Anyone who’s ever been to a fancy dinner party knows the pressure of seeming poised and respecting the hosts throughout the whole, monotonous event. Unfortunately, Tycho Brahe held himself to this standard a little too firmly… and it cost the poor schmuck his life.

Tycho’s mysterious conditions of death

Tycho Brahe is a famous Dutch astronomer who, while entertaining a few discredited theories, spearheaded many measurement systems and comprehensive theories in astronomy. He was considered to be super level-headed, composed, and thorough in his research. Unfortunately, while he knew plenty about outer space, the dude seemed to be lacking a bit of common sense when it came to the body.


After he died a very abrupt death at a dinner party, many believed he had been poisoned by a rival scientist with mercury. Pretty wicked, right? Well, after digging up and examining his body again, present-day scientists revealed that there was no way he had enough mercury in his system to kill him. So what ended this famed astronomer’s life?

What became a deadly dinner party

It seems that rather than poison, politeness may have been what wiped out Tycho. He was attending a banquet hosted by a super-rich family of aristocrats. Back then, these sorts of wealthy people were treated like royalty. To disrespect them at their own party would have been a travesty. Lots of pressure, no?

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Tycho certainly had plenty of social pressure to be a good guest at such a lavish event. Like any reasonable party-goer trying to keep a cool head, Tycho consumed as much anxiety-quelling liquor as his poor little body could handle. Yet as he mingled and feasted at the dinner table, he was soon confronted with an all-too-common problem.

Okay, so, he probably drank too much

Yep, you guessed it: Tycho had to pee. However, he didn’t want to risk seeming rude and breaking etiquette by leaving the table before the conclusion of the meal. Tycho decided to hold it in until he had an opportunity to slip away. Doesn’t sound so rough, right? Well, Tycho must have really binged on that alcohol. Before long, his full bladder turned majorly deadly.

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Before the meal wrapped up, Tycho keeled over and died. How? His overly-full bladder couldn’t take the pressure anymore and burst like a water balloon. What a terrible and humiliating way to die, especially for an intellectual like Tycho. Hey… at least he can say he was of polite character until his final moments!