Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this article, let’s altogether go over what a selfie is. It may seem like common knowledge to you, but there is a fair amount of people who have a loose understanding of what a selfie actually is. The word “selfie” is in the dictionary now, so there should be no misunderstanding in regards to its definition—a photograph taken of oneself. The keyword in this definition is “oneself.” There are countless fluff-pieces by news outlets that reference a selfie as any picture taken of a person. Even in the real world, hearing people say someone took a “selfie” when it was just a picture of them is infuriating. It may be a petty complaint, but it’s a hill I’m willing to die on.
Now, that discussion is out of the way. And speaking of selfies and dying, let's move on to the 15 most absurd selfies on the internet. These people are, in most cases, using a hand that could either allow them to just take a snap from their cameras or endanger themselves. That’s not even taking into account the fact that you could end up dropping your device and having to buy a new one. The whole phenomenon of dangerous selfies is bananas, but that’s where we are at this point. They’ll keep taking them as long as we keep clicking on them...so, who’s the real dummy in this scenario?
15 Stranded At Sea
It’s not every day that you find yourself crashed and stranded in the middle of the ocean. Such moments have to be captured and cherished for years to come. If you die, then they need to be documented so that people have something light and interesting to show at your funeral. Crashing your plane in the middle of the ocean is not an ideal situation to be in. This man was on a plane on the coast of Hawaii when alarms started alerting the passengers that it was about to crash. This guy was lucky enough to get himself a flotation device and a cushion, but he was extra lucky because he still had his GoPro with him. You have to take a selfie 100 times out of 100 in these instances. What’s a good story if you don’t have the documentation to back it up, right? Once he got safely to shore, I’m sure he got a bunch of likes, and hopefully saw an uptick in followers as well. Good for him! A+ for priorities.
14 Bear Selfie
This selfie comes to us from Russia—shocker. Bear selfies are apparently a thing now. If you Google image search for "bear selfie," the results are staggering. It seems as though people have no qualms with putting themselves in harm's way for the chance at hitting that triple-digit like threshold. Most of the images are of bears in the distance, far enough (perceivably) to get away without harm. This girl, though, has some next-level confidence in her bear-taming skills. There are three pictures in total of this encounter, and the bear seems to be playing along quite well. It would even seem as if she has some sort of personal relationship with the bear. It's well-documented that bears don't like to mix it up with humans if they don't have to, but this bear seems to be having a good time; either that or he was just prepping for an afternoon meal, which is also a strong possibility.
13 Hot Air Base Jump
Base jumping and skydiving have to be the two most popular times that people take "extreme" selfies. Sure, they are cool and dare-devilish. But it takes some of the sting out of it when you see the professional riding on the guy's back. Skydiving would be wild, but taking a selfie in mid-air is kind of cliché at this point. Throwing in a wrinkle, though, like base jumping from a hot air balloon will definitely perk people up. It's enough of a difference-maker to make people look twice, and this particular picture was excellently done. This guy only had a few moments to snap the photo. If the framing wasn't right, he had no second try. The main question about this photo is: did they fire up the hot air balloon just so this guy could jump out of it? That seems like a lot of work just for a death-defying selfie.
12 Lee Thompson
It's not every day that you see a man popping out of the head of a religious figure, but James Kingston climbed to the top of this iconic statue in Brazil with a GoPro in his hand to take a selfie. There are other pictures of him in even more dangerous positions, like standing on the arm of the statue. The Christ the Redeemer statue, as it's called, stands 125 feet in the air, so this guy was certainly putting his life in God's hands by doing this. Thankfully, God didn't take this as a slight because he could have sent a solid gust of wind to push the poor guy right off. There are going to be a ton of high-up selfies to follow on this list, but this is one of the most iconic places in the world to pull this stunt.
11 Top Of The World
The background on this selfie is unclear, and it's hard to tell exactly where this guy is taking a picture from. But any way you slice it, he's a madman. He could be somehow suspended in the air, dangling off a building or in the middle of falling to his death, all of which are very likely to happen. He seems pretty jazzed about the whole situation probably because he knows that this is going to make an awesome Instagram post once he adds some catchy hashtags and a nice filter. It's hard to gauge how high in the air he is, but if those are buildings behind him then he's sufficiently high in the air. While this is an impressive picture, I think the word "stupid" may be a better word to describe it. If you do something like this and your name isn't on billboards afterwards, it wasn't worth it.
10 Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest skyscraper ever and the tallest man-made structure in history. Scaling it is not an easy feat, and it appears only two people have been fortunate enough to have had their pictures taken at the top. One of those men was Sheikh Hamdan, Crown Prince of Dubai. He climbed to the top of the 160th storey of the 828-meter (2,717 feet) tall building and snapped a selfie of himself while he was on top. He got a few shots while he was up there, and some of them showed the apparatuses he used so that he didn't fall off. It's an impressive selfie...no doubt about that...but there's something about seeing a safety harness that loses a bit of the wonder. Of course, this was a dangerous feat, but I like my danger selfies with death as a possible outcome.
9 Fighter Pilot
This picture went viral when it hit the internet, but people were perplexed about the timing of the shot. How was the pilot able to snap a photo at the exact moment when he was firing a missile? The internet went crazy trying to find more information about it. Some called it "fake" in the process. Their hunch turned out to be true. The photo wasn't as amazing as some might have thought. The picture was actually a screenshot from a video of the experience. While the photo is a perfectly-timed screenshot, it's not a dictionary-defined selfie. Sure, I could have taken the easy route and pretended I didn't find out the truth, but I have a little thing called integrity. Ever heard of it? Still, it's an amazing shot and deserves to be included in any list of crazy and dangerous selfies.
