The Darwin Awards

2000 At-Risk Survivor

Next Prev Random At-Risk Survivors have misadventures that stop short of the ultimate sacrifice. Nevertheless we salute the spirit of their colossal blunders with an Honorable Mention. Better luck next time!

Tainted Turkey
2000 At-Risk Survivor
Unconfirmed by Darwin

(23 November 2000, Connecticut) A family tradition spiraled into disaster when a meat thermometer exploded in a roasting turkey on Thanksgiving Day. The family of five decided to eat the turkey anyway, and in short order they were dialing for an ambulance. The family was rushed to the hospital, treated, and released. Officials are still trying to determine what chemical was in the thermometer. Looks like we can expect a new warning label next year: "Contents of this thermometer are not to be used as a condiment." © 1994 - 2020
Submitted by: John Smith


I keep getting emails like THIS: "Clearly not true! Pop-up thermometers in turkeys are spring loaded with a dab of glue that holds the spring, which dissolve at 160 degrees Fahrenheit." And "My turkey thermometer has no liquid in it! They are made of a bimetallic zinc/copper strip."

Darwin says, "Uh... There are *three* kinds of turkey thermometers, folks. The one-time use melt triggers, the bimetallic strips which are perfectly safe for oven use, and THE KIND WITH RED OMINIOUS LIQUID. Just because *yours* is not dangerous, doesn't mean THIS bird wasn't polluted with exploded glass and unidentified red liquid chemicals. Still... perhaps this was just hungry people taking a chance..."

Wade says, "The mysterious red liquid in thermometers is alcohol with red colorant. Much safer than mercury, in the case of breakage. But still not a good thing to ingest."

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