Short Sharp Shock
( Excerpt from Chapter 3 )
The destructive nature of fire and explosives has long been a lure for the more adventurous among us. But a fascination with all things flammable can lead to trouble, as shown by these eyebrow-searing tales of grenades, gelignite, bombs, gasoline, and flaming alcoholic desserts.
Darwin Award: Fir Kills Tree Trimmer
Confirmed by Darwin
15 June 2002, England
| A safety harness doesn't always help...
A tree surgeon decided to save time, and throw the pruned branches directly
into a fire he built near the base of the tree. Predictably, the tree
caught fire, putting an end to his further time-saving innovations.
Reference: BBC News
Honorable Mention: Phenomenal Failure
Unconfirmed by Darwin
February 2001, Michigan
| A 28-year-old demolition worker attempted to commit suicide by washing down
nitroglycerine pills with vodka. Normally suicide is not worthy of an
Honorable Mention, but this man's failure mode was exceptional. After
swallowing the pills, he tried to explode the nitroglycerine by repeatedly
ramming himself into a wall. He was treated for bruises and released from
the hospital, with some much-needed counseling.
Reference: Detroit Times
C h a p t e r 3 S t o r i e s
Wrong and Wronger
Saw a Grenade
Fir Kills Tree Trimmer
Wet'n'Dry Shop Vac
Hunger vs. Fear
Famous Last Words
Acetylene Fun? Not!
Backyard Body Surfing
Regular & Extra Crispy
***The Answer Is...
The Barbequed Chef
Got a Match?
Fleas of Fire
Darwin Awards - Honorable Mentions - Personal Accounts
Read about Ana's "trashy" death.
Films of Laboratory Demonstrations.
Try the "Flashy Chef" Recipe yourself!
Wendy Northcutt holds a degree in molecular biology
from UC Berkeley. She began writing Darwin Awards
in 1993, and founded the website soon thereafter.