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15 Facts and Incidents that are perfect examples of Irony at Its Best

Ironic Facts

Life is full of irony. When we expect one thing to happen but the opposite of it happens in an entirely unexpected way we are left with an interesting mixture of wry surprise and denial. Every one of us has experienced such situations that leave us in a place where we are left absolutely out of words to say.  But there are some incidents that are far more ironic and defy human imagination. It’s almost as if mysterious powers are having fun at our expense. Here are some totally ironic facts and incidents, for your amusement, that are just too unbelievable, but true nonetheless.

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1. Philip A. Contos, a motorcyclist who was riding in a protest against helmet laws, died after he flipped over his handlebars and hit his head on the pavement.

Philip A. Contos
Image Source: youtube

The 55-year-old motorcyclist was participating in an anti-helmet rally in Onondaga, a town in New York near Syracuse. According to the police he hit his brakes and the motorcycle fishtailed. He lost control of the vehicle and got flipped over the handlebars. He died because of his injuries to the head and might have survived if he was wearing a helmet, according to state troopers.(source)

2. J. J. Thomson won the Nobel Prize in Physics (1906) for showing that cathode rays contained charged “particles” called electrons. In the year 1937, his son, G. P. Thomson, won the same for showing that electrons are “waves”.

J. J. Thomson & G. P. Thomson
Image Source: britannica, Wikimedia Commons

J. J. Thomson is known for his discovery of electrons, the negatively charged particles that were previously unknown. He calculated that the cathode rays must have bodies smaller than atoms with very small mass and negative charge. His son on the other hand, discovered the wave properties of electron through diffraction. He was also one among the seven of J. J. Thomson’s students who became Nobel Prize winners.(source)

3. No one knows who invented the fire hydrant because the patent office burned to the ground in 1836 destroying all US patent records.

Fire Hydrants, Lost US Patents
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

There were many inventors who over the years developed the fire hydrants and it cannot be clearly told who developed it first. The beginnings of modern post or pillar type hydrant were around 1801 and the design is usually credited to Mr. Frederick Graff Sr., which cannot, however, be confirmed because of the fire accident in the patent office.(source)

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4. The lawyers who Donald Trump hired to defend him from the lawsuits by unpaid workers are suing him for unpaid bills.

Donald Trump irony
Image source

According to USA Today Network, Donald Trump was involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits over the past three decades. At least 60 of the lawsuits that were analyzed had people who weren’t paid for their services by him. They included people from various fields, hourly workers at his resorts, real estate brokers, carpenters, bartenders, and ironically several law firms that once represented him in the lawsuits with them all.(source)

5. Mithridates VI, the King of Pontus, was so paranoid of being poisoned that he took small doses of poison all his life to build immunity. When he was defeated by the Romans, he tried to kill himself with poison but couldn’t because he was immune.

Mithridates, Immune to Poison
Image Source: spunkybong, Wikimedia Commons

After his father’s assassination by poison, Mithridates spent seven years in the wild and took regular doses of poison to build immunity against it. He gave poison to his family when he was defeated by the Romans, and took the rest of it himself. But, by that time his body was so inured to the poison that it didn’t work on him.(source)

6. In 1904, a Swedish sailor shipwrecked on an island in Papua New Guinea and found by the cannibalistic tribe inhabiting there. He was carried to their king whose daughter fell in love with him. He married her and after the king’s death became the king of that island.

Carl Emil Pettersson, King of an Island
Image Source: faz, Wikimedia Commons

The ship Carl Emil Pettersson was on sank on the Christmas Day of 1904. He landed onto a hibiscus hedge after washing ashore when he was surrounded by the tribe members. He went on to become a successful business man dealing in copra after marrying Princess Singdo, daughter of the local king Lamy, and became a king himself there later.(source)

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7. The pine tree planted in 2004 in memory of George Harrison, the lead guitarist of The Beatles, has died after being infested by beetles.

George Harrison of The Beetles
Image Source: pinterest, thateventuality

The tree was planted in Griffith Park in Los Angeles in memory of Harrison, who was an avid gardener. It grew to more than ten feet tall by 2013, but was attacked by tree beetles overwhelming its growth and finally killing it. Another tree was set to be planted in the future in his memory.(source)

8. Just the night before his execution, a convicted murderer in Georgia escaped from the prison only to be beaten to death in a bar fight later that night.

