The World's Most Dangerous Selfies
At this point, almost everyone has taken out their smartphone to snap a photo of themselves. In fact, you can probably find a selfie on your social media right now. (No need to check; you already know it's true.)
But when taken in dangerous circumstances, selfies can also be deadly. Between 2011 and 2017, 259 people died in the pursuit of one, according to a study published by Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care.
Oftentimes, these dangerous selfies are taken while traveling, with people scaling skyscrapers, cliffs and bridges to capture a photo to remember. Some people regularly take photos they know to be precarious; others have posted a questionable shot or two, perhaps because they didn't fully understand the risks involved.
If you want to take an amazing selfie, absolutely go for it. But the following shots, we think, took things too far.
Is Anyone Else Feeling Nauseous?
This pic from Yekaterinburg, Russia, is dizzying and more than a little alarming.
In recent years, Russia in particular has seen an influx in young thrill-seekers taking dangerous selfies. There have been so many injuries and deaths that the Russian Interior Ministry launched a "safe selfie" campaign a couple years ago.
Rio de Janeiro's Serra do Mar features a stunning gorge bridge with active trains. For the last few years, risk-takers have made their way onto its trestles for insane selfies.
Nearly a dozen people have fallen off of bridges taking selfies since 2014, including a woman who tumbled from Spain's Puente de Triana bridge.
We Hope He Is a Trained Stuntman
Pictures like this prove that dangerous selfies constitute one of the dumbest tourist behaviors ever.
Train selfies became such a problem in places like Sri Lanka and India that they have been banned.
Wow. Just Wow.
This is just one of many gasp-inducing pictures snapped by Daniel Lau, one of the world's most well-known daredevil photographers. On Instagram, he'll often share details about the lengths he goes to get the perfect, completely dangerous shot.
In this photo, the skyscrapers of Hong Kong set the shocking scene.
Like many photos on this list, this Instagram shot from Tianjin, China — taken by Angela Nikolau, who regularly risks her life in pursuit of a hair-raising pic — is hashtagged @DangerousSelfie. Some might even say too dangerous. (How did she even get there?!)
How's the Weather Up There?
The Brazilian tourism board actually challenged travel blogger and photographer Lee Thompson to take this selfie from the top of Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue.
He did and, thankfully, survived to tell the tale.
Forget the Phone and Run!
The running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, dates back to 1591.
Three people were gored at the 2019 running of the bulls, without taking selfies, so maybe snapping a pic while fleeing isn't the wisest?
These Guys Look Way Too Happy and Calm
Like Daniel Lau, Alexander Remnev is well-known for his selfie stunts. Here, he poses with friends in Shanghai, looking like he hasn't got a care in the world.
What Is There to Be Worried About?
And here, again, we have Alexander Remnev, this time perched over the skyline in Hong Kong, looking extremely chilled out while gambling with his life.
We Have No Words.
Like many on our list, this adventurous selfie-taker seems well aware of the risks involved. "Do you know how many people in the world have died due to selfie incidents?" he asks in the caption.
As a matter of fact, we do. And frankly, we're disturbed. (Also, isn't that a perfectly good and supported platform beside them that they could've taken a photo from instead?)
It's Getting Hot in Here
So many people are taking volcano selfies that the Royal Geographic Society in the UK has been warning people to stop due to deadly falls.
Too Hot to Handle
National Geographic explorer and "storm chaser" George Kourounis is known for his, frankly, kind of insane photos and selfies. This one, taken near Vanuatu's Ambrym volcano, is the most frightful of all.
Good thing he was wearing that protective suit!
At Least He's Aware of the Dangers
Once again, this photographer is fully aware of the dangers involved in his stunting. "I don't always take selfies, but when I do, they're dangerous," he writes.
In this case, what he's standing on the edge of is a canyon in Utah's Canyonlands National Park.
This Is About to Take a Bad Turn
A male California sea lion can weight 660 pounds, so turning your back on one is a bad idea — as this selfie-taker discovered when the wild animal decided to bite.
That Is a Long Way Down
Tiger Leaping Gorge trail in China reaches 8,694 feet and is considered a dangerous trek for hikers, let alone risk-taking selfie-shooters.
The Epitome of a Travel Shot
Lots of hikers at Horseshoe Bend, Arizona, want to nab the perfect selfie. Unfortunately, two selfie-related deaths have taken place here since 2018.
Photoshop Would Be Easier
We get it, Horseshoe Bend is a stunning photo backdrop. But be careful out there, folks!
Something We Won't Be Trying Anytime Soon...
More people have died taking selfies than from shark attacks, so it looks like this daredevil is tempting death while encouraging others to do the same.
But read the Instagram caption, and you'll see that he's actually advocating for responsible behavior. "I have been diving for over a decade and done 1000's of dives around the world," he says. "I have spent a lot of time in the water gaining experience. It is important that you get specific training before just jumping in the water with sharks. It's better for us and the sharks this way."
Listen to Your Boyfriend
This woman's boyfriend hashtagged "don't try this at home," "leave it to the selfie pros" and "dangerous woman" about her selfie at Rolley Falls in British Columbia. Umm, yeah.
