1Aeschylus: Father of Tragedy was Murdered by an Eagle and a Tortoise for Being Bald
Aeshylus' legacy and works surpass his bizarre death, but the fact is that his death remains one of the most bizarre in history. That's not an exaggeration at all. Aeschylus is worshiped worldwide as the father of Tragedy since he was the first of the three great ancient Greek tragedians, along with Sophocles and Euripides. This is the well-known part of Aeschylus' life. Now, the bizarre part of his story is connected with his death. Actually, it's the only documented case of human death directly attributed to a tortoise. It seems that Aeschylus was a victim of his own bald head. According to many historical sources, Aeschylus died when a hungry eagle dropped a tortoise on his head so the shell could break and the eagle could have access to the meat, apparently mistaking his bald head for a rock. It's probably the most bizarre death recorded in this list. Strictly joking, it was probably the first “hate crime” committed against a bald man.
2Pietro Aretino: The Artist Who Died from Laughing Way Too Much
Pietro Aretino was a very interesting man and he becomes even more intriguing as a person when you learn more and more about him. For someone who lived back in the dark and harsh era of the medieval ages, Aretino was indeed very dashing and courageous in his own unique way. He was a playwright and an author with an immense influence on art and politics. However, what made him even more daring was the fact that he would often ignore the strict local and religious authorities and pick on them through his works. An unrepentant satirist and a true pioneer of modern literate pornography, he died the way he lived, as a happy and wild man who had a good time doing his thing. Even though there are different versions of his death and exactly how things took place, the most reliable version implies that Aretino died of suffocation during a party with friends from "laughing too much.”
3Draco: The Athenian Lawmaker who was Smothered to Death by his Grateful Worshipers
Draco has been well-known throughout history as one of the very first lawmakers in history. Actually, he was the very first lawmaker who systematically recorded in written form a series of codes and laws, which would later comprise the very first constitution of Athens and replace the dominant system of oral law. The laws of Draco were just like their creator: clear, strict and in many cases inhuman. Draco was known as a man who valued State and public interests more than the citizen as a human. Even by modern standards, the term “Draconian Law” refers to any unusually harsh law. However, the Athenian citizens seemed to be very thankful and grateful to the lawmaker despite the harsh nature of his laws since they saw in him the man who represented divine justice. Their appreciation was fatal for Draco. As he was visiting the island of Aegina to be honored in front of a large crowd during a theatrical event, Draco was covered in so many caps and cloaks that he suffocated to death. Draco was literally “killed by appreciation and kindness.”
4Tennessee Williams: A Bottle Cap Becomes a Deadly Weapon
Tennessee Williams is probably one of the greatest playwrights in the history of American theater, and most people are familiar with his works and writing. His amazing career lasted for nearly six decades and some of his plays, such as The Rose Tattoo and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, are considered instant classics. However, what many people don't know about Williams is a bizarre ritual of his, a ritual that would cost him his life. While in his New York City hotel room, Williams was applying eye drops by following a specific order: he would open the bottle, then he would routinely place the cap in his mouth, lean back, and place his eye drops in each eye. That night things didn't work out the right way. The medical examiner's report would show that he choked to death on the cap from the bottle of eye drops he had used. There were speculations that Williams might had indulged in an excessive amount of drugs and alcohol that night, but that was never officially proven.
5Li Bai: He Tried to Kiss the Moon and He Died for It
Even though Li Bai is one of the most important figures in Chinese poetry, he has not managed to enter the “Western Market.” Famous for his excessive romanticism and love for natural beauty and all that includes, Li Bai died exactly as he lived, as a hopeless romantic and a dedicated lover of Mother Nature. Li Bai became famous as the man who tried to kiss the moon. This came with a really high cost, which was his own life. Li Bai tried to kiss the reflection of the moon in the water next to his boat when he fell overboard and drowned. The people who knew him best described him as a man who struggled with the bottle and considered it very possible that he was not sober during the fatal incident. Ironically, only a few weeks before his death he wrote a poem entitled “Alone and Drinking Under the Moon.”
