Know that feel when your own child kills you? Shit, that’s probably not the best line to open with, but it’s too late – the deed is done. And, of course you don’t know that feel – how could you? Unless you’re actually a dead person reading this. *shudders*
Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is, human history is filled with people whose deaths were caused by the things they created. Lo and behold, we’ve even compiled a list for you.
1. Marie Curie – Died of aplastic anemia as a result of prolonged exposure to ionizing radiation
Marie Curie, who’s known as the co-discovering radium and polonium, also invented the process to isolate radium. She died of prolonged exposure to radiation emitted from her research materials.
2. Karel Soucek – Died from a stunt he had invented
After his successful stunt of being dropped from Niagara Falls in a barrel he designed himself, Karel Soucek decided to do it again from the Houston Astrodome and drop into a tank of water. However, his stunt did not go as planned and the barrel hit the rim of the tank. Soucek died in the hospital a couple hours later.
3. James Douglas – Died by execution using the ‘Scottish Maiden’, a beheading device he invented
James Douglas was the 4th Earl of Morton who lived in Scotland under the reign of King James VI. As fate would have it, he’s most remembered for being executed in Edinburgh by the Maiden, a Scottish guillotine that he himself had introduced to the country during his term as Regent of Scotland.
4. Max Valier – An Austrian rocketing pioneer who died when an alcohol-fuelled rocket exploded on his test bench
In 1920’s Germany, Max Valier was a member of a German Rocketeering society, and his main contribution during that phase was the invention of a liquid-filled rocket that could speed up automobiles. In May 1930, his own prototype rocket exploded on his test bench, killing him instantly.
5. Li Si – Died by the Five Pains Punishment method, something he had introduced to the province he governed
The Five Pains Punishment was a series of physical torture methods that was prominent in Ancient China. Li Si was a prime minister during the Qin dynasty, during which time he introduced the Five Pains method of punishment, which included tattooing someone’s face, cutting someone’s nose off or having the victim’s body cut into four separate pieces. In 208 BC, Si was executed on criminal charges by the very method that he had helped create.
6. Jim Fixx – The ‘Founding Father of American Fitness Revolution’, died while running
In 1977, Jim Fixx wrote one of the most influential books on running as an athletic sport. In fact, running as a sport gained more popularity in America because of Fixx. He also popularized regular jogging, as a way of staying fit. When he was 52 years old, he suffered a heart attack while out on a jog. It was fatal.
7. Thomas Midgley, Jr. – Died by strangulation by a support device he had created to fight the effects of Polio
At the age of 51, American chemist and engineer, Thomas Midgley, Jr., was diagnosed with polio. So he invented a device using a bunch of ropes and pulleys that made it easier for him to get up from his bed. One day, he had an accident on it where he ended up strangulating himself.
8. Thomas Andrews – Naval Architect who designed the Titanic, and one of the many people who went down with the ship
Irish businessman, Thomas Andrews was also a shipbuilder who was the naval architect for the ill-fated RMS Titanic. He was aware of the ship’s vulnerabilities on icy water and had even advised packing more lifeboats on the ship. The idea was dismissed due to cost-cutting measures. When the ship hit the iceberg, he helped usher many women and children onto the lifeboats. He was last seen weeping in one of the rooms on his deck. His body was never found.
9. Alexander Bogdanov – Pioneered blood transfusion, died when he used the blood of a malaria and TB victim on himself
Bogdanov was a Russian physician and philosopher who was one of the first people to experiment with blood transfusion. Although his motives for experimenting with blood transfusion were centered around achieving eternal youth and reversing the aging process, he is still credited with scientific advancements in the field. However, Bogdanov died after he took the blood of a student who had both malaria and tuberculosis.