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List of selfie-related injuries and deaths (wikipedia.org)
50 points by CaptainZapp on Aug 12, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 42 comments

While people often write off selfie related things as purely narcissism/stupidity, I feel like quite a few of these are pretty ordinary and accidental. For example there's a few about not noticing an incoming flash flood, or the elephant ones (the herd attacked the man when he exited his vehicle).

Now some of these are REAL stupid. Climbing on trains, and being near trains is clearly a common theme.

The injuries with guns are indeed mostly pure narcissism/stupidity. Most of them were of those "gangsta selfies" where they put a gun to their head to look cool. Not only did they point a gun to their head, but they had to have it loaded, chambered, safety off, and finger on the trigger!

That one was a real downer:

An 11-year-old Pakistani girl drowned while attempting to take a selfie at the Kunhar River, which flows through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan. The girl's mother jumped into the fast-moving river to save her but she was also swept away and drowned. On seeing both his daughter and wife in trouble the father jumped in; he also drowned. The dead bodies of the mother and her daughter were found; the father's body was missing. The six-year-old son of the family was a witness of the tragedy.

Did the parents impulsively jump? Did maybe the dad think for a second that if he doesn't make it, the 6yo will be an orphan, so it might be better to stay? Maybe the son was even trying to stop his dad, seeing how his sister and mother already stood no chance...

Did the parents impulsively jump?

There is a phenomenon known as the amygdala hijack. It can cause you to jump in a river to save a drowning child before you even consciously know what you are reacting to.

They may not have had time to do any thinking in terms of "But what about my other child? What happens if we both die?" They may have just reacted in the moment, not thinking at all, really.



Crazy how many train related deaths are there. When I was young, I used to play around train tracks all the time without my parents knowledge. Back then there were no smart phones but even then its crazy How stupid that was. Its astonishing that I have made it out alive. Those things look like they are far away but you blink and boom they are right next to you.

I've coined the term selficide for this.

Presumably most of these are accidental, which makes that an ill-fitting term.

Is narcisside better?

Why does being accidental in nature make it an ill-fitting term? Suicide is not the only word to use the -cide suffix: genocide, regicide, homicide, uxoricide. The -cide suffix regards the act of killing, not of intention or purpose.

Suicide is defined as intentionally killing oneself.

But selficide refers to the -cide suffix, not to suicide.

But then again the "self" prefix means doing it to yourself, as in "self-portrait" (which is where "selfie" comes from): taking a portrait of yourself.

So "selficide" would mean killing yourself, i.e. the same thing as suicide.

No! It means the selfie killed you? Which would make it correct.

It seems okay. It would roughly translate to selfie-kill which is good enough for killed-by-selfie.

"A man was discovered with his phone and selfie stick at the bottom of a 100-foot cliff at Long Men waterfall in Zhejiang. Based on photographic evidence on his phone, local police speculated that he lost his footing while taking a selfie and fell to his death. It was not known when he died or how long his body had been there."

If they have photographic evidence from his phone shouldn't they know exactly how long he had been there?

"Five passengers aboard a sightseeing helicopter drowned after a passenger allegedly tried to take a 'shoe selfie' leading to the passenger's safety tether getting caught in the emergency fuel shutoff lever."

Man, I'd be so pissed if I died because someone was trying to take a stupid selfie.

I bet they were quite pissed off all the way to the morgue too.. but this is the risk you assume when you hang around with impulsive idiots.

It may be the case they did not all choose to be together, but were grouped randomly or in the order they were waiting.

You wouldn't be pissed for too long though :)

The main thing that popped out for me was seeing the sheer number of gun related deaths coming out of the US.

Sure, other countries had some as well, but if you scroll by country, it seemed like every US related one involved a gun.

If you're taking selfies with a gun, you probably aren't responsible enough to own a gun. Unfortunately, the same could be said for operating a motor vehicle based on a number of these incidents.

And drownings coming out of India.

"He posed with a gun pointed at his face. The man accidentally shot himself"

There seemed to be quite a few of these. There is no such thing as accidentally shooting yourself. You can only do so through gross negligence (or positive intent). It's incredibly simple and easy to 1) Not point a gun at your face, or anything else you don't want to shoot, 2) check if a gun is loaded as the first thing you do any time you handle one, and 3) Keep your damn booger hook off the bang switch.

>You can only do so through gross negligence

Which many people would consider to be "an accident". What's the point of this kind of safer-than-thou pedantry?

Believing "accident" is a term reserved for insignificant things is blame-culture mentality, and it has been time and time again been proven wrong. There are big, violent, absent-minded, negligent accidents.

"Accident" includes events which are uncontrollable, unpredictable, or unpreventable. This is too ambiguous and softens the line of accountability. "Negligence" is insisted upon because it offers no room for excuses and fosters a culture and mindset of handling firearms safely at all times. Reading bad intent into this is unfounded and unnecessary.

> What's the point of this kind of safer-than-thou pedantry?

Keeping people from getting hurt and killed? There's a grave responsibility one takes on when handling firearms. If you take on that responsibility, you have a duty to protect yourself and others. If you don't want that responsibility, don't handle firearms.

>Keeping people from getting hurt and killed?

It doesn't keep people from getting hurt and killed. Gun safety does. Acting as though holding a gun means you cannot make a mistake or have an accident forbids people from being human, but since it denies reality, it changes exactly nothing.

Nonsense. There are three very simple gun safety rules. Forgetting any one of them is an accident. Forgetting two of them is a serious wake up call. Forgetting all three of them is not "merely being human"; it is showing reckless disregard for safety, and it is the only time you'll get hurt.

Wow, people really like standing in front of and on top of trains. I was expecting falls from height to be far more common (at least relative to trains).

I suspect messing around a train in much more dangerous than standing on something high. In statistical terms, the probability of engaging in this behavior on a train is probably lower, but the conditional probability of dying is probably much much higher.

I think it's because people understand the danger when they're someplace high - they know to take better care of where they step, how they move etc.

But I'm guessing people either weren't expecting the trains, or weren't expecting to be electrocuted by them.

Since the danger was unexpected to the victims it's more likely for them to succumb to them I would wager?

Could you actually get electrocuted by merely standing on/touching a train carriage, but not directly touching any live wires/rails?

I'm not a train expert - I'll guess it depends on the train?

Reading through the list, it appears nearly everyone on top of the trains accidentally touched something live - I'm guessing they didn't realize it was live or what would happen if they touched it.

related: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19728271 - Selfie Deaths in the Outdoors (outsideonline.com)

While pretty grim, the animal ones are interesting.

How could turning your back on a wild animal go wrong?

So many deaths by elephants. I guess they're not the gentle giants I thought they were.

Elephants are complex, intelligent, and most importantly VERY LARGE creatures. In particular (although I doubt it's relevant to selfies), musth can make bulls quite dangerous no matter the environment or individual.

They're wonderful, but that shouldn't be confused with "harmless".

Wild animals are wild animals no matter what their temperament when tamed. One of the biggest parts of taming is just acclimatizing the animal to people so they're not scared in our presence.

/r/AnimalsKillingPeople corrects this "Non carnivorous animals are cute & cuddly" misconception

Reminds me of a hiker video where the girl mentioned seeing a bear & instinctively going "aww" before realizing she'd just attracted the attention of a bear

Driving in Northern Ontario, there's signs warning people to not attempt to take selfies with bears

They are big enough to gently crush a person.

why is India so heavily represented by the list? Even for it's large population it seems very high.

It could be biased because Indian stories are more likely to be reported in English. Wikipedia is more likely to use English sources.

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