Jul 2, 2009
While newspapers found they can get a million hits to their website by publishing local news about stupid people doing incredibly stupid things that sometimes result in their removal from the gene pool, it’s not just rednecks that Darwin themselves right after saying “Hey, hold my beer. Watch this.” Sometimes incredibly intelligent people can off themselves in really dumb ways as well. Here’s 10 people who were too smart to have died in outlandish manners, in alphabetical order.
The ancient Greek playwright died around 500 BC when an eagle dropped a tortoise on his noggin. Apparently, the eagle mistook the playwright’s bald head for a rock.
2. Attila the Hun
On his wedding night, he got so drunk he didn’t realize that his nose was bleeding profusely. Mrs. Hun awoke the next morning to find the groom dead, drowned in his own blood.
3. Sir Francis Bacon
To see if snow would preserve meat, the 17th century philosopher / statesman / scientist killed a chicken and then spent hours trying to stuff the carcass full of snow. When it was all over, there were 2 bodies in the snow.
4. Tycho Brahe
In 16th century Denmark, it was considered rude to leave a banquet table before the meal had ended. The heavy drinking astronomer suffered in polite agony rather than excuse himself to heed the call of nature. As a result, his bladder burst and he died a slow and painful death.
5. Jim Fixx
The author of the late seventies bestseller The Complete Book of Running touted running and a healthy diet as the key to longevity. He died from a heart attack while jogging. An autopsy revealed massive blockage in three coronary arteries.
6. Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I
Clanking through the desert of the Holy Land in heavy armor, 12th century Holy Roman Emperor Frederick was so happy when he reached the Saleph River, he jumped in to quench his thirst. Unfortunately, he forgot to take his armor off and therefore sank to the bottom like an anvil.
7. Jean Baptiste Lully
During a rehearsal of his latest composition, the 17th century composer got so excited he accidentally thrust his conductor’s baton deep into his right foot. As a result, Lully subsequently died of blood poisoning.
8. Pope Johann XII
Only 18 years old when he died in AD 963, Pope Johann XII was knocking at the pearly gates after his lover’s enraged husband beat him to death.
9. Jerome Irving Rodale
The founder of the organic food movement and the publisher of the Rodale Press told interviewer Dick Cavett in 1971 that he’d live to 100. Moments later, the 72 year old Rodale slumped dead in his chair from a heart attack. This episode of The Dick Cavett Show was never broadcast.
10. Tennessee Williams
Years of alcohol and drug abuse took a fatal toll on the noted playwright, who choked to death on an aspirin cap while inebriated in 1983.