The 3 Worst Ways To Die According To Science

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Both fictional and non-fictional stories are full of tales that feature brutal ways of dying. Be it ancient torture methods, archaic means of execution, or fantasy scenarios dreamt up by horror writers to make audiences’ skin crawl, the lengths at which the human body can be made to suffer are unending.

Unfortunately for us, some of these wicked dealings of death are still possible today and happening in our modern age. Of course, some are worse than others, with a few being the absolute worst.

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Death And Its Associates

Death isn’t often a fun topic to think about. Its mere existence is coupled with pain, tragedy, fear, and dread for the future—or at least that’s true for some, as others find the subject of death fascinating. Let’s be honest here, we’ve all found ourselves continuously reading about something we’d usually find gruesome, but this time our brains only wanted to know more. It’s an itch that needs scratching.

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There’s nothing wrong with being fascinated by the macabre! It happens to all of us; you’re not alone or strange for finding it fascinating.

To satiate that darkly curious urge we all hold inside, here’s a look into three of the worst ways to die. It’s worth noting that these accounts are rather brutal, so you might want to take a break from your lunch while reading.


Most of us have heard about the ravaging effects that radiation can have on the human body, be it from real stories or parodies that show extreme mutations like extra limbs.

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What’s so terrible about death by radiation is the speed at which it can get to you. Yes, it can kill you quickly, but if you’re unlucky, it could take months of torture before you succumb to it.

One such case is that of Hisashi Ouchi, who suffered the worst radiation burns in history after a power plant accident in Japan in 1999.

Doctors spent weeks trying to save him, even as he was begging them to stop. His heart did stop at one point, but was resuscitated at his family’s request, as they were begging doctors to do anything to keep him alive. A number of experimental treatments were performed on him due to this. He became a guinea pig while dealing with unimaginable pain and suffering.

It took him a grand total of 83 days to die, even as he cried blood and his skin slowly melted off. Multiple organ failure is what did him in, his bodily systems shutting down all at once.

Pyroclastic Flow

When you think of a volcanic eruption, the immediate fear would be lava. It’s portrayed as such a destructive force, petrifying everything in its path, not to mention the sheer heat of it that would immediately reduce any living thing to smoke in seconds.

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Lava is definitely scary, but the real volcanic event to be afraid of is the ‘pyroclastic flow.’ A pyroclastic flow is a fast-moving, impossible-to-outrun cloud of gas, ash, and other volcanic matter that sweeps over the nearby land after an eruption.

To prove this, we need only look at the famous story of Pompeii, the Roman city that was buried by the pyroclastic flow that burst forth from Mount Vesuvius.

The intense, unbearable heat would likely be what did the killing, but not before you felt your skin baking and the inside of your head boiling, resulting in the exploding of your skull, as found on multiple bodies discovered in what was once Pompeii.


The reason why our ears pop in tall buildings and why we can’t explore the deep parts of the ocean is the same: pressure.

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Flying requires perfect internal cabin pressure so we all remain safe (and alive) within the plane, as otherwise, our bodies couldn’t stand to be that high above the ground. So, what happens if that seal is broken and the cabin decompresses? Well, in the air, decompression can lead to oxygen deprivation or even people being sucked out of the plane.

In the ocean, like in a deep-sea submarine, for example, rising too quickly from the intense pressure of water can cause decompression sickness, or ‘the bends.’

In fact, in 1983, a whole group of divers perished due to ‘explosive decompression’ after a diving bell accident saw the apparatus break and decompress. An investigation found that the rapid change in internal pressure caused the air and fluids inside the divers to expand, tearing their bodies to shreds.

They even described one of the divers as having ‘completely disintegrated.’

A Safer Future

Obviously, all of these methods of dying are exceedingly rare. Nothing you or I or any common person needs to worry about on a day-to-day basis.

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That doesn’t mean the fear felt when hearing about them isn’t real, though. Our bodies, our lives are very precious, and imagining ourselves or someone we love perishing in such a brutal way feels like there’s a layer of disrespect laid upon the tragedy.

But, again, those odds are so slim it’s not worth spending the mental energy concerning ourselves with it. What we can do instead is remember the people who did have to experience such an end, and work hard to make our world safer so things like this never happen again.

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Daniel Mitchell-Benoit

Dan is a content writer with three years of experience under their belt, having mostly covered viral media but now shifting toward spirituality and astrology. He’s a strong believer in using one’s beliefs as a means of self-improvement and being in touch with whatever messages the universe has to offer.

He can’t wait to share his insights with a[…]