So Sad, So Dumb. Selfies Kill More People Than Sharks


A Japanese tourist at the Taj Mahal has died after falling down the stairs while taking a selfie. The incident brings new attention to a disturbing trend. (Photo: iStock)

By Billie Cohen

The selfie nabs one more victim. A Japanese tourist has died after attempting to take a self-portrait at the Taj Mahal’s Royal Gate. The 66-year-old man fell down the stairs and suffered head injuries, losing consciousness and leading to his death. One of his friends also fractured a leg in the fall.

It’s a sad story, and what’s even sadder is that it’s not the only one. As if you needed additional proof that people need to be much more aware of their surroundings and much less focused on themselves: In May of this year, a 21-year-old accidentally shot herself while posing with a gun in Moscow (she lived); and in August, a man was gored while attempting to snap himself during a bull running in Spain (he died).

Related: They Did What? Travel Selfies Gone Terribly Wrong

It’s gotten so bad in Russia, where kids have been electrocuted while trying to take selfies on top of train cars, the government has launched a public-service campaign to warn young people about locations where it might not be so smart to take a photo (including on top of houses, next to oncoming trains, and in the company of wild animals).

Presciently, before this latest incident, had noticed that more lives in 2015 had been lost to selfie mishaps than to shark attacks. Mashable went a step further in putting this so-tragic-it’s-tragic trend into perspective, creating a handy infographic. In the article, reporter Cailey Rizzo notes that four of those selfie deaths were the result of falls.


Selfies have killed more people than sharks this year. (Illustration: Mashable)

Related: GoPro Helmet Cam Records Death of Two BASE Jumpers

The safety concern has led to the banning of selfie sticks at numerous tourist attractions around the world, including museums, music festivals, zoos, Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls, even Comic-Con and Disney parks.

But as we’ve pointed out before, you can’t ban stupidity. Travel is awesome, people, don’t kill yourself doing it.

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