Over the past nine months, deaths have been reported from being electrocuted, falling from bridges, and running with bulls—all while attempting to capture an outrageous selfie. Now, following the most recent news of a Japanese tourist who fell to his death after trying to pose for a picture at the Taj Mahal's Royal Gate in India, media website Mashable investigated just how many accidents like this have taken place over the last year, and compared that to the number of shark-related deaths.
Their findings: since the beginning of the year, 12 people have died while attempting to take selfies, while only eight people died following a shark attack. Mashable also pointed out that only four of the selfie fatalities occurred from falling; others died after being struck by trains, for example, and a Texas teenager recently died from accidentally shooting himself while posing for a selfie with a gun.
Back in January, two men were killed in Russia after posing for a selfie with a hand grenade, according to Al Jazeera, prompting the Russian police to launch a "safe selfie" campaign. And other tourist attractions—including Disneyland!—have banned selfies or selfie-sticks entirely, citing safety concerns. (Selfie-related injuries and deaths even has its own Wikipedia page.)
As jaw-dropping as this is, Mashable's findings do skip over a few important facts. For one, it's important to note that the chances of dying either post-selfie or by shark attack are still very low. And as Forbes writer Alex Knapp points out, given that literally billions of these photos have been taken this year, 12 selfie-related deaths actually represents extremely low odds.
Still, that selfies have played a role in even just one of these accidents is noteworthy. Let Mashable's stats be an important safety reminder to everyone: Pay attention to more than your iPhone screen; your life is way more valuable than that epic Instagram photo.