2018 Darwin Awards (Part 1)

It’s that time of year again, when people from around the globe are awarded (posthumously) the dreaded Darwin awards for demonstrating that natural selection is alive and well in the human world. Here are some examples:

(November 14, 2018, Andaman Islands, India) John Allen Chau, a self-proclaimed world explorer inspired by Livingston and Jesus, was killed by the remote and reclusive Sentinelese tribe of natives. Chau bribed fishermen to ferry him to the off-limits island so he could offer the tribe gifts of scissors, a soccer ball, and eternal life. He paddled to the island in a kayak and was immediately attacked by arrows but continued walking. Despite suffering arrow wounds, he returned the next day, and the tribe promptly killed him.

(May 5, 2018, Odisha, India) Driving home from a wedding, Prabhu Bhatara idled his car on the roadside to relieve himself in the woods when he spied an injured bear. Instead of calling the authorities to help the bear, he opted to take a selfie with the distressed animal. Unfortunately, the bear wasn’t injured – it was resting. And apparently hungry. Meanwhile, instead of intervening, the passengers in his car pulled out their mobiles and filmed the carnage.

(March 8, 2018, New Jersey) A Wanaquer man, identified as Anthony G., died in a vehicle fire after he drove around barricade cones and onto live power wires in Franklin Lakes. According to police, Mr. G. navigated around bright orange traffic cones warning motorists of a hazardous downed wire on Route 208. Responding to calls, officers found his vehicle fully engulfed in flames. A live power line was sputtering in the roadway near the vehicle. The fire totally gutted the car and the driver was pronounced dead at the scene. Ironically this Darwin Award winner was employed as a New York City electrician.

(February 14, 2018, Berlin) A 19-year-old and his soon-to-be-ex were walking along the beautiful Havel River, quarreling. The frustrated man suddenly shoved the woman into the icy river, jumping in to push her under again and again! But she could swim. He could not. She swam safely to land and quickly recovered from hypothermia. He sank and lost consciousness. After being pulled out of the water and transported to Charité Virchow Clinic in Berlin, the attacker fell into a coma and died several months later. On Valentine’s Day.

(February 20, 2018, Poland) Darwin Double! After a road collision, two men emerged from their damaged cars and began arguing. The argument grew into a physical fight…then shrank down to bloodstains on the asphalt when the men lurched into the adjacent lane of traffic. A truck weighed in on the fight, permanently terminating the road-rage between a 29-year-old from Krakow and a 40-year-old from Zambrów.


March 2018, Birmingham, England) Man suffers a fatal heart attack after getting his head stuck beneath an electric footrest at the cinema while retrieving his cellphone from the floor.

(March 2018, Romania) A 50-year-old man was hospitalized after taking home a projectile he found on the field outside his village, and pounding it with a hammer, causing an explosion.