Top 10 Most Mind-Boggling Darwin Awards Cases

Darwin Awards recognize individuals who have supposedly contributed to human evolution by selecting themselves out of the gene pool via death or sterilization by their own actions. Winners of the Darwin Award must eliminate themselves from the gene pool in such an idiotic manner that their action ensures one less idiot will survive.

There is a marked sex difference in Darwin Award winners: males are significantly more likely to receive the award than females. The data on winners of the Darwin Award over a 20 year period (1995-2014) documented these sex differences in risk seeking behaviour, emergency hospital admissions, and mortality - 90% of award ‘winners’ were male.

The “idiotic” risk is different from those associated with contact sports or adventure pursuits such as parachuting. Idiotic risks are defined as senseless risks, where the apparent payoff is negligible or non-existent, and the outcome is often extremely negative and often final.

There's also a clear distinction between idiotic deaths and accidental deaths. For instance, people who shoot themselves while demonstrating that a gun is UNloaded are not eligible - these are accidental deaths. In contrast, candidates shooting themselves in the head to demonstrate that a gun is LOADED or REAL are Darwin cases. A man shot himself in the head with a “spy pen” weapon to show his friend that it was real.

Style and Excellence matter - astoundingly stupid judgment is a must even though these people are capable of sound judgment by default (mature and free of mental defect).
The Top Ten
1 Wrong Time, Wrong Place … and Wrong Judgment

1990, Washington - Confirmed True by Darwin.

The following mind-boggling attempt at a crime spree appeared to be the robber's first, due to his lack of a previous record of violence, and his terminally stupid choices:

1. His target was a gun shop.
2. The shop was full of customers - firearms customers.
3. To enter the shop, the robber had to step around a marked police patrol car parked at the front door.
4. A uniformed officer was standing at the counter, having coffee before work.

Upon seeing the officer, the would-be robber announced a holdup, and fired a few wild shots. The officer and a clerk promptly returned fire, covered by several customers who also drew their guns, thereby removing the confused criminal from the gene pool. No one else was hurt.

I think Darwin would say "Excellent!"

2 Europe's Most Macho Man Cuts Off His Own Head to Prove It

1995, Poland. Confirmed True by Darwin

Some men will go to extraordinary lengths to prove how macho they are. Polish farmer Krystof Azninski staked a strong claim to being Europe's most macho man by cutting off his own head.

Azninski, 30, had been drinking with friends when it was suggested they strip naked and play some "men's games". Initially, they hit each other over the head with frozen turnips, but then one man upped the ante by seizing a chainsaw and cutting off the end of his foot.

Not to be outdone, Azninski grabbed the saw and, shouting "Watch this then," he swung at his own head and chopped it off. "It's funny," said one companion, "when he was young he put on his sister's underwear. But he died like a man."

I put this guy at #3 because he was drunk, while the robber and the cobra guy were not (#1 and #2).

3 'I'm a Man, I Can Handle It', Said a Man Bitten by a Cobra and Reported to a Bar

1997, Pennsylvania. Confirmed True by Darwin

Wayne Roth, 38, was bitten by a cobra belonging to his friend, Roger Croteau, after playfully reaching into the tank and picking up the snake. Wayne subsequently refused to go to a hospital, telling Roger, "I'm a man, I can handle it."

Falser words have seldom been spoken. Instead of a hospital, Wayne reported to a bar. He had three drinks, and enjoyed bragging that he had just been bitten by a cobra. Cobra venom is a slow-acting central nervous system toxin. He died within a few hours, in Jenkins Township, Pennsylvania.

Oh my God, what a style! He even had three drinks!

4 The Enema Within: A Drop Never Touched His Lips (Taking Sh**-Faced to a Whole New Level)

To qualify for a Darwin Award, a person must remove himself from the gene pool via an "astounding misapplication of judgment." Three litres of sherry up the butt can only be described as astounding. Michael, 58, wasn't an ordinary alcoholic but an alcoholic who liked to take his liquor, well, rectally. His wife said he was "addicted to enemas" and often used alcohol in this manner. The result was the same: inebriation. Fact - alcohol absorbs more quickly through the capillary beds of the rectum.

So Michael was in for one hell of a party. Three litres of sherry, more than 100 fluid ounces, right up the old address! When the rest of us have had enough, we either stop drinking or pass out. When Michael had had enough, the alcohol remaining in his rectal cavity continued to be absorbed, and he died. His blood alcohol level was 0.47%.

5 Terrorist Opens His Own Letter Bomb

Iraq, 2000.

Iraqi terrorist Khay Rahnajet decided to send out a letter bomb but he obviously didn't put enough postage stamps on the letter, meaning it came back to the 'return to sender' address. Khay was so happy to receive some post that he ripped it open. His career in terrorism ended there.

6 Spy vs. Self: 'Hold My Beer and Watch This!'

2004, Italy. Confirmed True by Darwin

Fabio, 28, was interested in spy gadgets. One evening he was relaxing with friends at a pub. He pulled an ordinary-looking pen out of his pocket and explained that it was actually a single-shot pistol. To demonstrate, he pointed it at his head and clicked the button. The cleverly disguised gadget worked perfectly, sending a .22-caliber bullet into Fabio's left occipital lobe.

Demonstrate it on, I don't know, something inanimate?

7 Shortcut (Rare Double Darwin, Finally Females!)

2007, Florida

Two women leave a concert venue at 8:30 pm, and it's pouring rain. They pass multiple free shuttle buses that run directly to the parking lot. Instead, they opt for a shortcut across a 7-lane Interstate.

