Did Lee Thompson take the most epic selfie ever? We will leave the final call to you, although let's face it: The photo is up there. Literally.
Thompson runs the Flash Pack travel blog and recently went to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to prepare for the upcoming World Cup. The city is home to the "Christ the Redeemer" statue. Thompson conceived the idea to climb to the top of the 124-foot-tall monument and document the experience with GoPro cameras. He then convinced the Brazil tourism board to allow him to make the mountainous ascent, a staggering 2,400 feet above Rio.
"Twenty minutes into the climb I reached the heart of the Christ made from beautiful Mosaics," he wrote on his Flash Pack blog. "After what felt like an eternity of pressing heat and pitch darkness, we finally reached the small compartment in Christ's shoulder. I grabbed the rope and pulled myself along the smooth soapstone up into the head of the statue where we carefully opened the hatch. My heart was pounding with excitement and I couldn't wait another second."
The photos look breathtaking — or vertigo-inducing, depending on your disposition. Thompson found assistance in two high-wire workmen who joined him for the climb.
"As I popped my head out of the hole in Jesus' crown, I was in total and utter awe as my eyes met with a vast panorama that quite literally took my breath away," he recalled. "Talk about a religious experience!"
Video of Thompson's rise to the top from inside the statue was uploaded to YouTube on Saturday. Some viewers are in awe; others simply cannot fathom a climb that high. Regardless, it appears that the traveler hopes his mission will change the way that people view selfie photos.
"To some, taking pictures of yourself is considered vain, but this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity taught me that the selfie is a powerful medium through which we can share our perspectives, inspirations and personal stories with the world at large," he said. "It's not about funny mugshots with scenic backdrops or daredevil stunts. It's a way to mark the moment and say, 'I was here.'"