The Darwin Awards

2008 Darwin Awards

Next Prev Random Honoring Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool--by removing themselves from it.

Chemistry Went To Her Head
2008 Darwin Award Winner
Confirmed True by Darwin

(2 February 2008, Bulgaria) It was a cold but sunny February afternoon. Lidia, a biology teacher from Sofia, was driving two friends home from a memorial service. Suddenly the vehicle stopped. Bystanders saw all three occupants dash from the car to a nearby manhole and start pouring down liquids and powders from various bottles and jars.

Apparently the biology teacher had been performing chemistry experiments in her free time, and had some leftover noxious chemicals. It is still not entirely clear what the chemicals were, but two of the bottles were labeled diethyl ether and methanol, both highly flammable liquids. The former is also used as a sedative, so one explanation for their actions is that they felt dizzy from the ether vapors and thought it was a good idea to pour them in the sewer.

As it turns out, a good idea it definitely was not. The cocktail of flammable substances in the enclosed space of the sewer caused an explosion so powerful that it launched the manhole cover into the air, decapitating the (briefly) surprised Lidia. Left without a head on her shoulders, she decided it was time to kick the bucket.

The other two people were not unharmed, but were alive. They were taken to the hospital with burns on their faces. They may not regain their eyesight, but hopefully will be able to speak clearly enough to tell their children that tossing random chemicals down the drain is not as wise as it might at first appear.

MEDIA REFERENCES

Reader Comments:
"Better living through chemistry...NOT!"

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Guest Writer: Georgi Stoychev.
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