Extreme Travel

Seriously scary and dangerous selfies

Screenshot from epic selfie video at over 1,000 feet.

Screenshot from epic selfie video at over 1,000 feet.  (YouTube/Frank Wu)

From the top of the world's tallest statues to death defying cliff faces, tourists are taking extreme measures to capture perfect vacation photos of themselves.

While these cool-looking images are fodder for Facebook posts and --at times-- can make headlines, they also can sometimes be deadly. 

This summer, a Polish couple fell off a cliff trying to capture a selfie in Portugal.  This week another Polish woman fell her death after trying to take a picture on top of a bridge in Spain.  Even the U.S. Forrest Service issued a warning telling the public that taking selfies with bears isn't such a good idea.

Here's look at some of the most dangerous selfies we found.  And a word of caution to travelers:  Don't do this at home. 

1. Statue selfie ontop of Christ the Redeemer - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Lee Thompson, founder of the British adventure travel company The Flash Pack, convinced the Brazilian tourist board to let him climb the world-recognized landmark. It took Thompson, who was helped by a small team, almost 30 minutes to reach the summit of the 124ft-high statue.

2. 1,000 ft skyscraper selfie video - The Center Building, Hong Kong

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In August, a now-viral video surfaced of three teens perched atop one of Hong Kong’s tallest skyscrapers 1,135 feet above the city.  Daniel Lau, the videographer, used a selfie stick tool and a wide-angle lens on his camera to produce the extreme video, according to the Daily Mail. His companions, fellow extreme photographers Anrew Tso and Airin S., ate bananas while perched atop the building’s antenna.

3. Perched atop the Votive Church- Vienna, Austria

Extreme stunt site Mustang Wanted is known for their epic photos. They advise viewers not to try any of the ideas posted on their site. One of their most liked stunts features a man on top of the new-Gothic church that rises 325 ft. into the air. The angle is a nauseating aerial-like snap that captures the church, building and earth below.

4. Room for a friend on The Princess Tower – Dubai, U.A.E.

Alexander Remnev is now well known for his hair raising stunt photography atop multiple high rises. But one of his most shared photo features him with a brave friend on top of Dubai’s Princess Tower, the world's tallest residential building which rises 1,350ft. It appears Remnev does not use safety gear and has claimed that Dubai has a lot of “open” towers to climb.

5. Running with the bulls in Spain

When taking part in one of the world’s most epic events, it’s only natural to want to document the experiment. Turns out capturing a cool selfie could also mean getting trampled to death by angry bulls. This snap shows one runner holding his camera phone high.

6. Splash Mountain selfie – Disneyland

In the old days, tourists had to pay to capture their ride experience. But who can wait for a cheesy, expensive souvenir? Monica Quintero posted a Twitter pic of herself on Splash Mountain, Disneyland’s popular log flume ride. There’s a reason you’re not supposed to have loose items with you when hurling through twist and turns. Let’s just hope she put her phone away during the final water wave.

7. Bear selfies taking off

Think climbing to the highest towers for a pic is extreme? Try posing with a dangerous animal just a few feet behind you. Bear selfies are taking off in a big way and while these cute and cuddly animals may seem harmless, it’s important that hikers and campers remember they are actually dealing with wild animals.

8. Cliff jumping selfie

Most people can barely stand to jump off a cliff face let alone take a good picture while plunging to the water below. One woman decided to capture her dive using a handy selfie stick. Hopefully she had some waterproof case to protect the phone.

9. Active volcano selfie

Lava is awesome. From a distance. But while conventional wisdom advises most people to run from this fiery molten rock, extreme selfie artists head straight to the heat. This man, clad in a futuristic looking suit (likely to keep from inhaling toxic gasses) posed at the mouth of a bubbling volcano.

10. Life on the edge


Daredevil photographer Jun Ahn takes epic selfies perched high atop city's tallest landmarks. From cliffs, to winding staircases, her pictures are sometimes hard to look at it.