10 Worst Ways to Die

The ancient Persian method of torture called "The Tub" was kind of like this, only unimaginably worse. Olena Chernenko/E+/Getty Images

No list of Worst Ways to Die can be complete without acknowledging the psychopathic minds that came before us and created innovative, vulgar ways to be punished to death. Many ancient kingdoms and states were terrifically uptight about criminal offenses -- and let's not forget that modern society still punishes people with torture and death, too. But let's look at some particularly effective forms of death used back in the day. (A cautionary warning to readers: The following are gruesome.)

Sure, we're familiar with drawing and quartering from medieval England. But when it comes to torture, the Persian Empire was really in its own category of horror.

One of the techniques required that the victim stay for days in a room filled with ash. At some point, after passing out from exhaustion, the lungs of the victim would fill with ash and they would suffocate on the matter. Terrible, right? Well, prepare yourself for "The Tub."

This ancient Persian torture device required the victim to lie into a covered wooden tub, with only the head showing. The face would be smeared with honey and milk, where flies would then swarm. Note that they would be fed often and regularly, so the person was soon swimming in their own filth. At which point maggots would hatch. At which point maggots would devour the body. One man was said to be in the tub for 17 days before decaying -- alive [source: Schulz].