Back by popular demand, we’re bringing you part three in our series of stories about some of the dumbest people on the planet. The Darwin Awards are awarded to people who died from sheer stupidity. Or, if they survived, they did something that would guarantee that they will never reproduce to pass on their DNA… which we’re sure you’ll soon agree is absolutely for the best. Here are 10 more incredible stories of legendary idiocy…
10. Going the Distance
We all have the urge to break the rules every once in a while. For one Maryland man, an empty Amtrak train station was his time to shine. He didn’t want to go up the “up” escalator like any normal schmuck. No — he wanted to go the distance, and achieve his dreams of sprinting up the “down” escalator. But, of course, he had to do this when no one was looking. Het set his plan into action at midnight of December 18, 2018. He actually did run his way to the top. Triumphant, but out of breath, he slipped, and tumbled backwards down the stairs, and hit his head very hard on the way down.
The next morning, the train station staff found his body, and were totally confused as to how someone could get killed on the escalator. It was only when they examined the CCTV footage that they saw what happened.
9. You’re Not Santa…
Ending a relationship is never easy. But for some people, getting dumped can turn them into a completely irrational person. For one 49-year-old doctor named Jacquelyn Kotarac, her anger was enough for her to try breaking into her ex-boyfriend’s house in Bakersfield, California while he was on vacation. At first, she picked up a shovel and tried to use it to break in, but it didn’t work. So she found a ladder and climbed up to the roof, because she had the brilliant plan of attempting to climb down the chimney.
Apparently, no one told her that Santa Claus is just a legend (er… spoiler alert, kids!), and human beings can’t actually fit down chimneys. Of course, you can guess what happened. She got stuck. The thing about being face-first in a chimney is that no one can hear you scream. Her body wasn’t discovered until three days later, when a house-sitter stopped by to check on the property. The chimney had to be taken apart in order to remove Kotarac’s body and give her a proper funeral.
8. Florida Man Strikes Again
Forget Infinity War — this is truly the most ambitious crossover event in history. You may or may not have seen our “Florida Man” and “Florida Woman” lists here on TopTenz, but it’s about time world’s worst superhero won his own Darwin Award. In March 2019, a 36-year-old man named Elian Garcia-Rivera kept a pigeon coop on his property. One of his pets got loose, and flew up to a power line.
Garcia-Rivera had the brilliant idea of grabbing a 20-foot aluminum pole, and began swinging it at the bird, hoping that it would fly back down. First of all, metal conducts electricity. Secondly, swinging a pole at a bird isn’t exactly going to bring it back to you. As you can probably imagine, once the aluminum pole hit the power lines, Garcia-Rivera was hit with such a powerful jolt of electricity that his body flew backward and onto the ground. He was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
7. Instant Karma
In March 2019, a 28-year-old man broke into a garage in Marion, Indiana, with the intention of stealing whatever valuables he could find. Normally, such a thief might steal expensive tools, or vehicles. But the thief believed that he hit the jackpot, because he spotted a huge antique safe sitting on the floor. It was locked, and he did not have the proper tools to break into it. So he decided he may as well try to take it with him. However, he completely underestimated just how heavy it was. The 900-pound safe fell on top of the burglar, crushing him to death.
The next morning, the homeowner, George Hollingsworth, noticed that his garage door was damaged. So he rushed inside to see what had been taken. This is when he discovered the body of a complete stranger crushed under the antique. He called 9-1-1, but the man was already dead. The most ironic part? The safe was completely empty.
In 2018, a 35-year-old man named Zaim Khalis Kosnan from Kuala Langat, Malaysia was driving home from work at 3 a.m. when he spotted a python on the side of the road. Pythons can fetch several hundred dollars when they are sold as exotic pets, and they are also use to make snakeskin boots and purses. So, either way, he could make some good money if he managed to catch it. When he arrived back at his home, he told his sister about his intention to nab the python. He grabbed a few tools, and jumped back on his motorcycle.
Kosnan found the snake, and held it by its head. Then, he got back on his motorcycle. As he was driving, the python began to wrap its body around Kosnan, constricting and squeezing him. In case you weren’t aware, pythons can constrict and consume an entire human being in under an hour. By the time the authorities found him, they had to kill the snake and recover his body.
