Sharks may be the ocean’s greatest predator, but swimming with them is now safer than taking your own photo. That’s because a new Mashable study shows more people have died from taking selfies than from being attacked by sharks.
The latest selfie victim is a 66-year-old Japanese man who fell to his death when he slipped backward down a flight of stairs while trying to take a selfie at India’s Taj Mahal.
His demise brought the death toll of selfie takers this year to 12, while there have been eight victims of shark attacks this year worldwide.
While their deaths are tragic, they’re also highly preventable, and officials have lately felt the need to warn people of the dangers involved in taking a selfie. In one clear case of preventable deaths, a Russian woman died while trying to take a selfie while pointing a gun at her head.
The leading cause of selfie deaths is falling. Four would-be photographers have paid the ultimate sacrifice for trying to get a large number of likes on Instagram and Facebook, including a Russian woman who fell from a bridge and a Singaporean man who fell from a cliff.
The next leading cause of selfie deaths is from trains. Photographers were either hit by moving locomotives or died from being too near heavy machinery, including 18-year-old Anna Ursu, who touched a live electric wire while climbing a train to take the ultimate selfie.
So many people have tried to take selfies with bears that one Colorado park has been forced to close. Waterton Canyon, home to two mamma bears and four cubs, has become such a magnet for selfie takers, Rangers were forced to close the entire park for the safety of the public, Brandon Ransom told Country Living.
“We’ve actually seen people using selfie sticks to try and get as close to the bears as possible, sometimes within 10 feet of wild bears.”
These selfie aids have become so dangerous that many theme parks and national attractions worldwide have banned them, including Disneyland, and Russia even started a PSA to warn citizens of the danger of selfie taking, according to Seventeen.
“A cool selfie could cost you your life.”
[Photo by Johannes Simon / Getty Images]