The Darwin Awards honour “Those who do a service to humanity by permanently removing themselves from the gene pool” : Here are some past deeds which have been ‘recognised’ by the judges…

An American man shot himself while explaining gun safety to his wife. He placed a .45-calibre pistol he thought was unloaded under his chin and pulled the trigger.

Two men robbed a store in South Carolina and then fled, but they couldn’t flee from their own stupidity. One of them had disguised himself by painting his face gold. The noxious paint fumes gave him breathing difficulties and he died wheezing shortly after the robbery

A young man was kicked out of a Florida bar for fighting. He sneaked back in and leapt off a staircase, aiming a kick at another man, but was killed when he landed on his head.

Two South African muggers were running away from their victims. One of them spotted a fence and leapt over it… into the Bengal tiger cage at Bloemfontein Zoo. The tigers had just been fed so they didn’t eat him: they simply tore him apart instead.

Two Belgian bankrobbers died in an explosion when they overestimated the quantity of dynamite needed to blow open a cash machine.

A pack of thieves attempted to steal scrap metal from an abandoned factory in the Czech Republic. Unfortunately for them, they selected the steel girders that supported the factory roof. When the roof supports were dismantled, the roof fell, fatally crushing two thieves and injuring three others.

An Iraqi terrorist didn’t put enough postage on a letter bomb and it came back marked ‘return to sender.’ He opened the package and was blown up.

Two German animal rights activists protesting against cruelty to pigs released 2,000 of them and were promptly trampled to death.

An American man tried stealing the office safe but was crushed to death when it fell on top of him while he was taking it down the stairs. To make matters worse, the 600-lb safe was empty.

A keen American hunter was having a row with his girlfriend and so used the butt of his shotgun to bash in her windshield. His loaded gun accidentally discharged into his stomach and killed him.

A German man attempting to impress his wife with his unbelievable strength climbed over the balcony of their seventh-floor flat, clung to the outside of the parapet, and began a set of pull-ups. After a few pull-ups, he was exhausted and couldn’t pull himself back on to the balcony. He fell to his death, impaling himself on a thornbush.

Matthew was sliding down a Mammoth Mountain ski run on a yellow foam pad when he crashed into a lift tower and died. He would have been fine but the yellow foam designed to protect skiers had been stolen … by Matthew for his makeshift sledge.