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back to article Russian computer programmer buries himself alive

A Russian computer programmer who believed that spending the night buried alive would bring him good luck didn't survive the subterranean ritual. The unnamed 35-year-old victim of the "supervised self-burial" dug a grave in a garden in Blagoveshchensk, in the Amur Oblast region of eastern Russia, then clambered into an " …

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Anonymous Coward

But his luck DID improve...

He managed to avoid getting hit by the bus in late July and the end of the world in <insert next due date for the apocalypse>....

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Allow Me

October 21st. The Bible guarantees it(tm).

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CT

How did he get a signal underground?

Should London Transport investigate?

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Trollface

IMO Darwins should still be open to those who have reproduced as long as ...

... they've passed along a self-destruct gene. Removing yourself from the gene pool before reproducing is pretty much the same as reproducing self-destructing offspring and deleting yourself, isn't it? So if it could be shown that his behaviour was genetically determined, and that he's passed it on to the sprog, then I think he should still be in the running for one.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC re: passing on self-destructive gene

You fail good sir.

Once a gene has been passed on it can no longer be deemed self-destructive as it has fulfilled its purpose (to be propagated). CF: those rodents that fuck themselves to death or many species of spiders (particularly black widows) - they surely have not failed the Darwin test.

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Stop

It doesn't "fulfill its purpose" if it gets propagated into a dead-end.

There are many kinds of genetic defects that cause non-viable or infertile offspring, or death of the offspring in early youth before it is possible for the offspring themselves to reproduce. Such genes can be propagated yet fail to "fulfil their purpose" because they never reach a second generation.

In the somewhat tongue-in-cheek statement in my original post, I was hypothesizing that there is a gene for "stupidly going and burying yourself alive" that might lead his child to do the same thing, thus effectively extinguishing itself from the gene-pool.

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FAIL

Ah, but that means that the child would earn the title, rather than this poor fellow.

Unless, of course, the child also replicates. If the gene for "stupidly going and burying yourself alive" only kicks in once you've had children, it means that your genes always stay in the pool.

Simple biology, sir.

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Silver badge

What is it...

...with seemingly intelligent people buying into happy-clappy, unproven BS these days? Homeopathy, chiropracty, cults of all shapes and sizes, crystal healing, reiki, etc.

Depressing. I best take some St. John's Wort.....

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Childcatcher

Mugs

Sellplenty of $t John's Wort and you can move to $t John's Wood

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Boffin

What is it...

Education does not equal intelligence.

Modern education consists of having a lot of information thrown at you, which you then memorise and use to pass a test, which for the most part just checks to see if you remembered it or not.

Intelligence actually requires thinking. A lot of people going through school manage to completely avoid learning any higher order thinking skills, which are essential to realising most of this sort of thing won't work.

btw; some of those things on your list are actually disproven, Homoeopathy being a case in point.

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Probably...

As life gets more complicated people like to search for solutions to their problems that require less work than just solving them properly...Clever people join cults because cults come to them in their time of need, when they're less likely to think straight. Clever people believe in homeopathy because it solved (or pretended to solve, with placebo effect) an issue that was perhaps much harder to solve, or took longer to solve the traditional way.

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Facepalm

Meanwhile...

...the United States Government has been suppressing research that shows marijuana kills cancer cells.

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Holmes

So does burial alive

(although it kills all other cells as well)

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Boffin

I feel compelled to point out...

...that St Johns Wort does have active constituents, hence its interference with other medication, and may well be a better form of medication than some synthetic antidepressants which canhave real and unplesant side effects, such as increasing suicide risk. Then again, it does tend to screw up the effectiveness of some contraceptive pills, so users should be warned. No homeopathic 'cures' were ever contraindicated with real medicines, however. What does this tell us?

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@Loyal Commentator

Aye, I am well aware that some herbs do have pharmaceutical properties. To quote Dara O'Brien:

"The good bits of herbal medicine became....MEDICINE!"

Although if the herb is potent enough for what ails you...may as well use that I guess.

Now where did I put those ginger pills.....?

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Unhappy

"Inteligent" people and dumb things

Inteligence (or what is popularly considered such) can be its own downfall. Multiple studies have indicated that inteligent people are often just better at constructing superficially plausable explanations for what they want to believe*

*This explanation may, however, just be a superficialy plausable excuse for this type of behaviour, however.

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Facepalm

What is it - Homoepathy ?

Anonymous Coward - Thursday 2nd June 2011 10:08 GMT

You are pulling my Tit anrn't you ?

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Trollface

@ BigYin

You can get pills to stop you being ginger now? Impressive.

