The most painful ways to die (according to science)

Most people link crucifixion with Jesus Christ's death, but it dates to the 6th century BCE.
Some artists show Christ's crucifixion as calm, but it was incredibly agonising. "Excruciating" derives from "crucifixion."
Most images show nails through palms, which is historically inaccurate. Nails would pierce through the wrists, hitting the agonising median nerve. Insects would further irritate the wounds.


This type of execution is said to be less painful than others, although not necessarily.
The most common treatment included a barbiturate and anaesthesia, a muscle relaxant, and a heart-stopping medication. Some legal systems replaced the three-drug regimen with single medications. These can cause discomfort for minutes to hours before death.

Lethal injection

Drowning is quick yet unpleasant. Drowning causes panic and hyperventilation. Instead of air, they'll breathe water.Laryngospasm results. Breathing water hurts the most. Even survivors' lungs hurt for a while.


Small electric shocks might be uncomfortable, but electrocution kills.

When an electric charge is strong enough, muscles seize, bones crack, skin expands, and eyeballs can pop out. It's agonising.


Burning to death is horrifying. Our skin has many nerves, thus burns are excruciating.
Not to mention breathing in smoke and hot air, which can cause choking and burn anything in its path. It's torturous.
Here's how lava kills. You'd boil and go into rigour mortis (stiffening of the body). Not to add that your brain can also boil, breaking your skull.


Freezing to death is far from calm. Not at all. Early-stage hypothermia causes uncontrollable shivering.
Muscle tightness and brain malfunction follow. As your body supplies blood to important organs, your extremities hurt. Frostbite burns. Freezing to death is not painless.


Excruciating pain frequently precedes a heart attack, unlike other causes of mortality on this list. Signs might be painful.

Arm, jaw, neck, and back hurt. The crushing chest pressure is sometimes compared to an elephant sitting on your chest.

Heart attack

Radiation is invisible and can be lethal in high quantities. What happens in ARS? It harms tissue and DNA.
This causes immune-system-related health problems. These lead to circulatory collapse and death.


Pancreatic cancer is arguably the most agonising type of cancer to die from, with nerve pain, bone deterioration, and treatment side effects.
Pancreatic cancer causes discomfort when it presses on nerves. This causes back and stomach ache. Intestinal obstructions and referred soft-tissue discomfort might arise.

Pancreatic cancer

Boomslangs are deadly snakes. A bite will inflict a horrible death.
Venom kills how? Bleeding. Victims bleed internally. Uncontrollable shaking, nausea, and fever follow. Painful dying.


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