Did You Know There Are Awards That Recognise Stupidity?

No kidding. They’re called Darwin Awards in honour of Charles Darwin who contributed the theory of natural selection – survival of the fittest so to speak – towards the knowledge pool of humanity. 

But the awards are for people who get killed through their own stupidity. In the process, they do humanity a favour by removing themselves from the gene pool so to speak. 

Perhaps the Arizona woman who tried to pose for a selfie with a jaguar might qualify for a Darwinian honourable mention. 

What do you think happened?

Of course, the woman who stepped over a barrier to take a selfie at a zoo in Arizona in the United States was attacked by the jaguar.

That’s what happens when you fish in the sea of life without bait. Or try and run up a down escalator. 

When she crossed the barrier and approached the enclosure to photograph herself with the jaguar, it swiped out through the fencing, leaving deep gashes on her arms.

Wildlife World Zoo director Mickey Ollson said there was “no way to fix people crossing barriers”.

“They’re there for a good reason,” he said carefully avoiding the impulse to add: “Duh!”

Although the protagonist was a woman, 70 per cent of all Darwin winners are male and, again not surprisingly, most winners have come from the United States. Think Trump and no one should be surprised. 

Here’s another rocket scientist from Arizona again. According to police reports, a man accidentally shot his own, well, sausage while shopping in the meat aisle at Wal-Mart. 

Arizona law does not require a permit (nor a holster for that matter) to carry a firearm, so our hero felt free to carry his piece “commando-style” (unholstered) beneath his waistband. 

When the unholstered gun drifted down into his jeans, he reached in and accidentally pulled the trigger while repositioning his weapon. This loose cannon’s low hanging fruit didn’t have a chance. Neither did said loose cannon. 

Firearm supporters can add this event to the arsenal of ammunition against gun control. 

Not every winner is from the US, however. India has its fair share of people a few poppadoms short of a curry too.

Driving home from a wedding, Prabhu Bhatara idled the car on the roadside to relieve himself in the woods. From a squatting position he spied an injured bear— no less. And what does he do or think? 

The rocket scientist thinks selfie. 

Meanwhile, instead of intervening, the passengers in his car pulled out their mobiles and filmed the carnage.

As he neared the bear, the passengers advised him against his plan. Rocket scientist that he was however, the former wedding guest was determined to fulfil his full selfie potential. 

Once he was within reaching distance, the bear turned out to be not as injured as it seemed  – maybe it was just a bad hair day – and lunged forward, pinning Mr. Bhatara to the ground, “killing him on the spot,” according to Forest ranger Dhanurjaya Mohapatra.

Then, perhaps disgusted at this epic display of homo sapien apathy, a stray dog joined the fray in an attempt to save the man, and tried to fight off the bear! The bear, however, seemed to believe that the world had one too many selfie-seeking humans and finished off poor Mr. Bhatara.

According to media reports, once the body was retrieved, forest officials treated the bear for its injuries. The dog, although probably still disgusted, was unharmed.

Despair not my fellow Malaysians. Although we may appear to have an over-achiever’s share of rocket scientists, morons and dim-witted people, there is always one bright shining thought that we should keep in mind.

It could be far, far worse.