People die, it’s a sad fact of life. However, some die in stupider and more hilarious ways than others. This is where the Darwin Awards come in. They posthumously recognise unique individuals who have supposedly contributed to human evolution by taking themselves out of the gene pool. The awards have been around since 1993, and there is even a Darwin Awards book detailing the stupidest ways to kill yourself off. Here are some of the all time best.
Roller-coaster Fail – 1998, California, USA
Despite the recent accident at the Alton Towers theme park, roller coaster injuries and deaths are actually an incredibly rare occurrence. However, whereas Alton Towers admitted error on their part, this was entirely the fault of the dead guy.
While riding the Top Gun roller coaster at the Great America theme park in San Francisco, one middle-aged gentleman lost his hat when it fell off his head and landed under the coaster. After getting off the ride, he climbed two fences into the danger zone to get it back, despite multiple warning signs. He was killed when a woman’s leg kicked him in the neck, decapitating him. The woman broke a leg and lost a shoe, and went on to sue for damages.
Man Drowns In His Own Kitchen Sink – 2004, Wolfsberg, Austria
This one’s a doosey! After a night of partying, a very drunk Austrian man came home and decided to slip in through the window. He was found dead the next day by his landlord, who had seen the man’s legs sticking out of the building.
Turns out the window was fixed at the base, and the man had only got as far as his head before he got stuck. The window was over his sink, and police deduced that while flailing around in an attempt to escape he somehow managed to turn the hot water on and drowned. What confused them most however, was why the man hadn’t just used the front door, since the keys were found in the corpse’s trouser pocket.
Terrorist Opens His Own Letterbomb, 2000, Iraq
In what is perhaps the greatest example of karma coming back to bite you in the butt, in 2000 a terrorist called decided to send out a letter bomb. However, he forgot to put the stamps on before posting it, meaning it went back to the “return to sender” address. Oops!
The Man Who Tried To Fight A Lion, 1996, Australia
An Austrailian Kung Fu Master, who clearly had WAY too much faith in his students, told them they were tough enough to “take on lions”. He didn’t mean this literally of course, but that’s what someone did. He broke into the lion enclosure at a local zoo and attempted to fight one of the beasts. Unsurprisingly he lost. You don’t mess with the king of the jungle!
Exploding Lava Lamp – 2004, Washington, USA
This is why you should always read the instructions first. Frustrated at how slowly his new lava lamp was taking to work, 24-year-old Philip decided to put it on the stove. As most people know, the pretty surreal blobs in lava lamps are the result of wax expanding in coloured liquid as it heats up, but the average temprature of a lava lamp bulb is a lowly 40 watts, nowhere near enough to cause any damage.
Whether or not Philip passed high school science is a mystery, but if he did he clearly forgot that heat expands. The heat from the oven caused the lava lamp to explode, and a thick shard of glass hit Philip straight in the heart. He managed to stumble into his bedroom where he collapsed and died.
Killer Goldfish – 1998, Ohio, USA
23-year-old Michael was hanging out with his buddies at a friend’s house, while the owner of the place happened to be cleaning out a fish tank. The guy complained that one of his fish was becoming a menace. The fish was apparently eating all the other specimens, and had become too big for it’s tank.
Micheal had a solution to his mate’s problem. He decided to grab the 5 inch fish and attempted to swallow it (why?!) However, it seems the fish refused to go down without a fight and got stuck in his throat, cutting off the air supply. Michael futilely gasped for breath before sinking to his knees, as his panicked friends called 911. When the paramedics arrived the fish’s tail was still protruding from his mouth.
Sadly, Michael nor his fishy arch-nemesis could be revived. Looks like the murderous guppy had taken its final victim.
Angry Wheelchair Man – 2010, Daejon, South Korea
A rare example of a Darwin Award winner caught on camera. An angry disabled man, annoyed that the lift went up without him decided to ram the doors. On the third attempt he simultaneously failed and succeeded, as his wheelchair smashed through the doors, sending him down into the elevator shaft below.