From tumbling air conditioners to defective sidewalk grates to deli salad-bar tuna, there’s a random death potentially waiting around every corner in New York City.
Who could blame locals for having a morbid curiosity about some of the more unusual ways to bite it? For those people, there’s “And Then You’re Dead,” a scientific investigation into novel ways to die by Cody Cassidy and Paul Doherty.
The authors explore what would happen if you were eaten by a shark or if you fell into a black hole, but some of the deadly scenarios explored in the book speak to specific New York-centric anxieties — such as elevator horror stories.
Imagine you’re in an elevator near the top of a Midtown skyscraper. The car lurches. A cable snaps. And the metal box goes screaming down the shaft for 60 stories.
Certain death, right?
Believe it or not, you’d have a pretty good chance of survival. Most elevators today have safety brakes that stop them, making a free fall unlikely. But if it did happen, you probably wouldn’t die a “horrible, flattened death,” as the authors write.