Travel Trouble

Courtney Allan

Photo to die for: Why are tourists risking their lives for the perfect selfie?

Photo to die for: Why are tourists risking their lives for the perfect selfie?

For some, taking risky selfies is part of the fun while they’re travelling. This is the case for Ivan Beerkus and Angela Nikolaus, who love taking some of the world’s most “extreme” selfies among the world’s tallest buildings.

They recently told Seven’s Sunday Night why they do it.

“It’s really hard to explain, the … freedom, and, uh, it’s adrenaline. It’s, uh, something special. I feel heart beating. I feel my legs shaking, so … Yeah, it’s incredible … incredible feeling,” they explained.

Not only is it the quest for the ultimate selfie, it’s also become a lucrative business for Ivan and Angela as it drives clicks and advertising revenue from their large fanbase.

“We make enough for living beautiful life, for travel a lot. So, now we want to buy apartments in Moscow, so … we live beautiful. We like it, yeah.”

The duo aren’t the only ones who enjoy the risk associated with these selfies.

26-year-old Scott David-Ingram was recently caught scaling a building on the Gold Coast in Queensland.

“It was scary, but it was worth the shot,” he said to Sunday Night. “I try not to sweat. That’s probably one of the main things, is sweating, because sweaty hands — you’ll slip. And you’re gone.”

For some families, they’ve lost loved ones due to these risky selfies.

US tourist Gavin Zimmerman slipped and fell while posing for a selfie on a cliff south of Sydney.

His father had no idea of his son’s passing until there was a knock on the door.

“I didn’t hear anything for a half-hour … we said ‘well he’s busy’, and that kind of thing. And then I said, ‘I’ll talk to you next week, bud. Love ya’, and then we get the knock on the door a few hours later …”

According to Dr Joanne Orlando, more than 250 deaths have been attributed to deadly “selfies” since 2005.

“Around 80,000 images get uploaded to Instagram every 60 seconds,” Dr Orlando says, “so there’s massive competition. How do you get noticed?

“Well, you have to upload a photo people are really going to react to. It has to be something quite striking. You know, risky photos. They get a lot of engagement, so they get a lot of likes. They get a lot of comments.”