Common Myths About Death — Busted

Discover which deaths about myths are true

It’s true. We can’t escape death but while we’re still here in the here and now, we might as well learn to tell the difference about what’s true and what is simply a myth. See which myths you’ve believed all your life and what information is true.

Your Nails Continue to Grow After Death

I’ve heard this all my life…and believed it! Turns out it isn’t true. Once you die, your body dehydrates. When you dehydrate, your skin shrinks and the skin pulls away from your nails making them appear as if they grew. They don’t, however, actually grow.

You Can’t Really Die of a Broken Heart

Well, your heart doesn’t literally break like they show in cartoons. But, it is definitely possible to become so upset and stressed over losing a loved one that it can lead to death. The condition called cardiomyopathy causes death. People who die from this condition have no previous heart disease but have had an extremely stressful emotional situation and die.

You Can Cook Yourself to Death in a Tanning Bed

Urban legends have told the story about girls over tanning and cooking themselves to death in tanning beds. As the story goes, a girl wants to have a beautiful tan. In a short period of time she visits every tanning salon in town to get the tan she wants quickly. Later, she dies. The cause of death is that she cooked herself from the inside out.

There are dangers in tanning too much in tanning beds, but cooking your insides is not one of them. This myth started because people confused microwaves with UV waves. Microwaves cook food from the inside out. Tanning beds tan your skin by exposing you to UV rays just like the sun. You will not broil yourself or cook from the inside out by using tanning beds.

More People are Alive Today Than All Who Have Died in the History of the World

Those who are afraid of the earth becoming overpopulated keep this myth alive. How many people have lived on the earth depends on when you start counting. If you start counting 40,000 to 45,000 years ago when modern man supposedly emerged, that would mean 12 billion to 110 billion people have died. There about six billion people living on the earth today. We need to have many babies to top 110 billion!

You Can’t Die Laughing

Actually you can, but at least it’s a fun way to go! From the man dying laughing while watching his favorite TV show to the man dying from laughing in his sleep, it seems it is possible to die laughing. Doctors explain that you can actually laugh so hard that it triggers a fatal heart attack and can be the cause of death.