What If It Gets Windy?!
This photo taken in New York City is part of a trend known as “skywalking” or “roofing" — many travelers, usually young men, are scaling tall buildings to take stomach-churning selfies.
This selfie-taker captioned his photo with, "Needed to take my artistic mind to a higher level..."
OK, cool. But this makes our rational minds hurt.
Never Do This Alone
A man fell to his death at the Grand Canyon in April, but that didn't deter this man from snatching a selfie. At least he's not at the very edge?
Don't Turn Your Back to the Ocean
A photographer in San Diego shot this seconds before the couple was drenched by the waves. Remember, folks: The ocean is unpredictable!
No. Just No.
Taking in the views of Mistras, Greece, from the top of Villehardouin's Castle is acceptable. Sitting on the edge is less advisable.
She Really Needs to Reevaluate Her Friendships
The caption for this Instagram shot, translated to English, says it all: "What some people would not do for a selfie."
What friend thought taking a photo of a friend goofing off like this for a photo was a good idea?
Which Is Worse? The Photographer or the Person Filming This?
This man took a selfie as a speeding train passed by, with a friend videotaping the entire thing. In 2018, a man was hit by a train trying to take the perfect picture.
That Gator Looks Way Too Hungry
Granted, fatal alligator attacks are super rare; since 1973, there have only been 24 reported. Nonetheless, alligators are one of the most dangerous animals on Earth, so we probably wouldn't want to get close to a gator in pursuit of a great selfie, as this guy did in the Florida Everglades.
Public Service Announcement
Alligators can run 20 miles per hour. We are just sayin'.
For the Last Time
Luckily, the lions are too busy eating to make these guys lunch.
This Might Sting a Little
This photo from Jellyfish Lake in Palau, Oceania, actually looks way more dangerous than it is. The lake is considered safe for snorkeling, with only scuba diving off-limits to tourists — not because of the jellyfish, but due to high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide in the water.
Still, would we attempt this shot? Yeah, probably not.
Out of This World
Japanese astronaut bravely took this shot, which required a special camera, while visiting the International Space Station. Some outlets have taken to calling it a "spacie."
Living on the Edge
Even cats, it seems, are getting in on the dangerous selfie trend...
Too Close, Man. Too Close.
This man climbed Mount Evans in the Rocky Mountains and knew his cliffside shot was dangerous — he even joked about giving his mom a heart attack. We're having a heart attack!
Her Face Sums Up Our Emotions
He hashtagged "havin fun" and called her "so brave," but we are feeling her pain as she sits on the edge of Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh.
It's hard to tell from this shot, but the ancient volcano is more than 800-feet high.
We All Want World Peace...
While balancing on a rock staircase in Oran, Algeria, this hiker flashed a peace-sign gesture.
Considering that, in 2015, a tourist died after falling down a staircase while taking a selfie at the Taj Mahal, this photo makes us feel decidedly not at peace.
Even High-Flying Peace
Sports selfies are on the rise, as well. This French skier got a great shot, but did he land on his feet?
We never see the after-selfie.
Watch the Road!
This selfie-snapper took pride in taking his picture while driving, saying he was merely "clowning around." According to the National Safety Council, 1.6 million crashes a year are caused by cellphone use while driving.
And while that research didn't account for this particular type of cellphone use, it's safe to say "clowning around" like this is highly irresponsible.
While videoing his drive, this man was so focused on his selfie-stick that he missed the brake lights on the car driving in front of him. The video continues as he crashes into the canoe and truck.
Stay Away From Wild Animals
This Instagrammer said she was attacked by her co-starring monkey soon after the selfie was taken — he wanted her beads. Another reason to stop taking pictures with wild animals.
And Even "Tame" Ones
Let's try this again: Selfie + animals = No bueno.
... Because of This
She learned the hard way.
This reporter decided to take a selfie from the Green Monster at Fenway Park in Boston during batting practice.
Luckily, the ball missed her head, and she could laugh at the close call.
First, we couldn't believe someone took a selfie while making this jump.
Then, we noticed the kid hanging off the back of the bike!
This Is Taking It to the Next Level
A selfie of a friend taking a selfie while another friend takes a selfie as you all hang on the edge of a skyscraper? A 3-for-1 danger.
Here's Angela Nikolau again, taking a selfie of herself taking a selfie while looking a looooong way down. Or is she bored and just checking her phone?
Is He Proud or Worried About Her?
A man posted: "So my girlfriend just sent me this selfie."
Yes, she is a bad@ss, but if taking a selfie while driving 60 miles an hour is a bad idea, we would think a selfie at Mach 1 is definitely high on the list of "do not try this."
What Could Go Wrong?
This woman is filming herself as a wild cheetah sniffs her and gives her the once-over. This is NOT recommended by any conversationists.
Big Waves Aren't Always a Good Thing
The U.K. doesn't often get hurricane-force winds, so why not get as close to the ocean as possible to see the giant waves for yourself?
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency chastised these photo-takers, saying, "No selfie is worth risking your life for."
This Is Not a Movie
We've seen the movie "Twister," and we know tornados can switch direction really fast!
