Every so often I just gotta post some of these.
One of my personal favorites is the story about the gentleman who decided that a good way to demonstrate the stopping power of the shatter-proof, unbreakable pane of glass installed in the window of his office was to take a running leap at it.
The gentleman found out the hard way that the shatter-proof, unbreakable pane of glass wasn't so shatter-proof and unbreakable after all when he crashed right through it and plunged a great many stories to his death . . .
Of course, if you know some true stories that are not posted on the Darwin Awards web site, feel free to post them.
Monumentally incredible stupidity verified in a respected Medical Journal! A 20-year-old man arrived at the emergency room complaining of rectal pain. Abdominal films revealed a radiopaque object in the lower rectum. A spherical radiolucency was noted in the upper pole of the mass.
Upon questioning, the patient said that he had been fooling around with a close friend. After stirring a batch of concrete mix, the patient laid on his back with his feet up the wall while his friend poured the slurry through a funnel into his rectum.
Under general anesthesia, the mass was delivered without incident. Examination of the specimen revealed a perfect concrete cast of the rectum, measuring 12x7x5cm and weighing 275g. A layer of concrete was chipped off the upper part of the specimen revealing a white plastic ping-pong ball--the radiolucency observed in the abdominal x-ray.
The cement was an attempt to retrieve a ping pong ball! Blood alcohol level was negative. The attending physician recommended a psychiatric consultation, but the patient declined.
(14 February 2018, Berlin Germany) A 19-year-old demonstrated spectacular FAIL at keeping romance alive. He and his soon-to-be-ex were quarreling as they walked along the beautiful Havel River. The frustrated man suddenly shoved the woman into the icy river, jumping in to push her under again and again!
But she could swim. He could not...
She swam safely to land and quickly recovered from hypothermia. He sank and lost consciousness in the 2°C waters, forever forgetting the quarrel, and was pulled out by water police and transported to Charité Virchow Clinic in Berlin. The attacker fell into a carceral coma, while an arrest warrant was issued against him for attempted murder with malice aforethought.
The crime was committed on December 19th, and the perpetrator died on February 14th--an ironic date indeed--from irreversible brain damage.
Usually no Darwin Award is granted when an innocent bystander is injured. In this case we make a rare exception, because the woman fully recovered (and is perforce better off without this madman) while the diabolical and drowned deed-doer was Darwinian-dumb.
(June 2017, Russia) In a tale of Russian intelligence--or lack thereof--an amorous couple died while procreating in the back seat of their Russian-made Niva SUV situated near a beautiful lake. "Situated" rather than "parked" because the vehicle transmission was in neutral. The rocking motions of the passengers, Mr. Chernov and Ms. Kryuchkova, caused the small SUV to roll into the lake and below the waterline, whereupon the 22-yar-old man and woman were drowned.
(30 January 2018, Gaza) A sexagenarian was examining his personal weapon in his home when he inadvertently discharged it into his face! Twenty-one days after accidentally shooting himself, Abu Hamam, 62, succumbed to the self-inflicted head-bang and died clutching a Darwin Award. But, who is Abu Hamam?
Abu is known to the world as Imad al-Alami, a founding member of Hamas, a militant group that has been the de facto governing authority of the Gaza Strip since 2007. Mr Alami served as Hamas' main envoy to Iran, a military and financial backer, during several wars with Israel. Although declared a specially designated global terrorist by the United States, in recent years Abu Hamam was a key negotiator in Hamas ceasefire talks with Israel, and in the 2011 release of a captured Israeli soldier.
"Hamas was Abu Hamam and Abu Hamam was Hamas," said Hamas Politburo Chief Haniyeh. One would assume that a senior member of Hamas knows how to handle a gun--yet Abu's incautious "personal weapons inspection" was unexpectedly daft. This Darwin Award's for you, Mr. Alami.
