Embarrassingly Dumb Ways People Died - Darwin Awards Winners (Part 6)
Here are some astounding Darwin Awards winners!Stories
The Darwin Awards are dedicated to people who have protected our gene pool by removing themselves from it in the most idiotic ways possible. And human stupidity really doesn’t know any bounds. Let’s take a dive at even more Darwin Award winners and the ridiculous ways they achieved their prizes!
Florida Man Down
Back in June 2022, over in Largo, Florida, a couple of people were enjoying a round of frisbee golf in a local park. As the name suggests, it’s like golf, but instead of a ball, you have a frisbee, and instead of holes, you have those basket things.
A more weirdly American sport has never existed. The game was progressing pretty normally when someone accidentally flung their frisbee off-course into a nearby lake. Florida is famously home to some 1.25 million alligators, and because of that, almost every body of freshwater across the state has signs warning people not to step foot in the water, lest they fancy becoming an alligator’s snack.
Despite that, a gentleman, who we’ll address as Mr. Florida Man, decided in his infinite wisdom to wade right on in and grab the disc, gators be damned. It was not his first time in the waters, though. He’d repeatedly waded into that lake in the past to fetch lost frisbees and re-sell them back to their owners, despite being warned not to do so multiple times.
But, it would be the last time he got to pull that ploy because before he could find the frisbee, an alligator found him. Well, all I can say is if you play stupid games, like fetching frisbees from alligator-infested waters, you win stupid prizes, like being eaten by alligators.
Superior Idiot Energy
Back in August 2021, a gentleman from Southampton, in the UK, decided he wanted to try out paddle boarding for the first time. He’d carefully researched all the equipment he needed, bought a few boards and paddles for himself and his family, and then headed to a beach in Hampshire.
He’d specifically chosen that beach because he knew the waters would be calmer, giving him a better chance to get to grips with the board. All seems like a very sensible, logical way to go about things, doesn’t it? That is until you learn that the guy couldn’t swim.
Also, he hadn’t bothered to put on a life jacket. And then, to add the cherry on top, he’d paddled more than half a mile out into open water, where, when he tried to turn the board around, he suddenly fell off.
Unable to get a grip on the board, his inability to swim and the lack of a body-affixed flotation device ended up causing his demise. To make matters worse, his wife claimed that the lack of Coastguards on the beach was the main reason he didn’t survive! While that may be part of it, a fatal lack of common sense was probably more to blame here.
Back in July 2022, a man from Erftstadt, Germany, was driving along when all of a sudden he lost consciousness. His car came to a stop when it hit the side of a house, and the local fire brigade was called. They assumed the guy had fallen asleep at the wheel and caused the accident, but when they got there, the unmistakable smell of charcoal filled their noses.
And when they opened the back doors of the car, out fell several small barbeque grills with glowing coals still in them. After extinguishing the coals, the firefighters found beers, speakers, beer benches, and crockery inside. It turned out, the idiot driving was a cook who supposedly gave barbeque seminars.
Apparently, in a rush to get from one appointment to the next, he hadn’t bothered to extinguish the still-glowing coals in the kettle grills which he loaded into the back of his car. When they’re burning, coals release a colorless and odorless toxic gas called carbon monoxide, even when they’re not smoking, which is why having a coal barbeque in an enclosed space is always a bad idea.
After a while, that guy’s car had filled up with the toxic gas, causing him to pass out and crash. Clearly, his barbeque course didn’t cover the basics of barbeque safety!
In the big buff world of gym bros, taking a pre-workout supplement is currently all the rage! A single serving contains everything you need to boost your energy levels and get your buzz on, including vitamins, carbohydrates, and around 175 milligrams of the stimulant caffeine, about the same amount you’d find in 4 cups of coffee.
However, those supplements can be expensive, so some people resort to just buying caffeine powder, and making their own liquid get up and go juice! At least, that’s what one man in the UK tried to do back in 2022.
He’d bought some caffeine powder to add to his homemade pre-workout drink, and because it hadn’t come with a measuring cup or scoop, he decided to use some basic kitchen scales to measure out 300 milligrams of the stuff. That’s about 6 ½ very strong coffees, definitely not advised, though not necessarily a fatal dose!
