Charles Darwin at a green chalkboard.

2012 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.

Smokin' Hot Sauce!
2012 Darwin Award Winner
Confirmed True by Darwin

27 February 2012, North Carolina) "It was just a freak incident," said an investigator, that caused the death of 43-year-old Gary Allen Banning. Gary was at a friend's apartment when he spotted a salsa jar containing a mystery fluid. Thinking that it was an alcoholic beverage, he helped himself to a sizeable swig of gasoline! Naturally enough, he immediately spit out the offending liquid onto his clothes. Then, to recover from the shock, Gary lit a cigarette.

Whoosh! Gas+Flame=Combustion.

Firefighters responded to calls reporting a fire in the apartment, and found a badly burned man sitting on a charred carpet. The following morning, Gasoline Gary died at the UNC Burn Center in Chapel Hill.

Two mistakes caused his death. The first mistake was minor: gulping a golden liquid from a salsa jar. Although Darwin Awards editors feel that a jar of yellow liquid is best left sealed, drinking its contents usually does not lead to combustion. But the second mistake--lighting up a cigarette to recover from the shock of taking a mouthful of gasoline--was a decision that an average five year old would consider questionable. As the late Bill Hicks said, "Darn, we lost another idiot."

Gary's friend was a mechanic and kept the jar of gasoline near the kitchen sink to remove grease from his hands.

Reader comments: "That's some HOT salsa!"
"Gasoline and chlorine are both effective at cleansing the gene pool." -Quinton W.
"you can't fix stupid, but stupid eventually fixes itself." -Issac T.
"Dumb people should smoke more!" -Frank G.
"Great Balls Of Fire!" -Darren L.
"'Shine' is generally clear, so even by Carolina standards this is dumb." -Patrick T.
"The shrinking gene pool." -Nery M.

Submitted by: C Avery, Brad Y. Laurie A. Todd, Greg Barr, Scott R. Corey, and thirty others.
Reference:,, many more news outlets.

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