1. The ancient philosopher Empedocles believed he was not human, but was a Greek god. To prove this fact to skeptics, he vowed to jump into a volcano and return unscathed. He made good on the first half of his promise, but never followed up on the latter.
2. In 1979, Robert Williams became the first human being killed by a robot when a hydraulic arm slammed into him at a Michigan Ford Motor Company factory.
3. Franz Reichelt, an Austrian tailor and creator of the overcoat parachute tested his invention on February 4, 1912. He jumped from the top of the Eiffel Tower and plummeted 986 feet to his death.
4. Beatriz Robeldo was stabbed to death by her frightened husband when, in an attempt to cure his hiccups, she snuck up on him wearing a carnival mask.
5. Aeschylus, the father of Greek tragedy, died when a passing eagle mistook his head for a rock and hurled a tortoise at him in an attempt to break the shell.
6. In 1998, six people died trying to save a chicken that had fallen in a well. The chicken survived.
7. A Dallas man who had been flashing passing traffic leapt to his death trying to avoid police in December of 1997. He was aiming for a concrete support below a railroad crossing, but missed and fell 35 feet.
8. In 1998, a 16-year-old British boy died of a heart attack from inhaling too much deodorant spray. He was so self-conscious about his smell that he sprayed his entire body with the substance twice a day.
9. In 1649, Sir Arthur Aston was beaten to death by his own wooden leg during the siege of Drogheda in Ireland. The opposing soldiers believed it contained golden coins.
10. The owner of the world's longest beard tripped over it and broke his neck while running to escape a fire.
11. Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte, the last member of the infamous family, died in 1945 from injuries sustained after tripping over his dog's leash.
12. Richard Versalle suffered a heart attack at the New York Metropolitan Opera after delivering the line “Too bad you can only live so long.”
13. In 2005, a Delaware women hung herself from a tree in the early hours of the morning and went unnoticed for hours as numerous people drove by and walked right past her without batting an eye. It was almost Halloween and passersby assumed she was a decoration.
14. British novelist Arnold Bennett died from typhoid fever after demonstrating that the water in Paris was safe to drink.
15. Wildlife photographer Carl McCunn killed himself to avoid starvation after being stranded in the Alaskan wilderness. He had chartered a flight to take him there, but neglected to arrange for anyone to pick him up.
16. Chrysippus, an ancient Greek stoic living in 207 BC is said to have died from a laughing fit caused by a drunken donkey trying to eat figs.