Questions tagged [mortality]

Questions about the state or condition of being subject to death; mortal character, nature, or existence.

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86
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2answers
19k views

Did toddlers with guns claim more American lives than terrorism in 2015?

The Economist isn't a fan of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate. In an analysis of his ascendence to the Republican nomination they try to discern some of the factors. As part of their list of ...
82
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1answer
16k views

Are female surgeons less likely to kill you?

A 2017 article in The Times has the following headline: Female surgeons less likely to kill you, study finds The article reports: Patients operated on by a woman are less likely to die within a ...
80
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3answers
26k views

Was an elderly woman forcibly euthanized in the Netherlands?

A disturbing story appeared on my news feed this week, Elderly Woman Forcibly Euthanized The article says that in the Netherlands an elderly woman with dementia was euthanized against her will. ...
76
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3answers
48k views

Is it possible to “die instantly”?

Lots of times, when some great tragedy occurs, one often hears journalists and bystanders alike softening the blow of having some person die by saying something like "at least they died instantly" or "...
70
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2answers
13k views

Is the infant mortality rate among African-American babies in Youngstown, Ohio greater than that of babies in Iran?

In a town hall meeting on June 2, 2019 with Representative Tim Ryan (D-OH), the candidate stated the following (emphasis mine) Now, a lot of people don't know, but Youngstown, Ohio is 50 percent ...
61
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3answers
7k views

Are 42% of human deaths worldwide from abortion?

Lately, social media has been flooded with all sorts of "facts" about abortion. This one in particular caught my attention: 42% of yearly deaths in the world are from abortion A worldwide ...
60
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1answer
6k views

Do nails and hair continue to grow after death?

I've heard that nails and hair continue to grow even after death. Is this true or just a myth?
56
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1answer
8k views

A century ago, was giving birth a major cause of death?

When reading this article on BBC News I was surprised by the following claim: Just compare now to what happened 100 years ago or so. Then, many women died in their 40s because of having to give ...
54
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3answers
18k views

Do about 100 Germans die every year due to risky masturbation?

EveningStandard claims in Masturbation 'kills up to 100 Germans a year', new study shows that up to 100 Germans a year die to masturbation for using risky methods like auto-erotic asphyxiation or ...
47
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2answers
5k views

Do atheists commit far fewer crimes?

According to a post by latimes.com, "How secular family values stack up": Atheists were almost absent from our prison population as of the late 1990s, comprising less than half of 1% of those ...
44
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3answers
19k views

Do children accidentally suffocate themselves with plastic bags?

My one year old daughter picked up a typical plastic supermarket grocery bag and I watched her with it briefly before taking it away, as it's common knowledge that kids aren't supposed to have plastic ...
44
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1answer
8k views

Is austerity in the UK responsible for “120,000” extra deaths?

The UK government has been implementing tight constraints on public spending to attempt to recover from the 2008 financial crash and bailout. But this austerity is controversial. A recent report in ...
43
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4answers
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Can popping a pimple in the facial 'danger area' cause brain infection or death?

This story is currently sitting at #13 on Reddit: TIL that in rare cases, popping a pimple in the so-called "danger triangle" can lead to facial paralysis, brain infections/meningitis, and even ...
41
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2answers
4k views

Is the number of childhood vaccines correlated with infant mortality?

Related Just how inaccurate are vaccine myths? Is it dangerous to have several vaccines at the same time? I was passed along an article reporting that a new study found that despite having the ...
41
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1answer
5k views

Are you more likely to be struck by lightning than to win the lottery?

A common claim about how unlikely it is to win a multi-million dollar lottery jackpot is that one is more likely to be struck by lightning than to win the lottery. Is this claim true? Assume our ...
40
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1answer
10k views

Are white and non-white police officers equally likely to kill black suspects?

Well, that's the conclusion of a 2018 US study, as reported in the press: "White officers do not kill black suspects at a higher rate compared with nonwhite officers," concludes a research team led ...
39
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1answer
3k views

Do people fall over when shot because they've seen it on films?

