If one thing is certain in our baffling and seemingly unexplainable existence, it’s that we were all born to die – eventually anyway.
The world is teeming with all kinds of substances and scenarios which could kill us in the blink of an eye.
And our lives are like one big video game in which our aim is to survive the lethal obstacles thrown our way. That is, until the inevitable Game Over hits us like a ton of bricks.
There are countless hazards that we come across in our day-to-day lives. These include anything from dodging cars as we walk across the freeway to skiing in the Alps.
However, there are other deadly situations which are a lot less likely and a lot more elaborate. For instance, you could die as a result of a volcanic eruption or bite the dust after being struck by lightning.
And if you’re keen to learn more about the most extreme and gruesome ways to die then you’ve come to the right place.
Believe it or not, there are scientists whose entire careers are based on researching the goriest and most outlandish ways to die.
Paul Doherty is a senior scientist, at San Francisco’s Exploration museum and planetary scientist and he was one of the members of the research team for the Viking Mars mission.
To say that he is intrigued by the concept of death would be an understatement, because for a whole two years, he has set out to discover the most fascinating ways to die.
Alongside writer Cody Cassidy, he wrote a book called And Then You’re Dead which explained exactly what would happen if you got caught up in certain inevitably fatal situations.
The deathly situations that the pair mentioned in the book may seem far-fetched, but according to them, the information they provided accounts for what would go down in such an event.
For instance, they explained what would occur after someone jumped out of the International Space Station to their death, what would happen if you happened to be swallowed by a whale and how you would die if you were shot from a cannon.
In total, the two men included 45 “interesting” ways to die, which was narrowed down from an initial 200 examples that Doherty had gathered from his research. Doherty took on board suggestions from his friends and colleagues as to which were the most shocking scenarios to include in the book.
Just last year, Doherty took part in a Reddit AMA where fellow Reddit users were called upon to ask the scientist about the numerous ways in which we as humans can die.
These Redditors really took advantage of the fact that they were being invited to a Question and Answer session featuring an actual scientist. They posted over 2,000 questions about the most deadly scenarios they could think of.
Warning: Some readers may find some of the answers which Doherty gave distressingly graphic.
What would happen to your body if you were tied to a weight and sent to the bottom of the Mariana trench?
Find out whether it is possible to be killed by a seemingly deathly noise.
Is it possible to produce a sound that’s loud enough to kill a person?
What would happen if you were floating within one mile of a neutron star?
What would happen if the cable snapped in an elevator? Is there anything you can do to help save yourself?
What happens if you jump through the center of the Earth?
Other than a magnetar, are there any sources of magnetism that will kill you directly?
How much horsepower would a car need to kill you with acceleration?
How would it kill you if you put your hand into a particle accelerator?
Isn’t there already a case where a person had his head in a particle accelerator and it got turned on?
If I’ve learned anything from this it’s that although dying may seem simple – you heart simply stops beating – it’s actually a very complicated and dare I say ‘exciting’ process.