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20 Scary And Disturbing Facts About Death

6. Mount Everest has about 200 dead bodies on it which are now landmarks on the way to the top.

Mount Everest Dead Bodies
Image Source: mpora, smithsonianmag

Climbing the Mount Everest is incredibly perilous. Sometimes it is not just the cold and the low oxygen levels that are the dangers. There can also be accidents and natural disasters like avalanches. The path to the summit of Mt. Everest is strewn with the dead bodies of unlucky climbers, as many as 200 of them. Before setting off the climbers are usually required to sign a body disposal form specifying, in the case of death, whether to leave their body on the mountain, bring it to Kathmandu for cremation, or to try and get it to their home. According to Alan Arnette, a mountaineer who successfully summited Mt. Everest, all the options other than leaving the body on the mountain are quite expensive and could cost as much as $30,000, which means most of the bodies are just left there.(source)

7. Before a person dies from hypothermia, they experience a burst of extreme heat that causes them to undress. This is known as “paradoxical undressing.”

Paradoxical Undressing
Image Source: gabworthy

There are two possible explanations for paradoxical undressing. One is that the hypothalamus, which helps regulate the body’s temperature, starts to malfunction because of the cold. The second explanation is that the muscles that contract the peripheral blood vessels become exhausted and relax, causing a sudden rush of blood to the extremities making the person feel very hot. It is said that anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of hypothermia deaths are due to paradoxical undressing. Because of the cold, the victims become disoriented and confused, and in that state end up removing their clothes when they feel they are becoming overheated. This exposes them to further heat loss and death if no help arrives.(source)

8. Crucifixion as part of the legal death penalty is still practiced in Sudan and Saudi Arabia.

Crucifixion in Saudi Arabia
Image Source: elldiktyo

Based on the government’s interpretation of Shari’a Law, Sudan’s penal code calls for execution followed by crucifixion. During the 2000s, several people have been executed by crucifixion in Saudi Arabia, though some of them were first beheaded. In 2012 a 17-year-old Ali Mohammed Baqir al-Nimr was arrested during the Arab Spring and was sentenced to be publicly beheaded and crucified in May 2014. In Iran crucifixion is theoretically still a form of punishment. The prisoner would be tied to a framework that looks like a cross and is hung facing the direction of the Mecca for three days. The prisoner is allowed to live if still alive after that.(source)

9. Drowning in salt water is different than drowning in fresh water. It takes longer, and saltwater draws the blood plasma out of the bloodstream into the lungs. In other words, you drown in your own body fluids.

Drowning in ocean
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Apart from the fact that your lungs get filled with water making it impossible to breathe while drowning, water does a lot more than that to our body. Fresh water is hypotonic, meaning it has low osmotic pressure compared to our normal body fluids, causing the blood cells to absorb water through their membranes. The increase in liquid levels dilutes the plasma and electrolytes causing the blood cells to swell and burst.

Saltwater, on the other hand, is hypertonic, meaning its osmotic pressure is higher than that of body fluids. The plasma in your blood vessels is sucked out through the cell walls instead, causing the air sacs in your lungs to fill with fluids making it impossible to perform gas exchange. You drown in your own fluids.(source)

10. Democide, the murder of citizens by their own government, surpassed war as the leading cause of non-natural death in the 20th century.

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Redefined by the political scientist, R.J. Rummel, democide also includes genocide, politicide, and mass murders. It can also include intentional neglect or disregard for life, such as forced starvation, deaths of armed civilians during riots, and noncombatants killed during military attacks when they are not the targets. Rummel found that the number of democides by liberal democracies is less that that in authoritarian regimes and believes that mass murder grows with the increase in political power.

According to Rummel’s calculations, the total number of democides for the Chinese Communist Party is 77 million, for the the Soviet Union  62 million, for Nazi Germany 21 million. There were 43 million alone during Stalin’s regime inside and outside the Soviet Union. As estimated by Rummel, there were 262 million deaths due to people working for governments in the last century, which is six times as many as those died in battle.(source)

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