There’s no harm in taking a nice selfie and posting it for friends and family to see how you are doing, what’s new, or where you’ve been. There are, however, times when people should keep their phone down and their cameras off; for safety reasons.
Between October 2011 and November 2017, there were about 259 deaths caused by dangerous selfies, and there were also 137 related incidents. Despite the fact that a selfie may seem harmless, there are many situations when you stop and assess your surroundings. Here are ten of the world’s most dangerous places to take a selfie.
10 KILAUEA, HAWAII, USA
Kilauea is an active volcano in Hawaii. It has been active since its discovery and has erupted a few times; the most recent being in May of 2018. On May 4, 2018, there was what felt like a 6.9 magnitude earthquake, this was the first sign that the volcano was getting angry.
Of course, by May 9, the lava had made its way to homes in the area and then by the 21st of the same month, it has made its way to the water. Despite the danger, several people were fined or arrested for trying to take selfies with the hot lava in the background.
9 TRIANA BRIDGE, SEVILLE, SPAIN
The Triana Bridge is a metal arch bridge in Spain that leads from the main city center of Seville to the Triana neighborhood. In 2014, a Polish student fell off a railing while trying to get a picture with the beautiful piece of architecture.
She fell 23 feet before landing on a walkway just below the rail, dying instantly. Similar incidents have happened elsewhere in the world. Why? Our guess is that some people value the perfect selfie before their lives, or they just think they are invincible.
8 TAJ MAHAL, UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA
The Taj Mahal is a gorgeous white marble temple built in the 1630s by a Mogul Emperor named Shah Jahan. Many tourists flock there to see the beautiful architecture, many of them taking photos of one of the previous wonders of the world. While walking up the stairs, a man fell to his death after tripping while trying to take a selfie with the marble building in the background.
He died from his injuries. India is a hotspot for selfie-related deaths, holding the record for the number of incidents. Mumbai actually has 16 different places with ‘no selfie’ signs.
7 MOUNT HUA, CHINA
There is a mountain range in China that people call The Five Great Mountains of China; Mount Hua is one of those mountains. At its highest peak, it reaches over 2,100 m and is a very popular tourist site. Before tourism booms, the hike to the top of its highest peak was rated as one of the most difficult in the world.
At one point, there is a pathway that morphs into a wide, wooden bridge that juts off from the side of the mountain. Now, there are cable cars and safety equipment readily available. There have been well over 100 incidents regarding people falling off due to not paying attention; some of them being selfie-related.
6 PLITVICE LAKES NATIONAL PARK, CROATIA
Plitvice Lakes National Park is a World Heritage site and has been since 1979. It is also one of the oldest and largest national parks in Croatia; it’s super popular, too, receiving about one million visitors every year. The featured attraction is a beautiful waterfall that reaches heights of about 78 m, but that doesn’t stop people from trying to get a dangerous, thrilling selfie.
In 2015 a young tourist fell to her death while trying to get a selfie and in 2016 another tourist tried the same thing but was lucky enough to escape with his life. The Park even had to release a statement about not taking “stupid and dangerous selfies”.
5 THE GRAND CANYON, ARIZONA, USA
The Grand Canyon is a National Park, just like many of the locations on this list. The Canyon is huge, reaching depths of 800m and is 277 miles (446 km) long and 18 miles (29 km) wide.
Grand Canyon National Park is a very dangerous place to be without a guide–if you do not know the trails, and even if you do (have we learned nothing from 127 Hours). Just about 770 people have died and there is an average of about 12 people per year since there are no safety railings or barriers keeping you from a terrifying drop.
4 TOUR DE FRANCE, VARIOUS COUNTRIES
The Tour de France is an annual multi-stage bike race that is held in France and nearby countries. It is 21 days long and has been running annually since 1903, making it a 106-year-old tradition. In the many years it has been running, there have been quite a few deaths, including both cyclists or spectators alike.
In recent years, though, the causes of death have usually involved someone who decided to turn back on to all the riders in an attempt to take a selfie. This has caused crashes, pile-ups, and even death.
3 TROLLTUNGA ROCK, ODDA, NORWAY
Trolltunga Rock, or “Troll’s Tongue” Rock, is a rock formation that hangs about 1,100 m off the ground. It juts out horizontally from and mountain in Norway and is a very popular tourist attraction. It is easily accessible from a busy hiking trail in the area.
Since there are no railings, ropes, or barriers of any kind to keep people from falling off the high rock, there have been a few deaths; one specifically by selfie. In September of 2015, an Australian tourist fell to her death while attempting to take a selfie.
2 PAMPLONA, SPAIN
Pamplona is the capital city of Navarre, Spain and is known for a popular place to run with the bulls. Bull running was a very popular sport in medieval times and is still carried out today. It usually takes place during summer festivals on blocked off sections of the street.
There have been many deaths related to bull running, most of them ending in the ‘goring’ of the victim. The danger with these festivals is similar to the Tour de France; people turn their backs to rowelled up bulls and end up getting ‘gored’ or trampled in the process.
1 HIGH RISES AND CRANES, VARIOUS PLACES
We’ve all seen the videos of people taking selfies while sitting on top of skyscrapers or cranes in various countries in the world. There are breath-taking, yet terrifying videos of people performing parkour with a city that looks like a world away from sitting below them. Of course, since selfies have come into the picture, there have been many deaths due to risk-takers and adrenaline junkies; some of them dying too young.
In 2015, a 17-year-old boy fell to his death while trying to get a selfie of himself hanging from a rope on a nine-story building. The rope snapped; he, unfortunately, passed away.