If you see a cliff, chances are there is an adrenaline junkie willing to push the limits and walk to the edge. And thanks to the popularity of Instagram, even more people are putting themselves in dangerous situations just to snap the perfect photo.
It seems we can’t go more than a few days without reading about a death-by-selfie. In fact, just last week a Russian teen fell to his death after posing for a photo while dangling from a roof. The teen, Andrey R, had previously taken similar pictures on roofs, which he shared on social media.
There are a handful of breathtaking locations around the world that attract daredevils in search of the perfect photo. If all goes as planned, the photo has the potential to go viral. But if the photographer moves just an inch in the wrong direction, the photo could be their final act.
Trolltunga, which translates to “trolls tongue,” juts out nearly 2,300 feet above lake Ringedalsvatnet in Norway. This rock formation is THE place to take the ultimate selfie, and thousands hike to its edge every year. While many successfully snap their photos, on Sept. 5, 2015, an Australian woman fell to her death while standing on the edge of the rock.
Norway is also the site of Kjeragbolten, a boulder wedged in between a mountain crevasse. Long lines form every day, filled with people hoping to snap a photo on top of the dubious rock. It appears as if the rock isn’t going anywhere, but part of the thrill is that we just don’t know when that rock will wiggle itself free.
3. Half Dome
Yosemite National Park is known for its impressive geology, and the star of the park is the gigantic Half Dome. This granite crest rises 4,737 ft above the valley floor and is a popular spot for hikers around the world. Once they reach the summit, many opt for a photo on what is called “The Visor.” With no rails and frequent rock movement, obtaining this photo is not only dangerous…it’s downright crazy. Another hotspot to take an Instagram-worthy photos at Half Dome is called the “diving board.”
4. Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher are Ireland’s most popular natural tourist attraction and stand at 702 feet at their highest point. But in addition to their awe-inspiring beauty, the area is also known to have frequent rock falls. The cliffs are under constant watch by experts, and are deemed safe as long as tourists stay on the trail. But as we all know, tourists never stay on the trail.
5. Devils Pools in Victoria Falls
Standing at 354 feet tall, a person has to be insane to go swim near the edge of the breathtaking Victoria Falls. Yet every year, thousands of visitors risk their lives for the ultimate photo opportunity. Devil’s Pool is a small eddy that forms near the waterfall edge between the months of September and December. Adventurous tourists can swim in the pool, and even pose for photos while teetering near the edge. In the past, there have been deaths reported when swimmers slipped past the protective barrier.
6. Potato Chip Rock
If you stand on a potato chip, it breaks. So why in the world would a person stand on the edge of a formation called Potato Chip rock?
Located at the top of a four-mile hike in Poway, California, this rock formation has become the subject of many Instagram photos over the last couple of years. It might look daunting, but the rock extends over foliage, making the drop about 20 feet instead of the whole shebang. Still, that’s a far enough drop to break some serious bones.
7. Mount Huashan Hiking Trail
Sorry mom! �� ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Shortly after the most terrifying cable car experience in my life, @tysontravel and I decided to take on one of the world's most dangerous hikes. We made our way around a cliff edge along a rickety wooden plank not more than a foot wide. Often times, I had to rely on my balance as I scaled the actual mountain, placing my feet in small holes carved out of the rock face. The scariest part wasn't that the plank was the only thing between me and a 5,000 ft drop- it was the insane amount of people crossing in both directions along it- often times taking off BOTH of their safety lines to get around people. It was absolute insanity. This photo still makes my stomach drop! ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• #china #travel #huashan
Dubbed the most dangerous hiking trail in the world, the Mount Huashan path is definitely not for the faint of heart. After climbing up a steep staircase, and other vertical walks, hikers then scurry across a plank trail made of wooden platforms bolted onto the mountainside. It’s on this shaky bridge that visitors often snap photos. Sure, they are secured with climbing ropes, but ropes break, and that’s a long way down.
8. Wedding Cake Rock
Wedding Cake Rock features stark white cliffs overlooking the beautiful blue ocean, and attracts nearly 10,000 visitors to Royal National Park in Sydney, Australia every month. Many simply sit on the edge, but others push the envelope, striking unstable yoga poses or dangling their bodies from the side. In 2014, a man fell to his death while hanging off the edge. Adding to the danger, the National Parks and Wildlife Service believes the rock will likely crumble into the ocean within 10 years.
9. Moscow Bridge
Every bridge has its fair share of daredevils looking to climb it, but the Moscow bridge in Kiev has become a hotspot for people in search of an epic Instagram shot. The suspension bridge stands at 390 feet, and recently made headlines after a 21-year-old girl fell to her death while attempting to take a selfie.
10. El Caminito Del Rey
Sure, you can walk on a flat forest trail, but what’s the fun in that? Real adventure seekers opt for El Caminito Del Rey, a shaky walkway located along a narrow gorge in Malaga, Spain. The pathway reaches heights of 330 feet, and was in such disrepair that it was partially closed for more than a decade. Even with those precautions, five people died between 1999 and 2000. The walkway reopened in 2015, and photos of the dangerous trek have been popping up all over Instagram.
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