They run a hundred yards through wet grass and jump a six-foot fence that borders the road. Ahead are 3 lanes of freeway traffic, a 100' median, and another 4 lanes of traffic. Beyond that is another six-foot fence, the maze of an 'under construction' garage, and a long hike around a casino.

All in all, the 'shortcut' to their vehicle covers a distance of half a mile. And the women are in a torrential thunderstorm.

Free shuttle bus, or mad dash across dangerous territory? Oddly, the first vehicle struck the women in the first lane of traffic, on a straightaway where one can see headlights for miles in either direction. The impact hurled the women farther into traffic, and each was struck by a second car. They did not survive the collisions.

Ironically, one of the women was an "energetic and gifted athlete" who won two national championships in gymnastics. Physical prowess is no substitute for the homespun maxim: "Stop. Look. Listen. Or tomorrow you'll be missing."

8 U.S. Man Launches Firework from Top of His Head and Dies

Devon Staples, 22, died instantly after placing a mortar tube on his head and setting it off, celebrating the Fourth of July. His death was the first fireworks fatality in Maine since the state legalized fireworks on January 1, 2012.

9 Aim to Win: Anatomy of a Spitting Contest

2004, Canada. Confirmed True by Darwin

Ameer, a second-year engineering student, was celebrating his 20th birthday with friends in his 11th-floor apartment when they embarked on a spitting contest. Ameer thought he could use his engineering skills to improve his performance. A quick mental calculation of trajectory, projectile velocity, and wind speed indicated that winning required more than a simple "stand and spit" technique. Ameer took a running start, flew over the balcony railing, and plunged to his death. The building's security guard said, "He was one of the smartest guys I ever met in my life. He had a maturity beyond his age."

Spitting contest deaths are becoming a trend. In 1999, a 25-year-old soldier in Alabama won the first Darwin Award in this category, using the same technique and achieving the same result.

10 Falling in Love and Safe Sex
The Contenders
11 No Bike Lane at the Airport

1997, Brazil, Sorocaba (a city 87 kilometers from Sao Paulo). Confirmed True by Darwin

A bicyclist crossing an airport runway was hit by a landing airplane and died. Marcelo, 25, could not hear the twin-engine plane because he was listening to his Walkman on headphones, investigators said. The propeller and right wing of the plane were damaged.

How the hell do you hear your Walkman but not a twin-engine plane?! Actually, the question should be how did he even get on that runway?

This guy is unbelievably stupid, but the plane should have aborted the landing.

12 Balloon Priest: Santa Ignorância (Double Darwin)
13 Gone Fishin'

1999, Ukraine. Confirmed True by Darwin

A fisherman in Kiev electrocuted himself while fishing in the river Tereblya. The 43-year-old man connected cables to the main power supply of his home and trailed the end into the river. The electric shock killed the fish, which floated belly-up to the top of the water. The man waded in to collect his catch, neglecting to remove the live wire, and tragically suffered the same fate as the fish.

In an ironic twist, the man was fishing for a mourning meal to commemorate the first anniversary of his mother-in-law's death.

In a related story, China Post reported that a 23-year-old man died after eating fish he poisoned in a nearby ditch. Three days of diarrhea and vomiting led to his demise after he ate fish he caught by pouring toxic chemicals into the water at the suggestion of friends. China Post - Taiwan, January 8, 2001

14 Plug Me In, I Wanna Win … Darwin Award

2005, Vietnam. Darwin Award WINNER. Confirmed True by Darwin.

Nguyen, 21, had been drinking with friends, when he pulled out an old detonator he had found. It was about six centimeters long and eight centimeters in diameter, with two wires hanging out. Because it was old and rusty, Nguyen said, it couldn't explode. His friends disagreed.

To prove his point, Nguyen put the detonator in his mouth and asked his friend to plug the dangling wires into a 220-volt electrical receptacle. Turns out Nguyen was wrong! The victim had little time to reflect on his mistake, or whether 220 volts alone could have been fatal. According to police, "the explosion blew out his cheeks and smashed all his teeth." He died on the way to the hospital.

15 Support Group: Gravity Still Works
16 Man Sticks Arm in Tiger Enclosure in Order to Get a Better Photo, Tigers Rip Off His Arm and He Dies

2007, India

Bezbarua, a zoo visitor attempting to take a close-up photograph of the big cats, met with a tragic end after he was attacked by two Royal Bengal tigers. His wife, minor son, and dozens of horrified visitors watched helplessly as Bezbarua tried to free himself from the biting grip of the powerful carnivores. He died of his injuries in the Guwahati Hospital.

17 Midnight Special - A Call from Smith & Wesson

1992, North Carolina - Darwin Awards WINNER. Confirmed True by Darwin.

Ken Charles Barger, 47, accidentally shot himself to death when, awakening to the sound of a ringing telephone beside his bed, he reached for the phone but grabbed instead a Smith and Wesson .38 Special, which discharged when he drew it to his ear.

Even though this guy was a winner in 1992, his death was mostly accidental, in my opinion, and I wouldn't put him very high. I guess the Darwin Award Committee didn't have enough cases to choose from, and/or the selection criteria were not accurate and detailed.

18 Some Idiot Thought Ducking Under a Plane Was a Good Idea, Free Headless Anyone?
19 Clout Chaser Uses Book as Bulletproof Vest
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