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Top 10 Worst Ways to Die

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by George Pacheco. Ever wondered which are the most brutal ways to die? Is it disease or illness, drowning, impalement, or maybe being fed to a wood chipper? Well, whichever one’s the worst; they will all guarantee you a painful death. WatchMojo takes a look at ten absolutely horrible ways to die. Avoid at all costs… Special thanks to our user Poet of Ages, Jedimperial96, Brandon Craig, Richard Grobler, Edimilson Lennon, Brody Nicholas Eiffel Jay, Johnston42 and NeverlandRanch for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%2010%20Worst%20Ways%20To%20Die

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Script written by George Pacheco.

Top 10 Worst Ways to Die

What a way to go. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Worst Ways to Die.

For this list, we’ll be ranking the most unpleasant and frightening ways folks have shuffled off this mortal coil. While we’re not intending to disturb or disgust anyone with this list, graphic imagery and language are a big part of the subject matter here, so be warned!

#10: Impalement

If you’re like most people, then you try your best to get through your day without having a large, sharp object run through one end of your body and out the other side. Impalement may not be the most common form of death, and it isn’t a speedy one either as the person can live in agony for days depending on how they are impaled. Historical Romanian prince Vlad III or Vlad Dracula loved the execution method so much it earned him his nickname: Vlad the Impaler. Thankfully, today you’re more likely to see a villain in some hyper-violent movie be impaled than at any time during your daily routine… which is definitely a very good thing.

#9: Via Wood Chipper [aka Getting Mulched]

Although it’s best known as an execution method thanks to that classic scene in “Fargo,” wherein Marge Gunderson stumbles across a murderer disposing of a body, there’s little humor to be found in death by mulching. According to the CDC, from 1992-2002, 31 people were killed in the United States in wood chipper-related deaths. Of those 31, all were male with an average age of 35, while 27% were of Hispanic heritage. 42% of the men were groundskeepers and 16% were machine operators. With a yearly average of 204 chipper related non-fatal accidents, however, mulching deaths are relatively low – though terrifying.

#8: Asphyxiation

Asphyxiation refers specifically to a severe deficiency of oxygen in the brain and body as a result of abnormal or restrained breathing, and can be caused a number of different ways. These include choking on food or smoke, drug overdoses, and respiratory diseases or seizures, and they can result in major brain damage or death, should they go untreated. Sadly, asphyxiation can also come as a result of violent crime, as in the case of strangulation, helping to make this one of the most frightening ways to die.

#7: Being Skinned

The act of flaying, or skinning, occurs in the restaurant business every day... when fish is on the menu. Being skinned alive is another story altogether, and is usually referenced when discussing such eras as the age of exploration, where expeditions into unfriendly territory sometimes didn’t go as planned. Although not always fatal, the ancient Native American practice of scalping falls under this category, and is seen often in film and television as a means of retribution, execution or trophy hunting. Any way you slice it, being skinned is probably pretty bad news, and you’d be well advised to avoid it whenever possible. But you probably didn’t need us to tell you that, didja?

#6: Being Crushed

When we see movie villains being crushed by giant buildings or structure, that’s normally the end of it: there’s a big cloud of dust and "poof"- one dead witch. In reality, however, being crushed causes an enormous amount of trauma to the body, even if only one limb or appendage suffers the damage. This is due to the fact that an excessive amount of toxins can rush to the crush point, causing kidney failure or heart attacks – even if that person thinks he or she is in the clear. Not to mention: you’d likely go into shock during such an event, making this one a really miserable way to go.

#5: Drowning

Drowning is the fifth leading cause of accidental death in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with a reported ten people losing their lives every day beneath the waves. The body can enter a state of shock similar to what you’d experience if you were trapped under ice or snow: the mouth would be ajar in an "O" shape, while the head is usually tilted back in an attempt to get air into the lungs. It doesn’t take long for a drowning victim to lose consciousness, usually ninety seconds or so, and severe brain damage can occur if that person isn’t resuscitated after four minutes underwater. As a result, knowing the signs of drowning is key for beach and pool safety at all times.

#4: Disease / Illness

Sadly, disease and illness are part of our daily lives. The odds are that you, or a loved one, have fought a particularly serious illness during your lifetime, with heart disease serving as the number one cause of death in the world, according to the World Health Organization. Other major ailments on the list include cancer, strokes and lung disease, all of which have claimed countless lives throughout history. Modern medicine has done wonders in developing treatments for many of these illnesses, but these diseases still affect us all.

#3: Buried Alive

Claustrophobia, the fear of closed in or small spaces, is one shared by many people around the world. It can be triggered by a wide variety of situations, depending on the severity or sensitivity of a person’s fear. For some, simply wearing tight clothes or being in cramped elevators can do the trick, while others might have a panic attack thinking about the dangers of being buried alive. Whether it’s trying to escape a coffin or digging one’s way out of a pile of rubble, the anxiety and fear that can go along with being buried alive are compounded by the shortage of oxygen to the brain, making this the absolute worst way to go for anyone with that irrational fear of being confined.

#2: Eaten Alive [aka Being Devoured]

In today’s world, there isn’t much reason to constantly worry about being eaten by another, larger predator. Generally, humanity worries more about what to eat, not what’s going to eat them. That being said, men and women have still fallen into the jaws or paws of members of the animal kingdom, whether through misadventure or by accident. People have fallen into open enclosures at zoos and trainers have been attacked at animal attractions or theme parks. Animals can be frightening sometimes, making it imperative that we give them the respect and space they deserve. And then there’s the fact that cannibalism is still practiced in a few places…

Before we reveal our absolute worst way to die, here are a few honorable, or in this case dishonorable mentions!
- Falling Off a Building
- Lost at Sea
- Getting Shot

#1: Immolation [aka Burned Alive]

In 1963, Thich Quang Duc, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, set himself on fire in protest of Buddhist persecution by the South Vietnamese government. Duc appeared calm throughout the ordeal, but this monk’s sacrifice is far from the norm. First, second and third degree burns are intensely painful during the immolation process, despite the fact that the human body will eventually go into a numbing sense of shock, if the fire is not doused or otherwise extinguished. Of course, there are other combustive and deadly methods of murder – like burning at the stake, as used during the European Witch Trials – and they can even provoke carbon monoxide poisoning. All in all, we’d have to say, being burned alive sounds like a truly horrible way to go.

Do you agree with our list? What way of death most scares you? For more morbidly fascinating top ten lists, published every day, please subscribe to!

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