6Arius: The Man Who Died from Diarrhea
Arius was a very powerful and influential Christian Presbyterian and priest during his lifetime. In some cases, he became the main figure behind major controversies, with the “Arian controversy” being one of the most characteristic examples. His teachings about Father's divinity over the Son made him famous around the Christian world, and his opposition to Trinitarian Christology made him a primary topic of the First Council of Nicea. For all the popularity and influence that the man enjoyed while being alive, it seems like he will always be remembered for the bizarre way he died. According to Socrates Scholasticus' graphic descriptions, Arius was walking across the imperial forum of Constantinople when he suffered sudden diarrhea followed by hemorrhaging, which caused his intestines to be expelled from his anus. Many of his enemies implied that Arius's death was miraculous and a consequence of his heretical views, while in reality it was nothing but the result of poisoning.
7Jim Creighton: A Home Run Literally Became Deadly
Even though Jim was competing during an era when baseball was nothing but an amateur sport, he was one of the sport's first superstars and the type of player that excited the crowd like no other. Despite all the talent and charisma Jim had as a player, bad luck and destiny had different plans for him. In 1862, Jim had reached the absolute peak in terms of popularity and he was dominating the game; he was so good that he used to hit several home runs during a game. However, one home run was meant to kill him. It was an afternoon in October of 1862 when Jim injured himself in what would be the last game of his life. He suffered a ruptured abdominal hernia while hitting a home run. The rupture caused internal bleeding and Jim died only four days later
8Pyrrhos of Epirus: A Tile Kills One of the Greatest Generals of All Time
According to Hannibal of Barca, Pyrrhos was the greatest military tactician and general he had ever seen, second only to Alexander the Great. During his incredible reign, he managed to become King of Epirus and King of Ancient Macedonia, among other Greek city-states. He also became Ruler of Sicily, and he was the only Greek general that had beaten Rome in its prime. Many historians agree that if he had lived longer, maybe history could have been a little different. Unfortunately for him and Greece, that was not the case. After surviving numerous bloody battles and wars, he suffered an ignominious death. During a civic dispute in Argos, Pyrrhos found himself trapped in the narrow city streets when an old woman, spying him from the rooftop of her house, threw a tile which stunned him. Most historians agree that it killed him instantly, allowing a soldier from Argos to behead his already dead body.
9Hans Steininger: The Man with the Longest, and Deadliest, Beard in the World
The only sure thing is that if The Guinness Book of World Records existed back when Hans was alive, then the man would definitely hold one of its many bizarre records. Hans Steininger was an Austrian man who became famous for having the world's longest beard. According to various estimates, it was over 1.50 meters long, and he became even more famous for dying because of it. It might sound unbelievable and funny, although the death of someone is never funny, but it seems like one day Hans accidentally tripped on his long beard. He lost his balance and fell, breaking his neck from the unexpected accident! He died instantaneously.
10Béla I of Hungary: A King Who was Killed by His Own Precious Throne
Béla I was a decorated King of Hungary who led his country in a very successful campaign and victorious war against the Holy Roman Emperor Henry III to defend Hungary's independence. Béla I had a dream at a really young age that he wanted to become king, and he would not rest in peace if he didn't achieve it. However, in his case that was not an easy thing at all. Béla I had the bad luck of coming from a big family with several brothers, cousins, and nephews who were all successors to the throne. Finally, after many struggles and battles, he managed to become the King of Hungary in 1060, but he wasn't meant to enjoy it for long. His reign was interrupted violently only three years later when Béla was preparing for a military campaign against Henry IV, who supported Salamon's claim to the throne. Unfortunately, Bela died from severe injuries that he sustained when the wooden structure of his throne collapsed. The man literally died for what he had fought for and loved the most in his life: his own throne.