Selfies kill more people than sharks do

24 Sep 2015

So far in 2015, there have been a dozen deaths attributed to accidents when taking selfies. In that same time sharks have killed just eight people. Humans, masters of their own downfall.

About a week ago, Conde Nast highlighted the disparity between the two threats to our lives and, since then, another death was notched up to selfies.

The Japan Times reported that a Japanese tourist at the Taj Mahal died after falling down stairs while attempting to take a selfie, bringing the total figure to the 12 mentioned above.

The 66-year-old collapsed just after climbing the stairs at the tourist attraction, with witnesses claiming he was taking a selfie.

Selfie deaths – now a thing

I’m not one for relying on Wikipedia but, for cultural significance at least, there’s actually a page called ‘List of selfie-related injuries and deaths’ included in the online resource.

Back in July, Russian authorities found the threat such that they released guidelines on when not to take a selfie.

From a quick look at graphics included on the report, don’t take a selfie with a gun in your hand, while on a moving, unstable boat or while hanging from your aerial on the top of your house.

Selfie deaths Russia advice

Part of Russia’s safety advice, via Russian Interior Ministry

“Your health and your life are worth more than a million likes on social networks,” Russia’s Interior Ministry said in the ‘Safe Selfie’ document published on its website.

These death figures are fairly miniscule, but 12 people dying is still 12 people dying. The animal kingdom has even tried helping us, with numerous accounts of crabs, monkeys, seagulls and the likes stealing our cameras.

If the threat of sharks is enough to turn people off swimming in the sea, can you really trust yourself around a smartphone?

Ill-advised main image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic