(Image source from: Washington Post)
Selfies are pleasurable if clicked right but can be equally menacing if gone wrong, and a new study from researchers prove this to be literal.
In the last six years, over 250 people worldwide have died while taking selfies, according to a study associated with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, a set of public medical colleges based in New Delhi.
Researchers have analyzed news reports of the 259 selfie-related deaths from October 2011 to November 2017 and finding were published in the July-August edition of the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care.
The research found that of the 259 deaths, the leading cause of deaths to be drowning, followed by incidents involving transportation. Some other causes of selfie-related death include firearms, animals, and electrocution.
"The selfie deaths have become a major public health problem," Agam Bansal, the study's lead author, told The Washington Post.
The numerous reports of deadly selfie incidents have come from the United States, Russia, and Pakistan, though India found to have the highest number of deaths of all countries.
Bansal noted that while the simple act of taking a selfie is not deadly, the hazard originates when people take risks while trying to get that faultless shot.
Bansal added he was as well concerned over how many of the selfie-related deaths involved young people. Over 85 percent of the victims were between the ages of 10 and 30.
While the number of deaths reported in the study may appear high, Bansal said there could be many more instances that just have not been registered due to issues with reporting.
In 2018 lone, there have already been numerous selfie-related deaths.
Mohit Jain, an orthopedic doctor who was not participating in the recent study but has researched into selfie deaths, reported the work of Bansal and fellow researchers Abhijit Pakhare and Chandan Garg as "really necessary" to "make people alert that you can die while taking a selfie."
Jain's research found that 75 people had died attempting to take selfies from 2014 to mid-2016.
"It's like a man-made disaster," he told The Post. "It's not a natural disaster."
One possible way to prevent selfie deaths would be "no selfie zones," Bansal said, forbidding them in certain areas such as mountain peaks, water bodies, and at the top of tall buildings.
Endeavors to deter people from taking unsafe selfies has already been attempted in multiple countries, including Russia, India, and Indonesia.
Mumbai, earlier in 2016 declared 16 "no selfie zones" across the city following a heap of selfie-related deaths, the Guardian reported.
Earlier this year, a national park in Indonesia proclaimed it would be running to create a harmless spot for photos after a hiker died taking a selfie, according to the Jakarta Post.