Charles Darwin at a green chalkboard.

2006 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.

Score One For Goliath
2006 Darwin Award Winner
Confirmed True by Darwin

The one that didn't get away.

(9 September 2006, Florida) A fearsome mythical giant named Goliath was felled by David's humble sling. But a modern leviathan vs. a speargun is another tale altogether, as a 42-year-old man named Gary discovered.

Although it was outlawed in 1990, poaching giant groupers remains surprisingly popular in the Florida Keys. These muscular fish can weigh 600 pounds, yet underwater hunters voluntarily choose to tether themselves to the creatures with spearguns, in defiance of both the law and common sense.

Formerly called Jewfish, the Goliath Grouper is the world's largest grouper, attaining weights up to 600 pounds. They are quite illegal to hunt, and are generally too tough and wormy to eat, so killing one gives the spearfisher bragging rights only.

Of this elite group, our Darwin Award winner further distinguished himself by disregarding one essential spearfishing precaution. The "fit and experienced snorkeler" embarked on a grouper hunt without a knife to cut himself loose, guaranteeing that his next attack would be his last. "Not wearing a knife is like crossing I-95 with your eyes closed," explained one experienced diver.

In those final hours, the tables were turned, and the leviathan fish was given an opportunity to experience "catching a person." The body of the spearfisher was found pinned to the coral, 17 feet underwater. Three coils of line were wrapped around his wrist, and one very dead grouper was impaled at the other end of the line.

Reader Comments:
"Fish Catches Man Story."
"Sounds fishy to me."
"A reel fish tale."

David C. Halley points out that 'slingshot' was originally misused in this story. "David's weapon was not a slingshot but a sling, an entirely different device. Slingshots require rubber so could not have been constructed prior to ~1800 C.E."

A Similar Personal Acct.

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Submitted by: Arjan Kop, Steve Walsh, Buford Pruitt
Reference: Miami Herald, Reuters, Yahoo! News

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