Blowing from a gun. One of the most sadistic executions in history.

Arturo Perozo
2 min readMay 6, 2021
Picture Courtesy of: (Library of Congress)

Human beings have shown throughout history to posses an intrinsic evil, or at least, a dark side that from time to time makes itself known. Thomas Hobbes believed that human beings were evil by nature, while Jean-Jacques Rousseau believed that deep down, every single human is good and empathetic. The truth is that, if Rousseau had seen at least a little of what human beings are really capable of, he would have burned all his essays and books on this subject (or so I think).

One of the most ruthless executions in history was invented and implemented in the 16th century, by the Mughal Empire, and surprisingly, it was used until the late 20th century in countries like Iran, Mozambique and Brasil. Although the Mughal Empire was responsible for creating such execution method, the British Empire were the ones who popularized it.

It was known as “Gun blowing”.

Picture Courtesy: (real example of the execution in Iran)

The victim, was tied to the end of a cannon, the lower part of the back, was just leaning against the lip. But of course, they did not load the cannon immediately, they left the victim tied up for hours, or in some cases even days, to the point where they began to beg for their death.

When the weapon was finally fired, according to records, the head was raised in the air about 15 meters, the arms were flying to the right and left, very high in the air. The remains could be found at least, a hundred meters away; the legs (which were just below the barrel) fell to the ground under the muzzle of the weapon; and the body literally exploded almost entirely.

But of course, sadism went even further, the destruction of the body and the dispersal of the remains, had a particular religious function as a means of execution in the Indian subcontinent, since it effectively prevented the necessary funeral rites of the Hindus, main victims of this kind of torture.

Not only was it a horrible death, but also, they did it that way , so the punishment was extended beyond death. This was well understood by the british, so the main victims of this method of execution were, of course, the Hindus.



Arturo Perozo

Im a Chef, Krav Maga practitioner/enthusiast and a Writer. I know, weird combination. Not a native english speaker and writer, so feel free to correct me.