Suppose you've been given a few weeks to live, but you've decided you don't want to spend your last days in a hospital bed. What if you decide, "Today is a good day to die," in a suitably stentorian Klingon voice? And you want a method of self-annihilation that's both interesting and nearly pain-free?
Don't just take a cacophony of pills — go out with gusto! Here are 10 adventurous ways to see bizarre parts of the world, enjoy new experiences, and fill your stomach, shortly before the you buy the farm.
Top image from Dimas Ardian/Getty Images
10. Take ride in a hot air balloon
Floating away at the end of your life conjures images of the Carousel in Logan's Run — but you can make it a possibility in a hot air balloon. With the proper type of hot air balloon, you can reach heights of 20 kilometers, or even 32 kilometers, in a helium balloon.
As you travel to such great heights, you can take in beautiful views while your body temperature gradually decreases along with the amount of oxygen in the air, sending you gently toward your long sleep.
9. Spend some quality time with lava
Lava is a beautiful example of nature's fury - a red flow of molten rock that destroys anything it touches. Falling (or jumping) into a lake of lava will lead to an instantaneous death. Your death will be quick, just so long as your body penetrates the upper layer of lava — lava forms a solid film over the top, due to rapid cooling — akin to the of the layer of skin that forms over pudding.
If the lava itself doesn't send you into the great beyond, the deadly plumes of gaseous hydrochloric acid that rise into the air when lava comes in contact with ocean water will.
8. Visit the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
The "tourist" areas of Chernobyl do not pose much of a radiation threat to visitors, but the abandoned, vegetation-covered roads and secluded areas do. Exposure to 300 roentgens of or more of radiation over the course of an hour will probably result in death.
The more you explore and go off the beaten path (if you can bypass security), the better your chance of catching some deadly rays. Venture near the leaking sarcophagus that encases reactor four, for the greatest chance of receiving a lethal dose.
7. Eat 12% of your body weight in dark chocolate
This is a cheap and tasty way to shuffle off this mortal coil. Dark chocolate contains a large amount of theobromine, a caffeine derivative that causes dog owners to freak out when their pets take a tiny bite of a chocolate bar.
If you consume 12% of your body weight in high cacao dark chocolate, you run a chance of surpassing the LD50 for theobromine consumption. Eat even more dark chocolate, and increase your chance of a date with death.
6. Do something you enjoy for a really long time, without stopping
A few people have died during long video game binges — with the 1980s arcade shooter Berzerk responsible for two lives while a Starcraft player died after a 50 hour stretch of gaming in 2005.
While the exact set of circumstances necessary for death by video games is unknown, extended personal negligence in high-stress environment can lead to severe exhaustion. If video games aren't your playtime of choice, now you have an excuse to watch that 45-disc, 154-episode box set of The West Wing sitting on your shelf.
5. Ride the roller coaster of death
The Euthanasia Coaster deprives a rider's brain of oxygen to the point of death. The coaster takes a group of 24 passengers on a two minute journey up a 510 meter hill before sending the train car through series of inverted loops with a decreasing radius. The seven loops lead to cerebral hypoxia, leaving passengers brain dead.
Julijonas Urbonas designed the coaster for a gallery show as a comment on the issues facing humanity due to life extension during the 21st Century. No organization has actually built the coaster. Yet.
4. Play red rover at the Korean DMZ
The most disputed boundary in the world, the Korean Demilitarized Zone stretches for 250 kilometers and separates North Korea from South Korea. The area is watched day and night by soldiers along with machine gun firing robots created by Samsung.
If a bullet doesn't end your life while playing red rover over the four kilometer wide DMZ, a tiger or bear might make a meal out of you.
3. A fruitful visit to your favorite all-you-can-eat buffet
Pick your favorite type of food (Brazilian steakhouse, Chinese, Mexican, etc.), find a nice all-you-can-eat buffet featuring the cuisine, and eat until your stomach ruptures. Your stomach can handle up to 2 liters of food and fluid with relative ease, but pushing your stomach to the limit requires 4 to 12 liters of material.
This is not easy to do — your gag reflex will attempt to sabotage this effort — but several medical cases show that chowing down until you die is possible.
2. Climb Mount Everest unprepared
Every year, a dozen well-prepared, experienced climbers die while attempting to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Their bodies litter the mountain, and many of them are never removed, due to the danger involved in recovery. Reaching the "death zone" is a feat in itself, but surviving it requires months of training at high elevations.
People who are unaccustomed to walking eight kilometers above sea level pass out and often freeze to death in less than five minutes. Climbing Mount Everest is one of the world's great adventures — but without sufficient equipment, training, planning, and luck, Everest will quickly end your life.
1. Become Batman (or Batwoman)
Buy a police scanner and a nice, flammable costume. Start arriving at crime and accident scenes across your city and aggressively pursue vigilante justice. Run into a burning building, save some kids and old people, and enjoy some moments of glory.
Jump from building to building with glee, taking great pleasure in the adrenaline rush. You might enjoy your time as a vigilante, but the hours will probably come to a swift and deadly end if you are aggressive enough.
Bonus: Buy a really nice car that you cannot possibly drive
Max out your credit cards and purchase something nice like a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport or a McLaren MP4-12C. Take it out for a spin on a windy, secluded road (hopefully one with plenty of cliffs) and go all out. You'll likely take a curve too hard and spend the last few seconds of your life of Earth flying as you go out in a blaze of glory.
Bruce Wayne almost goes out this way in the first page of Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns, deeming it "a good death, but not good enough," pulling out at the last moment. If it's almost good enough for Bruce Wayne, it is good enough for you.
Image of the Euthanasia Coaster courtesy of Julijonas Urbonas and the Royal College of Art . Additional images from fdecomite/Flickr, DC Comics/Warner Bros., Bioware, calumr/Flickr, basykes/Flickr, Timm Suess/Flickr, the U.S. Army official Korean Demilitarized Zone image archive/Edward N. Johnson, and the USGS. McLaren MP4-12C image from p_c_w/Flickr .