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20 Creepy Pictures With Their Disturbing Backstories – Part 3

6. A man and a woman with cannibalized humans during one of the Russian famines in 1921 that killed as many as 5 million.

Cannibalism During Russian Famine
Image Source: wikipedia

The famines of 1921 and 22, also known as Povolzhye famine, came after six and a half years of violence and turmoil due to the First World War, the two Russian revolutions in 1917, the Russian Civil War, and even a drought. It started during the early spring of 1921 and lasted through 1922. The famine was so severe that when aid workers arrived, they found corpses strewn on the streets of Moscow and Kiev.


The situation was worse in rural regions where many people fled to cities to find work and better access to food while the rest tried to survive with whatever they could find. In one town, the government officials advised the starving residents to grind the bones of dead animals into flour and bake ersatz bread. It is not known to what extent people turned to cannibalism, but it was most common along the Volga River basin, where the famine was too severe. There were accounts of murder or euthanasia of the old or very young, who were eaten by the others. (1, 2)

7. A Buddhist monk burns himself to death to protest the Vietnamese Prime Minster Diem’s pro-catholic policies and discrimination of Buddhists in 1963.

The Burning Monk
Image Source: Malcolm Browne via apimages/wikimedia

Ngo Dinh Diem’s regime was a controversial one. In May 1963, during the Vesak celebrations, the Buddhists were prohibited from displaying Buddhist flags citing a regulation that prohibits the display of any non-governmental flags in the city of Hue, where a Catholic flag was displayed in commemoration of Diem’s elder brother’s elevation to bishop. This increased the unrest among Buddhists and civilians, and led to protests and demonstrations for freedom of religion, with many of them being killed. Thich Quang Duc immolating himself by burning himself alive to death in the middle of a busy Saigon intersection was a part of the protests. (source)


8. The photo of Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov after the Soyuz 1 space capsule parachute failed and caused him to crash into the ground. The only thing identifiable was his heel bone.

Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov
Image courtesy: RIA Novosti/Photo Researchers Inc.(taken from)

Vladimir Komarov was the first Soviet cosmonaut to have flown into outer space more than once and also the first to die on a space mission. The Soyuz mission was a complex one and he was selected to command Soyuz 1, in 1967, along with Yuri Gagarin as the backup. The first module, Soyuz 1, was to carry Komarov after which Soyuz 2 would be launched with the rest of the crew to rendezvous with the first. Then, the crew would get into the first one and Komarov would get into the second to fly it back to Earth. The mission got difficult due to the technical problems and the first module failed to fully deploy the solar panels on orbital insertion, which prevented it from powering up completely. Komarov was successfully able to reorient the module manually after a long time for re-entry and landing, but again, the parachute failed to deploy causing him to crash to the ground. (source)

9. Hisashi Ouchi received a fatal radiation dose with a mortality rate considered to be 100%. Despite desiring to die, he was kept alive in horrendous pain for 83 days against his will.

Hisashi Ouchi
Image source:

Hisashi Ouchi was one of the three workers who was preparing a small batch of fuel by adding aqueous uranyl nitrate solution to the precipitation tank. The accident occurred when they added a seventh bucket of the solution and the tank reached criticality. A self-sustaining nuclear fission reaction started and emitted gamma and neutron radiation. Ouchi, who was the nearest one, received 17 sieverts (Sv) of radiation while the permissible annual dose of radiation is considered to be 50 mSv and the fatal dose as 8 Sv. He suffered serious burns, severe internal organ damage, and had a near-zero white blood cell count. The doctors who treated them were under pressure as it was considered a matter of national dignity, and so he was kept alive despite his wishes for 83 days before his heart finally failed. (source)


10. Anneliese Michel, an epileptic, underwent a total of 67 Catholic exorcism sessions through a period of ten months and died of dehydration and malnutrition.

Anneliese Michel
Image Source: historicmysteries

At sixteen, Anneliese Michel had epileptic seizures and was diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy. She was treated at a psychiatric hospital and was given medications for her condition. By the time she was twenty, she became convinced that the reason for her condition was being possessed by demons. As her condition worsened despite medication, her parents appealed to a Catholic priest for exorcism and received permission from a local bishop. She soon started refusing to eat and her parents, upon her request, stopped seeking medical help. During a period of ten months, in 1975-1976, 67 exorcisms were performed on her, one or two per week lasting up to four hours. She died on July 1, 1976, due to dehydration and semi-starvation for almost a year. When she died, she weighed 30 kg and had broken knees because of continuous kneeling. (source)


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