Travel TrendsA study revealed that selfies killed five times more people than shark attacks; India holds record for most deaths.

Selfies causing more deaths than shark attacks

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With the rise of more sophisticated smartphones and selfie-sticks taking longer-range shots, death tolls worldwide have also risen drastically, in crashes, falls, drownings and shooting accidents.
Within six years, at least 259 selfies-related deaths have been reported worldwide, compared to just 50 casualties by shark attacks recorded in the same period. Of this number, 159 deaths came just from India alone.

This study in India’s Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care researched on death tolls between October 2011 and November 2017, and found that while women take the most selfies, it is the young men – prone to taking bigger risks – who make up three-quarters of selfie-related deaths.

India has made news for its love of group photos and selfies, including a group of youths who died after being hit by a train, and another group who drowned when their boat sank just as they clicked the shutter. The dire situation has prompted the country to set up ‘no selfie’ zones – there are 16 of them just in Mumbai city alone.

Another country with similar woes is Russia. The study reported 16 deaths of people falling from bridges, high-rise buildings, and one who died while handling a landmine.

In the United States, many have died while striking a pose – and balance – at the Grand Canyon.

Closer to Asia, in January 2019 Taiwanese social media sensation, Gigi Wu, known for taking selfies on mountain peaks while dressed in a bikini, died after falling into a ravine. The ‘bikini climber’ was 36 years old.

Tourists eager to take the perfect shot have also annoyed locals, including Hong Kong’s Choi Hung (Rainbow) Estate residents who put up signs banning photos, as well as Paris’ Rue Cremieux residents who started their own Instagram account (@clubcremieux) – specifically posting the most absurd posers outside their living quarters. The account already has 22.5 thousand followers to date.


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