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More people die taking selfies than from shark attacks because humans are ridiculous

Why we need more 'selfie free zones' at major landmarks

More people die taking selfies than from shark attacks because humans are ridiculous
05 October 2018

It’s sounds like a bad Onion headline from 2009 but more and more people around the world are dying while taking selfies.

According to researchers, at least 259 selfie-related deaths were recorded between October 2011 and November 2017 in 137 separate incidents worldwide.

And things have gotten worse over time; in 2011, just three selfie-related deaths were reported but by 2016 this number had risen to 98. Which when you consider that only five people were reportedly killed in shark related attacks in 2017, you need to admit that that is far too many people.

“Selfie deaths have become an emerging problem and we performed this study to assess the epidemiology of selfie-related deaths across the globe,” the study authors said.

Somewhat predictably, the vast majority of deaths were male – and the average age of people losing their lives was 23.

The highest number of incidents and selfie-deaths were reported in India followed by Russia, United States and Pakistan.

Most selfie-deaths were linked to drowning, transport and falling, according to the study.

The authors added: “The most common drowning incidents include washed away by waves on beach, capsizing of boats while rowing, clicking selfies on shore while not knowing how to swim, or ignoring warnings.

“Similarly, for transport, it is majorly the accidents due to clicking in front of a running train. Among all the reasons for death, drowning and fire have the highest deaths/incident ratio.

“Also, most of the selfie-related deaths because of firearms occurred in the United States.”


The authors thought up one possible way to cut down on this growing problem: no selfie zones.

“No selfie zone areas should be declared across tourist areas especially places such as water bodies, mountain peaks, and over tall buildings to decrease the incidence of selfie-related deaths,” they argue.

Sounds like a solid, reasonable plan to us. 

(Images: Getty)