Traded life for likes: 352 people have already died while trying to take an extreme selfie

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Traded life for likes: 352 people have already died while trying to take an extreme selfie

As one blogger said, a selfie can kill, a selfie can save, a selfie can lead the shelves. And if everything is not really clear with the second part of the saying, then the destructive power of the “self” is beyond doubt. Experts from the British risk and safety assessment firm Rhino Safety say: since 2011 – that is, since the mass appearance of front-facing cameras on smartphones – 352 people have already died in the world trying to take an extreme selfie. This figure is several times higher than the number of poor fellows who were eaten by those same terrible white sharks during the same time.

“We only counted deaths,” says Simon Walter, director of Rhino Safety. – But the statistics do not take into account the thousands of people who survived, but were injured in pursuit of a spectacular picture.


The leaders in the rating of killer selfies are Indians. The Americans follow, the Russians round out the top three. Russians, in an effort to earn likes, are mutilated so enthusiastically that in 2015 the Ministry of Internal Affairs even published a booklet on the rules for safe selfies. Then, in just six months, while filming self-portraits for social networks, 10 Russians died and about 100 were injured of varying severity. Many stories were striking in their absurdity. For example, two guys died while taking a selfie with a grenade after pulling the pin out of it – the photo taken before the explosion was preserved in the surviving phone. In another case, teenage girls in search of an interesting shot climbed onto a railway tank car and learned about the existence of high-voltage wires …

Traded life for likes: 352 people have already died while trying to take an extreme selfie


In the pandemic 2020, bloggers took a short pause – only 7 accidents were recorded (for comparison, in a record 2017, 107 photographers paid with their lives for likes). However, this year, with the abolition of quarantine and restrictions, there is a renaissance of a bad and simple business. Already 24 people have put their lives on the altar of creating photographs that will momentarily entertain bored internet surfers.

In July, 100,000 subscribers mourned the death of Hong Kong crane operator Xiao Qiumei, 23, who became a social media star by filming videos about her work. The users were captivated by the obvious discrepancy between the fragile appearance of a child girl and the brutal profession of a crane operator. Xiao danced right in the cockpit of her crane, sang songs, showed hearts, but at some fateful moment she lost her balance and fell from a 50-meter height. Perhaps she reached out to pick up the falling phone – the video shows how the metal structures of the crane fly by and against this background the girl's screams are heard. Earlier, her compatriot Sophia Chung, 32, fell off a cliff while taking a selfie at the edge of Qing Dai Falls in a suburb of Hong Kong. Sofia loved to travel, her trick is to upload photos to stories where she balances over the abyss.

Traded life for likes: 352 people have already died while trying to take an extreme selfie


The list of stories, as a result of which bloggers pay with their lives for a photo, is endless. Amateur paparazzi take pictures with bears, elephants, climb into enclosures with tigers … 18-year-old snake-catcher Somnat Mhatre from India died trying to kiss a king cobra, he did not expect that the reptile would decide to “kiss” him in return. The 29-year-old pilot Amritpal Singh crashed in his Cessna 150 when he was distracted from control, taking selfies at low altitude – the GoPro camera, which was found at the scene of the plane crash, told investigators about the causes of the plane crash.

And the cyclists of the Tour de France consider selfie lovers a scourge of God: they jump out with their smartphones on the highway and pose for the camera, not realizing that a peleton of 200 cyclists, rushing at a speed of more than 40 kilometers per hour, is unable to stop. These photos have already caused massive blockages in which cyclists and fans were injured.


Why do people do such crazy things?

Selfie fans are often criticized for their narcissism and vanity. But it is probably no coincidence that the selfie has become the main means of self-expression of the digital generation. This is the easiest and most effective way to make yourself known in a world where everything is in plain sight. And, of course, get approval or support in the form of followers and likes. That is why, first of all, people with low self-esteem are prone to self-addiction. Self-confident people are much less likely to turn their page into an iconostasis of their own name. Only 13 percent of people who regularly delight others with their self-portraits said they were quite pleased with themselves. While 60 percent described themselves as insecure and insecure people. By uploading pictures where they are captured at their starry moment, in the best perspective, the poor fellows are just trying to raise their self-esteem, to look better in the eyes of others. Therefore, there is only one way to stop selfimans from adventurous and idiotic filming – you just need to be more attentive and warm to others. Then it would not occur to them to kiss a cobra for your approval.

Which countries are more likely to take fatal selfies?

India – 184 cases

USA – 25

Russia – 19

Pakistan – 13

Indonesia – 12

Brazil – 7

Spain – 6

Sri Lanka – 6

Philippines – 5

China – 5

Why bloggers die

Fall from a height – 64 people

Drowned – 38

Destroyed by transport – 35

Killed by electric shock – 17

Killed from weapon experiments – 11

Animal Attack – 11

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