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Manners of Death Essay

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Updated: May 24th, 2021

There are many different environmental death manners that people face almost every day. For instance, sudden deaths might occur due to such phenomena like lightning, freezing or hot temperatures, and many other factors that may not seem lethal at first. The following paper will discuss different death cases, reasons of unexpected lethal outcomes, and their prevalent types in the United States of America.

Environmental Deaths

The most common environmental deaths include drowning, lightning strikes, hyperthermia, and hypothermia. Drowning remains one of the most dangerous death types for an extended period as people swim in oceans, rivers, and lakes without having positive belays (Adams, 2016). Especially, many surfers and other people who do water sports face the possibility of drowning. Moreover, the populations of maritime cities often drown due to various nets and fishing equipment on lake bottoms that is impossible to avoid sometimes.

Lightning is a less common death manner as its strike has to be very accurate to kill a person. However, there are many people in the entire world who happened to face lightning strikes and survived (Smith, 2013). Therefore, it is not as dangerous as drowning but still can cause tremendous harm to a human body. Hypothermia is a specific type of illness that often occurs due to severe frosts (Noe, Jin, & Wolkin, 2012). Usually, such people as alpinists, polar expeditors, and other workers who have to deal with extremely cold weather conditions might die because of hypothermia (Noe et al., 2012). Hyperthermia is an opposite case compared to the last reason as it presents high temperature that leads to a very slow death due to overheating and thirstiness.

Local Death Rate

All the mortality reasons mentioned above (except hypothermia) are prevalent in the state of California as this location has a vast water area, hot climate, and broken weather. In 2004, approximately nine thousand American residents were delivered to the local hospitals due to various environmental dangers that influenced their health conditions (Sullivan, Husak, Altebarmakian, & Brox, 2016). Sixty-four percent of all the patients mentioned above had a diagnosis of hyperthermia (Sullivan et al., 2016). Usually, the reasons for this disease are insignificant, but they cause enormous harm to people’s immune system and consciousness. Therefore, some of the patients remained in comas for an extended period before they passed away.

Drowning is another death manner that lifeguards from California are obliged to face very often. In 2004, approximately fifty people drowned in swimming pools (Sullivan et al., 2016). The number of surfers and other sportspeople who deal with water is not accurate because many of them are not found (Sullivan et al., 2016). However, people who do extreme water sports have to be attentive because their activities remain the most harmful entertainment for decades. Although California is not included in the list of lightning deaths leading states, thirty-seven people (in 2017) are now dead because of this natural phenomenon.

Statistics of Deaths Among Certain Groups

To be specific, it would be proper to break the numbers of people given above into age, racial, and sexual groups. Unfortunately, the data below is not precise because some cases are still under investigation, whereas other deaths remain secret. However, hyperthermia victims are predominately black males over eighty-five years old (Miniño, 2013). Drowning lethal cases are widespread among young (from 25 to 35) white males. The same factors that refer to multiple lightning strikes in California are diverse because there are no statistics of certain groups available online.

Homicide Cases vs. Natural Causes

Unfortunately, the rate of unnatural death causes in California might be compared to environmental fatalities (according to the state’s statistical data). Moreover, categories of some deaths under investigations cannot be completely identified due to uncertainty and the lack of appropriate clues (Hanzlick, 2016). For instance, lightning strikes and drowning deaths might be staged by criminals to confuse the police in a particular situation. Sometimes, it is very hard to identify unnatural deaths due to such factors as the absence of obvious violence proofs, natural environment’s impact on victim bodies, and other details that are essential to consider during investigations.

In uncertain death causes, the police try to find dead people’s relatives, friends, and other individuals who might know specific circumstances led to a lethal outcome. In turn, when a fatality crime is evident, investigators rely on various clues, logical explanations, and possibilities of an occurred situation. Some deaths remain under investigation for an extended period because all the methods mentioned above are not helpful in understanding and resolving particular cases.


There are various natural death causes (drowning, lightning strikes, hyperthermia, and hypothermia) that might happen to people during their routine daily activities. To avoid these dangers, it is necessary to follow basic health security measures (wearing appropriate clothes and checking weather forecasts before going out). There are some difficulties in investigating natural death cases because they might present uncertainty that puts the police in a blind alley. It would be proper to state that the majority of environmental deaths in the state of California refer to the issue of hyperthermia as the local climate is very hot.


Adams, G. W. (2016). Utilizing forensic technologies for unidentified human remains: Death investigation resources, strategies, and disconnects. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis Group.

Hanzlick, R. (2016). Death investigation: Systems and procedures. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Miniño, A. M. (2013). Death in the United States, 2011. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.

Noe, R. S., Jin, J. O., & Wolkin, A. F. (2012). Exposure to Natural Cold and Heat: Hypothermia and Hyperthermia Medicare Claims, United States, 2004–2005. American Journal of Public Health, 102(4), 11-18. Web.

Smith, K. (2013). Environmental hazards: Assessing risk and reducing disaster. London, UK: Routledge.

Sullivan, K. J., Husak, L. E., Altebarmakian, M., & Brox, W. T. (2016). Demographic factors in hip fracture incidence and mortality rates in California, 2000–2011. Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, 11(1), 1-10. Web.

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