7 Historical Figures Who Were Absurdly Hard To Kill

#3. Gabriel Garcia Moreno

Why He Had to Go

Moreno served as president of Ecuador in the mid-19th century. He was a devout Catholic and founded country's Conservative Party. He also looked like F. Murray Abraham.

One Moreno. Two Morenos. Whhaaaaaa?

Moreno established a law that made Catholicism the official religion of Ecuador, and required that anyone who ran or voted for office be Catholic. While this is awesome for Catholics, it's kind of a drag for everyone else. And so, the "everyone else" constituentcy of Ecuador decided that it was time to punch Moreno's ticket, F. Murray Abraham be damned.

How He Went Down

As he left the cathedral in Quito, Moreno was brutally attacked by a group of assassins. Armed with machetes, the group sliced through the president's neck, skull and brain, and severed his left arm and right hand.

He stayed on his feet. The man was the Black Knight from Monty Python.

Undeterred, his attackers shot him six times in the chest. He was slashed a total of fourteen times before he finally fell to the ground. Even then he was alive enough to write "God does not die" on the ground... in his own fucking blood.

After the assassins fled, the cathedral priests took Moreno back inside the church, where he lived for fifteen more minutes. When his body was examined after death, physicians observed he had balls of wrought iron [citation needed].

Moreno's left testicle, artist's conception.

#2. Ferdinand Magellan

Why He Had to Go

Magellan was a Portuguese explorer who was the first person in history to circumnavigate the globe, and was the first European to reach the Philippine Islands. Incredibly, he also discovered the Strait of Magellan. Who saw that coming?

Magellan agreed to kill a man named Lapu-Lapu, an enemy of two different Philippine kings that he was friendly with. It was originally his plan to convert Lapu-Lapu to Christianity, but in lieu of conversion, the sweet, sweet embrace of death would have to do.

"Can't say I didn't try."

How He Went Down

Magellan and his crew landed on Lapu's home island of Mactan. However, Lapu apparently knew they were coming, because he had an army waiting.

Magellan was hit with a poison dart almost immediately, but he trucked onward into the mass of native warriors, possibly shouting the Portuguese equivalent of "MOTHERFUCKERS!" as he did so.

He was stabbed in the face with a bamboo spear, to which he responded by burying his lance in the attacker. Magellan tried to draw his sword to keep fighting, but his arm was slashed and soon his leg as well, and he fell to the ground more or less mortally wounded.

Actual photograph of Magellan.

The natives then surrounded him and began stabbing and clubbing him as he lay defenseless. He kept looking up to see if his crew had made it safely back to their boats and, upon seeing that they finally had, Magellan allowed himself to die. We like to think that with his last breath, he screamed and chucked a spear that left a single cut in Lapu's cheek.

#1. Grigori Rasputin

Why He Had to Go

Grigori Rasputin, the patron saint of dying hard, was a mystic that lived with Tsar Nicholas II in the early 20th century. The tsar and his wife Alexandra believed that Rasputin had the power to heal their hemophiliac son Alexei, so they kept Rasputin around the house as sort of a turn of the century Kato Kaelin. Rasputin's influence was so heavy that anyone seeking an audience with the royal family had to consult with Rasputin first.

Rasputin, by all historical accounts, was overtly full of shit. He was a drunk and a lecher, and routinely accepted bribes from people seeking his guidance. Rasputin's dubious lifestyle arguably added to the diminishing support of the Royal family, which ultimately led to revolution (see Trotsky, above). And he was gutted by a prostitute in public in 1914, which we imagine must do wonders for your image.

How He Went Down

After Rasputin recovered from the by-all-accounts gnarly stab wound delivered by the prostitute, a group of Russian nobles decided to finish the job by poisoning him to death with tainted wine and cake. History cannot agree whether any of the poison ever entered Rasputin's system (the poison in the cakes probably evaporated during baking), but this did little to diminish the conspirators' surprise when Rasputin didn't die.

So, Rasputin continued to hang out, eating cake, until one of the nobles finally grew impatient and shot Rasputin in the back. Content that he was dead, the murderers left the palace. One member of the party forgot his coat though, and when he returned to collect it, Rasputin sprang up from the floor like Skeet Ulrich in Scream and started strangling him.

The others arrived in time to shoot Rasputin three more times in the back, dropping him to the floor. But was he dead? Fuck no. He was still struggling to stand, so the conspirators clubbed the everloving shit out of him.

They wrapped Rasputin's body in a sheet and dumped him in the freezing Neva River. When they found Rasputin's body later, riddled with poison, gunshot holes and club wounds, they determined he had died... of hypothermia.

It was evident the bastard had managed to partially claw his way out of his wrappings, and if he had done it a few minutes faster, he probably would have wound up on the assassins' doorstep, dripping wet and pissed off.

We're guessing the conspirators slept with the lights on every night for the rest of their lives.

I am under your fucking bed.

You can read more of Tom's stuff at startthemachine.tumblr.com.

For more historical badassery, check outThe 5 Most Badass Presidents of All-Time. Or have a look at some truly bizarre deaths in history in The 5 Historical Figures Who Died The Weirdest Deaths.

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