Taking selfies killed more people than shark attacks since 2014

Bradley Wint
By - Founder/Executive Editor
Feb 10, 2016 10:33pm AST

Self portraits are nothing new and have been around from the time the first cameras were invented, but the word ‘selfie’ became popular thanks to social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, and the invention of front-facing cameras on mobile phones. The word has gotten a lot of flack over the past few years, but has become part of history, making its way into dictionaries across the world.

Zachary Crockett of Priceonomics has put together a compilation of selfie-related deaths pulled from 3 years of news stories from Google News and Wikipedia, unveiling a number of interesting statistics about selfie-related deaths. In total, he found 49 cases and categorized them.


The first table looks at deaths by age ranging from as low as 14 to 32 years old. While most were scattered across the range, the highest concentration centered around ages 20-21 with a combined total of 17. Note that this chart is missing 4 entries as the researcher was unable to determine the age of those four related fatalities. No surprises here as most people between the ages of 18-24 tend to be very camera happy.


Breaking it down by gender, it seems males are more likely to end up in a deadly pickle, maybe because of their higher likelihood of taking risks to get those 100+ ‘like’ photos, like hanging off the side of skyscrapers, holding guns to their faces or taking selfies during vehicular crashes.


Now let’s get into the stupid things which these ‘photographers’ died from. A very high proportion died from falls from heights and drowning. Next time you go for a swim, consider worrying about holding your breath instead of getting that winning photo. In reality, some drownings occurred as a result of unfortunate circumstances such as a group of sever students falling into a lake after their boat tipped over during a photo op.

Train selfies also seemed like an interesting category. After doing some of my own digging, I found out that most of them died due to electrocution after they accidentally touched live high-voltage wires connected to the trains themselves. There was once instance where a boy stood on a track trying to take a selfie, and was knocked down by a moving train. Ummm…


India ranks as having the most selfie related deaths over the past three years, and has 16 no-selfie zones (mainly in areas with masses of water) with large signs and life guards preventing selfie-lovers from taking those risky shots. India and Russia now have marketing campaigns geared towards those taking selfies, educating them on what should and should not be done, in an attempt to reduce the high number of deaths, because common sense wasn’t enough.


All in all, selfies have killed 28 people (in 2015) compared to just 8 that died from shark attacks. Even skateboarding and climbing Mt. Everest appears to be safer, but I guess in those circumstances, they actually try to prevent themselves from being hurt unlike selfie-ers who put themselves in a lot of danger just for that single shot.

Let’s face it. Putting yourself in dangerous situations just for a photo moment just isn’t worth it. I think I’d have my life over a selfie any day.

If you’re interested in reading up about some of the documented deaths, there is a Wiki page for that.

[Photo: laura6/Pixabay]

Stay in check with our daily burst of news stories delivered to your inbox.

Read more

The 9 best vlogging cameras for 2018

Entertainment - Even with the YouTube apocalypse, vlogging is still a huge deal. Last year we talked about some of the top…

By - Jan 19, 2018 1:42am AST

YouTube and Facebook pull Tide Pod Challenge videos because people are stupid

Social Media - It’s a new year and people are already doing dumb things for their 15 minutes of internet fame. Both Facebook…

By - Jan 18, 2018 11:10pm AST

Apple will soon allow you to disable battery management software on older iPhones

Mobile - After a wave of mounting criticism, lawsuits, and PR statements, Tim Cook has announced that users will now have the…

By - Jan 18, 2018 3:21am AST

7 things the media gets wrong about air travel and aviation

Travel - When there is ‘trouble’ in the sky, there tends to be ‘trouble’ with the reporting as well. Many news agencies,…

By - Jan 18, 2018 1:47am AST

Apple issues iOS 11.2.2 to address Spectre vulnerability

Mobile - In the wake of the industry-wide Spectre and Meltdown chip flaws, Apple has issued a security update for iOS 11…

By - Jan 8, 2018 2:55pm AST

Social media “Fear Of Missing Out” detrimental to our mental well-being

Science/Space - Human beings generally see themselves in the best light possible compared to others. This psychological phenomenon is called illusory superiority….

By - Jan 2, 2018 11:50pm AST

Passengers on Hawaiian Airlines flight celebrate New Year’s Day twice due to delay

Travel - Passengers on board a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Auckland, New Zealand to Honolulu, Hawaii were able to celebrate New Year’s…

By - Jan 1, 2018 11:13pm AST

LG shows off world’s first 88-inch 8K OLED display for CES 2018

Technology - LG is stepping up the display game with the unveiling of a world first 88-inch, 8K OLED display. When compared…

By - Jan 1, 2018 10:33pm AST

How to fix Samsung Galaxy Note 8 charging issues

Technology - Some Samsung Galaxy Note 8 customers have run into a peculiar situation where their phones refuse to charge after being…

By - Jan 1, 2018 12:31am AST

Apple apologizes for iPhone slow down; offers battery replacement for $29

Technology - After lots of press blow back, Apple has finally given in to the whole battery fiasco, issuing a letter of…

By - Dec 31, 2017 1:55pm AST