With the rise of social media in recent years, selfies have become so popular that some people will do almost anything to get the perfect, likes-inducing shot. In 2013, "selfie" has been named as word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries, and later the morbid term "selficide" was born - describing a death caused by trying to take the perfect selfie in a risky situation. From scaling skyscrapers barehanded, to swimming with snakes, to taking photographs with actual criminals - check out this list of the craziest selfies ever taken.
1. Plane Crash Selfie
If we are ever, god forbid, in a plane crash, we're not sure the first thing we'd do it take a selfie. Ferdinand Puentes was on board of a plane that crashed into the Pacific Ocean, and happened to have his GoPro camera with him.
While floating in the water after the crash, he decided to take this incredible selfie, which shows the sinking plane in the background. Puentes was luckily picked up by the Coast Guard a few hours later.
2. Action Shot
Royal Danish Air Force pilot, Thomas Kristensen, captured the exact moment in which he fired an AIM-9L air-to-air missile from his F-16 fighter aircraft, during an exercise over the North Sea.
According to the Danish military, Kristensen is not only a GoPro pro, but also "one of the most experienced F-16 pilots in the RDAF, having flown thousands of hours, including missions over ex-Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Libya."
3. Selfie Bomb
In May 2016, Egyptian man Seif Eldin Mustafa hijacked an EgyptAir jet which took off from Alexandria and forced it to divert to Cyprus's Larnaca airport, where he took several passengers and crew hostage and demanded to see his Cypriot ex-wife.
British passenger Ben Innes was one of these hostages, and shockingly used the opportunity to take a selfie with Mustafa, who was wearing a (later to be revealed as fake) suicide belt. "I'm not sure why I did it – I just threw caution to the wind while trying to stay cheerful in the face of adversity," told Innes, who was safely released later that day, to The Guardian.
4. Extreme Model
Fearless Russian Angela Nikolau doesn't do normal selfies: her crazy photographs on top of skyscrapers and bridges have garnered her more than 800,000 followers on Instagram, where she describes herself as an "extreme model".
Nikolau's boyfriend, Ivan Beerkus, is also an 'urban climber', and the two often scale highrises together, and photograph each other from some crazy angles.
5. Lake of Lava
When you identify yourself as an adventurer, some crazy selfies are to be expected. George Kourounis is a self-proclaimed adventure seeker, who travels the world "getting up close with the most violent and spectacular forces on Earth".
This selfie was taken just by the crater of Marum volcano, Vanuatu - getting as close as humanly possible to a violently boiling lake of lava (and without melting the camera).
6. Beary Scary
A curious black bear approached a group of hikers in a Mexican ecological park, and then continued to sniff and nudge one of them.
This woman not only managed to stay miraculously calm during the scary close encounter, but even took a selfie while the bear was behind her.
7. Near Hit
When sports reporter Kelly Nash took this selfie at a Boston baseball field, she didn't even realize how close she had come to being badly hit with a ball.
"Most dangerous selfie ever. That happened," Nash wrote on Instagram where she posted the photo after realizing its true magnificence.
8. Before and After Bus Crash
A man who took a selfie before and after being involved in a bus crash in Mozambique has gone viral on social media.
The man took one selfie before embarking on the bus, looking fresh and happy, and another selfie after the crash, showing the bus overturned in the background while he himself is covered in sand.
9. Here Kitty Kitty
South African game reserve Inverdoorn is home to many wild animals, and is the location of a successful cheetah conservation project.
This awesome selfie shows one of the members of Inverdoorn's cheetah team sharing some feline love with a friendly, big cheetah.
10. Underwater Close-Up
Wildlife photographer Nadia Aly loves documenting the underwater marine life in all its glory. This incredibly selfie shows her surrounded by myriads of jellyfish in the aptly named Jellyfish Lake, Palau.
Aly spent hours underwater photographing the golden jellyfish as they made their way from one end of the lake to the other. Luckily, she wasn't in any danger, as the jellyfish who live in the lake are not poisonous - without natural predators, their stings have weakened over time.
11. Citizen’s Arrest
When Candian MMA fighter Kevin Barkhouse caught and 'arrested' a man who had stolen from him earlier that day, he decided to take a selfie with the man while waiting for the police to show up.
Barkhouse said that after sharing the picture, he received a lot of support - in addition to a lot of criticism. “I acted before I was thinking. Now, I probably shouldn’t have done it,” he told CTVNews. “I don’t suggest anyone do it just in case.”
