The man who shot off his own penis...and other bizarre accidents

From passionate kisses that burst eardrums, to kicking a cactus barefoot, here's a collection of rather odd incidents

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The Independent Online

It was reported today that a security guard accidentally shot off his own penis with a handgun.

The hospital guard in Trinidad and Tobago was found sitting in a car bleeding from his groin after residents had reported hearing gunshots.

To add to the unfortunate man’s woes, it was discovered that he didn’t have a licence for the gun and will be charged with illegal possession of a firearm once he gets out of hospital where he is being watched by armed guards – armed guards who are presumably having an immense amount of fun waving their guns around in front of him and recreating the accident.

Perhaps the unlucky victim will find solace in the fact that he is not the only person in history to injure themselves in a strange or silly manner. So, with this in mind, I have provided a round up of some of the world’s weirdest accidents and injuries.

Sex is always a good place to start. There are several obvious and sometimes messy risks attendant upon the universal act but there are some injuries you just wouldn’t expect. This was the case with a woman who admitted on a forum to knocking herself out when the sex swing on which she was straddling her husband collapsed on top of them. The woman, who evidently has a sense of humour, blamed the accident on a missing stud...

Another man on the same forum blamed a foot injury on his wife being too good at oral sex. He said on the discussion board for married couples:

“I think I curled my toes so hard that I broke my own foot!”

Even this, however, doesn’t compare to the weirdness of the Chinese woman who went temporarily deaf after a passionate kiss reduced the air pressure in her mouth so much that it burst her eardrum. Following the accident, Chinese doctors apparently issued a statement advising kissing couples to “proceed with caution”.

Sex of course isn’t the only pleasure that comes with attendant risks. Drinking can be hazardous too. There are thousands of possible ways to injure yourself where beer is involved but you’d be forgiven – wrongly as it turns out – for ignoring the threat of drowning in it. However this is exactly what happened to several people in London in 1814 when 550,000 gallons (4.4 million pints) of beer escaped from cracked vats at the Meux and Company Brewery. The tidal wave of beer destroyed two houses and knocked down the wall of a local pub. Eight people sadly even died in the flood. It’s not reported what the survivors did but I imagine they didn’t find it difficult to drown their sorrows.

Sport is another dangerous pastime and professional sport is simply littered with injuries. As a football manager, for example, you’d expect to lose several players over the course of a season to various twists, strains, snaps and breakages. You might not be so happy though if your star striker injured his back whilst blow-drying his hair, which is exactly what happened to hockey star Manny Fernandez.

Similarly you wouldn’t be over the moon if one of your players badly burned himself by ironing his shirt whilst wearing it, as did baseball ace John Smoltz. Baseball doesn’t seem to attract the brightest of sparks as proved by fellow player Adam Eaton who stabbed himself in the hand while trying to open a DVD case with a steak knife or another star, Jimmy Gobble, who injured himself by kicking a cactus barefoot. None of which quite matches the embarrassment surely felt by the aptly named American football player, Robert Pratt, who collapsed with a pulled hamstring while running out for the pre-match coin toss.

On the subject of which, a coin toss has never had such far-reaching consequences as the one which sealed the fate of an entire football team from the Democratic Republic of Congo. All eleven players were killed by a lightning strike, which reportedly left the other team completely unscathed.

Dying, of course, is bad enough but being proved wrong at the same time must be hard to take, as was the case for a Canadian lawyer who hurled himself out of a 24 floor window in Toronto while demonstrating to a group of visiting law students the ‘unbreakable’ nature of the glass. A lesson there for all of us, I think, about not tempting fate.

Another lesson might be that your greatest strength can also be your greatest weakness, as was learnt by Austrian Hans Steininger, owner of the world’s longest beard. He trod on the offending growth one day and broke his own neck.

But the costliest slip up of all time has to go to Napoleon Bonaparte. It is hotly debated whether the incident actually happened but some sources claim that 1,200 prisoners were killed by mistake when the French Emperor, who had been suffering from a cough, snorted: “Ma sacre toux” or “my damn cough”. Officers, who had been awaiting his orders on the subject, thought they heard the words “massacre tous”, meaning “kill them all”, which they promptly did.

Still, I’m sure they all had a good old chuckle about it when they realised their mistake...