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  • There's a scene in Game of Thrones where  Viserys, a man not exactly well known for his  

  • moral compass, gets his arm snapped by a couple  of Khal Drogo's bare-chested men. He shouts,  

  • Ah! No, no! You cannot touch me. I am the  dragon, I am the dragon. I want my crown!” 

  • And a crown he gets, although  it's not what he really wanted

  • A bunch of gold is quickly heated up and meltedand his sister, Daenerys, who's also there,  

  • is told to look away. This aint gonna be prettyThe incredibly hot liquid gold is then poured  

  • over his head. He didn't look too good after that. What you might not know is this scene was partly  

  • based on real life. Death by molten metal  was a terrible punishment, and as you'll  

  • see today, it happened all over the place. Ok, so some of you are calling BS on this one,  

  • but we guess you have never heard of the Battle of  Tucapel. This took place in the town of Tucapel in  

  • Chile on December 25, 1553, and was fought between  the Spanish conquistador, Pedro de Valdivia,  

  • and the indigenous Mapuche people. As you can understand, the Mapuche  

  • folks weren't too pleased about the Spanish coming  over and trying to run things and steal all their  

  • gold. To cut a long story short, there was a warthe Arauco War, and at some point in that war,  

  • the Mapuche forces tried to take the Tucapel  fort where the Spanish had a stronghold

  • The Indians, who by that time had learnedthing or two about war tactics from the Spanish,  

  • killed just about every Spaniard. Valdivia, who  of course had the best horse, got away. Everyone  

  • else was killed. Still, his horse didn't much  like the thick bog it walked into, and that was  

  • the end of the getaway. The Indians got hold of  Valdivia and he was brought before the leaders

  • Now, what kind of horrific punishment should be  the order of the day for a damned conquistador  

  • that had brutalized a people? Well, a mere  decapitation wouldn't well do, would it

  • There are some different tales as to what actually  happened, but as a man once famously said,  

  • When the legend becomes fact, print the  legend.” Did Valdivia offer the Indians a  

  • bunch of animals and promise to leave their  land only to get his arms lopped off? Maybe.  

  • Were those arms roasted and eaten in front of  him? Perhaps. Was he tortured for three days  

  • which ended with him getting his heart pulled  out and eaten by the Mapuche leaders? Possibly

  • But we'd like to believe a story told by another  conquistador at the time, Pedro Mariño de Lobera,  

  • a story that was very popular in Chile in  those days. It goes that since the Spanish  

  • were so desperate to have all that Chilean  gold, they could bloody well have it. Well,  

  • at least some. It was melted down  and given to Valdivia via his throat

  • Before we tell how this would have gone down and  how it might have felt, let's see if there are  

  • other instances in history of a person getting  a bucket of molten gold thrown down their neck

  • You're in luck viewers because  we found another story

  • This story is about a Roman Emperor that  ran things back in the mid-200s. His name  

  • was Valerian, and it's said he didn't  exactly root for the Christians. In fact,  

  • he demanded that the Christian clergy kill their  own flock to propitiate the Roman Gods. Under  

  • Valerian, just about anyone talking about one big  omniscient God that created everything, suffered

  • A Christian writer back then named Lactantius  wrote about Valerian, saying that after he was  

  • roundly beaten by Shapur, the king of Persia, he  was subjected to years of humiliating treatment.  

