Darwin Awards honor the world's stupidest

Posted by Emma Woollacott

The winners of the 2009 Darwin Awards have been announced, and for the first time ever there's a woman on the shortlist.

The awards honor those people who have done most to improve the gene pool - by removing themselves from it.

This year's winners were two Belgian bank robbers who overestimated the amount of dynamite they'd need to blow up an ATM. They demolished the entire bank - and of course, themselves.

The runners up included a North Carolina woman who figured it was safe enough to ride home through a torrential storm - as she said, "My moped has two rubber wheels, Mom, I'll be fine".

She lost control of the moped and fell into a creek, from which she was lucky enough to be rescued by a police officer. However, when he returned to his patrol car to call for assistance, the woman jumped straight back into the creek. Her mother reckons she may have been trying to rescue the moped.

Also on the list is the man who told his friends he needed to take a leak and jumped over a low wall - only to fall 65 feet onto a railroad.

Finally, the awards committee honored a Catholic priest who actually achieved his claim to fame at the end of 2008, too late for last year's awards. The priest got a little closer to God than he expected after attaching balloons to his lawn chair and setting off into the skies.

While he was smart enough to take a GPS with him, unfortunately he wasn't quite smart enough to be able to use it to tell rescuers where he was. The charge on his cellphone died, and so did he.