Disqualified: Losing Is Its Own Reward
( Excerpt from Chapter 9 )
a Darwin: Underwire Bras Deadly
(September 1999, London) Two women became victims of fashion when
their underwire bras acted as electrical conductors. The ladies were
enjoying a break from shopping by taking a walk in Hyde Park, when a
thunderstorm drove them under a tree for shelter. The Thailand natives
were struck by a bolt of lightning, which killed them instantly. Their
bodies were ignored by other walkers until the following day, when it
became apparent that they were not simply sleeping vagrants.
Forensic evidence revealed that the lightning discharge was channeled
into the metal brassieres, leaving burn marks on the women's chests.
The coroner stated that it was only the second time in his experience
of fifty thousand deaths where an underwire brassiere was implicated
in a fatal electrocution. The inquest recorded a verdict of death by
Darwinian Rule Violation: Accident-not self-inflicted, and
lacks veracity. Not even close to a Darwin! Women wear underwire
bras the world over, and these two women's charged encounter was a random
electrocution, not the result of a terminally stupid decision. Besides
I suspect it's an urban legend, so no Darwin!
C h a p t e r 9 S t o r i e s
- Honorable Mentions -
Urban Legends - Personal Accounts
Not a Darwin: Do Bikes Float?
Not a Darwin: Underwire Bras Deadly
Not a Darwin: Texas A&M Bonfire
Not a Darwin: Body Canyoning
Not a Darwin: Our Brightest Cheerleaders
Not a Darwin: Fatal Case of Hiccups
Not a Darwin: Ice Floe Frolic
Not a Darwin: Shotgun Pepsi
Not a Darwin: Mania Strikes Back
Wendy Northcutt holds a degree in molecular biology
from UC Berkeley. She began writing Darwin Awards
in 1993, and founded the website soon thereafter.