If you use the internet and are a social-media user, you probably scroll through Instagram on a regular basis.
Among your friends’ pictures of meals and babies, you may sometimes come across a selfie that seems almost too dangerous to be true. Angela Nikolauis, a Moscow-based photographer, is making many stomachs churn around the world with her jaw-dropping selfies.
This Russian Instagrammer’s page features many death-defying pics, featuring her casually loitering next to her demise as if she were standing next to the ocean.
Nikolauis has snapped herself balancing on ledges from Moscow to Hong Kong, gaining over 150,000 followers along the way.
Her shots are terrifying, but you just can’t look away.
Although “selfie” has never been listed as an official cause of death, over the past two years they’ve been the catalyst for an increasing number of fatal accidents.
Priceonomics, a price guide website that helps companies gather data from the web, shows that there have been at least 49 selfie-related deaths since the start of 2014.
A 17-year-old Russian student climbed a nine-storey building near Moscow, and hung off the ledge to make it appear as if he were falling.
The Instagram user, Drewsssik, intended to capture the ultimate selfie for his Instagram page but instead, his hand slipped, and he fell to his death.
Weeks before his death, he posted a similar image of himself in the position:
In March, a 43-year-old man in Washington State died after authorities say he accidentally shot himself in the face while taking selfies.
The man’s girlfriend reported that they were photographing themselves with the weapon when he shot himself, and that the man had taken photos with the gun several times that day, loading and unloading bullets multiple times.
In 2015, another selfie-related death occurred after a 32-year-old was taking part in the annual bull-running festival in Villaseca de la Sagra and was trying to take a selfie with the animals.
David González Lopez died after being gored and tossed in the air by a bull, all while trying to take a selfie on his phone. He had his back to the charging bulls while trying to film the run.
In January 2015, three Indian college students were struck by a train while attempting to take a selfie as close to a moving train as possible.
India has a large selfie problem, with more of its citizens dying while taking a photo than any other country in the world. This resulted in Mumbai creating “no-selfie zones.”
From scaling steep cliff faces to standing at dizzying heights, people are willing to become true daredevils for the perfect selfie.
The selfie seems to be a distractor in these situations, where the person snapping the photo should be focused on their safety instead. The question then becomes: Are selfies risky by nature, or is the only dangerous element the underlying behaviour that accompanies them?