After the great ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky died, doctors cut open and examined his feet. They wanted to find out whether his foot bones were different from those of ordinary men, thinking that his bone structure might account for his ability to perform the extraordinary leaps for which he had been famous. The autopsy, however, revealed nothing unusual.
When an Australian Bushman died, his body was lowered into a grave where a special kind of gravedigger awaited it. This person's job was to slice up the corpse and hand out bits of the flesh to the mourners. The order in which the relatives partook of the feast was strictly prescribed. A mother ate from her children, and children from their mother, A man could eat his sister's husband and his brother's wife. A father, however, could not eat his children, nor children their father.
Carl Panzram (murderer of twenty-three people) said---"I wish the whole human race had one neck and I had my hands on it!", before he died.
Edgar Allan Poe felt like saying-- "Lord have mercy on my poor soul..." before dying.
Henry Ward Beecher (when asked on his deathbed if he could raise his arm),--- "Well, high enough to hit you, Doctor."
John Keats said, "I feel the flowers growing over me."...
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe remarked-"Please close the window." before his death.
Ludwig van Beethoven said, "Applaud, friends, the comedy is finished..." then he died.
Henry IV of France (1553-1610) was exhumed nearly two hundred years after his death so that a death mask of his face could be made.
Under the proper conditions of moisture and heat, the flesh of a buried body will turn to soap. Known as adipocere, this strange substance is a chemical much like baking soda mixed with fat (and thus almost identical in composition to soap) and is called ''grave wax'' by undertakers. For years the corpse of William von Ellenbogen, a soldier whose body turned to adipocere after he was killed in the Revolutionary War, was on display at the Smithsonian Institution.
Hypoxemia is a general term for inadequate oxygenation of the blood and cellular tissue. After the heart has stopped beating, for whatever reason, the body's tissues are no longer supplied with life-giving oxygen. Their essential metabolic processes then cease, and death ensues. Each year man, woman, and child dies of Hypoxemia.
Every year lightning kills 1000 people.
In a churchyard near Cardiff, Wales, one can read the following inscription: "Here lieth the body of William Edwards of Cacreg, who departed this life 24th February, Anno Domini 1668, age one hundred and sixty-eight."
In ancient Egypt, when a rich man was mummified his heart was removed from his body and a heart-shaped stone carving of a dung beetle was put in its place.
The National Academy of Engineering estimates that 15,000 deaths each year are directly attributable to air pollution. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health estimates that many of the 100,000 people who die each year from occupational exposure die as a result of hazardous air quality at work.
The body of Francisco Pizarro, the Spanish conquistador who conquered Peru in the sixteenth century, was embalmed with special herbs after his death and preserved in the cathedral in the main square of Lima. His body can still be viewed today, displayed in a glass casket.
In medieval Japan, it was believed that there was a single hair somewhere on the tail of a cat that could Restore Life to a dead person. For this reason cats were brought into the room of a dying person and placed next to his or her bed. As a last resort, relatives sometimes had the dying person pluck a single hair from the cat's tail in the hope that this one would prove to be the magic strand.
It is impossible to commit suicide by holding one's breath. At worst, the person who tries this will eventually lose consciousness. The lungs will then start to breathe again automatically.
Since its completion in 1937, more than 600 people have committed suicide by jumping off San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.
Nearly 5,000 Americans under the age of twenty-four commit suicide successfuly yearly. An additional 100,000 tried to. Ninety percent of all suicides are females.