Is 2015 the deadliest year for people taking selfies?The recent death of a Japanese tourist at the Taj Mahal has taken the number of selfie-related deaths in 2015 to 12. That is more than the number of deaths caused by shark attacks, which
The recent death of a Japanese tourist at the Taj Mahal has taken the number of selfie-related deaths in 2015 to 12. That is more than the number of deaths caused by shark attacks, which is a paltry eight this year.
Death by selfie is not restricted to youngsters. Even older people can get carried away by the urge to take an offbeat snap. The latest to join this grisly list was a 66-year-old, Hideto Ueda, who fell down the stairs at the Royal Gate of the Taj in the midst of a selfie. One of his colleagues also slipped but escaped with a fractured leg.
The series of deaths this year began when a South African woman fell off Northcliff Hill in Johannesburg on her first date. A bassist with a band, she was preparing for a snap when some rocks gave way and she tumbled down to the horror of her date, who looked up from his tripod and found that she had vanished.
Then two men in the Ural mountains in Russia thought it was a good idea to take a selfie with a hand grenade with the pin pulled out. They did not survive but ironically the selfie did.
Three Indian college-goers were the next to make a tragic error of judgement, trying to take a daring selfie in front of a running train in Mathura. They were run over before they could jump off the tracks.
Climbing onto the top of a train for a selfie has also had fatal consequences. A Romanian teenager came into contact with live wires and literally caught fire after a massive electrical surge passed into her body.
Falls were the most frequent cause of selfie-related deaths. A Singaporean man fell into the sea from a cliff in Bali. The cliff was only two meters high but unfortunately the man could not swim and drowned. Then a Russian woman tried to take a selfie from a bridge in Moscow with a backdrop of skyscrapers but a broken fence on the bridge gave way as she leaned on it and she too died.
In the Spanish town of Villaseca de la Sagra, a man was trying to take a selfie during a bull run when a bull surprised him from behind and gored him to death.
Earlier this month, a man posed with a loaded gun to his head when it went off accidentally, killing him. Where else could it happen but the US where there are more guns than people?
Alarmed at the spate of deaths, the Russian interior ministry even produced a series of warnings earlier this year in a leaflet promoting safe selfies (pictured above). "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," warned Yelena Alexeyeva, an aide to the interior minister.
But as long as there are cell phone cameras, there will also be cell phone cameras with reckless owners. Some people just love risk-taking more than they love themselves.