Charles Darwin at a green chalkboard.

1999 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.

Wiped Out
1999 Darwin Award Winner
Unconfirmed by Darwin

It's still not clean!

(4 September 1999, Tokyo, Japan) Shoshi was a part-time janitor until his eagerness to do a good job collided with an unhealthy inability to attend to his own safety. The elevator he was cleaning had water leaking from its ceiling, so he rode a second elevator up the shaft, climbed out its hidden side door, and hopped on top of the first elevator. As he cleaned the puddle from the roof, the car rose to the top floor, fatally crushing him beneath the ceiling of the building. The 24-year-old had forgotten to turn off the leaking elevator before wiping up the spill, leaving the roof messier than before.

(Darwin says, "Several elevator facts argue against the veracity of this story. When a trapdoor is opened, a safety circuit is tripped, preventing the elevator from moving. Most elevators have two to six feet of clearance at the top of the shaft, and thus will not squash a person. And elevators have a "stop" button on the roof, so a person in the unenviable position of riding an elevator hurtling towards the sky has one last recourse.")

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Submitted by: DJW
Reference: Mainichi Daily News

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