12. High Life
When Russian urban climber Alexander Remnev arrived in Dubai with friends, he naturally went straight to scale the Princess Tower - the world's tallest residential building, and the second tallest building in the UAE, at 1,350ft (414m).
"We love the height of Dubai - it is a city of skyscrapers. We climbed on top of as many as we could," He told the Mail Online. "After this trip, buildings in Russia seem very small."
13. Chasing Waterfalls
Jumping off a waterfall while holding a GoPro and somehow still managing to get a selfie? Someone give this girl a medal.
To be honest, we're not sure it was the best idea, but since it resulted in this perfect photo, we approve.
14. Running with the Bulls
Spanish police unsuccessfully tried to hunt down a man who took a reckless selfie while running with six fighting bulls during the Pamplona famous ‘running of the bulls’ festival.
In the photo, taken by a bystander, the running man can be seen holding a mobile phone and photographing himself while the bulls are at his heels.
15. Selfie with Jesus
When Lee Thompson, co-founder of the UK-based travel company The Flash Pack, travelled to Brazil, he somehow managed to pursade local authorities to let him climb Rio de Janeiro's famous Jesus the Redeemer statue. It resulted in this incredible selfie, taken at 125 ft 38 metres (125 ft).
"When the opportunity arose to take the world’s first (and so far only) selfie with Jesus, I couldn’t resist," wrote Thompson on the company's blog.
16. Best Friends
This selfie is such a gem that it was one of the winners of the 2017 Comedy Pet Photography Awards, for "Pets who look like their Owners".
Georgie Bain's Instagram page is filled with lovely pictures of her horses, but this one, taken at a perfect moment, is undoubtedly the best of them.
17. Hanging in the Air
Pilot Jakub Vlk took this selfie while he was flying a glider. We're not sure how we would feel to be the guy sitting behind him - but we're pretty sure we wouldn't want our pilot to be distracted.
We couldn't help but notice that the glider was designed specifically with selfies in mind - with what seems to be a little 'selfie stick window'.
18. When Selfies Go Too Far
Wu Yongning was one of the world's most famous "rooftoppers" - a term for someone who takes crazy selfies from roofs that are usually restricted to the public.
Sadly, he died in 2017 after plunging from a skyscraper in Changsha, China, while making a selfie video in an attempt to win a $15,000 prize.
19. Underwater Love
Underwater photographer Aaron Gekoski arrived Aliwal Shoal in South Africa with one goal in mind: to take selfies with sharks in order to raise awareness for shark conservation.
"Being in the midst of all those blacktips was one hell of a rush," he told Dive magazine. "Despite a couple of close calls, I never really felt threatened. Through this video[...[ we ultimately wanted to show that it’s not me that’s in danger, but actually the sharks themselves."
20. Do Not Try This at Home
Alex Gomez found a poisonous rattlesnake when he was walking around a field behind his California home, and for some reason he, instead of running, decided to take a selfie with it. The snake however didn't like the idea, and bit Gomez's hand instead.
“I’m not too upset if I lose my thumb and the use of my arm because I could be dead instead,” Gomez told KTLA from his hospital bed. “I want my incident to serve as a warning to other people. Don’t mess with snakes. Just leave them alone.”
21. Just Hanging with Friends
Chinese rooftopper Daniel Lau is another big name on the rooftopping online scene. This photo shows him and three other friends somehow all balancing themselves on the pointy top of a Hong Kong skyscraper.
"Rooftopping is like a getaway from city life to me -- Hong Kong is such a fast-paced city with so much pressure and noise," Lau told CNN. "When I'm on a rooftop, everything slows down, you don't hear anything but wind, all the rush from the ground became like slow-motion."
22. Train Wreck
T Siva was on the quest for the perfect selfie, and decided to take a video selfie with an approaching train in Hyderabad, India. Despite warning from a passer-by, and repeated horns blaring from the train, Siva refused to move and ended up being hit by it.
He fell down by the side of the track and sustained a serious head injury, but luckily was not killed. He later appeared in court and was fined 500 rupees.
23. God Exists
Pavlo Gennadiyovich Ushivets, better known as Mustang Wanted, is a Ukrainian urban climber known for the crazy selfies he takes at buildings' tops.