(2017, Russia) A welder is in the evolutionary spotlight today. Vargas (pseudonym) worked for The Enterprise for the Construction, Repair and Maintenance of Highways in Tselinnoe when he noticed how well a fire extinguisher fits into a decommissioned artillery howitzer. Inspired, he stuffed the fire extingusher down the barrel...
Trained to use the elemental powers of hot plasma, welders are normally not daredevils but Vargus was determined to prove the old adage, 'There are old welders and bold welders but there are no old, bold welders.' He charged the cannon with calcium carbide and water, a reactive combination that produces acetylene welding gas...
The abused fire extinguisher exploded from the howitzer cannon, and pieces of the payload brained the welder--whose head was conveniently located in the ballistic trajectory of the shrapnel. In a fight between shrapnel and an empty skull, shrapnel wins.
This brilliantly executed Darwin Award fatality was reported on the State Labor Inspection website.
(17 April 2017, South Carolina) It is tough to live without electricity. Although the Blue Ridge Electric Company says there are options for people who cannot pay their bill, those options were not extended to a family living in the Friendship community near Seneca. After two weeks without hot water or refrigeration, a man attempted to restore power to his home. Illegally.
What happens when a powerless thief grabs a metal ladder and jumper cables?
His bid for grid power veered from pathetic to ludicrous when he leaned an aluminum ladder against the pole, climbed up and applied the jumper clips to an energized conductor. A witness heard a sound like a shotgun as 7,200 volts arced from the primary wires across jumper cables designed for 12 volts, through the man's body, down the ladder, and into the ground.
The thief was jolted from the top of the pole and thrown to the ground. He was taken to hospital with contusions and electrical burns. Still living, he cannot win a Darwin Award, yet is eligible for an Honorable Mention for his questionable and nearly fatal choices.
At 1:30AM in Rouen a 47-year-old man attempted to leave his room by climbing down the ethernet cable. He chose this router because his concerned mother had locked him in his room to prevent him from intoxicating himself. Being heavier than a few gigabytes, his weight was too much for the cable and he crashed to the street from the 9th story apartment. The doctors could not resuscitate him, yet wouldn't he have found another way to remove himself from the gene pool?
(21 March 2017, Germany) Blasting apart a ticketing machine at the train station was supposed to buy him a ticket to the good life, but instead the 31-year-old purchased passage in the opposite direction, losing his life in an explosion that ripped the metal front panel off the machine.
The details are: he stiffened his resolve with a few drinks at a bar, he was spotted spraying cans of aerosol gas into a ticket vending machine, he placed the empties in a jute bag, and then he ignited the gas (by means undisclosed) causing an explosion that rocked the Dortmund neighborhood.
A bar acquaintance recognized him and called for emergency help. But, sprinkled with shrapnel wounds and suffering a substantial head injury, the man rapidly succumbed to death despite resuscitation efforts.
Safety measures as simple as wearing a leather jacket and motorcycle helmet would have changed the outcome for Mr. One Way Ticket Out.
(11 December 2016, England) Drop an iPhone into your bath water, no biggie, all you get is a nasty repair bill. But drop a charging iPhone into your bathwater...and suddenly coroners are demanding warning labels.
It is with chagrin that this writer, known to bathe while poking at her laptop keyboard, shares news of the explicable demise of Richard Bull and his iPhone. Mr. Bull, 32, plugged his charger into an extension cord and rested the charger on his chest while using the phone in the tub. He received severe burns on his chest, arm, and hand when the charger touched the water in his West London home, which mattered little as he was already dead from heart failure.
Those of us who plug into plugged-in electronics must heed the coroner's warning and take a breather in the loo. The sparky mix of electricity and water is a fact known to all, yet the doctor who conducted the iNquest plans to send a stern note to Apple. Perhaps one more warning label will solve our problem?
(9 May 2016, Brazil) It was only natural that a robber would drive into a gas station and ask for an ethanol fill-up; Brazil is the second-largest producer of ethanol fuel from sugar cane. And it was natural that the robber would demand money from the attendant; Rio de Janeiro is a notorious hotbed of crime. The attendant promptly handed over R $ 40,00 (forty reais). Since gas stations are rich with video surveillance, it would have been natural to take the money and run.
