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Kamikaze ballooning Brazilian soars to Darwin Award

Antonio de Carli, come on down

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The voting has not yet closed, but kamikaze ballooning Brazilian priest Antonio de Carli looks a dead cert to secure the 2008 Darwin Awards crown for the most impressive contribution to improving the gene pool by removing himself from it.

The Roman Catholic daredevil decided back in April it was a really bright idea to attempt to break the record for the most time spent dangling under a load of helium balloons (19 hours), to "raise money for a spiritual rest-stop for truckers" in the coastal city of Paranagua.

Despite being an experienced skydiver and packing a GPS, mobile phone and parachute, he was quickly blown out to sea and, although subsequently able to call for help, was apparently unable to provide his position because he couldn't work the GPS unit. His body was recovered three months later off the south-east coast of Brazil.

Other Darwin award laureates look likely to be the hunter who demonstrated why it's not a good plan to attempt to hit your dog with a loaded shotgun, and this splendid demonstration of how not to chop down a pine tree.

The full list of 2008 nominations is right here. ®

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