Elephants are some of the most amazing animals on Earth. Their advanced social behaviors, remarkable intelligence, and adorable offspring prove that they have a lot more to offer than just sheer strength.
But hundreds of years ago in Asia, these giant beasts were thought of as massive, hulking brutes that should be best employed as nightmarish killing machines. And if you found yourself sentenced to death by elephant, you didn’t have a hope left in the world.
It later spread to Rome, Carthage, and other countries as a way of punishing mutinous soldiers to make an example out of them.
Elephants can even be taught to prolong the suffering of their victims, crushing them more slowly or giving prisoners a quick, merciful death by smashing them quickly.
Similarly, it is said that the Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great used this method to punish rebels, but they left with their lives. Sometimes, elephants were even used as a “trial by ordeal” of sorts, in which the condemned could be released if they managed to fight off the elephant.
WikipediaBeing in control of such an enormous, dangerous animal sent a message about how powerful and dominating these rulers were.
There’s also the intimidation factor that comes from knowing that someone could put you on the wrong end of an elephant’s foot if you make one false move.
The practice of execution by elephant was eventually ended by imperial Western powers who colonized these lands in the 18th and 19th century. While this has softened the image of these majestic animals, you still wouldn’t want to get on their bad side!
Share this strange and deadly part of history with your friends below. They’ll never look at elephants the same again!