I heard this anecdote from someone who watched this QI episode: The reason people fall over when they have been shot is because they have seen people do it in films. You never fall from being shot ...
38
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1answer
6k views

Does mortality fall when doctors go on strike?

In a 2017 article arguing that inaction is sometimes better than action (the urge to do something often dominates the urge to do the right thing) Tim Harford makes the following comment (I've included ...
37
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1answer
2k views

Do old dogs run away to die?

My dog passed away a few days ago. He ran away from home early in the morning, and by the time we found him it was late afternoon and he was very weak, on the brink of death. Soon after we brought him ...
36
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2answers
3k views

Is Australian fauna more dangerous?

It's a popular meme, "in Australia everything tries to kill you", often backed up by the list of dangerous animals, such as box jellyfish, variety of spiders, salt water crocodiles and sharks. However ...
35
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1answer
8k views

Is this 90 year old mummy “not dead, just meditating”?

Here is a news headline so unusual it can't be true: Buddhists claim mummified monk is 'not dead, just meditating' Senior Buddhists say a mummified monk found preserved in Mongolia last week ...
32
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2answers
4k views

Have communist governments killed more than 80 million people?

It's May Day, while Communist regimes celebrated this day, others mourn. Specifically there are claims that communist governments have killed 80 to 100 million people in the last 100 years. Are ...
30
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2answers
17k views

Can you be suffocated from being smothered by a pillow?

We've all seen it in movies. A villian suffocates one of his/her victims with a pillow while they sleep, killing them in a matter if a minute or so. Whenever I've pushed my head into a pillow as far ...
30
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2answers
7k views

Will a mere touch kill a butterfly?

I've heard many times that touching a butterfly will remove some "special" powder from its wings preventing it to ever fly again, effectively killing it or condemning it to die of starvation. Example ...
29
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2answers
99k views

How much does wet sponge matter in electrocution process?

In Stephen King's novel The Green Mile and its film adaptation one of the characters (Eduard Delacroix) is getting electrocuted. Before the execution one of the correction officers instead of wetting ...
27
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2answers
2k views

Is “co-sleeping” (infant sleeps in bed with parents) safe?

Among some circles, co-sleeping is highly advocated for newborns/infants due to ease of breastfeeding and potential developmental bonding to the mother (for more examples, read about proposed ...
27
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2answers
60k views

Will sticking a knife into a toaster electrocute me?

As a child, do you remember being told not to stick metal utensils into the toaster to unlodge toast? If by chance that utensil touches the wrong thing inside of the toaster, you could be easily ...
27
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1answer
10k views

Did any satanic cult ever commit organised ritual murders or sacrifices?

In Manhattan Beach, CA in 1983 members of the McMartin family were accused of a variety of abuse charges against the children in their care. It was reported that the children: "were ...
26
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3answers
8k views

Have more people been killed by automobiles than by all wars combined?

I read this claim somewhere recently, and a google search shows that it's occasionally made around the web, but was perhaps more common in the 1970's (many of the stories I find online are people ...
26
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1answer
7k views

Are the chances of dying on the way to get lottery tickets larger than the chance of winning?

I encountered the following claim: The chances of you dying on the way to get your lottery tickets is greater than your chances of winning Of course, whether is is true depends on the lottery, on ...
25
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3answers
6k views

Does rabies have an almost 100% mortality rate with around 160 deaths per day?

One of my favourite information snippets to dish out to unsuspecting friends is that there are roughly only 10 recorded cases of rabies survival without vaccination, while it's estimated that around ...
25
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1answer
47k views

Is there a risk of drowning if you fall asleep in the bath?

Are there any documented events of people drowning in slippery baths after falling asleep? I've tried to Google it but wasn't able to find anything. Probably just used wrong terms, or maybe there ...
25
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1answer
27k views

Will cats eat their deceased owner, but dogs will starve to death instead?

A friend of mine is a former prosecutor for the Crown/State. He's observed that it was often harder to investigate whether a deceased person was murdered when they own cats because the cats will eat ...
25
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1answer
11k views

Jump from building: die from shock induced heart failure before hitting the ground?

