Thursday 26 May 2011

The Darwin Awards

Years ago, my son introduced me to the Darwin Awards, and I'd forgotten about them until recently. For the uninitiated, this is the idea:

"In the spirit of Charles Darwin, the Darwin Awards commemorate individuals who protect our gene pool by making the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives. Darwin Award winners eliminate themselves in an extraordinarily idiotic manner, thereby improving our species' chances of long-term survival."

There are some wonderful examples, but my favourite is the one where a winner was awarded the prize although he managed to survive his experience. He sat down on his garden seat, equipped with a supply of beer and sandwiches, tied lots of helium balloons to the seat, and waited to see what would happen. What happened was that he floated so high above the ground that he was in the flight path of airliners, thus posing a threat to others as well as himself. He was eventually brought down by means of someone shooting the balloons one by one.

Another winner was a man who dived out of a plane in order to photograph skydiver, but perished as he'd overlooked his own need for a parachute. And there was the man who drowned in a washing up bowl of hot water while trying to break into his own house head first through a small window. History doesn't record (a) why he turned the hot water on, (b) why he didn't turn it off or empty the bowl and (c) why he didn't come in through the door (his keys were in his pocket).


  1. Very silly people... Did you notice that they were men, and not us clever women :-)

  2. Oh my goodness - the thought of being on the flight path of airliners on a garden seat!! Did he even strap himself on to it, I wonder. Some people...

  3. The Darwin Awards are brilliant aren't they!

  4. Jarmara, I hadn't even thought of that, but you're right! Perhaps it's because, biologically speaking (and in the spirit of Darwin) we don't need so many men?

    Alis, I doubt whether anyone as stupid as that woud even think of straping himself in!

    Teresa, nice to come across another Darwin fan. It's another excellent way of postponing the writing, isn't it (ie looking up past winners)!

  5. I agree with Jarmara on the gender issue. The guy who broke into his own house with his keys in his pocket is a classic tale of male idiocy. And I'm a bloke! :-)

    Greetings from London.

  6. Hi, Cuban in London. I think maybe it's that women are more risk-averse. We have to stay at home minding the cave, cooking the bear steaks and stopping the baby from falling in the fire.

  7. Hi Frances .. I've come over via Judy Croome and IRS Taxes and books ..

    and if Blogger allows me to leave a comment I shall do so - I see I can't follow you .. because that appears to be 'off' too ..

    back to Darwin and as I didn't copy my comment .. I'll have to start again ..

    seems a little insensitive to Darwin, he may have counted worms, but he did stay on the ground - I think!

    The chap drowning in the hot water - may have had a very unpleasant landing, rendering the hot water just a red herring ..

    Good to meet you - cheers Hilary