That day, the diving bell was being winched back up to a shallow depth, and the procedure occurred as normal, at least at first. The divers had left the bell, and were in a sealed, trunk-like passageway between them and the decompression chamber. Another two divers were already in a different compartment of said chamber.
According to the History Channel, they were about to close the door between the trunk passageway and the chamber when something untoward took place. Varyingly blamed on the premature opening of the diving bell clamp and faulty equipment, the diving bell clamp suddenly opened, causing the bell – which was nine times more pressurized than the chambers – to explosively decompress. The four divers and one of the tenders outside the bell died instantly.
As painstakingly detailed by a 1988 study on the incident, three of the divers were instantly killed as the drop in pressure caused the air and fluids within them to expand rapidly and rupture their insides.
The diver nearest the door was blasted through a small, 60 centimeter (24 inch) gap between the truck door and the chamber when the event occurred, causing him to become “completely disintegrated,” with “parts of him found scattered about the rig.”
“The remains of diver 4 were sent to us in four plastic bags,” the study notes, explaining how various body parts, including the brain, respiratory system and more were obliterated. Weirdly, the liver was found somewhere on the deck – “complete, as if dissected out of the body.”
“The penis was present,” it adds, “but invaginated.” We’re going to let you Google that one.
One last note, if you’re still with us: the sudden low pressure boiled the divers’ blood, which caused the fats to become insolvable and secrete rapidly around their bodies.
3 – The Indoor Lightning Strike
The chances of dying from a lightning strike, let alone merely being hit by one, are vanishingly small – one in 1,083,000 in a given year in the US, for example. You’re more likely to die falling down the stairs, so really, it’s gravity you should watch out for.
Working next to a metallic pillar and between two metallic sawhorses, an overhead thunderstorm clearly decided his time was up. The bolt shot down through the pillar, leapt through his foot, traveled through his heart, and shot out through his right thumb.
Seventy percent of his body experienced first, second, and third-degree burns and the study notes that “the corpse revealed an unusual rigidity, which could not be overcome by manual force, thus inexplicable by rigor mortis alone.”