Incase You might have watched the show 1000 ways to die, it should not come as a surprise to you the strange circumstances preceding the unfortunate demise of some individuals. Life is short though and death is inescapable especially when it comes knocking on your door and unless you are Frane Selak, you might as well surrender yourself to fate. People die through many ways such as toxin Ingestion, accidents, meteorite showers, lightening strikes, microbial invasion just to name a few. But what about being killed by your own beard? It’s quite an absurd and embarrassing way to end, right?
Our man of the moment goes by the name Hans Steininger. Born in Pfarrkirchen, Germany in the year 1508, he is one of the most notable figures in the town of Branau am Inn, Austria. Very little is known about his early life. He was the mayor of the town by 1567. Steininger is most aptly remembered for his extremely long beard which he spent several years grooming. It was about four and a half foot long. He usually had it rolled up and tucked neatly into a leather pouch.
As fate would have it, on September 28, 1567, a fire broke out in the town sending out waves of panic. As mayor, he tried arresting the situation, and in the process, his beard fell off it’s pouch. In the height of tackling the emergency at hand, he ignored it and kept on moving. This proved to be a fatal mistake! While climbing a flight of stairs, he stepped on his beard, tripped and tumbled down the stair case. This led to his neck being broken, killing him almost instantly.
After his death, his beard was cut off, chemically preserved and locked in a long glass case in the town’s historical museum ensuring that all the years of growing and grooming the beard would not be in vain. An epitaph was also erected in his memory on the side of St Stephen’s cathedral to keep his legacy alive.

Steininger’s 4.5 foot long beard which was chemically preserved and kept in a museum. Image credits:wikipedia.

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