How many people are killed every year due to…?

People die everywhere, every day and every second. Some causes of deaths are natural and some are likely accidents, but there are some causes so bizarre and unlikely that we cannot imagine them happening outside of storybooks and television shows.

Let’s look into how many people are getting killed every year in the world due to some of these unforeseeable causes.


Lightning. Lightning is a naturally occurring electrostatic discharge during which two electrically charged regions in the atmosphere or ground temporarily equalize themselves, causing the instantaneous release of as much as one gigajoule of energy.

Due to various charges being built up in the clouds, lightning is formed to release this charge to the earth’s surface.

In this process, there are chances of a lightning strike that acts as a catalyst for the discharge.

During a lightning strike, it is advisable to avoid standing in open fields. It is known to be attracted to tall structures that help the lightning to discharge. In an open field, the chances of getting struck by lighting are increased.

It is very rare for someone to survive a lightning strike, however, there are people who are survived more than one lightning strike.

Some polls estimate that around 6,000 deaths are caused annually by a lightning strike. However, National Geographic claims that only 2,000 deaths per annum occur due to lightning.

People can die due to a direct strike, due to contact with a conductor or from blast injuries mainly from the sound. The fatalities might be more than the reported number and we can never actually find out whether the death is caused by a direct strike or any other cause.


Meteor. A meteor shower is a celestial event in which a number of meteors are observed to radiate, or originate, from one point in the night sky. These meteors are caused by streams of cosmic debris called meteoroids entering Earth’s atmosphere at extremely high speeds on parallel trajectories.

Asteroids found in asteroid belts or orbits of other planets may get attracted to Earth’s gravity and become a meteor as they enter the atmosphere. When the meteor survives the friction and pressure in the atmosphere and reaches the Earth’s surface, it becomes a meteorite.

Meteorites can be of any size depending on the size of the asteroid. Most meteors get burnt to ashes as they enter the atmosphere and never really make it to the Earth’s surface.

However, fatalities or injuries from such space rocks are quite rare.

Meteorites have been claimed to affect weddings and funerals and one meteorite even exploded in Russia causing grave damage.

Stephen A. Nelson, an Earth Sciences professor from Tulane University, did the math and found out that 1 in 1,600,000 people have chances of dying due to a meteorite.

The chances of humans dying due to a major asteroid collision are higher than the cause of one meteorite.

Vending Machines

Japanese vending machines. There are just under 5 million vending machines in Japan, according to the Japan Times, a little more than the 4.6 million estimated in the United States by Vending Marketwatch. However, since the U.S. is so spread out – nearly 4 million miles to 145,000 miles of Japan, the machines seem more widespread here (2019)

Vending Machines provide the necessary snacks and refreshments for a minimal amount. There are many vending machines installed throughout the United States and various other countries throughout the globe.

Vending Machines tend to kill more people than  sharks. This is mainly due to humans getting tempted to shake the vending machine for a freebie and the machine ends up falling onto them.

There have been more than 1,700 cases of injuries due to a vending machine with four deaths between 2002 – 2015. Mostly men were injured and people older than 64 years old.


Sharks.What shark is responsible for the most human deaths?
The great white is the most dangerous shark with a recorded 314 unprovoked attacks on humans.White sharks live worldwide in cool, coastal waters. In the eastern Pacific, they live from Baja California, Mexico, to the Gulf of Alaska, and appear to be most abundant in California at the Channel Islands off southern California and locations north of Point Conception, California.In the United States, even considering only people who go to beaches, a person’s chance of getting attacked by a shark is 1 in 11.5 million, and a person’s chance of getting killed by a shark is less than 1 in 264.1 million.

Your chances of getting killed by a coconut is actually much higher than by a shark. Only four people died from a shark attack in 2018 and two in 2019.

Shark attacks are mainly categorized into two categories – Unprovoked and provoked.

Unprovoked shark attacks occur when the sharks attack without any harm being done to them by humans i.e without the humans provoking the shark in their environment.

Provoked attacks occur when humans initiate an interaction with the shark and end up getting bitten. This occurs when the humans are feeding the sharks, unhooking or removing the shark from fishnet and much more.

There were around 64 unprovoked shark incidents in 2019 which was much lower than the average of 82 incidents yearly.

With more humans entering the shark’s habitat, the more the human-shark interactions and more the unprovoked or provoked shark incidents.

The United States has more reported cases of unprovoked attacks in 2019 (around 41) according to the Florida Museum. Within the US, Florida had the most unprovoked attacks(21 cases).

Sharks help to maintain the health of the oceans and with sharks being removed or killed and their reproduction being slow, they may take decades to recover.


Coconuts. (1)Indonesia – 183,000,000 Tonnes. Indonesia is the world leader of coconut production. …
(2)Philippines – 153,532,000 Tonnes. The Philippines is the world’s second largest producer of coconuts.

With palm trees around you, there are high chances of a coconut falling on your head and leading to your fatal death.

A full-grown green coconut can weigh 2 kgs because its filled with water. A regular palm tree could be as high as 30 meters and the coconuts reach the ground at 85 km/hr means that it hits the ground weighing a ton.

Although there are no reliable sources to confirm this, almost 150 people die every year due to a coconut falling on them. This is much more than the number of people dying due to shark attacks.

Most of the coconut incidents were due to people resting under palm trees and never waking up. It is better to be on your toes before getting knocked out by a coconut rather than lying down.

Whenever you spot palm trees just look out for really tall ones and avoid being under them for too long. You can walk along the beach, but you can also avoid being under palm trees to reduce the risk of a coconut falling on you.

The chances of being hit by a coconut are higher than being attacked by a shark and you do not want to take the chances.

Stay away from coconut trees!