Claim: Internet-circulated list titled “2004 Darwin Awards” details actual demises.
Status: Two real entries, the others are fiction.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2005]
Darwin Awards 2004
Yes, these are all true. They are finally out again. It’s an annual honor given to the person who did the gene pool the biggest service by killing themselves in the most extraordinarily stupid way. Last year’s winner was the fellow who was killed by a Coke machine which toppled over on top of him as he was attempting to tip a free soda out of it. And the nominees this year in reverse order are:
7. A young Canadian man, searching for a way of getting drunk cheaply, because he had no money with which to buy alcohol, mixed gasoline with milk. Not surprisingly, this concoction made him ill, and he vomited into the fireplace in his house. This resulting explosion and fire burned his house down killing both him and his sister.
6. A 34 year old white male found dead in the basement of his home died of suffocation, according to police. He was approximately
5. Three Brazilian men were flying in a light aircraft at low altitude when another plane approached. It appears that they decided to moon the occupants of the other plane, but lost control of their own aircraft and crashed. They were all found dead in the wreckage with their pants around their ankles.
4. A 22 year old, Glade Drive, Reston, VA, man was found dead after he tried to use octopus straps to bungee jump off a
3. A man in Alabama died from rattlesnake bites. It seems that he and a friend were playing a game of catch, using the rattlesnake as ball. The friend, no doubt a future Darwin Awards candidate, was hospitalized.
2. Employees in a medium sized warehouse in west Texas noticed the smell of a gas leak. Sensibly, management evacuated the building, extinguishing all potential sources of ignition; lights, power, etc. After the building had been eacuated, two technicians from the gas company were dispatched. Upon entering the building, they found they had difficulty navigating in the dark. To their frustration, none of the lights worked. Witnesses later described the sight of one of the technicians reaching into his pocket and retrieving an object that resembled a cigarette lighter. Upon operation of the lighter like object, the gas in the warehouse exploded, sending pieces of it up to three miles away. Nothing was found of the technicians, but the lighter was virtually untouched by the explosion. The technician suspected of causing the blast had ever been thought of as ‘bright’ by his peers.
AND THE WINNER
1. Based on a bet by the other members of his threesome, Everitt Sanchez tried to wash his own “balls” in a ball washer at the local golf course. Proving once again that beer and testosterone are a bad mix, Sanchez managed to straddle the ball washer and dangle his scrotum in the machine. Much to his dismay, one of his buddies upped the ante by spinning the crank on the machine with Sanchez’s scrotum in place, thus wedging them solidly in the mechanism. Sanchez, who immediately passed his threshold of pain, collapsed and tumbled from his perch. Unfortunately for Sanchez, the height of the ball washer was more than a foot higher off the ground than his testicles are in a normal stance, and the scrotum was the weakest link. Sanchez’s scrotum was ripped open during the fall, and one testicle was plucked from him
Origins: “Named in honor of Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, the Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it, showing us just how uncommon common sense can be,” says Wendy Northcutt of DarwinAwards.com. Darwin Awards stories are tales that are presented as factual
accounts of the demises of people who managed to end their lives in fantastically stupid ways. Some are
works of fiction (e.g. the man who died in his sleep from breathing his own farts), some are relatively accurate recountings of actual events (e.g. the lawyer who fell through a skyscraper window while attempting to demonstrate how safe that fixture was), and a handful are wildly embellished versions of true stories (e.g., the “pumping” death of a 13-year-old boy in Thailand was not, as the
Contrary to belief, there is no panel of distinguished judges weighing each potential Darwin Award entry then sagely reaching agreement as to which deserves an official accolade. Darwin Awards
DarwinAwards.com does its best to separate the wheat from the chaff, identifying for its readers which of its stories are factual and which are not. The various “Annual Darwin Awards”
Of the seven gruesome accounts given in the “Darwin Awards 2004”
The other valid entry concerns the rattlesnake used in a game of catch in Alabama. On
The alleged winner of the 2004 award (which we discuss in detail on
To win, nominees must significantly improve the gene pool by eliminating themselves from the human race in an astonishingly stupid way. […] The prime tenet of the Darwin Awards is that we are celebrating the self-removal of incompetent genetic material from the human race. The potential winner must therefore render himself deceased, or at least incapable of reproducing.
As for the others, though we’ve searched high and low, we could not locate substantiation for the stories about a vomiting Canadian, mooning Brazilian high-fliers, an anally intubated cross-dresser, or the technicians in Texas who used a lighter to check for a gas leak.
The tale about the three Brazilians who lost control of their aircraft and crashed while attempting to moon the occupants of another plane mirrors a scenario advanced by Alan Diehl, the Air Force’s chief civilian safety official from 1987 until his removal from that post in 1994. He claimed two of the three Navy airmen who lost their lives in the 1989 crash of an
A rewording of the 2004 missive’s opening claim that “Last year’s winner was the fellow who was killed by a Coke machine which toppled over on top of him as he was attempting to tip a free soda out of it” prefaced the first Darwin Award account we saw back in 1991.
Barbara “soda coda” Mikkelson
Last updated: 3 July 2010