What Are the Odds of a Very Odd Death?

December 26, 2019

Chances are, old age or a chronic condition is what will get you, so don’t worry so much about these unlikely, but potential, killers lurking all around.


Ever hear that old riddle about how the “perfect” murder weapon is an icicle because it melts, thus destroying all evidence of its existence? Those sharp shards of ice really can kill. And they kill about 15 people in the U.S. each and every year.

Champagne corks

Cheers? Champagne is a drink of celebration, but this is nothing to celebrate. A cork holding the liquid inside the bottle propels out a high velocity, so get out of the way. Flying corks end the lives of 20 people annually.


Lots of things can cause fires in homes, from untended candles to poor wiring to the highly flammable fibrous build-up in a clothes dryer’s lint trap. Fires related to improperly emptied ones claim the lives of five people each year.

Electric blankets

Blankets can smother, and electricity can deliver too much heat. That makes an electric blanket a death trap. Sure, they can keep you toasty on a cold winter’s night, but if they get too hot, they can lead to heat stroke. Two Americans die each year on average from fatally high body temperatures caused by electric blankets.


They’re essentially rocks covered in fuzz, so it’s remarkable that anybody ever figured out that a coconut is filled with delicious fruit, milk, and water. But like we said, they’re rocks, and a falling one can do some damage. Coconuts plummeting from trees kill 150 people each year.


About one person a week dies because of ants — most of them are sustaining bites from aggressive, venomous fire ants.

Vending machines

The snacks inside of vending machines aren’t terribly healthy, but they’re not as immediately dangerous as the vending machines themselves. On average, a little over two Americans die each year when they try to retrieve an item that got stuck in a vending machine…only for the whole thing to fall on top of them and crush something important.


Thanks to movies like Jaws, Jaws 2: The Revenge, and Sharknado, we generally believe that sharks are bloodthirsty killing machines. Actually, they leave humans alone. Only around 100 shark attacks are reported worldwide every year, and on average, a relatively few 15 percent are fatal.

Find more weird stories about the weirdest ways people died in History’s Weirdest Deaths, available now from Portable Press.

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