As a public service, Commonplace Fun Facts has warned its readers about many of life’s hazards. The dangers of vending machines, overflowing submarine toilets, and spontaneously-combusting pants have been well documented in these pages.
We now urge our readers to turn your wary eyes upward and to diligently be on the lookout for the latest terror that might descend upon you: falling cows.
A husband and wife in southeastern Brazil narrowly avoided death in 2013 when a cow fell through the roof of their home. No, this was not a result of a malfunction of a dirigible manufactured from cow intestines. The unfortunate incident happened when a cow was grazing on a hill behind the home and stepped onto the asbestos roof.
Joao Maria de Souza was lying in bed at the time, only to be awakened as the 1,000 kg (2,000 lb) animal crashed through the roof and landed upon him. The animal narrowly missed Mrs. de Souza, who was also in the bed.
Mr. de Souza suffered internal bleeding and died the next day. Mr. de Souza’s brother-in-law, Carlos Correa, told Brazil’s Hoje em Dia newspaper, “Being crushed by a cow in your bed is the last way you expect to leave this earth.
While it may not be high on your list of ways you expect to go, it is not at all unprecedented. The BBC News reported that the unfortunate falling cow tragedy was the third such incident in the past three years.
Unlike the de Souza incident, there were no casualties in the two previous incidents. The first falling cow landed in a house when no one was at home. The other was described as a miraculous escape for a small child who was sleeping and narrowly avoided being struck by the falling bovine.