-Stage 4.2-

The Darwin Awards

Geology Strikes Back

“The Darwin Awards salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who accidentally remove themselves from it...”



People kill themselves everyday in all sorts of stupid ways. This page just highlights some of the stupid ways that are relevant to geology. Many of these have been found by my students so they will be mentioned as needed.

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Hurricane, Carry Me Away Home

Darwin Awards - Hurricane

Meteorology strikes back this time as 20 people defy evacuation warnings to have a "Hurricane Party" only to be carried off by the winds and ocean waves.

Article courtesy of Seong Jun Lee

"If you go in the water, you WILL die"

Darwin Awards - Water

Algae covered rocks, a swift moving current, a giant waterfall, and a sign that states "If you go in the water, you will die" does not deter this hiker from cooling his feet off in the river. Needless to say, the river won.

Article courtesy of John Fullmer


Man Digs Himself Own Grave in Search for Treasure

Darwin Awards - Treasure

Geology strikes back against this person as he continually digs for "treasure" even though the ground becomes wetter and wetter as he digs through the water table.

Article courtesy of Chase Sundquist and Ry Sanders

Man Finds the Quick Way off a Glacier

Darwin Awards - Glacier

A man learns his lesson as geology teaches him that sliding down a glacier is not the quickest way to get down. Or as my student put it "look before you jump".

Article courtesy of Heather Judd and Seth Fredrick


Escape Via 55-ft Shear Wet Granite Rock Face

Darwin Awards - Slipface

Geology strikes back against these thieves. As they were making their get-a-way, they decided to choose a steep slope that was made of granite, where it had rained the night before, and it is a common fact that rocks are slippery when wet.

 Article courtesy of  Robert Mrdutt

Let's Race Across a Mountain in a Snowmobile

Darwin Awards - Avalanche

Geology strikes back against this man who decided that avalanche warnings were not for him. A steep slope gradient and a failure surface led this dare devil to meet mother nature's wrath.

Article courtesy of  Krista Mugavero


Gypsum Kills Potential Thief

Darwin Awards - Gypsum Kills

Geology strikes back against this thief. A man was killed slowly and painfully by a giant selenite crystal in Chihuahua, Mexico when he tried to steal it.

Article courtesy of  Rob Armstrong

Man injured by tsunami ... sort of

Darwin Awards - Tsunami

Geology strikes back against a man who jumped out of a window to save himself from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. He suffered several broken bones because there was no water. He was in Serbia at the time.

Article courtesy of Nicole Reid