Selfies Are Killing More People Than Sharks, And This Is The Scary Reason Why

It's no laughing matter.

There is a dangerous predator lurking out there, and isn't a shark or a lion or a viral disease: It's selfies.

The picture-taking craze has reportedly caused more deaths than shark attacks this year, prompting some national coverage about the risk-reward of trying to get that perfect self-portrait picture on your camera or phone.

Coverage of the selfie dangers started after Mashable reported on the 66-year-old tourist who died from falling down the stairs during an attempt to take a selfie in front of the Taj Mahal. That death brought the total of selfie deaths to 12 already in 2015, four more than the number of people who have died from shark attacks. 

It might sound silly, but unfortunately it's not a joke.

Behind falling, the most common way people have hurt or killed themselves while trying to take a selfie is by getting pictures next to cars and trains. You've probably heard about parks closing because tourists have tried to get pictures with dangerous animals, and similar incidents have even forced an aide to Russia's interior minister to issue a warning:

"Before taking a selfie, everyone should think about the fact that racing after a high number of 'likes' could lead him on a journey to death and his last extreme photo could turn out to be posthumous," Yelena Alexeyeva told Al Jazeera.

Be careful, and be smart. You and your friends are worth more than the "perfect" profile pic.