But, the scales he was using weren’t in milligrams, they were in grams. The lowest weight he could measure on them was more than 6 times the maximum recommended dose! It's believed that, without realizing the metrics were wrong, he measured out close to 300 grams, more than 200 coffee’s worth of caffeine and consumed it. Within minutes, he was on the floor in the grips of a severe caffeine overdose, one he didn’t survive.
The caffeine levels in the blood of a person who’d drunk one cup of coffee would be 2 to 4 milligrams per liter of blood. A post-mortem revealed that his caffeine levels were 392 milligrams per liter. So, this one goes out to all the gym-lovers out there double, triple, quadruple check your supplement metrics!
Poor Life Choo Choo Choices
It’s not just consuming self-made workout energy drinks that’ll earn you a Darwin award though, advertising them can result in an equally dumb demise, if this next entrant is anything to go by. Back in January 2015, a male fitness model in Burbank, California, decided he wanted to shoot a promotional video for an energy drink company he’d co-founded.
But instead of shooting something like a big burly guy in a gym lifting weights with one hand and chugging his energy drink with another, our man wanted something different. He wanted real trains. He planned to make it look like drinking that drink would give you the power to outrace a literal train.
The only problem is that a shoot like that is expensive, and requires a lot of paperwork. But going for a more brawn-over-brain approach, our man figured he and his team could just trespass onto a restricted area of the Metrolink tracks, and shoot the commercial hassle-free.
His plan was to run on a set of tracks that were parallel to the trains coming up behind him, so, shot from the side, it would only look like he was running ahead of the train. But here’s the kicker. That particular section of the railway was on a blind bend, so until the train was around the corner, there was no way of knowing which set of tracks it would be using!
Nevertheless, our model man shouted action and started running, with the train quickly catching up behind him. Despite the blaring sound of the train’s horn, our man just kept running in a straight line, until the train ran over him.
Protein Powder Problems
Back in February 2022, early in the morning, a young man was driving along a road on the outskirts of San Diego. Without warning, he veered off to the side of the road, hitting a parked vehicle and causing a six-car pile-up.
When rescuers arrived at the scene, they opened the guy’s door to find protein powder all over the vehicle. It coated the seats, the dash, the airbag that had deployed after he crashed, and the knife which, as he’d been distractedly using it to mix the protein drink in his lap, had been propelled back by the airbag and into his body.
Luckily no one else was even injured. Several takeaways from this story. One, don’t mix your protein powder while you drive. Two, don’t hold a knife while you drive. And three, always take your workout supplements with a liberal dose of common sense.
A lot of good things have come from the video-sharing app TikTok, such as fun dances and wholesome viral stars. But it’s also provided the catalyst for a lot of incredibly dumb trends, just for likes and views. Often, the more extreme those are, the more views they receive. But they can be so pointlessly dangerous, that many of them have been banned from the platform.
But back in November 2022, one wannabe TikTok creator went viral for all the wrong reasons. Deciding he needed to add a little edge to his next TikTok dance, a man from Texas, in all his infinite wisdom, decided to get up on top of an 18-wheeler, and then began to record himself dancing while the truck was moving.
The driver of the truck had no idea, and so he continued on his route as usual. That included driving across Houston’s US-59 Eastex Freeway, a route with several overpasses. Other drivers soon noticed the TikTok terror, watching as he ducked down to avoid being hit by some of the overpasses.
But he was too focused on his dance moves, and didn’t spot one coming up at speed! He was promptly knocked off the top of the truck and into moving traffic, he didn’t survive.
Lord Have Mercy On this Idiot
There are a lot of people out there who claim to be the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. But none have ever definitively proved that they are, which is what one pastor from Zambia was about to change!
Back in 2021, a guy promised to prove to his congregation that he was the reincarnation of the son of god by recreating one of Jesus’s famous heavenly abilities. You assume he’d choose something with minimal risk, like turning water into wine or walking on water, but no, of course not.
He demanded his congregation bury him alive, and then dig him up 3 days later, mimicking JC’s famous resurrection. So, as instructed, the church members dug him a grave, tied his hands together, and buried him. He remained there, as the good book said, for three days. And when he was exhumed on the 3rd day, something unbelievable happened.
