Selfies: Five times more deadly than shark attacks

Selfies, which have become a global sensation in the last decade or so, have remarkably killed five times more people than shark attacks.

And the death toll has crept up incrementally each year as smartphones become more sophisticated and selfie-sticks increase the range at which people can snap themselves, prompting them to take bigger risks for the perfect shot.

Between October 2011 and November 2017, at least 259 people died taking selfies around the globe, according to India’s Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, compared to just 50 people killed by sharks in the same period.

Photographer Esty Tomas and his friend James Kingston take selfie on top of a skyscraper in Dubai, May 7, 2016. /VCG Photo by Esty Tomas

While women take the most selfies, young men, who are more prone to take risks, make up three quarters of the selfie deaths – in drownings, crashes, falls or shooting accidents.

India, with a population of more than 1.3 billion and 800 million cell phones, holds the record for the number of people dying in the act of photographing themselves, with 159 recorded so far.

That is more than half of the global total, and a testament of sorts to the nation’s love of group photos and its youthful population.

India has seen selfie-snapping groups of youths die when they were hit by a train or drowning when their boat sank at the moment they were clicking the shutter.

The situation has become so dire that India has set up “no selfie” zones – 16 of them in the city of Mumbai alone.

Three friends take an extreme selfie before a stunning backdrop in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, July, 17, 2015. /VCG Photo by Keow Wee Loong

The country came in far ahead of Russia (16 deaths), the United States (14) and Pakistan.

In Russia, people have fallen from bridges and high-rise buildings, shot themselves or even died while handling a land mine. Police issued a guide to “selfies without danger” in 2015.

In the United States, most of those involved in selfie deaths fatally shot themselves while seeking the perfect pose. A number of people have fallen to their deaths at the Grand Canyon.

Rescue services in Croatia used Twitter to ask tourists to “stop taking stupid and dangerous selfies” after a Canadian miraculously survived a 75-meter (250-foot) fall in the Plitvice lakes region.

A fearless free climber scales a tower and takes selfies at the summit. /VCG Photo by Laurentiu Garofeanu

Other inappropriate selfie spots

Even when they are not fatal, selfies can be extremely macabre.

In 2014, a Brazilian woman sparked rage online when she took a smiling selfie in front of the coffin of presidential candidate Eduardo Campos at his funeral.

More and more, selfies – even in tourist havens – are becoming a bit of a nuisance for locals.

Residents of the picturesque Rue Cremieux in Paris were so disturbed by the constant stream of selfie-snapping tourists outside their windows that they started their own Instagram account, clubcremieux, where they publish pictures of the most absurd posers outside their doors, skewering them with barbed captions.

Sharing is caring!

Author: Joseph Oladokun

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.