In my childhood days there was this proposition/myth that claimed there is a big chance that you'd die from a shock induced heart failure (hart attack/cardiac arrest) before hitting the ground, when ...
23
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2answers
13k views

Does a hanged man get an erection?

One of James Joyce's characters explains, in his book, Ulysses: The distinguished scientist Herr Professor Luitpold Blumenduft tendered medical evidence to the effect that the instantaneous ...
23
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3answers
9k views

Could someone dig themselves out of a grave?

Some notable stories and movies show characters being buried alive, and then digging themselves out. This has apparently happened in reality, such as this story: Girl digs self out of grave, points ...
23
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2answers
19k views

Did Hedviga Golik sit dead and undiscovered for 42 years in front of her TV?

While searching for data for another question on here regarding people dying watching TV, I stumbled upon a Gizmodo article about one unfortunate Hedviga Golik, who died in front of her TV in 1966 and ...
23
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1answer
1k views

Might organ donors be harvested when they could have otherwise lived?

I just read a pretty shocking blog post called "Are you an organ donor? After you read this, you will change your mind." Do you wish to be an organ donor? I'm sure many of you have answered yes, ...
21
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4answers
9k views

Was 2016 the Deadliest year for the LGBTQ community?

This image claims the following: 2016 was recorded to be the deadliest year for the LGBTQ community. 27 transgender people were murdered in 2016, overtaking previous records in 2015 (21 ...
21
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3answers
29k views

Will a worm, cut in half, survive as two worms?

I have often heard the story that if you cut a worm in half in the middle, both halves of the worm will grow the other part back, and you will eventually end up with two worms. Is this true?
20
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3answers
35k views

Are the chances of dying each day 1 : 250 000?

I've read the odds of dying as around 1 : 250 000 each day, which presumably is based on the global death rate. I use this when people buy lottery tickets to point out they have more chance of dying ...
20
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2answers
5k views

Is standing near Lake Karachay for an hour fatal?

I read this 9gag post (Okay, 9gag isn't really reliable for facts), where it says : I then checked it at Wikipedia (Again, not the most reliable, really, but it does the job when necessary), and ...
20
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1answer
4k views

Did George Bernard Shaw convert on his death bed?

I've seen this quote floating around all over the place. It's often used in popular Christian-lite reading (see the first page of the Google Books search for the quote), but is it true? I have never ...
20
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2answers
17k views

Are more people accidentally killed by doctors than accidentally killed by guns and traffic combined?

The actual claim is something like this The top five causes of death in the United States, in order, are tobacco, alcohol, medical malpractice, traffic and firearms. According to JAMA, doctors ...
20
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1answer
10k views

Are suicide attempts via wrist cutting likely fatal?

New York Times: Those methods that require forethought or exertion on the actor’s part (taking an overdose of pills, say, or cutting your wrists), and thus most strongly suggest premeditation, happen ...
20
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1answer
2k views

Can one die of fear?

Is it scientifically possible for someone to die of fear? I'm sure someone can be scared enough to have a heart attack or something, but is it possible for the brain to shut down as a defense ...
20
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2answers
2k views

Do animals commit suicide?

I've done some Googling and only found case stories without any scientific backup. Most of the case reports about animal suicide online can by easily debunked by logical reasoning. For example there ...
20
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2answers
1k views

Did 120,000 Egyptians die building the Suez Canal?

According to wikipedia > Gamal_Abdel_Nasser#Nationalization_of_the_Suez_Canal (current revision), on 26 July 1956, Nasser gave a speech in which he claimed 120,000 Egyptians died during the ...
19
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1answer
1k views

Is quicksand deadly?

A classic movie threat: quicksand that will ensnare you and kill you by drowning. [Still from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull] It's in countless movies and TV, but does quicksand ...
18
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1answer
8k views

Do birds eat chewing gum they think is bread?

This image popped up in my facebook feed today. Roughly translated it says that chewing gum thrown on the street might be seen as pieces of bread by birds. The birds will then eat it, but it gets ...