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Childcatcher

Stupid stunt but...

(a) he had made some provision for survival (blankets and a breathing tube), unfortunately he hadn't accounted for the possibility of rain blocking the breathing tube or a means of communication if he got into trouble.

(b) he had already reproduced. I doubt his daughter would be too impressed with his stunt.

(c) a friend helped him in his stunt. I think the awards require the victim to have achieved their feat unaided.

(d) maybe he will have better luck in his next life, assuming he believed in reincarnation...

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means of communication if he got into trouble

He had a mobile phone, that counts as a means of communication I think, he even proved it worked by calling his friend to say he was fine.

Maybe he didn't realise he was in trouble?

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Unhappy

plus

20cm of soil is not that much, most able bodied people would probably have been able to bust out of that. I doubt his friend compacted the stuff down. I guess he died in his sleep when he didnt know he was in trouble.

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Anonymous Coward

@Danny 14

Not necessarily - especially after it got wet. 1m^3 of dry soil weighs approximately 1 tonne. Remember that anyone inside a coffin under 20cm of soil would have to lift the weight of all the soil on the lid (or portion of lid if it was planks) and not just the small amount in front of their face.

I can't find how the makeshift coffin lid was made but even a 20cm by 2m plank covered with 20cm of soil would weigh 80Kg which would be a fair amount for a cold, wet, likely weedy and pasty faced programmer to bench press - especially in that as soon as one plank started moving then soil would rush in and make things much harder.

If the coffin lid was all one piece then it would probably be more like twice or three times the weight which would be very difficult to move, without any added rain.

There is a whole load of maths concerning pivoting the load around a fulcrum (I assume the foot end of the coffin) and the distance the lid would have to move before you can get out and probably many other factors that I am not clever enough to work out which may change things dramatically.

So if anyone can actually show the forces needed it would likely be a waste of your valuable time but I would find it interesting

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Mythbusters

... did a show on this.

They didn't do the maths, but did several practical experiments involving "coffin breakout".

It's doubtful anyone could break-through the lid (no leverage or room to hit hard)... and even if you broke through it was doubtful you'd shift the soil (weight) before being suffocated.

Conclusion: Busted.

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Pint

Kill Bill...

Did a show on it too ;-)

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Vic
Silver badge

@Richard 120

> Maybe he didn't realise he was in trouble?

Oh, I'll bet he did.

Long before hypoxia (which is what would likely have killed him), he would have experienced hypercapnia - excess CO2.

Hypercapnia is extremely unpleasant. It has many effects that you simply cannot miss. One of them[1] is abject terror.

Vic.

[1] I know a number of divers - including myself - who have experienced this underwater. The same symptom does not generally seem to be reported in normobaric environments, so it is possible that the body responds differently at different presures. But it's still bloody scary.

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Anonymous Coward

title

"He had a mobile phone, that counts as a means of communication I think, he even proved it worked by calling his friend to say he was fine.

Maybe he didn't realise he was in trouble?"

A theory which I'm in no way qualified to make but seems logical to me is that the signal penetration of wet soil would be much lower than dry, almost like being underwater. It could be that the rain-soaked soil blocked his calls for help even though he made contact previously.

I suppose the phone itself could have got wet and shorted out, but alas, too much speculation.

To be honest, I kind of hope you're right and he never regained consciousness - what a nasty way to go.

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@Vic

The CO2 headache would wake you up fast. I can free dive and never be bothered and do some good depth too. Sitting on the boat preparing for the next site with a CO2 headache... :p

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Silver badge

Even in the film "burried alive"

the guy got out because his wife burried him in the cheapest, shoddiest, oldest coffin she could get on the cheap (soil-weight not withstanding).

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Anonymous Coward

Darwin?

Was he a Mac programmer?

...actually, that would explain a lot.

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Joke

Not a Mac Programmer

No, he couldn't have been a Mac programmer, it's Mac users who stick their heads in the sand.

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Nothing to do with Darwin...

This was clearly an act of God.

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Trollface

lmao

Russian hackers rule!!!!!

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Bronze badge

Misguided

We are all misguided by bad advice at sometime in our development. If by the age of 35 one hasn't the faculty to recognise the difference between good and bad advice, tragedies like this will continue to happen.

This man believed burying himself would improve his luck, his faith in this belief was strong enough that he did indeed bury himself. We should be grateful his belief system was relatively benign, at least with respect to others.

Theres a joke here somewhere connecting pre-purchasing of future software releases and pre-burial for a future death, I just don't feel like finding it.

