Tycho Brahe's Death

I’ve heard this story from several people, all of whom assured me it was true, though I find it hard to believe. Anybody else heard it/know anything about it?

It seems that Tycho Brahe was at some social function at which the king was present. Tycho had to go to the bathroom, but it was improper to leave while the king was still there, so he held it. Too long, as fate would have it, and his bladder erupted, killing him. Something to that effect, anyway.

Is it even possible to die this way, period? Seems to me at some point the urine would take the “path of least resistance” and you’d simply wet yourself, instead of destroy a body part. Anybody?

It’s possible. I don’t know if it was the same guy, Tyco, but there is some historical person that died this way.

An overly full bladder can, under certain circumstances, burst, and kill you. For some reason I want to say Pierre Curie died this way, but I don’t think that I have that right.

I was on a commercial airline flight once when the landing gear got stuck half-up and half-down (how’s this for hijacking this thread, huh? ;)). We had to turn back for an emergency landing at O’Hare. Firetrucks, ambulances, foam on the runway, all that nice stuff. (Chris? Honey, don’t read this thread!) Anyway, the flight attendants told us all to use the bathroom and empty our bladders before we made what could be a very rough landing.

Think of a balloon. Throw an empty, deflated balloon on the ground. Nothing happens. Now think of that balloon filled to its stretching point with water. Toss it on the ground. BOOM! Same idea.


Pierre Curie was run over by a horse and carriage. Or was it a horseless carriage?
I’ve also heard that Tycho froze to death in his observatory. He was very focused and polite, so either death is appropriate.

I’ll be there
Where I’ll teach what I’ve been taught
And I’ve been taught…

The following site might help shed some light to the questions surrounding Tycho Brahe’s death:

Here is a partial quote:

The source to which the site refers is apparently a 1990 translation of an 1890 text entitled Tycho Brahe: A Picture of Scientific Life and Work in the Sixteenth Century which contains excerpts from Brahe’s observation logs, in Latin.

The site itself, by the way, is full of useful and fascinating information.
The AFU & Urban Legends Archive

I hope this helps!


Life is a tapestry.
Each new day brings with it the opportunity to sew by
word and deed within the heart of someone around us.
Let us choose our colors with care.

Thanks everybody.