The Darwin Awards: The Stupidest Ways People Have Died
In this infographic, Best Nursing Masters takes a look at some of the stupidest ways people have died as reported by the annual Darwin Awards. This is our public service announcement to the world: avoid the emergency room, and the funeral home, by not doing stupid stuff!
2011 Darwin Awards
15 May 2011, Brisbane, Australia: A twenty-year-old Brisbane resident decided to try his hand at planking. He stretched himself out face-down on the railing and attempted to take a photograph, only to lose his balance and fall seven stories to his death.
July 2011, New York: Protesting motorcycle helmet laws, an Onondaga, NY man was participating in a helmetless protest ride when he was killed after flipping over the handlebars and fatally hitting his head.
2010 Darwin Awards
25 August 2010, Daejon, South Korea: A handicapped man rammed his wheelchair into elevator doors three times after being irritated that the elevator had departed without him. The 40-year-old plunged down an empty elevator shaft to his death, as the doors could not withstand the force of his chair. Safety regulations were strengthened after the elevator was installed, to prevent accidents “such as might happen to children and drunks.”
A young couple, driving along Via Dutra, the largest freeway in Brazil with tonsof heavy traffic, decided to stop along the side of the road for a quickie. They parked on the freeway in the right-hand lane, not on the shoulder. Naturally, given time a cargo truck collided with the car, instantly killing both of them– during the act of procreation.
(19 July 2010, Washington) During the American Sprint Car Series in Sedro Wooley, WA, two crew members were working at a custom machine shop when they decided to make things a bit more interesting. The men put a a 55-gallon barrel in the parking lot, poured in four gallons of methanol, sat on top of the barrel, and lit it.Apparently they thought the barrel would skid across the parking lot like a rocket. But instead of sliding across the pavement, the barrel blew up beneath them with enough force that the end of the barrel landed 120 feet away. The two landed in Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where one of the two lost his life.
GhostRide The… Oh, No…
14 August 2010, Kentucky: Kelita H. was traveling “at highway speed” in her Chevy, cruising down Country Road 519 when she and her passenger decided to swap seats. The car had an open T-Top. She stood up, pulled herself onto the roof, and she fell. The Fayette County Coroner’s Office reported that the 20-year-old died from injuries sustained while impacting a guardrail. On the way down, her foot hit the steering wheel and the car veered left–but the passenger, who was still inside the vehicle, grabbed the wheel and managed to regain control of the car and save his own life.
February 1998, Buenos Ares: During a heated marital dispute, a 25-year-old man picked up his 20-year-old wife and threw her off their eighth-floor apartment balcony when she became tangled in the power lines below. He immediately leapt from the balcony and fell towards his wife, but missed the power lines completely, and plunged to his death. The woman managed to swing over to a nearby balcony and was saved.
Polish farmer Krystof Azninski, cut off his own head in 1995. 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 took it to the next level by cutting off the end of his foot with a chainsaw. To one-up his comrade, 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.
(5 December 2009, Russia)
A 25-year-old chemistry student of the Kiev Polytechnic Institute had acquired the peculiar habit of dipping his chewing gum in citric acid crystals while he worked. While studying at his parent’s house in the northern Ukraine city of Konotop when, he dunked his gum into an unidentified chemical and stuck it back into his mouth, causing an explosion that resulted in the lower part of his face being blown off. Police found packets of citric acid and packets of a similar-looking unidentified explosive material, and think the student simply confused the two.
Darwin Award Rules
Inability to reproduce: Nominee must be dead or rendered sterile.
Potential awardees may be out of the gene pool due to age; others have already reproduced before their deaths. The gist of this rule is that if the individual was stranded on a desert island with someone of the opposite sex, he or she would be unable to reproduce with them.
Excellence: Astoundingly stupid judgment.
The candidate’s foolishness must be unique and sensational, likely because the award is intended to be funny.
Self-selection: Cause of one’s own demise.
To earn a Darwin Award, the candidate must have killed him- or herself, rather than a third party.
Maturity: Capable of sound judgment.
The nominee must be at least past the legal driving age and free of mental defect. After much discussion, there also exists a small category regarding deaths below this age limit. Entry into this category requires that the peers of the candidate be of the opinion that the actions of the person in question were above and beyond the limits of reason in their opinions.
Veracity: The event must be verified.
The story must be documented by reliable sources: reputable newspaper articles, confirmed television reports, or responsible eyewitnesses.