You know, despite what that “1000 Ways to Die” show says, staying alive really isn't that much of a task. For the most part, it boils down to not doing stupid things. Sure, there are some variables thrown in there that can ruin your day, but for a lot of us, it’s not that tough. For those featured in the Darwin Awards, they just didn't have the whit to keep themselves alive, proving Darwin’s theory of natural selection has merit.
Man vs. Locomotive
It all started with an SUV getting stuck on railroad tracks. Gerhard and his Porsche Cayenne got stuck between the safety bars due to Gerhard’s poor judgment, but that isn’t the worst part of the driver’s demise. Hoping to save his precious vehicle, Gerhard leapt from his car and started running towards the train, flailing his arms in hopes he could stop the speeding locomotive. What Gerhard didn’t anticipate is that trains don’t stop on a dime. In the battle of man versus train, train always wins.
Fire and Gunpowder Don’t Make Good Bed Fellows
Some things just don’t mix – oil and water, ammonia and bleach, stupidity and combustibles. Going along with that third one, we also have an open flame and gunpowder. An Indiana man, Gregory, was in the process of cleaning his .54-caliber when he made one fatal mistake. While trying to see down the barrel of his gun, which hadn’t been firing properly, Gregory used a cigarette lighter as a light source. For anyone familiar with gunpowder, the ending to this tale should be no surprise. The gun fired in Gregory’s face, taking away Gregory’s ability to procreate indefinitely.
Tempting the Cobra
When your last words are “I’m a man, I can handle it,” you’re not doing much to prove you’re the fittest to survive. Roger Croteau of Pennsylvania let his friend Wayne Roth, play with his pet cobra when the snake recoiled and bit him. Unlike any sane individual just bitten by a rather venomous snake, Roth refused to go to a hospital for anti-venom. Instead, he went to a bar to brag about his newfound manhood. His bragging lasted only a few hours until the slow-acting toxin, known to attack the central nervous system, kicked in and ceased Roth’s major bodily functions.
A Tiger’s Dinner
Chalk these deaths up to another selection of people just not following the rules of common sense. Two German tourists were spending an awe-filled day in a wild game park in Alacante, Spain. Throughout the park, which visitors remain in their vehicles to experience, signs are posted warning passersby’s to leave all windows and doors closed. So, what does our miraculous duo do when they reach the tiger grotto? They leave the safety of their vehicle and lock the doors behind them. They quickly became a meal for three Bengal tigers nearby, being found later completely disemboweled.
Six Lives for a Chicken
This story is a little sad, considering the lives were lost trying to save one simple chicken stuck in a well. How the poultry wound up in the well is unknown, but it can be accounted that six different people went into the well to try and save the lone hen. First, an 18-year-old farmer went into the 60-foot well, succumbing to a powerful undercurrent that got the best of him. The farmer’s sister and two brothers, said to not be avid swimmers, followed one-by-one, also being pulled under by the undercurrent. Thinking they could right the situation, two elderly farmers came to help, only to succumb to the same fate. The irony of the situation, of course, the chicken made it out alive.
A New Kind of Russian Roulette
The concept of Russian Roulette is kind of a dumb one to begin with, but imagine swapping out a handgun with an unexploded anti-tank mine. Despite being over 25-years-old, mines, if not deactivated properly, can still prove to be explosive – a fact that three friends discovered one night in March of 1999 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Under the influence of alcohol and their own stupidity, the three men used the mine to play Russian Roulette in a public bar. Once fellow patrons figured out what they were up to, the bar emptied out quick. This story ends exactly as you would expect, with one too many stomps on the mine causing it to detonate, destroying the bar and completely obliterating the three friends.
As Samuel L Jackson once said “You should see ice. It moves like it has a mind.” In April of 2000, 43-year-old Walter of Fairbanks, Alaska, learned precisely what that means when he found himself on the wrong end of an avalanche. When using a snow machine to climb a snowy mountain, one should take care to follow warnings of avalanches, especially when warm weather had threatened to loosen up the hillside snow and local organizers advised to stay off steeper slopes. Regardless, Walter took his loud machine and started heading for the mountains, his inevitable end coming when an avalanche of snow dislodged and buried him alive. Walter was found frozen under four feet of tightly packed snow.
The Bitter Divorcee
After a divorce that left him with little more than what was on his body, Uwe was forced to turn ownership of his house over to his now ex-wife. Enraged by the divorce and his wife’s victory, Uwe sought to take matters into his own hands and leave her, at least, with an unpleasant burnt taste in her mouth. The 40-year-old German man entered his former home, drilled holes into an oil tank in the basement, and set the house ablaze. Unfortunately, the man left himself no time to escape the scorching fire and went down with the home.
Insurance Fraud and Death
November of 2009, Belgium police arrive on the scene of a crime that would initially seem to be road rage. A man, stabbed to death, lay on the road near what’s presumed to be his burning car. As the events unfold, though, this turns out to be far stranger than an act of aggression on the road. The victim, Thierry B., had a grudge over insurance money he was never paid from two years prior when his restaurant burnt to the ground. Trying to trick the insurance companies, Thierry had the genius plan to set his car on fire and stab himself to make it look like an act of violence. Unfortunately, Thierry was no biology major, and as he started self-inflicting wounds, he cut an artery in his neck, causing him to bleed out.
The Roller Coaster Thrill Seeker
Nothing good can come from not heeding the warnings given before a ride on a roller coaster. They are fast moving machines with all sorts of bars and pipes strategically placed to not impede on the riders; that is, of course, if the riders adhere to all regulations. This little gem comes from Richmond, Virginia in August of 1999, when a student was killed on a roller coaster known as the “Shockwave” at Paramount Kings Dominion amusement park. Despite the safety harness, the young man thought it was wise to remove his restraints to be able to raise his hands in the air. The problem was, without restraints, gravity would surely take over around the loops. There’s no surprise ending here, as that’s exactly what happened – The victim was found dead from massive head trauma on a nearby catwalk.