For those that aren’t familiar, the Darwin Awards salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who accidentally remove themselves from it.
While it’s thought in the main stream that there is one award given out per year, there are actually quite a few that are given out, depending on the year, and they all have to do with people essentially dying in extremely stupid ways.
So, while it’s a tragic subject, there are a lot of examples that are so unique, strange and different that if for nothing else these people will be remembered forever for the way that they died. That’s more than most of us will ever get so… Silver lining? Either way, here’s the “Top” 10 Darwin Award Winners.
10. The Helmet Protester
In July of 2011, a man from Onondaga, New York was taking part in a group protest ride of motorcycle helmet laws, stating that people should have the right to decide whether or not they wear the proper safety equipment when they ride their motorcycles.
Even with evidence that shows that most people can survive a crash at or up to 90 miles per hour if they wear the right safety equipment, people like the man who is named “Mr. Contos” on the Darwin Awards website, believe that they have the right to decide whether or not they should wear that equipment and whether or not they should die.
Because that’s exactly what happened to Contos during that ride, as he was killed when he flipped over his handlebars and landed head first onto the pavement. His older brother said that he would’ve wanted it that way and that he wouldn’t have worn a helmet even if he was given a second chance.
9. The Double Darwin
Let’s break each down, really quickly. Sex in a car? Check. Parking that car near the freeway? Check. Heavy fog? Check. Actually parking that car ON the freeway? Check and check. That’s what happened to a young couple in Brazil who was driving along the Via Dutra — the largest and most busy freeway in all of Brazil.
It was just before 6 a.m. and apparently time for a quickie. They pulled into the right lane — not the shoulder, the lane — parked their car — figuring that they’d get away with it because it was so foggy that no one would be able to see what they were doing — and started clawing at one another.
A cargo truck ran into them at full speed and they were both killed instantly. I guess if there’s a silver lining here it’s that at least one of them went out doing what they loved. I’ll let you guess which.
8. In His Defense… Technology is Hard…
In 2008 a Catholic priest named Father Adelir Antonio, 51, attempted to publicize his plans to build a spiritual rest stop for truckers. He imitated Lawn Chair Larry, who had attached 45 weather balloons to his lawn chair and took off flying over Los Angeles.
Because Larry survived, so thought the priest, would he. Despite being a man of faith, Antonio actually took a lot of common sense precautions such as sitting in a buoyant chair, wearing a survival suit and parachute, packing a satellite phone and also bringing a GPS.
However, there was one problem with his plan and that’s that he didn’t know how to use the GPS that he brought with him. So, when he took off and also the winds shifted, pushing him out to the Atlantic Ocean. He could’ve jumped and used his parachute for safety but figured that he had his satellite phone and GPS.
After awhile though, he was drifting further and further out to sea so he used his satellite phone to call for help, the only problem was that the coast guard couldn’t locate him because he didn’t know how to use the GPS he carried with him.
As he struggled with the device over the course of a few hours and those on the phone with him struggled to explain how it should work, his phone died and he disappeared forever.
7. Double Darwin… Again…
According to the Darwin Awards website the most rare and coveted award goes to the “Double Darwin” award winners, which typically arise from a situation where two different people remove themselves from the gene pool simultaneously.
So, while this list has had some double D’s before this, it made sense to point out how rare they were at some point, or at least until we find the mythological “Triple Darwin Award Winner,” which has to be somewhere near the Yeti or its North American cousin, the Sasquatch.
In this instance, two men were testing their courage against a train at the Rotterdam Train Station in the Netherlands. The men had been drinking during a soccer match there and were goading one another on about how tough and brave they were.
So, both jumped down to the tracks with one laying on the tracks, thinking that the train would pass right over him, while the other laid adjacent to the tracks, because he was being sensible.
Perhaps they didn’t actually intend to go through with anything but the train ended up coming a few seconds after they laid down and it also happened to be a lot lower and wider than they had anticipated, as both were killed instantly.
As you will see, perhaps not surprisingly, alcohol is involved in a lot of these instances and this was just another example of that. Considering they were big soccer fans, though, it’s doubtful they would’ve passed their genes on anyway.
6. The Enema Within
This is actually a fairly famous Darwin award and something that should stop anyone reading this from ever “butt chugging” either again in their future. If you’re not familiar, butt-chugging is the act of ingesting alcohol through one’s lower intestine, namely by either taking an alcohol enema or even soaking a tampon in alcohol and … sitting on it.
The problem is that the lower intestine is a direct shot to the bloodstream, and people tend to get extremely wasted (or dead) from butt-chugging. This award goes out to an alcoholic in Texas who wasn’t the type to butt-chug normally, but was “forced” to imbibe his booze that way after a throat injury made it too painful for him to swallow.