What is not natural is to demand at gunpoint that the attendant go back into the store and empty the till or, 'You're going to GET SICK.' The terrified attendant defended himself by turning the ethanol hose on the gun-waving robber, who reacted by firing a shot!
Police cautioned that it is unwise to douse armed robbers with ethanol. Unwise but effective. The bullet missed the attendant and sparks from the blast ignited the ethanol, leaving Luis Romario Fernandes covered with burns and fighting for his life in hospital. As badly off as he is, it would have been worse but the attendant immediately doused the blazing car with a fire extinguisher.
Luis was reportedly on bail for suspicion of crimes including robbery and drug trafficking. Natural selection offers no bail, Dude. You got lucky...this time. Evolution is keeping her eye on you.
(7 June 2016, Wyoming) Colin Mathaniel Scott, 23, was enjoying a graduation vacation at Yellowstone National Park when the beautiful Porkchop Geyser hot spring reminded him that he could use a good soak! But "hot-potting" is a forbidden delight, ruled off-limits for good reason: You will die.
Still, this was a college graduation trip. The Portland resident thought his edjumacation conferred the smarts to know when to break a rule. So Colin left the boardwalk and cruised up a hill in search of a private hot-pot soaking spot. In this area of the park, thin mineral crusts that resemble solid ground conceal scalding water pools! But he avoided these unseen pitfalls and found a secluded spring.
Recorded on unreleased video, Colin is seen reaching down to check the temperature, slipping, and falling into the boiling acidic water. That was the beginning of the end.
Chemistry students will be familiar with the properties of a turbulent hot acid solution. A significant amount of rapid dissolving was underway while recovery workers were struggling with dangerously unstable ground and a lightning storm. When they reached the spring the next day, the water had finished her work. There were no remains remaining!
Park Superintendent Dan Wenk stated the obvious, "This tragic event must remind all of us to follow the regulations." College graduates are no exception. The Darwin Awards sincerely hopes this misadventure will serve as a warning to others.
(Broome, Australia) When you work as a diver on a pearl farm, there are many ways to "buy the farm." Our head diver Mitchell Ether, known as Sharky, was not afraid to take risks to get the job done. He was a loose gun in a company of cowboys. Sharky seemed destined to make an original exit.
A near miss happened in Roebuck Bay. He miscalculated the amount of fuel needed for the air compressor that pumps air to the divers below, and the compressor was about to stop. Instead of FOLLOWING STANDARD PROCEDURE and bringing everyone up and refuelling during a surface interval, Sharky surfaced alone to top up the fuel tank while the compressor was still running!
The deck was unsteady and naturally he spilled some petrol. The compressor had been running for hours and its red-hot exhaust ignited the spilled fuel, and the flames followed the fuel into the petrol tank. Boom! The $200,000 brand-new dive boat was fully kitted out for the pearl farm including oxygen for resuscitations. Boom! The mushroom cloud from the oxygen bottle explosion startled observers all the way back in town, five kilometers away.
Luckily Sharky jumped back in the water before the big oxygen explosion. He and his crew were picked up by another dive boat.
Despite this "incident" Sharky was promoted to skipper of a larger vessel. However, the new skipper found excuses to don his old dive gear. One such excuse was a mooring rope tangled around the propeller. Instead of asking an outfitted diver for assistance, Sharky chucked on his dive gear, started the compressor, clipped on a dive hose, and jumped off the back of the boat. But he neglected to take the boat out of gear...
Once freed of the mooring rope, the spinning prop entangled his hose and started reeling him in. His "lifeline" pulled him through the prop, and Sharky died on the way to hospital.
Sharky didn't have any children (that he knew of) but he did have a wicked sense of humour. I hope he forgives me for submitting him for a Darwin Award! He died doing what he always did... having a go.
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