Death by Selfie

When vanity meets mortality

Selfies are fun. Selfies are also the opposite of fun, like, fatal.

A slew of people have died while taking selfies — and at least one selfie-obsessed selfier has killed a couple of innocent people. Now, death is not funny, ever, even when the deceased are worthy of a Darwin Award, which “commemorates those who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it.”

But these tales of woe should remind readers that just because you’re pointing your phone at yourself while making a silly face, you could still die. Right. This. Second. 

Cliff Diving
A Polish couple vacationing in Portugal along with their children decided to hike to the beautiful cliffs at Cabo de Roca, a popular tourist destination near Lisbon. They strolled up to the edge, looking over the Atlantic Ocean, and decided to take a selfie.

Then they both slipped and plunged off the cliff, which is 300 feet high in some places. They landed in the ocean, but rescue workers could not retrieve their bodies until the next day.

Sadly, their children, ages 5 and 6, witnessed their plunge. They were delivered to Polish diplomats in Spain and counseled by psychologists.

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Puenta de Dead
A 23-year-old nursing student from Poland was touring in Spain. Apparently the Iberian Peninsula is a very deadly place for selfies. 

So she headed to the gorgeous Puente de Triana bridge, the oldest iron bridge in Spain, which crosses the Rio Guadalquivir into Seville. There, she stood on the top of the ledge (better picture, no doubt), and pulled out her mobile phone. But she lost her balance, slipped and fell 15 feet, suffering fatal injuries when she slammed into one of the huge concrete footings.

Bridge of Death (2)
For a 17-year-old girl who climbed onto a railway bridge to take a selfie, things went from bad to worse — fast. Actually, make that worst.

The teenager, an amateur photographer just a month shy of her 18th birthday, clambered up to the bridge in Krasnogvardeysky, in St. Petersburg, Russia, sure the shot would be a masterpiece. Of course, it had to be a night shot.

While a friend waited below, she took a few snaps, then lost her balance. She reached out in desperation for something to latch onto — and grabbed a high voltage cable. She was jolted by 1,500 volts and her body plummeted 30 feet to the ground below.

Electrifying Shot
A “selfie mad” Romanian teenager went in search of the “ultimate selfie” to post on her Facebook page.

After what must have been seconds of thought, she decided to climb onto the top of an electric train, lay on her back and stick one leg in the air. 

So, she and a friend toddled off to the town of Iasi in the north and found just the spot. As she lay on top, a passerby warned her to keep her head down — you know, wires and stuff. She did, but that wasn’t enough. With a loud bang, the electric field that encircled the overhead cables zapped her with 27,000 volts, setting her afire. 

Ben Franklin Selfie
A man in his 50s was walking along in the hills of Wales. A Duke Of Edinburgh Award assessor, he was leading children on a hike in the mountain range of Powys.

Then, dark clouds blew in. The assessor was reportedly standing at the summit (always the best place to be in a storm) and waiting for a group of 15 teenagers to arrive.

Unluckily for him, he was carrying a “selfie stick,” those annoying extendable arms selfiers use to snap pictures of themselves to make it look like they have friends. It was (wait for it) — made of metal.

Ironically, the D of E is a charity set up to give youngsters aged 14-24 “the chance to develop skills for life and work, fulfill their potential and have a brighter future.” 

Gun Selfies Are Dangerous?
Down in Mexico City, the capital of Mexico, a 21-year-old hombre was known for his elaborate selfies, which he posted on Facebook. He’d pose in front of expensive cars, badass motorcycles, and especially pretty women. So one night, he’s drinking with his buddies and decides to snap a selfie of himself playing with his gun. 

In his inebriated state, he didn’t know the borrowed weapon was loaded. As he waved it around and snapped selfies, the gun went off. The bullet hit him square in the forehead, killing him.

No, Really! Gun Selfies Are Dangerous!
A tale of a different kind, this. Two teenagers in Faisalabad, Pakistan, were snapping some selfies of themselves playing with a toy gun, you know, like kids are wont to do in Faisalabad. One was pointing the toy at the other, and they had plans to post the wacky snaps on social media.

Then a cop came by and shot them both, with no warning. The 15-year-old died; the 14-year-old was gravely wounded. ​The Pakistani policeman fled and the boy’s father filed a complaint. 

Dumb and Deader
A young man in Oregon man had a brilliant idea that no one has ever thought of: Get a selfie with a moving train behind him — like, right behind him.

He was cruising from Tacoma, Washington, to Portland, Oregon, along the tracks, and he was taking selfies with a traveling companion. The pair stopped beside a river to have a smoke (while it might have been a 4:20 smoke, it was only 10:30 in the morning).

Just then, the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe train came a-rumbling. So he stood between the northbound and southbound tracks and snagged a few selfies. But our hero didn’t know that right about then (exactly then, actually), the southbound Amtrak train was set to pass that precise spot. It did, he was caught in between and the rushing air sucked him into one of the trains.

Probably the southbound one.

Wave for the Selfie
An 18-year-old girl was hanging out in the Philippines with her friends, celebrating a birthday in the party. They were chilling by the famous Bangui windmills on a beach in Barangay Masikil, and the girl decided to take a selfie with all her friends — in the ocean. 

Just then, a wave “as huge as a house,” officials said, rolled in and hammered the group. She was sucked into the ocean and drowned.

Try a Tripod?
A young couple fell in love on the Internet. They carried on a long-distance relationship, he in Britain, she in South Africa. 

Then one fine day in May, he jetted 8,000 miles to her hometown of Johannesburg. On their first date, they set off on a lovely stroll to Northcliff Hill, the second highest point in the city. The man was excited to finally meet the 21-year-old woman, a bassist in a rock band, and decided to get some photos.

But wait. He set up a tripod. Safety first. As they posed with the city in the background for a more traditional selfie, he went to adjust the tripod. When he looked back, she was gone. The rock she was standing on gave way, and she fell 60 feet to her death.

SpongeBob SquareDead
Oscar Reyes, 18, had just the plan! He was going to take a selfie he described to his friends as “crazy AF” (the second word is “as” and the third word starts with “F”).

See, he had put on a SpongeBob costume (duh), and posted a pic to Facebook, getting 200 likes, as part of the “Selfie Game of 2014.” Now he was going for CAF.

In his mom’s bedroom, he straddled the bathroom door, putting one foot on each of the knobs and crouching down like a crazy AF door-hanging SpongeBob. He snapped that killer selfie.

Then he fell off, cracked his head wide open and bled to death. 

There are so many more.

But Wait, There’s More …
A 21-year-old Moscow woman shot herself in the head while shooting a selfie with a handgun; two men blew themselves up while posing with the pin pulled out of a live grenade (the camera survived);  a 21-year-old student fell to her death while posing for a selfie next to the Moscow City Financial Center; a pilot who was snapping selfies lost control of his small Cessna and crashed into a wheat field, killing himself and a passenger.
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