The life insurance Web site, LifeInsure.com, collected a list of 19 historical errata, superstitions and just plain weird facts about death.
1. After being decapitated, the average person remains conscious for an additional 15-20 seconds. Talk about a way to go.
2. Mourning your dear departed cat? You could shave your eyebrows like the ancient Egyptians used to. Then again, maybe a trip to the pet cemetery would be easier.
3. May want to rethink what you bury your loved ones in. An old wives’ tale claims that if a woman is buried wearing the color black, she’ll come back to haunt the family.
4. Speaking of preventing hauntings, yet another old wives tale led to the institution of burial wreaths. It was believed that the wreath would encircle the spirit of the dead person, thereby preventing them from returning from the grave.
5. In 1931, Henry Ford decided to preserve his friend, Thomas Edison’s last dying breath. He kept it in a bottle. Hope he put a label on that one.
6. One of the main reasons cowboys carried pistols in the 1800’s was to avoid being dragged to death by their horse. You think they could have just gotten bigger stirrups.
7. The last words spoken by Union General John Sedgewick were, “They (the Confederate soldiers) couldn’t hit an elephant from this dis…”
8. So much for the curse of good ole King Tut. Despite reports that all twenty-two people who were present at the exhumation kicked the bucket, twenty-one were still kicking ten years later.
9. If someone plans to jump off Mount Everest to commit suicide, you’ll need a lot of patience. It takes the average person 2.5 minutes to hit bottom. And we don’t want to know who timed it.
10. Here’s a job I definitely wouldn’t want to have. When Pyrenees beekeepers die, someone has to go around and splash every single one of their bees with black ink.
11. John Bowman, a tanner from Vermont believed that after his death he would be reincarnated with his pre-deceased wife and children. So, he ordered his house staff to have dinner on the table every night, just in case. They finally stopped in 1950 when the money finally dried up.
12. Think your décor is bad? Oscar Wilde’s last words were, “My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or other of us has got to go” He fought the wallpaper and the wallpaper won.
13. An old superstition stated that if the doors in the house were locked, the soul of a dying person couldn’t get out.
14. Yet another superstition warns against pointing at a funeral procession, with the dire warning that you’ll die within a month. More proof for that whole three fingers pointing back at you thing.
15. Might want to read the labels a little more carefully. Nearly 2,500 lefties are killed every year using products meant for righties. Who knew? Now, just back away from those right-handed scissors.
16. A pet-parrot caused a ruckus at President Andrew Jackson’s funeral. His crime? Swearing during the ceremony. Guess he should have given Polly just one more cracker.
17. That ballpoint pen? The one you’re chewing on? Might want to put it down. 100 people are killed every year by choking on a ballpoint pen. Which proves the old quote about the pen being mightier than the sword. At least some of the time.
18. Apparently, they really are virtually indestructible. A cockroach can reportedly live up to 9 days without its head. The only reason they finally kick over? Starvation.
19. And you thought sex appeal was the first to go. Allegedly, it’s actually your sight that goes first when you die. It’s your hearing that’s the last to go…. What was that?