His wife had the perfect solution, though, a wine enema! After the first try this Texan was hooked and was soon begging his wife to stick tubes up his butt while he laid prone and got absolutely blotto.
On his last night of chugging, he actually had over 100 fluid ounces (two 1.5 litres of sherry) in his colon. While most people would pass out and thus save themselves from alcohol poisoning, after he passed out he ended up absorbing the rest of that booze.
According to toxicology reports he had a blood alcohol level of almost .5, which is typically the threshold for death (with .4 being the threshold for a coma).
5. A Darwin Awards Mystery
In June of 2007, a passing cab driver stumbled upon a scene of horror when he found a 21-year old couple laying naked and dead in the road about an hour before sunrise. They were taken to a local hospital. At first, investigators were baffled as to how the two could’ve ended up both dead and naked on the road.
While the bodies were badly bruised, there wasn’t any sign of foul play or an automobile accident. It turned out that the couple died from having sex while stupid; they decided to mix things up a bit by attempting to have sex from a roof.
Their clothes were found perfectly folded near the ledge of a nearby building and somehow, they must’ve fallen to their deaths whilst getting freaky. The people behind the Darwin Awards call this a Darwin trifecta (two people dying, while having sex and also making extremely bad decisions).
And if that’s not the cherry on top of this Darwin sundae than this is: one of them was named Tumbleston. Swish.
4. And They Say Journalism is Dead…
This story is more sad than funny, but it’s still ironic. A 26-year-old filmmaker from Britain wanted to make a name filming a documentary about the life of homeless people and the conditions that they find themselves in. Despite the fact that his friends and families told him it was a bad idea, the filmmaker said:
“I will sleep rough, scrounge for my food, interact with as many homeless people as possible, and immerse myself in that lifestyle as deeply as I can.”
Three days later, he was found frozen to death in a boarded up hostel. By dying though, he actually accomplished his goal, which was to bring attention to a topic that many people ignore: the life and death situations that homeless people find themselves in due to cold weather on a nightly basis. It’s just a shame that he had to die for his story to be heard.
3. Dick Van Dyke Eat Your Heart Out
Marko, a 55-year old man from Croatia, was struggling to keep his chimney clean. So, using parts from his workshop he thought that he had found the perfect solution: he lowered the chimney cleaning brush from the top of the chimney (with the help of a chain) and cleaned it that way.
However, the brush was dangling there without any weight to actually assist it in pushing up against the soot and filth. So, Marko thought that he would add a weight to the chain to assist in the scraping process.
The only problem was that it happened to be a hand grenade. When the man turned on the welding apparatus —coupled with the fire and heat — the grenade exploded. The blast actually shot shrapnel through Marko, the wall and into the windshield of a car parked outside of his house. The chimney remained untouched.
2. Welcome to Marlboro Country…
This story is true, despite it becoming something of an urban myth, thanks mostly to shows like 1,000 Ways to Die. The real story involves a man, 60-year-old Philip from England. Apparently, Philip had some sort of skin condition that affected most of his body and besides that he also struggled with addiction, namely, to cigarettes.
So, despite the fact that his doctors told him that under no circumstances should he smoke while undergoing treatment for his skin diseases, Philip wasn’t the type to “listen” to “sound reasoning.” He decided that despite the fact that his body was covered in a hyper flammable cream, smoking was cool.
He snuck out onto the fire escape at the hospital. Smoking was forbidden in the ward he was staying in. Because the cream had been applied to his body over the course of the day his clothes were also soaked with the paraffin-based cream.
He actually made it through the entire smoke unscathed, but when he went to put the butt out with his heel he burst into flames, suffering burns over much of his body. He ended up dying in extensive care, which means he didn’t die instantly, which is extra horrible.
1. Failed Frame-Up
In March of 2005, a 19-year-old man was irate when he found a bottle of booze missing from his liquor cabinet and decided that his neighbor must’ve stolen it. After accosting his neighbor, he returned to his apartment still stewing about the theft — and because of the alcohol he had consumed prior to discovering the missing bottle.
The man decided to get even with his neighbor by framing him for stabbing him. According to a witness, the man named Christopher, entered the bathroom of his apartment and called 911, calmly explaining to the operator that his neighbor had stabbed him. He then exited the bathroom and was suddenly bleeding, profusely, from his chest.
The neighbor screamed, “why did you do this?” to Christopher, who also started to scream and plead for his life. He then passed out and died despite the fact that deputies made it to his apartment pretty quickly.
Apparently, he had stabbed himself in the chest twice, the first time wasn’t life-threatening and thus not incriminating enough, so he plunged the knife into his chest a second time and this time did the trick, he pierced his left ventrical and only had about two minutes to live.
The worst part? His neighbor didn’t even get in trouble. The witness was another neighbor who had seen the entire thing. That’s next level stupid and while sad, it’s probably for the best.