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  • The Catherine Wheel Made Victims Wish For Decapitation on Random Historical Torture Methods Designed To Make The Pain Last As Long As Possible

    (#6) The Catherine Wheel Made Victims Wish For Decapitation

    The "breaking wheel," also known as the Catherine wheel, was a torture device that sometimes resulted in a person's demise... if they were lucky. A Catherine wheel victim would be tied to the spokes of the very large wheel, and their bodies would be bent and contorted to match its shape. Once on the wheel, they would be stricken repeatedly in order break every bone in their body.

    Once their bones were shattered, they were usually decapitated or had their throats slit, but they were sometimes left alive to suffer in agony.

  • Keelhauling Used Barnacles To Pull The Skin From A Body on Random Historical Torture Methods Designed To Make The Pain Last As Long As Possible

    (#1) Keelhauling Used Barnacles To Pull The Skin From A Body

    Surprising no one, pirates were not afraid to dole out some truly horrendous punishments to seamen behaving badly while at sea. Keelhauling was one of the more gruesome of pirate punishment practices. 

    While this drawing makes keelhauling look like an awesome pirate game, it was actually the opposite of fun. The crueler alternative to walking the plank, keelhauling involved throwing a person off of a boat with a rope attached to them. As the boat moved, the person would be pulled underneath it, and their body would scrape against the rough, barnacle-covered bottom of the ship.

    The process was repeated until the person's skin was fully scraped off. This was, as you might imagine, often fatal.

  • Live Burial Is A Tried-And-True Method on Random Historical Torture Methods Designed To Make The Pain Last As Long As Possible

    (#12) Live Burial Is A Tried-And-True Method

    Live burial is one of the most widespread, longlasting, and well-documented execution methods in the world. In ancient Egypt, for example, some slaves who were forced to build pyramids were interred alive in the walls of the structures. Live burial was also used throughout Europe from a time before some European countries even existed, and it was a common punishment for heresy in the Holy Roman Empire. 

    However, this is not the extent of this punishment's practice; reports of this form of execution also exist from the Nanking Massacre

  • Bamboo Impalement Could Be Accomplished In A Matter Of Days on Random Historical Torture Methods Designed To Make The Pain Last As Long As Possible

    (#13) Bamboo Impalement Could Be Accomplished In A Matter Of Days

    Bamboo is known for its ability to grow extremely quickly. At some point in history, some sadistic individual had the brilliant idea of turning bamboo's fast growth into a way of slowly torturing people. Reports of bamboo torture in Ceylon started appearing in the 19th century, and many claim that it was used by the Japanese during WWII, but this has not been proven. Basically, bamboo torture involved letting bamboo grow into - and impale - a person.

    A victim would be tied securely to a young bamboo shoot, and, over several days, the plant would enter their body and eventually come out the other side.

  • Boiling Alive Was One Of Henry VIII's Fave Slow Torture Methods on Random Historical Torture Methods Designed To Make The Pain Last As Long As Possible

    (#9) Boiling Alive Was One Of Henry VIII's Fave Slow Torture Methods

    A favorite method of King Henry VIII, being boiled alive can be an extremely drawn out process. Although being boiled at a consistently hot temperature for several minutes straight can quickly do the trick, this wasn't always the method used by torturers. In fact, some boiling involved lowering the liquid to an unbearably hot - but not quite boiling - temperature, torturing the victim. 

    Also, the liquid used for boiling was totally up to the torturer - oil and water were two favorite options.

  • The Blood Eagle Suffocated A Person With The Appearance Of Flight on Random Historical Torture Methods Designed To Make The Pain Last As Long As Possible

    (#2) The Blood Eagle Suffocated A Person With The Appearance Of Flight

    As brutally demonstrated on an episode of the show Vikings, the "blood eagle" was an incredibly tortuous method of execution used by Vikings. A person's back would be cut open and their ribs would be pulled through the open skin and bent outwards, exposing their lungs and creating "wings." 

    It may not have taken years to perish, but however long it was, it probably felt like an eternity.

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