The pastor didn't make it, in fact, surviving three days buried in 6 ft of earth with no air, was not exactly a surprise and was very much stuck in the pre-resurrection stage. His congregation members were arrested, with several still on the run for their hand in the prophetical failing!
When it comes to big, dangerous machines with the power to tear people to shreds, very few people immediately think of helicopters. Well, if at least one more of them had, then they might still be with us!
Back in July 2022, news outlets all over the world began reporting on a story from Athens, Greece, where a tourist was struck down by a helicopter rotor after getting too close to the blades while trying to take a selfie with the vehicle. The news outlets quickly ran with the sensational story, but it turned out that they were wrong about one key thing, and the real story was far more baffling.
The tourist in question had been riding as part of a group on the helicopter and, after it landed, had disembarked with the others and was chaperoned to a nearby lounge, safely. However, at that point, the tourist, who appeared to be calling someone on his phone, left the lounge, and made a sudden beeline back to the helicopter, without telling anyone anything.
As he approached the still-running vehicle, ground staff suddenly clocked him, shouting for him to stop. But over the noise of the helicopter, he couldn’t hear them, nor could he see how fast the rear rotor was spinning.
The pilot, who was wearing headphones, only heard the ground crew shouting right as the tourist made the unthinkable decision to duck under the tail section of the aircraft, but misjudged how close he was to the whirring blades, and was fatally caught by the tail rotor.
Manual labor is no easy profession. It’s a lot of long hours where you’re constantly on your feet, often at the mercy of the elements. It ain’t for the faint-hearted, or the smooth-brained considering how many dangers you can find on an active site.
Back in 2020, in Dehradun, India, a laborer for the Uttarakhand Power Corporation decided to take a leak. Because he was on the job, he figured he shouldn’t go far, and so found a pole to relieve himself next to.
But the guy must’ve forgotten where he was and that he was working for a power company because he chose a pole that was right next to an electrical box. As soon as he let the stream rip onto the box, a fatal bolt of electricity surged up it and through his body, frying him instantly.
Fallen on Hard Times
When you’re doing something as dangerous as canyoneering, the activity of exploring canyons, in California’s aptly named Death Valley, having the right equipment isn’t just advised, it’s crucial. Otherwise, you might end up like this next guy.
Back in December 2022, having planned a solo canyoneering trip, our man went by himself to rappel down one of Death Valley’s many canyons, when he suddenly realized his rope was too short. Instead of admitting defeat and heading out of the park to find somewhere that might sell him a longer rope, he had a big-brain moment.
He could use a piece of webbing to lengthen his rope and make it down to the bottom. Webbing is a sort of strap often used to secure things like backpacks; it’s not designed to be used as climbing equipment. Nonetheless, he extended the makeshift rope, and happy with it, began his descent.
However, when he reached the knot where the rope met the webbing, he had to briefly disconnect his rappel device in order to get over it. And it was there, while he hasn’t secured to the wall or the rope thanks to his own hair-brained design, that he suddenly fell 30 ft to his demise.
Pour One Out
Alcohol has a few properties that it’s famous for: for one, it’s a depressant, meaning it inhibits or depresses the response of the central nervous system, which is why you slur your speech and can’t walk straight when you’ve had one too many. Two: at room temperature, it’s liquid in form. And three: it’s highly flammable.
That last one is particularly important because people don’t seem to understand just how dangerous that makes it near an open flame if not handled correctly. For example, back in July 2022, a man from Naples, Italy, was having a barbeque when he decided to add a little fuel to the fire.
The guy decided to pour alcohol on the flames. Here’s a little science lesson for you, kids. When a high enough proof alcohol in a stream meets a flame, it doesn’t magically make the source of the fire any hotter. It sets the stream of alcohol on fire.
In an instant, the fire had traveled up the stream of alcohol to the bottle it was being poured from, and the whole thing blew up in his face. The injuries he sustained were so severe, he didn’t survive.
The Jäger Meister
Jägermeister is an herbal liqueur which, thanks to the 56 herbs and spices that go into making it, give it something of an acquired taste. Most people only like it when it’s mixed with a Red Bull. Still, at 35% alcohol by volume, it’s pretty potent regardless!
