Hippo Eats Dwarf Sighting

Status: Dwarf-eating hippo sighting
Peter Mount sent along a sighting of the Hippo Eats Dwarf story. (Not my book, the story itself.) It's turned up in a new book titled The World's Stupidest Deaths. I haven't seen the book, but this Australian review of it lists the tale as being among the stupid deaths it describes:

Other "stupid deaths" include:
AUSTRIAN dwarf and circus acrobat Franz Dasch, who was killed when he bounced on a trampoline into the yawning mouth of a nearby hippopotamus.
DAVID Grundman, of Arizona, who in 1991 fired two shotgun barrels at a giant cactus, causing it to crash down on him.

I assume the death is listed as a fact. (Incidentally, the guy who died when a cactus fell on him--that's a true story, but according to my information it happened in 1982, not 1991. It inspired the song Saguaro by the Austin Lounge Lizards.)
(And just to clarify, I think the Hippo Eats Dwarf story is total b.s., despite the fact that it's usually reported as being true--which is why I chose it as the title for my book.)


Posted on Mon Nov 21, 2005


I have to admit I was surprised to see it in the paper, I thought it was supposed to be a hoax (maybe Alex can correct me on that). I was reading the paper while having a coffee and a muffin at a certain food place when I came across this story.

As soon as I read it I thought "what's going on here?"

Have fun

Peter Mount
Posted by Peter Mount  on  Mon Nov 21, 2005  at  11:24 PM
My favoorite stupid death, though little known, is the death of France's very own Elvis Presley, Claude Francois (in magnitude and success terms, though he never got so fat). Anyway, Claude (Clo-Clo to his fans) died March 11 1978 in his Paris flat. He was in the bath and noticed the light-bulb above him needed changing. He stood up to change it, his feet still in water... you can guess the rest...
Posted by Tom K  on  Tue Nov 22, 2005  at  08:03 AM
Sorry, i'm a Limey, when I say flat, I mean apartment.
Posted by Tom K  on  Tue Nov 22, 2005  at  08:03 AM
Franz Dasch may not have been real, but several circus dwarfs have died in bizarre ways over the year.

Former "Munchkin" Dominic Magro died in 1959 when a chair fell on him of him. A dwarf named Joseph Pozer was hit by a car in 1930 just after a brawl with Eddie Buresh, another dwarf, over the affections of a dwarf lady named Dora Vig. A Russian circus dwarf, Andre Suchanoff, was killed in London in 1932 when a van struck his tiny bicycle.

There's also a disproportionate number of suicides, but I won't list those.
Posted by Elizabeth  on  Tue Nov 22, 2005  at  10:18 AM
Should be "when a chair fell on TOP of him".
Posted by Elizabeth  on  Tue Nov 22, 2005  at  10:18 AM
Elizabeth, I don't think I see how being struck by a car or a van or having something fall on you would be a bizarre death. Tragic, yes, but not very strange or unusual.

The saguaro story is true, though I don't remember the date, and it was a case of poetic justice, since large saguaros take about 200 years to grow to that size, and they are endangered and legally protected.
Posted by Big Gary in Turkey, Texas  on  Thu Nov 24, 2005  at  06:01 PM
David Grundman was my cousin. The incient happened on February 4, 1982, not 1991. He was only 27 years old at the time of his death he left behind a loving Mother, girlfriend, sister, and many other grief stricken family members and friends. I was 9 years old when he was killed the first time I actually knew someone who had died, the first funeral I ever attended. He actually had to be peeled off the cactus because the quills are so long they went through his body completely. It was a horrible way to die. The cactus was over 100 years old, rotted from previous gnshots by others. David and his friend Jim were both shooting at the cacts when the 4 foot arm came off fell to the ground dragging David 6 feet or more to his death. Jim tried to pry David off the cactus arm, but he had been impaled and his efforts were fruitless. A stupid thing to do..Yes..A horrible way to die..Yes..I will never forget the first year annerverisy of his death when a local Arizona radio station made a mockery out of David's actions which led to his death. My aunt, his Mother, happened to be listening to the radio station at that time imagine how she felt..the way people were mocking her son..I will never forget my aunt's screams as she absorbed David's death..I am a mother of 4 children..As people we make stupid choices, we do ignorant things to entertain ourselves, we are human..We lost a member of our family a 27 year old man who had just started gettng his life together..BUT he will forever be known as the guy who was killed by a cactus..plant revenge..an urban legend..NO..a true, tragic story of a life cut short, a family's grief..made worse by the fact David's death is infamous...and will never be forgotten by anyone
Posted by Mary  on  Thu Jun 19, 2008  at  01:48 AM
:P 😊
Posted by annous  on  Sat Jun 19, 2010  at  08:50 AM
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