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The 50 Most Death-Defying Selfies

If you have a fear of heights, turn back now.

For some of us, posting a picture of while wearing a pair of unflattering pants on Instagram is an act of bravery. Well, some social media power users would scoff at that. We're talking about the folks that bring entirely new meaning to the word "brave." You know: the men and women who scale skyscrapers, hang off cliffs, stroll through lava, audaciously approach volatile wildlife, and remain overall unflinching in the face of mortally dangerous situations—so long as it results in a supremely like-worthy selfie.

Yes, out there on the web, you'll find adrenaline junkies who take things more than just a few steps further than a shot wearing an unflattering outfit. See for yourself. But fair warning: if you have an unconquerable fear of heights, turn back now. And if you prefer your social media to be cute and cuddly, rather than nerve-wracking, check out these 30 Funniest Celebrity Pet Moments.

Just a Little More Danger

This guy decided to take things to the next level to get a few bonus inches for this selfie.

Train's A'Coming

Putting your head on the train tracks is never a good idea, but if you look in the background, you can see a train actually approaching. And if you'd like to spice up your IG without losing your head, learn these 20 Ways to Make Your Instagram Way More Compelling.

A-Spire to Great Heights

Angela Nikolau lives for taking risky pics, like this one from the top of a spire in Tianjin, China.

Better with Friends

The one thing that could make a reckless picture like this more fun is to add in some more people to be uncontrollable variables. And to have a significantly safer good time with your buds, check out these 50 Amazing Jokes You Can Text to Friends.

A Heck of a Ride

The way a person's brain releases and responds to dopamine, which is released in scary situations, may have something to do with why somebody would climb to the top of a roller coaster to take a selfie.

Slippery Slope

Going out on a ledge when it's wet and potentially icy makes this picture unnecessarily dangerous.

Totally Redeemed Himself

The statue this picture was taken on, Christ the Redeemer, legendarily overlooks the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil (you'll see it in every film based in Rio) and is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. And for something really scary discover these 30 Reasons Why the Ocean Is Scarier Than Space.

High-Stakes Balance Beam

Knowing where the parts of your body are from moment to moment is called proprioception, and is probably incredibly necessary to maintain this kind of balance.

A Little Perspective

If you were wondering what it looks like when somebody takes an insane picture of themselves at the top of one of these enormous towers, now you know.

Just Below the Surface

This looks like a fairly boring selfie, but that's an approaching alligator that's been circled in the lower right-hand corner.

Going for a Climb

If there's one lesson to be learned, it's that taking a picture of yourself in unsafe conditions is a great way to get a lot of likes on Instagram.

Up On the Roof

Something that looks like a giant slide is maybe not the best place to stop for a break above an enormous drop.

On Top of the World

Probably not what everyone does when they visit Hong Kong, but this is definitely a vacation photo to remember.

She's Got the Right Idea

Finally, somebody who's face says what we're all thinking when we see pictures like this.

Sturdy Footing

What's to be scared about? It's not like this structure is literally crumbling or anything.

Quite the View

This is the type of activity you plan on a day without wind.

Don't Look Down

Some people like to have a nice brunch. Other people like to climb to the top of a very narrow tower and take a picture of themselves. It takes all kinds.

A Shocking Picture

TV and radio towers like these are (unsurprisingly) not safe to climb on for many reasons, including risk of electric shock. But that clearly didn't stop this person.

A Tower with a View

This considerate person was kind enough to share a picture of the view from the highest radio tower in Germany, so now you never have to climb up there.

Picture of a Picture

This is kind of like the inception of dangerous selfies.

Just Checking a Text Real Quick

Repeated exposure to something scary can desensitize you to it, as is clearly demonstrated by this photo.

Eight Floors Up

Even people who climb only 10 feet high are in danger of serious injury, which makes this 80-foot climb even more death-defying.

Safety First

The fact that this person's wearing gloves makes them probably the most safety-obsessed person on this list.


