This is a list of all the 2006 Darwin awards. I love theses things. And in a few weeks the 2007 awards will be anounced, can't wait . Theses are all true stories.
(28 November 2006, Hall in Tirol, Austria) A man reported missing was found the following morning in a trash compactor, the victim of a self-induced industrial accident. At first, the circumstances surrounding the 48-year-old man's death were hazy. But once the videotape from a monitoring camera was reviewed, all became clear.
The man, who worked for a parcel delivery service, had loaded the hydraulic press with empty boxes and started it up. At that point, the long-time employee walked to the edge of the charging (filling) hole, and used his foot to press the boxes further into the hydraulic trash compactor.
His foot was was seized by the press, and he was drawn into the chamber and crushed. He was not discovered until his colleagues needed to use the press again the next day.
(17 November 2006, Singapore) Picture a college dorm room. Dirty laundry, sexy posters, food wrappers, textbooks, and in the middle of it all, a 16-year-old male rocking out to loud music. A typical student, a typical day.
But this particular student, bouncing on his bed as he rocked out on his air guitar, was about to "take things too far," according to the coroner's report. Li Xiao Meng, a student at Singapore's Hua Business School, bounced up and down on his bed with such enthusiasm that he rocked himself right out of the third-floor window.
Normally the windows are locked, but students reportedly force the locks so they can sneak a cigarette. Perhaps alluding to Ted Nugent's rock song, the court ruled it a case of "Death By Misadventure."
(19 March 2006, Belize) Benjamin Franklin reputedly flew his kite in a lightning storm, going on to discover that lightning equals electricity. However, certain precautions must be taken to avoid sudden electrocution. Kennon, 26, replicated the conditions of Ben Franklin's experiment, but without Ben's sensible safety precautions. Kennon was flying a kite with a short string that he had extended with a length of thin copper wire. The copper made contact with a high-tension line, sending a bolt of electrical lightning towards the man. Just bad luck? Kennon's father told listeners his son was an electrician, and "should have known better." Kennon is survived by his parents, six sisters, and five brothers.
(August 2006, Libreville, Gabon) In August, a congregation's 35-year old pastor insisted one could literally walk on water, if one only had enough faith. Big and bold was his speech. He extolled the heavenly power possessed by a faithful man with such force that he may well have convinced himself. Whether or not he believed in his heart, his sermons left room for only shame should he leave his own faith untested. Thus, the pastor set out to walk across a major estuary, the path of a 20-minute ferry ride. But the man could not swim.
Lacking the miraculous powers of David Copperfield, let alone holy Jesus Christ, this ill-fated cleric found only a Darwin Award at the end of his final path.
Score For Goliath
(September 2006, Florida) A fearsome mythical giant was felled by a humble slingshot. But a modern speargun vs. an underwater leviathan is another tale altogether, as a Florida man discovered.
Outlawed in 1990, hunting Goliath-sized groupers remains surprisingly popular. These fish can weigh hundreds of pounds, yet there are underwater hunters who choose to tether themselves to such muscular sea creatures. However unlikely a pursuit, the poaching of groupers by divers and snorkelers continues, in defiance of both the law and common sense.
Of this elite group, our Darwin Award winner distinguished himself yet further by disregarding one essential spearfishing precaution. By embarking on this hunt without a knife to cut himself loose, the "fit and experienced snorkeler" was guaranteeing that his next attack on a giant grouper would be his last.
Why anyone thinks it's a good idea to tether yourself to a fish twice your size, I don't know. Some time later, the body of the spearfisher was found pinned to the coral, 17 feet underwater. Three coils of line were wrapped around his wrist, and one very dead grouper was impaled at the other end of the line.
In those final hours, the tables were turned, and the fish was given an opportunity to reflect on the experience of "catching a person."
High on Life
(3 June 2006, Florida) Two more candidates have thrown themselves into the running for a Darwin Award. The feet of Jason and Sara, both 21, were found protruding from a deflated, huge helium advertising balloon. Jason was a college student, and Sara attended community college, but apparently their education had glossed over the importance of oxygen.
The pair pulled down the 8' balloon, and climbed inside. Their last words consisted of high-pitched, incoherent giggling as they slowly passed out and passed into the hereafter.