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Unlikely

It's unlikely that the poor man's breathing tubes were blocked by rain.

More likely that as it rained, the soil became saturated, filled the coffin and he drowned or suffocated

also wet soil is allot heavier than dry soil.

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FAIL

You seem to know allot about it

Were you there?

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Facepalm

grave gravity

CO2 is heavier than air, so assuming he didn't seal his lips to tube all night, his oxygen would gradually be displaced by CO2 and he'd suffocate.

Doh! icon because we like new and shiny things...

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Bronze badge

Air flow

I was thinking about this - also that his breathing may have only been sufficient to move air up and down in the tubes, not enough to allow any fresh to come in. That's why those old diving suits needed pumps, or you keep breathing the same air in the tube over and over, and as you note the CO2 bit sinks, being more dense.

Underwater rebreather incidents have CO2 saturation as causing a rapid loss of conciousness, coupled to a severe headache. If he was asleep he'd be in real trouble even if the headache came first and was enough to wake him. Or he may have gotten the headache but been unable to use the phone on account of rapidly losing conciousness.

It's quite tragic he thought this could somehow improve his luck, and he leaves a family behind to grieve too.

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Anonymous Coward

@Yet Another Commentard

RE: Diving suits and pumps - this is mainly because of water pressure - for every 10m down you go the water exerts another atmosphere of pressure on your body (and therefore on your lungs) - breathing works by contracting your diaphragm which causes a partial vacuum in the chest cavity at which point air at 1Bar pressure is effectively sucked into the lungs.

If your lungs were already under 2Bar pressure then you would either need to be able to create a much greater partial vacuum in the chest cavity (to overcome the extra or increase the pressure of the air to be breathed in - hence the pumps. You don't get this problem with SCUBA diving as air tanks are already pressurised to about 7Bar which would overcome water pressure to a depth of about 60M or so, which is way deeper than you would normally go.

You would be under no risk of re-breathing your own expelled air (without a pump) as you have separate, valved, inlet and outlet pipes to prevent this sort of thing.

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GBE

Supposed to be back in the boat at 7Bar

> You don't get this problem with SCUBA diving as air tanks are already pressurised to about 7Bar

Scuba tanks are typically filled up to 200-300Bar and you're supposed to be back in the boat (or on shore) _long_ before the pressure has dropped to 7Bar. It's generally considered A Bad Thing to let the pressure drop below 20-30Bar while you're still under.

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Vic
Silver badge

Re: Air flow

> Underwater rebreather incidents have CO2 saturation as causing a rapid

> loss of conciousness,

Loss of consciousness is invariably hypoxia; hypercapnia has to be extreme to cause blackout, and I've no idea how you'd get that sort of concentration short of flushing your loop with neat CO2...

> coupled to a severe headache

Strangely, that symptom - although expected - does not seem to occur very often in diving situations. I don't know why that should be.,

Vic.

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Boffin

Almost right

>> You don't get this problem with SCUBA diving as air tanks are already pressurised to about 7Bar

>Scuba tanks are typically filled up to 200-300Bar and you're supposed to be back in the boat (or on shore) _long_ before the pressure has dropped to 7Bar. It's generally considered A Bad Thing to let the pressure drop below 20-30Bar while you're still under.

The OP is almost right - in modern 2 stage regulator designs the first stage regulator (the heavy bit that attaches to the cylinder drops the pressure in the cylinder (normally 232 or 300 bar as you say) to a more managable 7-10 bar before the second stage (the bit that goes in your mouth) reduces it to ambient pressure.

Standard dogma says you should obey the 'Rule of Thirds' which means getting out with ~80 bar from a 232bar tank, though 50bar is more common on non-decompression diving.

Were you on my dive expedition and getting out with 20 bar you'd get a stern look from me... ;)

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Anonymous Coward

@GBE

My semantic mistake, I should have made a distinction between the pressure of the stored air (which is irrelevant to the point) and the air you breathe (which is entirely relevant). I suspect that you may find it quite difficult, if not downright harmful to breathe air at 200-300 Bar.

Point still stands though, the air* you breathe needs to be higher pressure than the pressure exerted on your lungs or the physics doesn't work**

*Just in case anyone else jumps in, I know if a dive is to go down more than a few atmospheres worth it is no longer "air" that is being breathed as the nitrogen is replaced with helium

**OK, you would get some O2 / CO2 transfer due to diffusion but not enough to make any appreciable difference

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Facepalm

Improved his luck

How unlucky was this guy previously, that he was driven to the extreme lengths to try burying himself?