Do Your Job
We're not trying to criticize your work ethic, but should you really be taking selfies while jumping out of a plane, be it for combat or training?
Is This Better?
At least they are wearing parachutes.
Oh good. Instead of one death-by-selfie, the rescuers can count multiple fatalities when a shot like this goes wrong.
While we admit this is a cool shot, are you sure hanging out a window while traveling at high speeds is the right decision?
Oh, wait. Phew. Sounds like this guy uses Photoshop to make his viral shots.
Thank You, but We Request a New Pilot
We found another one...
Take the Wheel
The old saying, "Jesus take the wheel," has a whole new meaning with this selfie.
Who Has Who?
We really hope he's secured ... and not to her!
Are They Ape?
"Seems like a good place to stop and have a banana," said no one but the three people in this photo.
This much closer to the sun, we really hope they're wearing sunblock.
A Good Kick in the Head
Dear train conductor: We don't know who you are but thank you for giving this train selfie-taker a swift one!
No. Way. In. H...
Do you see what is in the background? This man jumped into the water to get this selfie, but in his defense, he said the snake was floating, which meant it had already eaten.
How Much Is Fame Worth It to You?
With over 300,000 followers, this beautiful couple has made it their thing to show their love as they travel the world.
Beautiful shots are key if you want to be Insta-famous, but is this taking things a bit too far?
Because Bears Are Notoriously Not Dangerous...
TFW a bear could viciously maul you at any moment.
Maybe this scary photo will convince you to stop following dangerous selfie-takers so they will stop taking these risks?
Yes, we know this spot in Rio is an optical illusion and that there is actually ground very close to the protruding rock. Still, if she fell backwards while pulling off this silly stunt, she could've been seriously hurt.
Dear lord, put your other foot down!
Canyoning Is Already Dangerous Enough
Canyoning is one of the world's fastest growing adventure sports.
Looks fun — but also dangerous!
This Hang Glider Is Way Too Comfortable
Hang gliding is far safer today than it was just a few decades ago, but still...
This Is Not a Reason to Celebrate
The sign is there for a reason.
Get back in your car, pronto!
At Least This Is a Fresh Take
This counts as a selfie if you consider the person taking a picture of their feet.
As if navigating through iceberg-flanked passageways simply wasn't enough.
Long Way Down
At least he has a helmet on.
Most humans are scared of sharks. Not this guy.
A tourist visiting Hawaii posted this dangerous selfie in front of flowing lava.
That stuff is hot.
We know this snowboarding selfie was shot with a virtual reality camera, but those trees look awfully close.
Here's another man taking a selfie during Pamplona, Spain's famous bull run.
Don't these people know that city rules prohibit selfies during the event?
Flying free off the coast of Chile.
Hong Kong Hang Dawg
You gotta wonder what kind of music he's listening to — perhaps "Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty?
We Wonder How Much That Safety Gear Helps
Next time you are setting up a thermal camera to record lava lake activity, you might as well snap a quick selfie.
This one was shot at the Kilauea Volcano.
PSA: Smoke Is Dangerous
When Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted, local authorities issued official warnings about the danger of posing for photos.
This lady didn't get the memo.
The World's Most Dangerous Hike
The path up Huashan Mountain in Xian, China, is considered one of the most dangerous hikes in the world.
We'll take your word for it.
People in New York Try So Hard to Be Different
Just for the record, you're not allowed to climb on the Brooklyn Bridge. Just saying.
We'd Expect Better From Someone His Age
Eagle Point is a popular spot along Grand Canyon West, but most tourists don't get this close to the edge.
Truly Living on the Edge
Individuals who are afraid of heights might want to skip this perch in Norway.
Catch the Wave (Or a Kick in the Head)
Those fins look sharp!
This Guy Clearly Never Watched 'The Little Mermaid'
Just one of the most dangerous sea animals. No Biggie.
Seriously, get back in the boat.
The Hills Are Alive...
...with the sound of not wanting to fall.
The Floor Is Lava
People really don't seem to be afraid of volcanoes.
Best Cell Reception in the City
Is this woman seriously so busy that she's looking at her other cellphone while snapping this selfie?
We're Just as Confused as This Guy
Like, where is he exactly?
If You Need a Gas Mask to Take a Selfie...
Yep, these selfie-takers really aren't selling the whole active volcano thing.
But It's Less Scary During the Day
OK, here's a volcano shot we can kind of get behind.
Watch Your Speed
That's some extreme selfie-taking!
Now That's a View
Sure, keeping your face covered seems super important here.
Just Jumping Off a Bridge, NBD.
Even That Dog Is Braver Than Us
You know, just a casual hike with your dog.
On Top of the World
This cliffside in Greece is beautiful and all, but no thanks.
That's Some Serious Balance
Is she on someone's shoulders?
The ‘Jumping Out of a Helicopter’ Face
We are really stoked for her, but why aren't her eye goggles pulled up?!
This guy seems unenthused, but at least he's not as bad as the woman looking down at her cellphone.
Just Hanging Out
All smiles until you lose your balance.
Every Mother's Worst Nightmare