Death is a natural thing that sooner or later comes to all of us. Imagining how we are going to die is often a source of anguish that some people become obsessed with. Most people prefer a peaceful and painless end , but nevertheless death does not always come in a peaceful and painless way.

There are many ways to die, some of which are practically painless, while others involve a long ordeal for the dying person until they die. In this article, we review the 11 most painful ways of dying according to what is known about the processes of pain perception.

The most painful ways to die

Below you can find a list of the 11 ways to find our ending that are considered to cause the most pain and suffering. Most of the ways listed can occur naturally, in emergency situations or accidents .

However, human beings can also cause death in extremely painful ways, which is why a category of man-made deaths (some of which involve as much or more suffering than others on the list) has also been added to the list.

1. Dehydration

Considered by science to be one of the most painful ways to die, dehydration means the absence of sufficient fluid in our body . If this is prolonged and the lost liquids that our body needs are not recovered, the body systems begin to report their lack in the form of generalised discomfort. In the long run, all the organs would stop working, including the nervous system.

In the absence of water, the body will try to hydrate itself with other body fluids, such as spinal fluid. The kidneys stop secreting urine and become swollen and the eyes dry out. Fever, dizziness, and hallucinations will occur, leading to coma and later death.

2. Starvation

Like the lack of water, the lack of nutrients is also one of the worst ways to die. If we are not able to access any kind of nutrient, the body will start to burn the fats and lipids present in the body to stay alive. If this is not enough, the body will literally start to consume itself, degrading the components of the muscles and then the organs in an attempt to stay alive.

3. Drowning

Drowning and suffocation in general is one of the most distressing ways to die. In the face of the lack of oxygen in the body, you feel a sensation of internal tearing as the water floods the lungs and stomach, which is combined with a high level of anxiety caused by the fact that we cannot get air into our lungs. Later the lack of oxygen will cause the heart to stop beating.

4. By burns

One of the most painful deaths is that caused by the action of fire . The cells and nerves of all the burned parts are activated producing an increasingly deep pain as the superficial layers of the skin are destroyed, in a process that can last more than ten minutes. The pain is accompanied by panic at the knowledge of what is happening. The progressive loss of blood and fluids ends up making the body stop, although most people usually die sooner due to intoxication from the fumes and gases emitted in combustion.

5. Implosion

This way of dying is not very common because it is not common to find environments where the pressure exerted on our body is greater than that of the earth’s surface. However, if the level of pressure on our body is too high , its contents (organs, viscera and bones) will be compressed and will end up causing our death.

6. Depressurization

One of the least common ways of dying on this list, but one that nevertheless involves one of the highest levels of suffering. It usually occurs in cases of accidents with astronauts, with rapid changes between atmospheric pressures from a high level of pressure or a much lower pressure. This variation causes the gases contained in our lungs and elements present in our body to expand, generating great pain and obstructing the cardiovascular system and causing death. In extreme cases the body can literally explode.

7. Polytraumatism

This is a form of death that can be very painful. Apart from the pain caused by broken bones and multiple external wounds, there are also possible internal injuries in different organs such as the liver, kidneys or lungs.

In the latter case, the presence of severe incisions in the lungs can already be an extremely painful form of death: if they are damaged enough, they do not transmit enough oxygen to the rest of the body, filling up with blood and slowly causing suffocation. In addition, lacerations cause pain with every breath, so continuing to breathe is a source of suffering.

8. By radiation

Although it may be invisible, radiation is another of the most dangerous causes of death and can generate more pain depending on the type of exposure and radioactive element to which we are exposed. Radiation causes tissue degradation at a cellular level , and even at a DNA level, which can generate a great deal of pain and different symptoms. On the other hand, as we have said this depends on the type of radiation, sometimes we do not perceive any symptoms until it is too late.

9. For sleep deprivation

This is an unusual but possible kind of death. There is a rare disorder called fatal family insomnia in which death occurs precisely because of the absence of sleep. Continued sleep deprivation can generate discomfort, weakness, anxiety, alterations in perception and mood, deterioration of intellectual functions and, in the long run, brain death , as the body has no recovery period.

10. Being eaten alive

While most animals kill their prey before they eat it, certain species do not end their victim’s life before they begin to feed on it. In these cases the victim perceives and is aware of how the animal opens its meat and tears off and devours parts of it, and it can take a long time to die depending on which parts the creature attacks.

11. Man-made deaths

Most of the above deaths occur without the intervention of another person. However, throughout history, human beings have created numerous methods that cause intense pain to the person who is to be executed.

In this respect different methods of execution and torture stand out . Some of the examples we can give of this type of death are hanging (in which the prisoner could suffer asphyxiation for about ten minutes if he did not break his neck in the fall), the wheel (in which the victim was tied up to gradually untie him), the iron maiden, dismemberment with the use of horses, beating to death, forcing the ingestion of corrosive or burning substances, stoning, crucifixion (in which the person ends up suffocating over time because the position in which the body is left does not allow normal breathing) or impalement. This category includes some of the above .