At least he proved how unlucky he was!

In seriousness though, he had a kid, and it doesn't matter how stupid it was we must remember that child has lost their dad.

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Re: Stupid Stunt

Darwin awards do not require the recipient to perform his stunt unaided. They do require that no innocent bystanders are injured.

Of course the man is disqualified from a full Darwin award for the simple reason that he's already reproduced, I propose an honourable mention to the man.

Now on to things less likely to annoy the moderatrix.

Can anyone find out with who the idea of self-burial for good luck originated? They need to be informed that clearly, self-burial is a bad luck charm. Look at how bad this guy's luck became after burying himself after all.

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Chain Letters?

Like:

"i don't know if this works or not, but it's worth a shot.

Send this email to as many friends as possible and you will have good luck... blah blah"

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Joke

Occam

Perhaps he just panicked and had a heart attack. Or farted and the gas got him.

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Bronze badge

i.e.

Cardiac-arrest-in-peace or ass-phyxiation, hmmm.

Either way, a new low in the heights of human stupidity - that is, if the story is true.

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Holmes

It sounds like

he was having a run of bad luck generally.

Other wise, no one would go to such lengths to bring on a round of good luck. Would they ?

And if my luck was going badly in the first place, I certainly wouldn't be betting my life on anything more dangerous than a piece of lucky heather.

Even if I was a MAC programmer.

Or, perhaps, being buried alive is the ritual Steve Jobs has been performing in order to ward off the MAC loving malware. And that's where this poor sod got the idea.

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Headmaster

@"Would they?"

Anyone who wants to test their "endurance" as he said, isn't simply doing it for luck. They are trying to push themselves to their limit, in the hope that they will be able to endure more in the future. Basically they are fighting against their own inner fears and trying to prove to themselves they can take more. By testing their fears they believe that it gives them confidence in the future to face their fears again.

Amazingly you will even find people who intentionally get into fights simply to keep confirming to themselves that they can take a beating and still come back to face more of the same. (But obviously not a great experience for anyone they try to pick a fight with, which sadly shows why their ultimately self-destructive behaviour is a big problem in society for everyone). Its that same need to test themselves against their fears which explains why this fool wanted to test himself by being buried alive. Because they are really trying to test themselves against their fear.

Fortunately the majority of people don't behave like that, but a minority do. But then the majority don't live with a hidden sense of almost daily (and in some cases almost continuous) fear, but then a minority secretly do and this need to test themselves like this shows and explains why they behave this way.

This isn't a genetic trait, its a deeply learned behaviour often due to repeated bad experiences in childhood resulting in them growing up with unresolved fears and they don't even want to talk about their fears, so they stay unresolved fears. So effectively they trap themselves in these self-destructive patterns of behaviour. (Another self-destructive pattern is that these people often try to use drink and drugs to try to suppress and deal with their troubling thoughts, but it doesn't work and their health suffers as a result).

These people are trapped by their refusal to talk about their fears. Ironically that is the one fear they will not test themselves against. But then ultimately the people who feel the need to test themselves against their fears really know deep down that they are dominated by their fears, which is why they feel the need to keep fighting against their fears. Its a vicious circle of self-destructive behaviour and sometimes as this news shows, sometimes they die. (Its also why they have such fragile confidence because they are not really confident at all and they know this more than anyone, but they seek desperately to hide that with arrogant bravado).

So the next time you hear about someone dying doing some stupid thing, very often its because of their need to test themselves, like asking a friend to bury them and dying or for example, climbing on a high wall and falling off and dying, or trying to surf on the roof of a fast car and falling off and being killed, or dying after trying to jump out of a 10 storey building into a swimming pool "because they do it in films", etc..., its really all because these people are trying to testing themselves against their fears to prove to themselves they can stand up to fear. (Plus they get attention for doing such stupid things, plus of course the experience (if they live!) is such a distracting new memory that it also helps them to distract themselves from their other far deeper fears, which is the real fears they really running from in their mind).

I wish more of them would seek professional help to talk about and finally learn professionally helped ways to resolve and deal with their fears, because they would hugely benefit and all of society would hugely benefit in finally trying to bring an end to this self-destructive kind of behaviour. But some will laugh and say things like, "nah don't need it", but really they in that instant in saying things like that, have really just tried one more time to show to themselves that they can take their fears and are not giving into their fears. The irony is, for all their need to show they are not controlled by fear, their behaviour is controlled and dominated by their fears, until they finally seek professional help to learn ways to resolve and deal with their fears.

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Thumb Up

Darwin Award Candidate

What else needs to be said...?

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