Over in a liquor parlor in South Africa, they decided to put the drink’s potency to the test. They set up a drinking competition offering a prize of 200 rands, a little over $11, to anyone who could drink an entire 24 oz bottle of the stuff.
It’s unclear whether they thought anyone would actually be dumb enough to attempt the challenge, or whether they assumed it just couldn’t be done, but several men stood up to the plate! Not only did the winner down every last drop, but he also did so in less than 2 minutes. He was awarded his 200 rand prize when all of a sudden he collapsed on the floor.
But he wasn’t just drunk, or asleep, he was gone. Naturally, alcohol isn’t good for you in massive quantities. It’s a toxin that can build up in the blood and literally poison you. In general, your body can process about one unit of alcohol per hour. After one drink your blood will have an alcohol content of roughly 0.04%.
After 6 drinks, that’d be around 0.14%. At that point, vomiting is not uncommon. After 15 drinks, with a blood alcohol level of 0.3%, unconsciousness is inevitable. But after consuming an entire bottle of Jägermeister in just 2 minutes, our man’s blood alcohol content would have shot up from 0% to around 0.44%, a fatal dose.
There have been some pretty solid attempts to join the prestigious list of Darwin Award winners over the years, but the idiots in question have tragically survived. However, I’m feeling generous; so to make sure they don’t feel left out, here are a couple of honorable mentions to those who almost made the list with some certifiably moronic life choices.
To start, we head over to Russia, where back in 2020, an influencer decided to make their birthday a memorable one by inviting some of their friends over to a pool complex they’d hired out. They spent a little time in the sauna, and to ensure the water was extra cold for their post-sauna swim, the influencer had ordered 55 lbs of dry ice which they then dumped in the pool.
But they didn't know what dry ice actually was. All they knew was that it was very cold and when it met water, it produced a cool steam show effect which would look great on their socials. But here’s the thing: dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide, which only stays solid at a temperature of 109.2 °F.
Above that, and without the right pressure conditions, it transitions straight into gas, without an intermediate liquid stage. So, dumping that much in a pool, which was not a well-ventilated space, released a lot of carbon dioxide, a gas that humans famously cannot breathe!
Several guests dived in and immediately began to choke. The influencers themselves and a few others managed to get out just in time, but 3 guests suffocated, including the influencer’s own husband.
Although, that’s not the dumbest thing someone’s done around a body of water. Back in July 2022, the chief minister of a north Indian state visited the holy Kali Bein rivulet, marking 22 years of its cleaning. Despite its historical significance, the rivulet had once been a sewer drain, but more than 20 years of community rejuvenation brought the rivulet back to life!
On the heels of a clean water campaign in the state, the chief minister was so keen to prove to everyone at that event that the Kali Bein was both clean and safe, that he grabbed himself a glass of its water and drank it down.
However, just because freshwater looks clean doesn’t mean it is safe to drink. Water-borne infections like e-coli, parasites, and raw sewage can contaminate even the freshest-looking water sources. Which the chief minister found out quickly.
The next day, multiple media outlets reported that he was airlifted to hospital with severe stomach cramps. He attempted to deny it, claiming it was a routine checkup. However, not many people need an emergency airlift for a simple checkup.
Ride or Die
Back in 2015, a gentleman and his friends were visiting Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio. They decided to get their adrenaline fix on The Raptor, a steel-inverted rollercoaster that whips riders along at a top speed of 57 mph.
As they were riding, our man in question realized his phone had fallen out of his pocket. Once the ride was over, he peered over into the restricted section and saw his phone lying near the coaster’s tracks!
Completely ignoring the big DO NOT ENTER signs, the fences constructed to keep people out, and the fact he knew the ride was currently in operation, having literally just been on it, our man hopped the fence and reached for his phone. To literally no one’s surprise, he didn’t even bother to check if another cart was coming, and so, he was struck by an oncoming cart.
I hope you don't ever make any of these mistakes, which would probably earn you a place in the list of Darwin Awards winners. If you were amazed at these dumb ways people died, you might want to check out our entire Darwin Awards Series. Thanks for reading!