8 Glider Selfie
The contraption you see this man flying in the picture above is called a glider. These things are all the craze and it seems as though it takes little expertise to be allowed to fly one of them. Furthermore, the hole in the side that the man is sticking his arm through appears to be meant for exactly what he's using it for—to take a selfie. The internet is filled with people driving these things, and they are all taking a picture of themselves in one way or another. While these vehicles wouldn't do much damage if they crashed, it's a fair assumption that anyone inside of the aircraft would be toast. Seriously, keep your eyes on the sky when you're driving these and let someone else take a picture of you.
7 Gator Snap
After fifteen minutes of exhaustive research, I can say with relative confidence that this is, indeed, an alligator. Alligator or crocodile, it doesn't matter because this guy is a complete maniac. This doesn't look like the face of a guy who has put his head in a reptile's mouth before, so it appears as though we have an amateur on our hands. The man is literally minutes away from becoming another creature's lunch, but he's pumped because he knows that he's taking an awesome selfie. This will be the perfect shot to put on his coffin at his funeral. He died doing what he loved—taking dope selfies. Seriously though, the human species is getting a little cocky with this "we're smarter than the animals" attitude. It only takes a quick twitch of the jaw to serve a life-sized helping of humble pie.
6 Helicopter Selfie
The helicopter selfie is becoming more popular these days, but so is literally every other type of selfie. Passengers taking a sight-seeing helicopter trip have been snapping photos of themselves enjoying the experience, with some even having the luxury of a selfie stick hanging out the window. This picture, though, is a lot more extreme than some of the others. This photo was taken by Jokke Sommer as he dangles off the edge of a helicopter. It may look as though he has no support to save him if he falls, but he actually has a base jumping kit attached to him. Even still, this selfie is extremely dangerous and most people would never attempt it. Sometimes you just have to risk your well-being for a chance at a great selfie.
Yaroslav Segeda is the man in this photo. He and his friends are making a splash by climbing huge structures with no safety equipment. It sounds pretty stupid. Well, it probably is. But when you see a guy snapping shots from hundreds of feet in the air, you have to tip your cap to the guy. He hails from Ukraine, which should not be surprising as Eastern Europeans tend to make up the vast majority of "crazy selfie" territory. He says that he isn't scared as he climbs and just feels excitement. It must be crazy to go on a roller coaster with him. He's the guy yawning in the picture they sell at the end of the ride. If you have to risk your life to feel enjoyment, there may be a screw or two loose upstairs.
4 Running Of The Bulls
This man's attempt to take a selfie actually cost him some cash when he was arrested during Spain's running with the bulls. Filming or taking pictures during these events are illegal, and it's easy to understand why. This guy was minutes away from being trampled by some angry bulls, and he not only endangers himself but those around him as well. For some reason, he appears to be using the rear camera instead of the front-facing camera, forcing him to focus even harder on getting the right picture. Sure, it would be an awesome shot to see the bulls about to spear this guy in the tuchas, but it's not worth a lifetime of paralysis. This short-sighted individual perfectly encapsulates this list.
3 James Kingston
James Kingston is a British free runner and free climber. He's climbed to the top of all kinds of crazy buildings, and his most impressive feat came when he scaled the Eiffel Tower with no safety apparatus attached. He videotapes his climbs and uploads them on his YouTube channel. However, his profession has brought a lot of selfie shots as well. For the Eiffel Tower stunt, Kingston and a friend decided to scale the entire building from the outside as to not raise suspicion. People tend to frown on other people climbing on buildings with a solid 50-50 shot of making it to the top. Kingston claims that he was once afraid of heights but has taught himself to overcome it. I guess there's no way to conquer a fear like surviving the scariest imaginable situation your fear could possibly present.
2 Space Selfie
Fun fact while researching these topics: Wikipedia has an entry dedicated to space selfies. I’ll save you the time. They’re exactly what you think, but it’s still pretty wild that astronauts may have been some of the founders of the selfie movement. Buzz Aldrin is credited with taking the first space selfie during the Gemini 12 mission, and that was long before the term entered mainstream use. The subject of the photo above is a Japanese astronaut by the name of Akihiko Hoshide. He went viral in 2012 when he took this selfie. The framing is perfect as you can see the sun over his shoulder and the earth in the reflection of his helmet. While some of the other entries on this list were done for the selfie and the selfie alone, this picture is a sure-thing first ballot hall-of-fame level selfie.
1 This Guy
This maniac is named Kirill Oreshkin and he hails from Russia. It's probably just a stereotype, but people in Russia seem to be up to some bizarre antics to get internet famous. Oreshkin has been dubbed "The Russian Spiderman" because he climbs his way to the highest places in Russia and snaps photos of them. They aren't all selfies, so you won't see some of the more bizarre photos on this list, but the selfie shown above should give you a sense of what he's all about. He apparently got into the risk-your-life-for-the-selfie game in 2008 because he liked the attention it brought him. He just climbs tall buildings with no harness to snap a photo because he likes to make a splash on social media. That's fair enough, but the stone-cold look in his eye while he's staring death in the face is a bit unsettling. This guy's adrenaline levels must be all kinds of messed up if he's barely flinching in these moments.
Sources: Business Insider, Independent, metro