Selfies are officially more dangerous than shark attacks
There’s no horror movie about selfies (yet), but it seems that front-facing cameras are far more dangerous than any of us suspected — more likely to kill someone, in fact, than a great white shark.
According to Mashable, more people around the world have died this year trying to take a selfie than have been killed by sharks. So far in 2015, 12 people have died mid-selfie attempt, while eight have died as a result of a shark attack.
The most recent selfie-inflicted death came just this week, when Hideto Ueda, a 66-year-old Japanese tourist, died after falling down a flight of stairs at the Taj Mahal while trying to take a selfie.
Falling was the cause of death in three of the other selfie fatalities of 2015, making it the most common kind of accident. The next most likely cause of death was being hit by a train, because apparently some people try to take a cool photo of a train by putting themselves directly in front of it.
Even non-moving trains can be deadly, though — a 21-year-old man in Spain was electrocuted after accidentally touching a high-voltage cable when he climbed on top of a stationary train to take a picture with friends.
Some of the fatal selfie attempts have been downright weird. Just this year, a man was gored to death when he stopped to take a selfie at the running of the bulls, a 21-year-old Mexican man fatally shot himself in the head while taking a selfie with a handgun and a woman who died in a car crash in North Carolina was taking selfies and singing along with Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ right before the accident.
While 12 deaths is hardly comparable to the numbers of people who die from disease or gun violence, it’s still 12 too many, considering how entirely-preventable all of these accidents are.
And even when people aren’t getting themselves killed in the quest for cool selfies, many wannabe photographers are putting themselves or other people (or animals) in danger. In July, a woman was gored by a bison in Yellowstone when she tried to take a selfie with it, and a park in Colorado has had to close because people won’t stop trying to take photos of themselves with bears.
Things have gotten so bad that the Russian government actually published an official brochure warning that trying to snap an awesome selfie “could cost you your life.” Russians seem to be especially prone to dangerous selfie attempts, with more than 100 documented selfie-related accidents happening this year alone.
“Before taking a selfie, everyone should think about the fact that racing after a high number of ‘likes’ could lead him on a journey to death and his last extreme photo could turn out to be posthumous,” an aide to Russia’s interior minister said in an interview with Al Jazeera.
So next time you go to the beach, don’t be afraid to go in the water. The real danger has been right in your bag all along.
[Image via Universal Pictures]