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Daily life is hazardous, sometimes unbelievably so. No matter how imaginative our precautions or how steadfast our vigilance, the unthinkable can — and does — happen.
Sometimes even doing all the right things is nowhere near enough. These legends speak to that fear, that all our good planning and carefulness may not, ultimately, be enough. Bizarre, freakish, and deadly accidents can happen to anyone, including us.
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Charred remains of scuba diver are found in tree after forest fire.
Hospital janitor accidentally kills patients by unplugging their life-support systems.
Young boy dies from eating Pop Rocks candy with soda pop.
Teenager accidentally hangs himself during Halloween stunt.
A Virginia man is washing machined to death.
Two men each lose an arm in a grisly tug-of-war contest.*
A suicide attempt involving hanging, shooting, poisoning, and immolation goes wrong.
A motorcyclist's coat worn backwards leads to his demise.
The 1867 wedding of a princess and a duke was marred by tragedy on an unprecedented scale.*
In the wake of a major earthquake, a car thief found crushed in the vehicle he'd stolen.
In 1919, a killing wave of molasses swept through Boston.
A damaged cactus falls onto the man who had harmed it and kills him.
Calamity after calamity piles up in a tale of saving the worst news for last.
Thailand is experiencing a rash of deaths and injuries from a "pumping" craze.
Ronald Opus was shot while attempting 1994's most bizarre suicide.
A prisoner used playing cards to take his own life.
Kid on a school bus is beheaded by a road sign.
Lawyer demonstrating the safety of windows in a skyscraper plunges to his death.
Motorcyclist is decapitated by sheet of metal which falls from passing truck.
A child died from drinking the contents of a prize-bearing Coca-Cola 'MagiCan.'*
Houdini died from appendicitis brought about by his being punched in the stomach.
Woman fails to gas herself to death because the gas company has turned off service.
Man is burned to death attempting to rescue dog from boiling hot spring.
Man eating a lollipop chokes to death when his car's airbag forces the candy down his throat.
Groom is suffocated by a stripper's massive breasts.
Burglar drops dead of a heart attack when startled by a fake hanging at his victims' home.
Bodies of workmen are entombed in Hoover Dam.
Several actors have kicked the bucket in front of an audience.
The arrival of a telegram announcing a death leads to the demise of the rest of the family.
Nine people died in a beer flood in 1814.
Youths shoot a patrol car parked as a "speeder deterrent" on the one day it contains a real cop.*
Girl dies pleasuring herself with a broom.*
Black Like Me author died of skin cancer caused by the treatment he underwent to darken his skin.
Teen dies in car crash with a plastic jesus dashboard ornament embedded in her chest.*
Tourist in Las Vegas is electrocuted while crossing the street.
A Houston doctor was decapitated by an elevator.
People have died laughing.
An eruption of carbon dioxide from a lake killed hundreds of people.
A band musician received a fatal head injury from a trombone slide.
Swearing off the game for good, a golfer launches the bag containing his clubs into a water hazard . . . momentarily forgetting his car keys were in the bag.
Internet-circulated list titled "2003 Darwin Awards" details actual deaths.
Internet-circulated list titled "2004 Darwin Awards" details actual deaths.
Internet-circulated list titled "2005 Darwin Awards" details actual deaths.
Internet-circulated list titled "2006 Darwin Awards" details actual deaths.
Kid dies doing the latest dance step in a video.
A circus dwarf died when he bounced off a trampoline into the mouth of a hippopotamus.
A mixture of Mentos and Coca-Cola killed two Brazilian children.
Man killed by fire hydrant.
A spectator at a football game was killed by a flying model lawnmower.
A man was killed by an exploding lava lamp.
Golfer frustrated by the bad shot he made is killed by the club he threw away.*
A man was convicted of manslaughter for accidentally killing his wife with a "Dutch oven."
A teenager died attempting the ALS 'ice bucket challenge.'
A young woman named Elisa Lam died under mysterious circumstances in Los Angeles.
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