Insane, Unsound, And Just Plain Stupid: The 2018 Darwin Awards

Published December 25, 2018
Published December 25, 2018

These stars of stupidity were either killed or narrowly escaped death at the hands of their own bad decisions. Now we honor them for — nearly — selecting themselves out of the gene pool.

Dildo Lodged Arrow

BMJ Case ReportsDarwin award winner for the removal of a 23-inch dildo from an unidentified 31-year-old man’s rectum — that had been stuck for over 24 hours.

It has been a year of fantastic invention and discovery, and yet, it’s also been a year of absolute stupidity. These individuals have been graced with a Darwin award, a prize reserved only for those who have contributed to human evolution by selecting themselves out of the gene pool by dying — or almost dying — at the hands of their own ignorance.

Sure, some of these Darwin award winners are the product of an accident most, however, are the product of their own stupidity. We do have to thank these victors though for ensuring the persistence of only the very best of humanity.

259 People Worldwide Have Died While Taking Selfies

Darwin Award Via Train Tracks Death

YouTubeA selfie captured moments before the man in the photo died.

The quest for the ultimate social media photo has driven people to do some crazy things, and thus the Darwin awards begin with every one of the 259 people who got themselves killed while trying to take a selfie.

A team of researchers from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences looked at news reports of selfie deaths between October 2011 and November 2017 and discovered that 259 people worldwide died while taking a selfie.

The report defines selfie deaths, or “selficides,” as “any accidental death that occurs while doing self-photography or clicking selfies.”

For instance just this past year in 2018, a man who had stopped along the side of the road for a bathroom break was mauled to death after he came across a bear and decided to try to take a picture with it.

The study’s findings reveal a startling growth pattern as social media sites like Instagram and Snapchat grew in popularity, so did the selfie deaths. The highest number of selfie-related deaths in the six-year period occurred in India. The country accounted for nearly 50% of all of the deaths. Russia, the United States, and Pakistan rounded out the top four and the study says that most of the deaths happened to people who were under the age of 30.

Men made up 72.5 percent of the selfie deaths. While women take more selfies, the study posits that men are more likely to put themselves at risk while attempting to take the photos.

Dangerous Selfie

Getty ImagesA woman climbs on top of another person’s shoulders while on the edge of a chimney so she can capture a selfie.

The top cause of selfie-related death was drowning, which accounted for 70 of the 259 deaths. The number two cause of death was “transport” incidents, such as running in front of a train or stopping on train tracks, which killed 51 people. Deaths by fire and falling tied for third with 48 deaths each.

Other causes of death in the study were electrocution, animals, and firearms. The United States ranked number one for firearm-related selfie deaths. These occurred mostly from the photographer accidentally shooting themselves while posing with their gun.

Unfortunately, the researchers feel that these figures could be underreported and that there have possibly been even more selfie-related deaths than those listed in the study.

Perhaps our morbid curiosity for these selfie-related accidental deaths can serve as a warning against taking the perfect, albeit risky, social media picture esepcially at the risk of becoming a Darwin award nominee.

Leah Silverman
Leah is the Assistant Editor for All That's Interesting. Her work has appeared in Town & Country, Women's Health, Esquire, and Publishers Weekly.