  • For one thing, he became a human footstool for  the king. Let's remember that the Persians along  

  • with the Romans were predisposed to torturing  their enemies in the most horrific ways. They  

  • invented scaphism for God's sake, or at  least according to the ancient Greeks

  • So, as the story goes, Valerian offered all  kinds of goodies to the king for his release,  

  • but old Shapur, like the Terminator, couldn't  be bargained with. The ancient Iranian already  

  • had enough gold and silver and whatever  else Valerian could offer, so instead of  

  • making a deal, he gave his people a treat. Ok, so one version has it that Shapur merely  

  • flayed Valerian and had his skin stuffed with  straw so his body could sit in a temple like a  

  • very well-made piñata. There's another story  that Valerian was released after some amount  

  • of tactful negotiations, but we'd like  to believe the tale that he was killed  

  • by being forced to swallow molten gold. As for the person that pretty much put an  

  • end to Christian persecution in the Roman EmpireConstantine the Great, he was also said to approve  

  • of death by molten metal. He might have created  some new laws that weren't quite as brutal as his  

  • predecessors' laws, but he didn't exactly embrace  human rights full-on. He'd read Christian texts,  

  • so he had a thing about sexual purity. That's why he created a new edict,  

  • one which was about slave girls and women  being stolen by men. Those girls were  

  • under the protection of chaperones, women called  nurses, who were supposed to protect the slaves  

  • from being abducted. The law came under the  “raptusstatutes, a word related to seizing  

  • something without permission. This could mean  forcing a slave to have sex or bride kidnapping

  • Constantine had it written into law that ifchaperone should help with this kind of activity,  

  • she should have molten lead, not gold, poured  down her throat. It was also decreed that any  

  • man forcing himself on a girl should be burned  at the stake, and any slave girl who willingly  

  • ran off with a guy should also be burned. This is what he wrote in one edict

  • And since often the watchfulness of parents is  frustrated by the stories and wicked persuasions  

  • of nurses, these nurses first of all, whose  service is proved to have been hateful and  

  • whose talk is proved to have been bought, this  punishment shall threaten: that the opening  

  • of their mouth and of their throat, which  brought forth destructive encouragements,  

  • shall be closed by the swallowing of molten lead.” Ok, so there are umpteen historical texts that  

  • say this happened, so now we should  ask what it would have felt like or  

  • at least how the person would have died. We are in luck here, because after a bunch of  

  • modern scientists from the Netherlands heard the  story of the 1599 case of a Spanish governor in  

  • Ecuador dying this way, again because he upset  the locals, they investigated the matter. They  

  • wrote what you've already heard, that the  punishment was reserved for the gold-hungry  

  • Spaniards as a symbolic kind of execution. The story of the governor says that soon after  

  • he swallowed the gold his internal organs  burst. The scientists wrote in a paper,  

  • The question remains whether this is actually the  case and, also, what the cause of death would be.” 

  • We'd test this ourselves at the Infographics Showbut we are too stingy to spare any of our gold,  

  • but luckily the Dutch academics did  a test for us. They took the larynx  

  • from a cow. The cow was already dead,  a casualty of human steak consumption

  • They then took the larynx and stood it uprightand instead of using molten gold they heated up  

  • some lead to 450 degrees and used thatTissue paper was shoved into the bottom  

  • so there was a kind of end to the larynx. In their own words, this is what happened

  • Immediately, large amounts of steam appeared  at both ends of the specimen, and the clot  

  • of tissue paper was expelled with force by  the steam. Within 10 seconds, the lead had  

  • congealed again, completely filling the larynx.” There's a lot of academic speech in the paper,  

  • so we'll employ laymen's language here. In  conclusion, they said all that steam could  

  • rupture the organs, so yes, a good old  bursting could definitely have happened  

  • when the gold was poured into those victims. They said that if bursting didn't occur, then  

  • the thermal injury to the lungs would pretty much  cause instant death from pulmonary dysfunction and  

  • shock. They also said that there is the minute  possibility that instant death wouldn't occur,  

  • but then since the liquid would congeal in about  10 seconds, the airways would block, and the  

  • person would suffocate in not too many seconds. Therefore, this kind of death in the past would  

  • have been over just as the person swallowed  the first mouthful of gold. Of course,  

  • the initial contact with the mouth would have  stung a bit, but as soon as the pain was felt,  

  • the person, as Londoners might have once saidwould bebrown bread”, dead. By that time,  

  • the throat mucus would have been burned  off and the muscles would have been cooked

