Selfie Accidents Have Killed More People Than Sharks This Year

- Published: 24 September 2015
Selfie Accidents Have Killed More People Than Sharks This Year

Selfie-related accidents have killed more people worldwide this year than shark attacks have, and they’ve killed at least twice as many if you include only “unprovoked,” confirmed shark attacks.

Conde Nast Traveler reported on Sept. 16 that 11 people had died during selfie accidents, while eight people worldwide were killed in shark attacks. The story picked up steam with the recent death of a tourist who fell down the stairs at the Taj Mahal while trying to snap a selfie, bringing the tally up to 12. Mashable created an infographic to illustrate how much deadlier careless selfies are compared to shark attacks.

Conde Nast Traveler got its figures from the Shark Attack Survivors news archives, but, George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History, said those archives don't take the circumstances of shark encounters into consideration.

Burgess said that only six, rather than eight, fatal shark attacks should be counted in the tally, because in one of the incidents it's not clear if the shark may have been "provoked," and the other may not have even been a shark attack.

Burgess classifies one of the attacks in the SAS news archives as "provoked" because it involved a diver carrying a bag of scallops, which worked as bait to attract a shark. He also pointed to another alleged attack, which was actually a case of a man who disappeared at sea. Though his body showed up later with wounds consistent with shark bites, it wasn't clear if he died in a shark attack, or whether sharks had scavenged on his body after he died.

Though the Conde Nast Traveler and Mashable articles don't detail the 12 selfie-related deaths, they are listed on Wikpedia: