Charles Darwin at a green chalkboard.

1995 Darwin Awards

Honoring Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool--by removing themselves from it in the most spectacular way possible.

1995 Darwin Award Winner
Confirmed True by Darwin

"Fish-Impersonation Deaths On the Rise in Melbourne"

(29 November 1995, Australia) The badly decomposed remains of Neil of Melbourne were discovered in a paddock near Toolondo Reservoir Neil's death was shrouded in mystery, tragedy, and a fish suit.

Local law enforcement officials said the 49-year-old man was wearing a "heavy green plastic bodysuit," constructed from old waterbed material. The suit, from which one could only be extricated painstakingly after unfastening a full-length zipper along the spine, constricted his legs into one mermaid-esque tail. The only openings, aside from the zipper, were two eyeholes.

Neil's garb, enclosing his entire body like a maritime mummy costume, restricted his breathing as well as his movement. He was discovered in this attire, which the Melbourne Fish Costume Bureau stresses was "not approved," less than a kilometer from Toolondo Lake. He apparently had attempted to swim home.

A second yellow-colored suit was found in his garage.

The psychological motivation for Neil's fatal excursion remains unclear. Police have learned that he was taking medications for epilepsy and diabetes at the time, and speculate that his behavior may have had a chemical basis, but locals have their own theories about the aquatic abberation.

"He wanted to be a fish," disclosed one unnamed resident, recalling incidents in which Wilson would swing from a rope while wearing the suit at the lake. Other comments from the Australian community included "bollocks" and "criminey."

Wilson's death brings the Melbourne fish impersonation fatality toll to one, up infinity percent from zero in the previous year.

Guest Writer: Troy Plattner © 1994 - 2022
Submitted by: Warren Harrop
Reference: Herald Sun; The Age, Melbourne.

Arnold Norris says, "I searched the online archive of the rival Melbourne newspaper to confirm this story. (I was too cheap to pay the full $2.20!) "Tragic tale of a man who wanted to be a fish" -- NOBODY knows why Neil, 49, liked to pretend to be a fish. When he was found dead in a meticulously made fish-suit near his family's Toolondo holiday home, it opened a case that police Say Remains One Of The Most Baffling. (899 words)"

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