Death by selfie: 259 worldwide between 2011 and 2017

While the quest for the perfect selfie can land you thousands of new followers, a new report says the Discovery Channel should introduce "Selfie Week" because they're a lot deadlier than sharks.

Researchers from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, a group of public medical colleges in New Delhi, found at least 259 people died worldwide between October 2011 and November 2017. 

Sharks killed 49 people worldwide during the same period.

The report, published in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, found most of the deaths occurred in India and despite the fact women take more selfies than men, male victims were most often taking higher risks, like standing on the edge of a cliff.

The causes of death found in the report:

  • Drowning 70
  • Transportation 51
  • Fall 48
  • Fire 48
  • Electrocution 16
  • Firearm 11
  • Animal 8
  • Other 7

"About three-fourth of selfie deaths occurred in males."

The highest number of causalities involved victims in the 20-29 age group, while those 10-19 were also high. The number of deaths by age then decreases as the age range increases.

"It is expected because people tend to be less adventurous as they age."

If 259 selfie deaths seems very high, researchers believe their numbers are just the tip of the iceberg and the problem is only getting worse. In 2011 the group found just three reported selfie deaths, by 2016 there were 98.

"Many cases are not reported. The limitation of our study was that we included news reports only in English language. Therefore, news reports in local language have been missed" the report said. 

"There is no reporting of cases as selfie-related deaths in India. Thus, certain deaths due to selfies may be reported as road traffic accidents or others, which leads to underreporting of a large number of cases."

The team recommends "No selfie zones" be declared across tourist areas.

"Selfies are themselves not harmful, but the human behavior that accompanies selfies is dangerous."