This is Kjeragbolten. It's a glacial deposit wedged into a mountain deposit in Norway.

An Early Adopter

Artist Jun Ahn was an early adopter of the dangerous selfie craze, and her work has been displayed in galleries around the world.

Big Ups

Narcissists are frequently hooked on thrill-seeking. At the same time, posting selfies has been linked to narcissism in men, but not in women. Just something to think about as you look through these pictures. And for more on this trend, check out Why Men Are Terrible Risk Takers.

Take a Hike

This selfie was taken at Horseshoe Bend in Arizona. It's a great place to take a hike and not fall off the edge of a cliff while taking a picture of yourself.

Fun with a Friend

This photographer was selfless enough to take a picture of their friend in addition to their own feet.

Hong Kong Rooftop

Many of these pictures, including this one, were taken in Hong Kong, where it is apparently not too difficult to break onto a roof and climb to terrifying heights.

From a Crane in Hong Kong

Daredevil Alexander Remnev has made news by taking so many pictures of himself in risky situations.

High in Hong Kong

For context, this is the top of the fifth-highest building in Hong Kong, which is 346 meters above ground.

Up in the Air

Pilot death-defying selfie

If using your phone while you're driving is a bad idea, taking a selfie when you're going 10 times faster than a car and thousands of feet off the ground must be monumentally dangerous.

Just Popping Up for a Quick Selfie

It might seem like a lot of hassle just for a picture to put on Instagram, but some of these people manage to leverage their selfies into sponsorship deals.


Crocodile death-defying selfie

That is the face of a person who doesn't know crocodiles can slam their mouths shut with 3,700 pounds per square inch of bite force.

Climbing a Crane

If you don't have access to a skyscraper, you can climb a crane for a similarly dramatic selfie, though that's not recommended because it's probably illegal.

Things to Do in Cincinnati

You probably won't find "climb up the side of an overgrown brick stack" in your Cincinnati travel guide, but it's apparently an option.

Record-Breaking Selfie Stick

This might look like an enormous selfie stick, but the world's longest selfie stick was actually used by Ben Stiller at the premiere of Zoolander 2.

Taking a Quick Peek

It's criminal trespassing, but it looks like a watch advertisement.

Hanging Tough

Stairs dangerous selfie

Why take the stairs when you could dangle from the dilapidated tracks that are right next to them for a totally sweet photo op?

Princess Tower Pic

This is the view from the absolute top of Princess Tower, located in Dubai. At 414 meters, it is the second-tallest residential building in the world.

Meanwhile, in Russia

This picture was taken from atop a 350-foot radio tower near the Kostroma River in Russia.

Just Hanging Out

One-armed dangerous selfie

He was probably the one kid in gym class who liked doing pull-ups.

Playing in Traffic

This guy is skateboarding below a car's line of sight in the middle of traffic without a helmet. It's not surprising that he used the hashtag "mom does not approve."

Plenty of Room

Fear of heights is clearly not an issue for this climber.

Having a Blast

Not only is this person risking dropping their phone, since the ride is the steep, steep Splash Mountain, they're also risking getting it soaking wet. That's pretty high stakes to capture a moment that another camera is already capturing.

One Hot Pic

National Geographic explorer George Kourounis decided to take a moment in front of an active volcano to take a picture of himself.

Natural Beauty

Taking a selfie is definitely not what you're supposed to do if you see a bear in the wild.

Seeing the Sights

This picture was taken on top of the Votivkirche in Austria.

The Couple That Does Everything Together

Finding somebody who likes to do incredibly dangerous things with you is a great way to make sure you don't have a partner who's home worrying while you do incredibly dangerous things.v

Literal High Tops

This sneaker selfie taken in NYC by "outlaw Instagrammer" 13thwitness brings new meaning to the phrase "high tops." And if you'd like to step up your style game without climbing to the top of a building, check out these 20 Easy Ways to Elevate Your Style Game Instantly.

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