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Things You Would Love To Know About... Death

By Staff

"Why are you weeping? Did you imagine that I was immortal?"

Louis XIV (1638-1715), Well known French king, as his servants cried for him.

Death has been a fantasy to me. The fact of just vanishing forever fascinates me. Death, the gruesome fear of everybody"s life has been a mystery, the life after that is unknown and the journey seems to be stale. Here are some compiled hard core facts about death which you would love to know. Get closer to the weird realities of death.

  • Have you ever imagined, how wreaths became a death ceremonial practice? The tradition of funeral wreaths originated from the belief that the wreath would encircle the spirit of the dead and keep it at bay.
  • The oldest, continually used cemetery in the world, is the Mount of Olives in Israel.
  • Although Americans may have, the greatest technology and fastest science to trap all kind of diseases, a research states that, no American has died of old age since 1951.
  • Zoroastrians in India leave out the bodies of the dead to be consumed by vultures.
  • Can you imagine thousand of mummies being fuel to a locomotive? Well! History states that during a railway expansion in Egypt in the 19th century, construction companies unearthed so many mummies that they used them as fuel for locomotives.
  • English philosopher Francis Bacon, a founder of the scientific method, died in 1626 of pneumonia after stuffing a chicken with snow to see if cold would preserve it.
  • In new York City, the number of people committing suicide is more than the one murdered.
  • A few months before James Byron Dean, famous American film actor, got killed in a car accident, he made a driver's safety TV ad in which he said, "Drive safely; the life you save may be mine".
  • Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry is the first person to have his ashes put aboard a rocket and buried in space.
  • The most expensive funeral till date is that of Alexander the Great. Research states that it would have cost about 0,000,000 in today's money. One of the reasons was the building of a road from Babylon to Alexandria, big enough to move a jewel studded hearse the size of a small building which was pulled by 64 horses.
  • The word 'mausoleum' comes from the memorial tomb of Mausolus, ruler of Caria, who died in 353 B.C. When he died his wife had him cremated, mixed his ashes with water, and drank the mixture in a single gulp.
  • When King Pedro of Portugal was crowned, in 1355, he dug up his mistress to have her properly honored as queen. Loyal subjects bowed before the decorated corpse and had to kiss her hand.
  • When Thomas Edison died in 1931, his pal Henry Ford trapped his last breath in a bottle. It is in Henry Ford's museum today.
  • More men than women commit suicide over heart broken love affairs.
  • Elephants have been known to die of broken hearts if a mate dies. They refuse to eat and will lay down, shedding tears until they starve to death. Research states hat they even refuse all human help.
  • Murderers, on average, are 7.5 years younger than their victims.
  • In ancient Japan, it was believed that somewhere on the tail of a cat there was a single hair that would restore life to a dying person. Therefore, relatives would sometimes bring a cat to the dying person, letting them pluck a hair to try their luck.
  • Can you believe it Napoleon was so powerful that he could kill over a thousand people with a cough. Well! In 1799 he was deciding whether to release 1,200 Turkish prisoners of war when he coughed and said, "Ma sacre toux!" (my darned cough) which sounded to officers like "Massacrez tous!" (Kill them all!). So they did.
  • Story first published: Tuesday, February 19, 2008, 18:07 [IST]
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