A study by the University of New South Wales investigated almost 400 selfie-related deaths across the planet between 2008 and 2021. The number of deaths depends on the country, so, for example, since selfie-related deaths were recorded in India beginning 2011 there have been 184. In America there have been 39 since 2008 and in Australia there have been 15 since that date. In Russia there have been 19 since 2011.
High numbers. And not infrequently, tourists are killed by animals when taking selfies.
Although they weren’t killed or injured, in July of this year, two tourists were fined more than AU$2000 each for taking selfies with aggressive dingoes on K’gari island, Queensland. They were warned not to do it.
Australia stands out and 80% of the selfie deaths are visitors to New South Wales.
The most common cause of a selfie-related death is a fall from cliffs in coastal settings (The Times).
In Queensland, Australia, the granite stones of Babina Boulders attract tourists which have claimed the lives of three holidaymakers in 12 months. They were all taking selfies at the time. And they were all influenced by social media which encourages young people particularly to take risks in order to get a really good selfie.
It appears that people go to beautiful places in nature because they are encouraged to do so by social media.
In Australia, the victims are normally girls and young women while globally it’s young men and boys who are killed or injured in this way.
The Times reports on two recent selfie deaths, one in Brazil concerning a woman celebrating her 33rd birthday. She fell at the Kangaroo Point cliffs by the Brisbane River in 2021 During a Sunset.
And in 2020, another woman, a British tourist, fell to her death at Diamond Bay Reserve near Sydney. She was taking a selfie at the Boroka Lookout. It is dubbed the “selfie rock”.
I can recall a couple of years ago an uproar when there were many selfie photographs of usually men sitting in front of captive tigers. They took a risk. The organisers allowed this to happen because I suspect the tigers were drugged but the risk is still present.
News media has many stories of people being killed by tigers while taking a selfie. For example, in 2020, a man was killed by a tigress at the Birsa Munda Biological Park in Ranchi when he fell into the enclosure while taking a selfie.
And on YouTube, there is the story of a Nagpur man was critically hurt in a tiger attack while taking a selfie. The villagers beat the tiger and saved the man’s life.
And in 2018, a man was killed in India after trying to take a selfie with an injured bear.