We normally save our strange death report for the end of the year, but with two men meeting their maker while shooting fireworks off their bodies on Independence Day, it seems like a good time to take a look at the strange deaths that have already taken place this year.
In addition to the unusual and tragic fireworks deaths, our strange deaths 2015 mid-year check-up found animals taking their toll, avalanches claiming victims, and even deaths by dinnerware. Despite all these misfortunate accidents, selfies still rule when it comes to avoidable deaths.
There’s also a new twist—death by selfie stick. Yes, it’s true. Not only is it alleged that a man in Wales died when his selfie-stick was struck by lightning, another was beaten to death with his. We thought that a snowboarder had been impaled with his, but, luckily, that turned out to be a hoax. To be fair, it hasn’t been confirmed that there was a selfie stick involved in the lightning strike death, but there are a lot of reports that there was.
In Russia, the phenomena of death by selfie is so widespread (at least 10 victims so far this year) that the government has launched a safe selfie campaign.
The campaign includes leaflets, a video and advice on the ministry’s website, and uses warning signs in the style of road signs to get its message across.
In one image, a figure holding a selfie stick wanders on a rail track. “A selfie on the railway tracks is a bad idea if you value your life,” the leaflet says. In another of the warning signs, a figure climbs on an electricity pylon while taking a selfie.
Man about to jump to his death? Then it must be time for a selfie…
The public safety video produced by the ministry includes spectacular images shot by “roofers” – a subculture based around illicitly sneaking into high-rise buildings and taking photos from the top, their pictures often going viral on social media.
A fiery fourth–what the heck?
Not only did a man die instantly when he shot a firework off his head but another man met the same fate when he launched a pyrotechnic from his chest. A Montana man was killed when he was struck by a mortar at his home, and a young Tennessee boy was killed when an artillery-style shell exploded in his hand. An Indiana man was found dead in another mortar related accident.
What’s up with the animals?
It’s hard to say what the strange deaths 2015 final tally will be for people killed by animals but we’ve already seen an alligator dine on a Texas man, an Indian man eaten alive by a bear, and a lion make a feast of a woman. Not good.
When you consider the snacking that sharks have done, it seems likely that with six months left to go there will be a death by shark somewhere on this year’s list.
- Shocked tourists see horrific moment crocodile eats man
- Black bear eats body of 62-year-old man
- Zoo animals on the loose and deaths feared after Georgia floods
Mother nature’s wrath
We haven’t added them up, but one thing is certain, the weather has taken a lot of lives so far this year. During just one week in February, Mother Nature claimed at least 23 lives and another 23 due to flooding in Texas. More than a thousand have died in both Pakistan and twice that in India. From dramatic and deadly avalanches to unstoppable rushing waters, these weather deaths may not be strange, but they certainly are costly in terms of lives.
Beware the machines
Most people don’t think of dishwashers when it comes to dangerous appliances, but for a UK woman, it was indeed. Upon slipping, the 31-year old fatally fell on a knife that was ready for cleaning. Singer Charmayne Maxwell met a similar fate when she fell on a wine glass.
With so many odd deaths already this year, it’s hard to even imagine what could still be to come. It’s a pretty good bet that when December rolls around there will be a lot more selfie deaths to talk about.
Recent selfie deaths in the news:
- Russian woman falls to death from bridge while taking selfie
- Singaporean man dies after falling off a cliff in Bali when taking photo
- Oregon man struck and killed by Amtrak train while taking a selfie
- NTSB says the pilot taking a selfie was a contributing factor in the crash of a Colorado plane which killed two men