Sheriff's deputies said the two were not victims of foul play. No drugs or alcohol were found. The medical examiner reported that helium inhalation was a significant factor in their deaths. A family member said "Sara was mischievous, to be honest. She liked fun and it cost her."
A Slow Burn
(6 July 2006, Ohio) Insurance fraud is harder than it looks. Just ask Andreas, who lost his life trying to collect on an amputated limb. Just ask Musa and his son Essa, who hired an arsonist to burn down their Steak Thyme Subs shop so they could collect the insurance money. They promised him a $60,000 a year job, but where he would work once the shop was gone is unknown.
Three times he tried, and three times he failed to destroy the sandwich shop. The neighborhood was up in arms over the apparent "hate crimes" repeatedly being committed against the Jordanian immigrants. Whether it was a Molotov cocktail thrown through the window, or chairs doused with gasoline and set ablaze, the result was the same. Minor damage. This was getting them nowhere fast!
Eventually Musa grew tired of throwing good money after bad. For the fourth arson attempt, only 12 hours after the flaming chairs fizzled, he and his son decided to help out their hired hand. They spread gasoline around their eatery, so that a single match would do the trick.
Tragically, they apparently had more talent for arson than their amateur arsonist. They took a cigarette break. One lit cigarette later, an accidental gas explosion took out one wall, and burned both men over 80% of their bodies. Despite several weeks of hospitalized care, the men died from their injuries.
The inept arsonist faces a far lighter sentence: up to 10 years in prison.
Hammer of Doom
(August 2006, Brazil) August brings us a winner from Brazil, who tried to disassemble a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) by driving back and forth over it with a car. This technique was ineffective, so he escalated to pounding the RPG with a sledgehammer. The second try worked--in a sense. The explosion proved fatal to one man, six cars, and the repair shop wherein the efforts took place.
14 more RPG grenades were found in a car parked nearby. Police believe the ammunition was being scavenged to sell as scrap metal. If it wasn't scrap then, it certainly is now!
(17 April 2006, England) There's always someone who thinks good advice doesn't apply to him. For example, if a doctor advises that the one thing you must not do is go near a flame, as you are going to be covered wtih a flammable material, most people would take this advice onboard, and not strike a match until the flammable material has been removed.
However, Phillip, 60, knew better than his doctor. Philip was in the hospital to treat a skin disease, said treatment consisting of being smeared in paraffin-based cream. Philip was warned that the cream would ignite, so he definitely should NOT smoke. But he just couldn't live without that cigarette."
Smoking was not permitted anywhere on the ward, but Phillip took this setback in stride, and sneaked out onto a fire escape. Once he was hidden, he lit up... inhaled... and peace descended as he got his nicotine fix. Things went downhill only after he finished his cigarette, at the moment he ground out the butt with his heel.
The paraffin cream had been absorbed by his clothing. As his heel touched the butt, fumes from his pyjamas ignited. The resulting inferno "cremated" his skin condition, and left first-degree burns on much of his body. Despite excellent treatment, he died in intensive care.
And the one with the highest rating.
(26 August 2006, Leicester, England) Darren's death was a mystery. The 33-year-old was found slumped in the hallway of his house, bleeding from stab wounds to his chest. Police initially assumed that an assailant had attacked him, but they could find no supporting evidence. A year later, the inquest revealed why Darren can stake his claim to a place among the winners of the Darwin Award.
Darren had called a friend, but minutes after he hung up, rang back to ask for an ambulance. The front door was ajar, and Darren was found lying near a bloodstained lock-knife he had purchased whilst on holiday in Spain. Forensics investigators saw no indication of a struggle, and the coroner reported that the stab wounds seemed to be self-inflicted. However, Darren had shown no suicidal tendencies.
His wife, who was on holiday at the time of the incident, cleared up the mystery, and revealed why our subject will go down in history as a Darwin Award winner. As she was leaving for the holiday, she remembered Darren wondering whether his new jacket was 'stab-proof'.
That's right. Darren had decided to find out if his jacket could withstand a knife attack. Did he choose to test his jacket while it was draped over the back of a chair? No, our man decided that the best approach would be to wear the garment and stab himself. Sadly, his choice of armor proved less resistant to a sharp blade than he had hoped.
The coroner reached a verdict of accidental death by 'misadventure'.