Selfie Sacrifice: Hundreds Die Worldwide Taking Selfies
The lengths that people will go to for the perfect, Instagram-worthy selfie are wild, right?
What's even more wild is that hundreds of people worldwide have lost their lives trying to capture the ideal snap.
A landmark study published in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care found between October 2001 and November 2017, there were 259 people worldwide reported dead due to taking a selfie under risky circumstances.
Drowning was the leading cause of death, with 70 people being killed in water related incidents.
"The most common drowning incidents include [people being] washed away by waves on beaches, capsizing of boats while rowing, clicking selfies on shore while not knowing how to swim, or ignoring warnings," the study reported.
Australia's own Wedding Cake Rock in NSW is one famous spot selfie-takers visit. In 2014, a man died when he climbed onto the rock to take a picture and as a result barriers were put in place to save people from the same fate.
Many however, ignore the barrier and climb over it for a insta-worthy snap.
Second was transport-related deaths, where the biggest issue was people taking photos in front of running trains. Falling came in third, where people simply tumbled from precarious photo spots to their deaths.
Why Do People Risk Their Lives For Selfies?
Deaths by selfies are on the rise and this is largely due to the role the images play in people's self-expression.
"Taking selfies is considered to be a mode of self-expression in today's generation like looking in a mirror," the study said.
"It is rewarding for individuals seeing the number of likes and positive comments and this further influences them to post unique pictures which may also involve indulging in risky behavior to click selfies."
Researchers also found the increasing number of deaths are due to the ease with which people can access mobile devices.
"There has been an exponential increase in the number of selfie deaths from 2014–2015 to 2016–2017," researchers said.
"This is because of increased usage of mobile phones, enhanced selfie features on mobile phones, increased availability of selfie sticks."
Competitions that ask entrants to submit a creative or interesting photo also fuels people's desire to take risks to get a unique snap.
Young Men Most Likely To Die From Risky Selfie Taking
Younger people made up most of the fatalities and men make up nearly three quarters of selfie deaths, which is largely attributed to male tendency to behave more spontaneously than women.
India came in as number one in terms of deaths, accounting for about half of the documented fatalities with 159 cases.
Russia followed with 16 and America was a close third, with 14 deaths. The most selfie-related deaths with firearms also occurred in the US.
The Wedding Cake Rock death was the only Australian fatality included in the report.
The total number of deaths were highest in the 10-19 and the 20-29 age groups, and fatalities decreased as age increased. The study cited the adventurous trait in young people as reason for why they're more likely to put themselves in dangerous situations.
India is home to one of the world's largest young populations -- people under 30 -- and this could be a significant factor in why so many deaths were recorded in the nation.
OBSESSION With The Perfect Picture In Australia Too
Gavin Paul Zimmerman died in July when he tried to take a selfie on a cliff in Kurnell, NSW. The 19-year-old had been in Sydney for nearly a year working as a missionary. He was visiting the southern Sydney area with friends when he fell from a cliff to his death.
Wedding Cake Rock in Royal National Park in Sydney is one location Instagrammers flock to for the perfect picture.
In 2014, a 23-year-old university student Fabien Ardoin fell to his death after the rock edge gave way. Media reports at the time stated he was hanging from the edge when the soft rock crumbled under his hands and he fell 40 metres to his death.
The obsession with the Wedding Cake Rock picture became so widespread that NSW police had to get involved. They erected a fence in 2016 and promised fines of up to $3,300 for people who dared to jump the barrier.
The rock, which sits above the water at Bundeena, has been deemed very fragile by the National Park authorities and geologists.
As far back at 2015, Gary Dunnett from the National Parks and Wildlife Service said the rock could collapse at any time in the next decade.
"We have now received the results and the report is clear -- standing on the rock platform risks a truly tragic outcome,"Dunnett said in a statement to media.
Contact Siobhan at firstname.lastname@example.org