Troy Leon Gregg, Escaped Convict of Georgia
Image Source: emaze, thegospelcoalition

Troy Leon Gregg escaped the prison along with three other condemned murderers on July 28, 1980. The four of them escaped using officer uniforms with fake badges. He was known to be the first person under death row to have escaped in the history of Georgia. After the escape he got into a bar fight in North Carolina meeting his ironic death.(source)

9. Christine Maggiore, an AIDS skeptic who wrote What If Everything You Thought You Knew about AIDS Was Wrong?, died from AIDS-related pneumonia at 52.

Christine Maggiore, AIDS Skeptic
Image Source: whatifeverything

After being diagnosed with HIV, Maggiore took up AIDS volunteering work and used to speak at local schools and health fairs. She had a complete change of mind after reading the views of a biology professor that the symptoms could be caused by recreational drug use and malnutrition.

Following that she stopped taking medication to treat herself and gave birth to two children, even breast-feeding them. When one of her daughters died she sued the county for determining the cause as AIDS-related pneumonia. She herself had pneumonia and had been under treatment for six months before she died.(source)

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10. The makers of “Piracy, it’s a crime” advert used the music in it illegally. They did not have permission to use it in the DVDs.

Piracy, it’s a crime
Image Source: twitter, dailytech

An anti-piracy group known as BREIN reportedly asked musician Melchior Rietveldt to compose music for the ad to be shown in a local film festival in 2006. However, when he bought a Harry Potter DVD in 2007 he found that the campaign video had his music playing in it. Rietveldt claims that his music has been used in tens of millions of Dutch DVDs without his permission or receiving any compensation.(source)

11. In 2007, the First Mount Olive Free Will Baptist Church purchased a $150,000 Bentley, neglected to pay $12,000 water bill and had a mortgage default of $1.5 million on 9-acre property. The church was struck by lightning and the subsequent fire destroyed the building completely.

Burning church
Image source

The church was already facing multiple foreclosure threats for failing to pay the water bill of 2005 and other municipal bills. The said Bentley was used by the church’s bishop Oscar E. Brown who keeps it in a fenced-in area of the church. A few days after the fire incident, the city investigators determined the reason was lightning. According to the bishop Brown, the church would receive $4 million in insurance.(source)

12. Garry Hoy threw himself over a glass wall on the 24th story of the Toronto-Dominion Center and fell to his death when the window frame gave way. He was attempting to prove to a group of prospective articling students that the glass was unbreakable.

Garry Hoy, Toronto-Dominion Center
Image Source: skyscrapercity, muleorations

Garry Hoy had previously performed the stunt many times and bounced off the glass without a problem. The incident occurred near a boardroom where a reception for new articling students was being held. His attempt, when he fell to death, was success in a way because the glass didn’t break, but it “popped out of the window” plunging him to death.(source)

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13. In 2009, an expert in Mexico kidnappings who negotiated the release of at least 100 victims was kidnapped in Saltillo where he went to give lectures on how to avoid kidnapping.

Felix Batista, Mexico
Image Source: nbcnews, fbi

Mexico is fraught with regular kidnapping cases, with at least a 100 people missing each month. On December 10, 2008, Felix Batista received a phone call while he was eating at a restaurant after which he climbed into a vehicle with someone. He was never to be seen or sighted after that. Hours after Batista disappeared, a local security expert and friend who was previously abducted was released.(source)

14. A white supremacist and racist, Craig Cobb agreed to take a genetic test and receive the results on live television. The results showed that he was genetically 14% Sub-Saharan African.

Craig Cobb is notorious for his racist and white supremacist movements. He is known for his attempt to dominate the city of Leith, North Dakota, by attracting other white supremacists. In an interview in November 2013 on The Trisha Goddard Show, he agreed to reveal the results of the DNA test he took. When the results came that he is partly African, he dismissed them saying they are “statistical noise” and “short science”.(source)

15. A Texas man was asked not to swim in a marina as there were sightings of an alligator. He replied “F*ck that alligator” before plunging into the water and was killed immediately by an alligator.

Burkhart’s Marina in Texas
Image Source: houstonchronicle, madmikesamerica

The incident was witnessed by an employee of Burkhart’s Marina in Texas who warned the 28-year-old not to go swimming in the water. A sign was also put up there warning the visitors not to enter the waters because an 11-feet alligator was sighted earlier by the employees. The victim’s body was found two hours later floating with puncture wounds in his chest and a major traumatic wound on his arm.(source)

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