Charles Darwin at a green chalkboard.

2020 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.

A Slack-Robatic Effort
2020 Darwin Award Winner
Confirmed True by Darwin
GUEST WRITER: James G. Petropolous

iconic mount fuji

(9 February 2020, Mount Gambier Australia) At midnight the phone rang for Police Inspector Campbell Hill. "What? Someone fell into the sinkhole??? Bloody hell. Better ring up the Fire Department. We will need their Rope Rescue Rig for this one."

Cave Gardens Sinkhole, the most magical spot in South Australia, is actually the cenote on the flanks of a dormant volcano. Located at the heart of the City of Mount Gambier, beautiful vines and roses cascade down its steep walls and a graceful waterfall adds to the natural beauty. A protective fence surrounds the sinkhole, and a lovely wrought iron platform extends over the precipice to offer a thrilling view of the cenote floor one hundred feet below.

"What do you mean they drained the pool?" - Rick Lotz, FB
"Bastard owes me a 20-spot. Told him he couldn't do it." - James Madison, FB

The Mayor said the sinkhole, a popular local and tourist attraction, was "a safe environment for many years, enjoyed by thousands of people." Inspector Hill may have muttered those same rueful words as he arrived before dawn on Sunday morning. The Fire Service had already rigged the Rope Rescue apparatus. Searchlights focused on the lifeless body of 20 year old Bradley Streeter, who was hoisted up and out of the sinkhole at 3:00 am.

Police investigation swiftly uncovered the events that led to his tragic tumble. Two facts were certain: Bradley died instantly at the scene, and foul play was ruled out. But when Inspector Hill was told of the specific reason for Bradley's death he could only stand dumbfounded. "He did WHAT???"

Unlucky, ya poor silly bastard. RIP. Likely all of us have done
some almighty stupid shit and lived to tell the tale.
-Matthew Ice, FB

Bradley was a cheeky lad with a heart of gold, adventurous and mechanically talented, fond of four-wheelers and fishing, an aspiring mechanic with a side hustle selling car parts. He had a good future ahead of him, and was well-loved by family and friends in his small hometown five hours away from Mount Gambier. So Inspector Hill found it hard to accept what witnesses and first responders were telling him: Young Bradley did a midnight handstand on the viewing platform railing.

Yes. A handstand. Moments before midnight, Bradley was poised upside down on a rail a hundred feet above the dark cave floor. In a single moment, his proud alley-oop! became a disastrous alley-oops! as he lost balance and his trajectory took him down into the deep dark cenote. Friends were with Bradley the night he performed an "illegal handstand that resulted in his death."

"Bet he doesn't try that trick again!" - Lee Conkey, FB
"Gymnast Goes Off The Deep End. - Ignominious Awards

Handstands are fine at ground level, where a bump to the butt is the worst that can happen. But, add any amount of altitude and your chance of injury grows exponentially along with the force of gravity. The speed of an object in freefall doubles for each second it falls toward the earth. We editors at The Darwin Awards regretfully hand Bradley this Darwin Award, while wishing we could have talked sense into him before he did the deed.

Submitted by: James G Petropoulos

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