths such as the man in India that thought it would be cool to take a video of himself as a train approached. But those are just the people tempting fate, a lot of other people put themselves in harm’s way and have no idea they’ve literally just made the biggest mistake of their life. So, without further ado, welcome to this episode of the Infographics Show, Dumbest Ways to Die.
10. Using your phone while in the bathtub
Yes, people actually use electrical appliances while in the bath. In old movies, you’d often see a scene in which someone throws a radio into the bathtub to murder someone else, with such a typical scene being a warning to people to keep electrical appliances far away from the tub. Fast-forward to the digital age and people have died while using Twitter in the bath.
That happened in Romania a few years ago. The media called it Twitterside. Another person died quite recently in the U.S. while using a cellphone in the bathtub while it was charging. It’s too recent to go into details, but what we will tell you all right now is this: Do not use your phone while you are in the bathtub. Ok, if it’s not plugged in, it won’t cause you any harm if you drop it into the water, but it’s not a good habit to get into.
9. Eating laundry detergent
You’ve all heard of the Tide Pod Challenge, wherein teens eat one of the small pods and video themselves doing it. Now, this shouldn’t lead to death, but you might be surprised. In 2018, just over a matter of weeks, the American Association of Poison Control Centers reported that 86 people called poison control after eating a Tide Pod. “We cannot stress enough how dangerous this is to the health of individuals,” said one expert in an interview with Vice. “It can lead to seizure, pulmonary edema, respiratory arrest, coma, and even death.”
The UK Telegraph also reported in 2018 that eight deaths occurred in the US from 2012 to 2017 as a result of eating detergent pods. These deaths were mainly young kids and older people suffering from mental problems, but it shows you that this can seriously be a dumb way to die. Though perhaps the question we should be asking, is why do they make them look so damned delicious?!
8. Death by Lego
Ok, so you know that standing on a piece of Lego can be excruciatingly painful. Science tells us it’s up there with some of the world’s worst pains. But you could do worse: you could choke on a piece of Lego. And yes, there are cases. Now, this usually happens to young kids, so we can’t really blame them, as they are too young to understand the danger. But then you’ve got deaths by pen caps, and these people who should know better have choked after thinking it was a good idea to have a nibble it. If you do find yourself choking on something you shouldn’t have put in your mouth, first try coughing hard, or you can push your thumb in the space below your ribs, or even try leaning over a chair, table, or railing, performing a kind of heimlich maneuver on yourself.
7. Holding in poop
Who hasn’t just held on for that little bit longer, so they didn’t have to stop doing something and go to the bathroom? All of us, and sometimes you might not have a choice, such as when you are on a bus or sitting in a park on a summer’s day with the girl or boy of your dreams. But holding it in can be deadly, as a 16-year old girl found out in 2013 in the UK. We don’t want to worry you too much, though, as you’d have to hold it in for a very long time. One doctor when interviewed said, “It’s not uncommon to see young people in their teens or twenties come in and say they haven’t gone to the bathroom in two weeks.” Ok, so death is unlikely, but just go to the toilet or get some help if you can’t poop.
6. Pets that can kill you
Not too long ago, a British man was found dead in his room, and the culprit was his 8-foot long python pet that he dearly loved. Apparently, they got along very well, but animals can always be unpredictable, so if one is having a bad day and it’s powerful enough to kill you, well, maybe you should just get a hamster. We can find instances of pet lizards killing their owners, or death by pet tiger, pet bear, pet spider, and pet rat. Even dogs that have a predilection for violence and are big and strong enough, have mauled their owners to death. A Shih Tzu might not ward off burglars or impress your tough buddies, but at least it won’t eat you for dinner after a bad day.
5. The amateur Parkour
People who practice the discipline of Parkour usually have just that: discipline. While it’s always dangerous to some extent, the professionals are well trained. But it seems some people try it anyway, even without much training, or worse, when drunk. Yes, there are quite a few deaths of amateur Parkour cases out there. It’s mostly young folks trying to get hits on social media or YouTube, when the only meaningful hit they get is one to the head. We are not all created to be famous, so don’t try and copy something highly-skilled Parkour professionals do. In short, don’t be a Jackass.
4. Squashed by a vending machine
Ok, so we’ve all been bugged at some point when what we paid for at the vending machine didn’t come out. What to do? Tip the thing, of course. Perhaps some of you burgeoning criminals have in the past thought it was a good idea just to tip it to see if you can get a freebie? Well, a study cited by The Guardian shows that this tipping of the vending machine has been for some people, mainly males aged 15-25, the last thing they ever did. This dance of death has led to the fatalities of more people than you would believe.
3. Death by baguette or sausage
You might remember from one of our other shows that hot dogs kill quite a lot of people, urging one official to say they should come with a warning on them. In 2014, 77 people choked to death on hotdogs. But baguettes, surely you couldn’t choke on something that big? Well, we’ll leave you with this opening sentence of an article that appeared in the British media a few years ago: “An inquest heard how a Middlesbrough man choked and died after stuffing bread and pâté into his mouth.”
2. Laughing yourself to death
Yes, this actually happens, and there are notable cases throughout history. One of the more recent cases involved a man from the UK who laughed himself to death in 1975 after watching “Kung Fu Kapers” an episode of the TV series called The Goodies. Apparently it was so funny that he laughed for 25 minutes, after which he fell onto the sofa and died of heart failure. A similar thing happened to a Danish man in 1989, and the cause of his laughter was the movie, “A Fish Called Wanda.” So, just be careful when you choose your comedies.
1. Pretending to be a superhero
In 2017, a woman died after a 34-foot fall at the World Trade Centre Oculus. According to news reports, she had been pretending to be a superhero. Unfortunately, she wasn’t the first, and probably won’t be the last. In 2014, a kid died in Indonesia after he thought he had the powers of Spiderman. Another boy in China died after he thought he had the powers of Superman. He was only 4, but should have known better. According to China Daily in 2011, the “boy jumped from the fourth floor with his arms outstretched like Superman and was followed a few minutes later by his 4-year-old brother.” The older brother survived the fall. Is this catching on?
The USA has its real-life superhero in Phoenix Jones. In 2011, he had his nose broken and a gun put in his face while trying to protect some innocent bystanders. In 2015, the British press reported that some “scousers” (another name for people from Liverpool) were posting videos on YouTube in which they were doing dangerous things while pretending to be Superman. A word to the wise: Superheroes aren’t real, and pretending to be them might get you killed.