Death holds one the biggest mysteries for us all. Firstly, we simply can't know when we will meet our ultimate end. Secondly, not only do we not know the when, but we don’t know the how. These two aspects are especially terrifying because it’s the great unknown, and death could literally be waiting for us around the next corner. There are so many ways to die that death has been given starring roles on television and in movies. With the show, “1000 Ways to Die”, we learned some of the most bizarre ways that people have kicked the bucket. With the “Final Destination” movie series, we learned what happens when you cheat death, and were exposed to some of the most terrifying ways to die.
We don't like to be morbid but death is endlessly intriguing because of its enigma. Obviously, no one can confidently say what death is like, because no one who dies can come back to tell us about it. Of course, there have been reports of near-death experiences and scientists have made studies on what the brain experiences upon death, yet these intangible reports can't satisfy the curiosity of going through death for yourself. Ideally, it would be nice if we could all go through the quiet, peaceful death of slipping away in our sleep, but often death can make a more dramatic entrance... (or should we say exit?)
Essentially, death is something that we can all relate to because some day, yep, we will all meet our end. Sometimes death is sudden, and sometimes the Grim Reaper can creep up us as slowly as the grass grows. Human nature is designed to be curious, to demystify the unknown, and this curiosity contributes to our fascination with death.
As we've grown and evolved in society, so have the personal habits that affect our health. We recently took a look at the leading causes of death last year and now we've compiled a definitive list are the 5 biggest causes of death in the 20th century. In comparing society's fate over twelve months with the much bigger picture, there's an opportunity to better understand the human journey towards the inevitable end, and to understand where your fate likely lies. As you read this list, no doubt there'll be some self-reflection on how to dodge these causes of death so you can enjoy life for longer. Since 2000, things have changed - a lot - and we’re sure that the list same list for the 21st century would have some very different varieties. But for now, let's look at how most of our descendants met their end in the last century.
5 Health Complications – 278 million
4 Cancer – 530 million
3 Humanity – 980 million
Okay, so this one may be a bit broad, but we human beings are responsible for a lot of death of our own species - as grim as that is. Hand us keys to a car and give us the potential to kill someone in a car accident. Or, morbidly, someone could take the life of another person and commit murder - which accounted for 177 million deaths in the last century. And let's not forget war and the casualties both in the military and civilian populations - accounting for 131 million deaths between 1900 and 2000. And of course there’s regular old accidents that killed 298 million - not only automobile related, these could be as simple as falling off a ladder, or just being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Humans have to take responsibility for deaths from tobacco, drug and alcohol abuse - misuse of drugs killed 115 million people in the last century. Then we have air pollution with a whopping 116 million deaths. The statistics also show 'death by ideology' at 142 million. But what do we mean by this? Wars, genocide and governmental mismanagement, of course. We have communism, that led to 94 million deaths -with China and the Soviet Union leading the numbers - and fascism, including Nazi Germany. And finally, suicide was a major cause of death taking the lives of 89 million people in the last century.
2 Infectious Diseases – 1680 million
1 Non-Communicable Diseases – 1970 million
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