Look out, Hollywood! A recent report reveals that the selfie has now overtaken shark attacks as one of the most prevalent causes of death worldwide.
According to Shark Attack Survivors, a website dedicated to archiving deaths caused by sharks each year, there have been eight such fatalities in 2015. By contrast, Mashable reports that there have been 12 selfie-related deaths in this past calendar year.
Most recently, a 66-year-old Japanese tourist, Hideto Ueda, took a tumble down the staircase at the Taj Mahal while trying to take a selfie. He immediately lost consciousness on Friday, Sept. 19, and died shortly after being taken to the hospital.
Other victims of the selfie have included one man in Spain who was gored to death by a bull while he attempted to take a pic during the annual bull running festival in the town of Villaseca de la Sagra.
“It’s a tragic and stupid death,” mayor Elena Fernandez said of the incident.
Many selfie-related deaths are caused by would-be daredevils falling or being hit or injured by trains, according to Mashable. There have been multiple cases of children being electrocuted while walking across the tops of railway carriages in Russia, for instance.
As a result of such accidents, the Russian government has reportedly begun a campaign to warn its citizens of the dangers of taking selfies.
“Even a million ‘likes’ on social media are not worth your life and well-being,’” the campaign motto reads, alongside photos of situations in which people should not take selfies, including while balancing on a rooftop, while holding a gun, and while in the presence of wild animals.
But it’s also worth noting that while selfie-related deaths have emerged as a problematic part of smartphone user safety, deaths caused selfies are not quite the same as deaths caused by shark attacks — according to The Washington Post, selfie deaths are “anomalies,” while shark attacks are a “mechanism of death” and cause direct physical harm.
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