In several Western African countries, people living in remote villages still believe in ancient superstitions about demons and witchcraft. Shamans and witch doctors are still considered to be incredibly powerful figures in a community. In 2018, a 26-year-old Nigerian man named Chinaka Adoezuwe purchased a charm from a local witch doctor, which apparently had a spell cast on it that would make him bulletproof. Confident that magic is real, he asked his friends to try and shoot him. As you can imagine, they shot him, and he died. The friends were arrested for his murder.
According to the BBC, there are multiple cases of deaths caused by “bulletproof charms” in Nigeria. In some of the stories, the witch doctors would even hand a gun to their customers immediately after selling them the charm, with the promise that they would survive after shooting themselves. But, of course, if they kill themselves in the process, they can’t exactly ask for a refund.
4. Too Much of a Good Thing
In 1974, a 48-year old health food enthusiast from England named Basil Brown claimed that he could detox his body by drinking a gallon of carrot juice every day. While it’s true that drinking fresh vegetable juice is a great source of vitamins, most doctors and nutritionists would recommend that people need so much more than that to have a balanced diet. Brown learned this lesson the hard way. By drinking these gallons of carrot juice, he had consumed 70 million units of Vitamin A over the course of 10 days. His skin turned yellow and his liver completely failed. After his autopsy, the coroner confirmed that the carrot juice was to blame.
It turns out that even if you are eating a balanced diet, too many carrots may turn your skin orange as well, due to an excess of beta-carotene in the bloodstream. Just how many carrots are too many? Well, that actually depends on the person, and the speed of your metabolism. But if you want to avoid winning a Darwin Award, yellow or orange skin is a sign you need to stop.
3. All Dogs Go to Heaven
Some people will go above and beyond for their dogs. In fact, there have been studies that show that when pet owners see a dog, their brain lights up in the same areas as when they see their own children. By the way — no study has shown the same result with cats, probably because we’re all aware that they’re trying to control our minds to do their bidding. So it shouldn’t be all that surprising that in 1981, a man won a Darwin Award in an attempt to save a canine’s life.
Two young men named David Kirwan and Ronald Ratliff were visiting Yellowstone National Park. They brought along Ratliff’s Great Dane, “Moosie” in the back of their pickup truck. When they got out to look at one of Yellowstone’s famous “fountain paint pot” hot springs, Moosie spotted the water, and assumed that it was a swimming pool. Of course, the dog had no way of knowing that it was actually 220 degrees Fahrenheit, which is boiling.
Since he was not being kept on a leash, the dog barrelled towards the water, and jumped in head-first. Almost immediately, the dog began to yelp in pain as it was being boiled alive. Kirwan started running towards the water to save Moosie. A bystander shouted at him, “Don’t go in there!” He replied, “Like hell I won’t!”
You can guess what happened after Kirwan jumped in.
Ratliff had to step into the pool as well, and he suffered second-degree burns on his feet to pull out his friend. Kirwan’s skin was peeling off his entire body, and he had gone completely blind. He was brought to the hospital, and died the next day. The moral of the story? No matter how cute Fido might be, please don’t value a dog’s life above your own.
2. When Animals Strike Back
Okay, so that last entry was more than a bit grim. So it’s time to balance it out with some animal justice. Rhinos are an endangered species, but that doesn’t stop some poachers from breaking into restricted areas in order to hunt them anyway. In April 2019, a group of poachers snuck into the Kruger National Park in South Africa at night.
Well, you know that saying that “an elephant never forgets”? Turns out, it’s very true. These men must have been repeat offenders, because an elephant spotted them, and killed one of the men. Then, the elephant dragged his body to the road so that the humans could recover him, but his friends were already running away. The next morning, the poacher’s friends told the dead man’s family what had happened. The family contacted the park staff in an attempt to get the man’s body back, but it turns out the elephant wasn’t the only one who wanted a piece of the poacher. A pride of lions devoured his remains, only leaving behind his skull and his trousers.
1. Eyes on the Road, Buddy
We already know how dangerous it is to text and drive, and yet so many people still do it anyway. According to the National Safety Council of the United States, cellphones cause 1.6 million car crashes every single year. But this next story takes distracted driving to a whole other level.
In 2016, one man from Detroit, Michigan was watching an adult film on his cellphone and driving at the same time. There is a time and a place for everything. Clearly, driving is not the time to be watching any movie, let alone one so distracting. Clearly, he must not have thought this through, because he crashed while trying to merge on the ramp of I-75. The car began to roll, and the man was partially ejected out of his sunroof. When the police found him, he wasn’t wearing any pants.