An award as well as the name of a site showcasing the winners of this "prestigious" award.

Charles Darwin is known for his theories on Evolution, Natural Selection, and Survival of the Fittest. Smart animals survive and have offspring. Dumb and weak ones of the species get killed and therefore don't reproduce.

The purpose of this award is to commemorate those individuals who insure the long-term survival of the human species by removing themselves from it. That is, they do mankind a favor by killing themselves, so that they don't have offspring that may share the stupidity and insanity. The catch is that they must do it in a sublimely idiotic fashion, and there must be proof, like an actual newspaper report.

In 1993, Wendy Northcutt, a graduate of UC Berkeley in molecular biology, set up a website called "The Darwin Awards" on the university's server. It contained news stories of some bizarre and idiotic deaths. Soon it became one of the most popular sites on the web of that time, more popular than the rest of the sites on the school's server. Eventually she was asked to move the site off school property, and moved it to DarwinAwards.com. It gets over 400,000 hits a month and got an award for Cool site of the Year 2000.

There are many many stories on the site; such as the man who used a lighter to see if a gas can was empty, or the people who threw a beach party to celebrate an oncoming hurricane. Many cases involve explosions, such as the two people killed playing catch with a land mine.

On the site there are four types of stories:
Confirmed- The author has found proof that this really happened.
Unconfirmed- The editors can't find proof that it happened.
Honorable Mention- A near death,usually something strange. Can be confirmed or unconfirmed
Urban Legend- Sounds too bizarre to be real, usually from a chain e-mail.
Personal Accounts- People on the site can write in on near fatalities from crazy stunts.

Every story lets readers vote on a scale of 1-10 on how much they like it, and at the end of the year a select few are given a Darwin Award. There are also two books that contain most if not all of the first four kinds of stories on the site.

I heartily suggest reading a few off the site, as some are very funny, and I guarantee you'll want to share some with co-workers.

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