One of humanity’s greatest strengths is its ingenuity. Men and women can find ways to accomplish nearly anything, and imagine structures and machines capable of things that would once seem impossible. That strength however, can also lead to inexplicable horrors. The human race continually bests itself in means of destruction during a war, building things like:
- The Helepolis, a 130-foot high, moving siege monolith.
- The Gustav Gun, a 1,344-ton artillery cannon capable of firing 29 miles.
- The Tsar Bomba, a nuclear bomb 3,300-times more powerful than the A-Bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
Because of this propensity of mutual destruction, there have also been much more cruel devices capable of inflicting pain and torture on a single person. Though they very rarely have proven effective means of interrogation, they do impose psychological warfare on an opponent and establish dominance over their subjects.
Here are 16 of the most disturbing torture methods in history:
1. The Boats: Scaphism, an ancient technique used by the Persians to torture and execute their prisoners, consists of placing a person between two boats and covering them in milk and honey. Left floating on stagnant water, the victim would be consumed by insects that were attracted to the sweet liquids over several days.
2. The Brazen Bull: A prisoner would be placed inside a bronze sculpture the size and shape of a bull. Then, a fire would be lit under the statue. When the victim would scream in agony as they cooked alive, the amplified voice would sound like that of a bull’s bellow.
3. Impalement: Vlad the Impaler would force a prisoner to sit on a sharp pole or force it into him while lying down. When the pole was lifted upright, the victim would slowly slide down it, sometimes taking as many as three days to die.
4. Judas Cradle: Like impalement, the victim would be forced to sit on a pyramid shaped cradle and forced down slowly. Instead of the immediate damage of Vlad’s method, the Judas Cradle would work very slowly. Instead of dying due to blood loss, many would die from infections.
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