Love them or hate them, selfies are still becoming an increasingly big aspect of today’s culture.
You don’t have to go far to find someone capturing themselves on camera, finding that perfect angle and (probably) putting some kind of filter on the picture to achieve the desired result.
To escape this, you might think to yourself: ‘I’ll head out to the countryside, escape the hustle and bustle of the city, and get away from the endless amount of people attached to their phones’.
Unfortunately, however, it seems selfie-takers are now ruining the countryside too.
Some selfie-seekers in Hangzhou, in the Zhejiang Province in East China, were so desperate to get themselves a perfect backdrop for their photos that they ignored warning signs and fences, and jumped into a field of pink grass that one woman had spent three years cultivating.
Rather than being considerate towards the woman’s field, tourists selfishly trampled through the grass and destroyed huge swathes of her crop, despite the woman’s efforts to stop them.
The photogenic pink flower is called muhly grass, which typically only blooms for about two months each year. Sadly, this patch only lasted a few days, as Shanghaiist reports.
To get in the field, the tourists ignored all signs and jumped over roped barriers.
A woman, known as Auntie Zheng, had spent the last three years helping to grow the grass, and tried her hardest to stop the selfish selfie-seekers, but to no avail.
It’s like my child is being bullied, but I can’t do anything to stop it.
Zheng and her colleagues had to make the difficult decision to cut down the rest of the grass, worrying that it wouldn’t bloom again after being flattened and eventually eaten by animals.
One person who went too far trying to get a good selfie, and ended up making the ultimate sacrifice, was Prabhu Bhatara in Odisha, India, who was travelling home from a wedding when he needed to relieve himself.
Hopping out of his car to do so, he caught sight of a nearby bear and, despite warnings from others in the car, proceeded to try and take a selfie with it.
Unfortunately, Prabhu’s encounter with the bear didn’t last long, and he was attacked by the wild animal when he got too close. The man sadly died on the spot from his injuries.
A recent study showed that, between 2011 and 2017, 259 people died while trying to capture a selfie.
Places such as the top of mountains, edges of cliffs and tall buildings, lakes and near train tracks were all areas of concern, and the US National Library of Medicine are urging the use of ‘no selfie zones’ to reduce the number of deaths at such places.
Drowning, transport accidents and falling were the most common causes of death, according to BBC Newsbeat.
Animal attacks, electrocution, fire and firearms also featured in the list of selfie deaths from around the world.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.