  • There is more to this story, though. What  if someone just swallowed a tiny bit,  

  • a few spoonfuls? You are in luck again  

  • viewers because there is a story about a man  that was unfortunate enough to do just that,  

  • and guess what, he didn't immediately die. Ok, so this wasn't a punishment, but the  

  • story still might serve to give you an idea  of what swallowing molten gold might be like

  • The story is of a lighthouse keeper named Henry  Hall who worked in the picturesque countryside at  

  • the southern end of England. On 2 December 1755,  he had a bit of a bad day. There was a fire at his  

  • lighthouse so he did the right thing and threw  water on it, only the fire was above his head

  • At one point, he looked up to assess the  damage, and molten lead from the roof fell  

  • on his poor head. If that wasn't painful enoughbecause his mouth was wide open, he swallowed  

  • a load of the stuff. These were his exact  words, “My God, I'm on fire inside!” 

  • Not surprisingly, he suffered terrible burns  over his face, shoulders, and arms. But this  

  • was a lighthouse in a very remote areaso Hall was pretty much stuck there. He  

  • was fortunate enough in a few days to flag  down a passing ship, and later Mr. Hall told  

  • a shocked Dr. Henry Spry what had happened. All this is on record, with Spry writing that  

  • Hall said: “with a hoarse voice, scarce to  be heard, that melted lead had run down his  

  • throat into his body.” The doctor actually didn't  believe Hall's story, only because he thought,  

  • like anyone would, that if you swallowed molten  lead, you'd be dead in a matter of seconds,  

  • or maybe hours if the serving was small. Hall was 94 at the time, which was nothing  

  • short of a miracle back in the 1700s. For  the reason of old age, the doctor said Hall  

  • must have lost his mind and that was why he  was going on about swallowing lead and fires  

  • in his stomach. Spry noted that he didn't  have any other symptoms besides the burns.  

  • The doctor was having none of it. A few days later Hall was dead

  • An autopsy was performed given Hall's  claims about what had happened. This is  

  • what was written in the report: “The diaphragmatic upper mouth of the stomach  

  • greatly inflamed and ulcerated, and the tunica in  the lower part of the stomach burnt; and from the  

  • great cavity of it took out a great piece of  lead ... which weighed exactly seven ounces.” 

  • That bit of lead in his stomach is now  in a museum, and if you go to a certain  

  • pub in Plymouth today, nearby you'll see  a plaque dedicated to the brave Mr. Hall

  • So, yes, you could swallow some molten metal and  survive, but you'd likely end up dying with some  

  • of the hardened stuff inside of you. One thing  is for sure, if those ancients did perform this  

  • kind of groovy execution, they would not be out of  pocket, because they could just take the hardened  

  • gold back once they'd opened the guy up. For this  reason and more, there's absolutely no reason  

  • to think this kind of punishment didn't exist. Was molten lead ever a real punishment outside  

  • of Constantine's God-fearing empire? Well, if you read the Old Testament  

  • you might believe that to be true because  in Leviticus 20:14 there's a part about  

  • someone being punished for having close  relations with both his wife and daughter, i.e,  

  • an incestual melange-et-trois. It was the bible  that probably inspired Constantine to do the same

  • The Holy Book says that the criminal man was  first made to kneel down in a pile of dung,  

  • after which a cloth was tied around his throatThe executioners then pulled that cloth tight so  

  • the man had no choice but to open his mouth very  wide. After that, they poured in the molten lead,  

  • thus doing the right thing in the eyes  of God by burning the man to death

  • Now you need to watch, “Choke Pear - Worst  Punishments in the History of Mankind.” Or,  

  • get down with more pain with, “Head CrusherWorst Punishments in the History of Mankind.”

There's a scene in Game of Thrones where  Viserys, a man not exactly well known for his  

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Forced to Eat Molten Gold - Worst Punishments in the History of Mankind

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    Summer posted on 2021/05/09
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