Death may be inevitable but the way we will die is still unpredictable. Here are a few sobering facts for you:
Number of deaths for leading causes of death in the USA:
- Heart disease: 596,577, Cancer: 576,691, Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 142,943, Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 128,932, Accidents (unintentional injuries): 126,438, Alzheimer's disease: 84,974, Diabetes: 73,831, Influenza and Pneumonia: 53,826, Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 45,591, Intentional self-harm (suicide): 39,518
While many of these are "preventable" as far as exercise, healthy eating habits and better mental health management go, many of us will not experience the luxury of dying of old age or "choosing" the way we'll die. While we all know of the perils and dangers of cancer, heart disease and stroke, there are a few lesser known ways of dying that may surprise you. Forget what you've heard about falling coconuts and lightning strikes; these unusual ways to die are still more likely to happen to you than winning the lotto!
Unusual and Unlikely Ways to Die
Any Canadian reading this probably wishes they had a house hippo. Hippos are surprisingly one of the most dangerous animals in the world as they are fat, fast and vicious. They weigh over 8000 pounds and are responsible for over 300 deaths every year. Hippos spend most of their days in water and are easily camouflaged. They are also extremely territorial and as such, present the biggest danger to boaters. A quick search on the internet reveals a plethora of stories of hippos breaking apart small fishing boats with one massive bite! These 'river horses' are not to be messed with.
We are just going to throw this out there: between 1978-1995, 37 people were killed by vending machines. 37 people! That is an average of over 2 people a year. We are trying to imagine how this could possibly happen. We have to assume that it is by people trying to steal food. Shaking a 900 pound machine back and forth is never a good idea.
Thanks to BlackFridayDeathCount, we now have a good reason to sit in a corner and cry. The website has been compiling statistic of Black Friday casualties since 2006. For those of you who may not know, Black Friday is an annual event in the United States where retails shops offer heavily discounted items ahead of the Christmas shopping season. As you might imagine, this can have disastrous consequences(proof 1, proof 2). So far the count stands at 6 deaths and 90 injuries. Keep in mind that these numbers are probably on the low end.
They are cute, they are majestic, they are vegetarian... and they kill around 130 people a year in North America. Although rest assured, there are not groups of roving killer deer on the loose(great movie idea, no?). Sadly, these deaths are all automobile related. As human habitat and farmland have encroached on forests and prairie land, deer have begun spending more time around highways, roads and farms.
While we do not have exact numbers, a search reveals at least a dozen golf ball related deaths in the United States in the past decade. Add to this 4 deaths after people jumped into ponds or rivers to retrieve golf balls(think Happy Gilmore). Golf Digest conducted a study and found "The likelihood of a fatality is quite small from such a blow. However, "impact at that speed could cause a concussion, cerebral bleeding or, for a child or an older person with osteoporosis, a skull fracture". According to CNN, 300,000 people have reported injuries due to gold balls in the past decade.
Television is not only bad for your health and your brain cells. From 2000 to 2011, 215 people were killed by their own television sets! The Consumer Products Safety Commission found that 29 people were killed in 2011 alone. Death by a falling television seems unlikely, however we can just image how many poorly secured televisions are currently strung up on walls around the world. Sadly, many of the victims of TV death are children attempting to climb up on table mounted sets.
Fact or Fiction:
In doing research for this blog article, one "fact" kept coming up over and over again. That was the claim that coconuts kill 150 people every year. We wanted to believe this fact, we really did, but it seemed just a little too implausible. So we did some research(the Qeepr team should double as detectives) and we discovered the truth to this claim! The number of 150 was misquoted once and then picked up over and over again. Research done in the 1980's on the matter found no fatal injuries related to falling coconuts. To quote the website Straight Dope: "Conclusion: Somebody pulled the figure about 150 deaths due to coconuts out of thin air". We found similar mythbusting when researching death by sauna and champagne corks, both widely held myths.