The Darwin Awards began as a noble idea: Give posthumous prizes for folks whose "survival techniques" ensured they won't be participating in the evolution of humanity. Unfortunately, like many of the free-flowing "facts" on the Internet, it immediately became clear that the awards were just another piece of fictitious graffiti spray-painted along the unpatrolled information superhighway. Anyone who needs proof need only remember the Darwin Award winner who attached a military rocket engine to his Coupe de Ville, and turned out to be as true-to-life as Brett Favre's lover. The problem: There's no accountability. The solution: the First-Ever Verified Darwin Awards.
All of the following incidents were taken straight from headlines across the world.
(CAPE HATTERAS, NORTH CAROLINA) Raymond Jones, 21, is buried alive after falling into a 9-foot sand hole he's dug. His mother tells reporters that her son has been dabbling in holes since childhood, but has never tried digging one quite that deep.
(NEW DELHI, INDIA)
A 10-year-old boy dies trying to mimic a TV commercial featuring a bungee-jumping kid who leaps off a cliff and steals a soft-drink bottle from the back of a moving truck. He is found dangling from his mother's sari outside the window of his family's 10th-floor apartment.
(BAYOU VISTA, LOUISIANA) Steven Hill Epperson, 36, jokingly pops a friend's 6-inch tropical fish into his mouth and chokes to death when it becomes lodged in his throat.
DARWIN AWARDS GRAND PRIZE WINNER
A man pronounced dead regains consciousness and finds himself sealed in a morgue refrigerator. Evening the score, the paramedic responding to the screams of the awakened Abdel-Sattar Abdel-Salam Badawi collapses in shock and dies upon finding the reawakened corpse.