"God exists", Mustang Wanted captioned this hair-raising photo taken on top of Vienna's Votive Church, which stands tall at 325ft (99m).
24. Tragic Couple
Here's another tragic selfie story: Indian couple Vishnu Viswanath and Meenakshi Moorthy, who friends called "travel obsessed", fell to their deaths in 2018. They were trying to take a selfie standing on a cliff in Yosemite National Park.
“She was very close to the edge, but it looked like she was enjoying herself,” said another park visitor to The Guardian. “She gave me the willies. There aren’t any railings. I was not about to get that close to the edge. But she seemed comfortable."
25. The Lion Whisperer
Kevin Richardson is South Africa’s "lion whisperer". He has been working with lions for years, and his Instagram page is filled with amazing photos showing the unique relationship he has with lions he has known since their birth.
"Obviously one realizes the danger when working with animals of this caliber," he told GoPro. "I've weighed the pros and I've weighed the cons, and the pros far outweigh the cons."
26. Now This is Iowa Nice
When Iowa City man, 20-year-old Gilbert Phelps, was arrested for drunken driving, he - in true millennial spirit - took a Snapchat selfie with the arresting officer, who seemed pretty happy with the whole situation.
“[Phelps] requested to take a Snapchat selfie with me to which I happily obliged,” Officer Ben Hektoen wrote in his arrest report.
27. Selfie Storm
This daredevil Australian man decided to try and take a selfie in front of an outback tornado (not the most rational idea, if you ask us).
His attempt, which was captured on video, shows the man approaching the tornado, but then as the tornado changes directions the man is heard screaming “Jesus Christ, he’s huge!” as he's trying to get away.
28. Emergency Selfie
We're not sure if taking a selfie would be our top priority if our plane was about to make an emergency landing, but college professor Shashi Bellamkonda decided to document the chilling moment in case he didn't make it out alive.
The picture was taken as smoke started coming out of the plane's cabin vents during a flight from Washington DC to Boston, which ended up landing in Delaware instead. "Flight 3759 a selfie we never ever want to repeat," Bellamkonda wrote alongside the selfie.
29. Camel Bite
Here's another one from Australia: couple Dave and Juz did an epic lap around Australia in their Land Cruiser Troopy, and posted incredible pictures from their 2-years-8-months long adventure.
When this photo was taken, Juz was standing close to a friendly - or maybe too friendly - camel, who decided it was the perfect time to give her a bite.
30. Watch Your Step
The Grand Canyon offers breathtaking views, and many visitors end up risking their lives - like this man - when trying to get the perfect Grand Canyon selfie.
Last year, a man and a woman have died at the park in two separate incidents during one week. Onlookers saw the man stumble over the edge of the rim while trying to take pictures, and then falling from 1,000ft (305m).
31. Getting Barreled
Zak Noyle is one lucky chap: he's a professional surf and wave photographer who lived and surfs on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, and travels around the world to get the best extreme surfing shots.
This incredible selfie, caught in the perfect moment, shows Noyle "barrled", surfing inside a wave just before it crashed.
32. What's In the Water?
When Brazilian cattle Carlos Adrade saw a giant anaconda lurking in the water of the Amazon River, he decided to do what none of us would have done - and jumped in the water to take a selfie with it.
"I was on our farm, on the river, and I saw that snake near the edge, I was still on the ground and I saw her in the water with her little head outside," he described the moment he saw the snake to UOL Daily. "I picked up my cell phone and took several selfies." Courageous or crazy? You decide.
33. Top of the Town
Estonian daredevil Ervin Punkar took this crazy selfie from the top of Estonia's Tartu TV Mast - a 600ft (182m) TV tower – which he scaled with friends, none of them wearing any safety equipment.
“The view from up there just beats everything, it’s so beautiful," he told Carters news agency. “Getting there was really cool actually – it took us about one hour to reach the top, but we made many stops to rest and simply enjoy the view."
34. I Believe I Can Fly
Jokke Sommer is a Norwegian professional skydiver and BASE jumper. In this crazy selfie he flies over Rio de Janeiro in a chopper, only he and a friend are literally sitting *outside* of the chopper.
“I believe in a bigger universe," Sommer explained his philosophy toward danger to Maxim magazine. “Some of my friends did a lot of amazing, amazing things. They died at 35 but lived 100 times more than the guy who made it to 80.”
35. Inappropriate Much?
This anonymous fireman received a lot of heat online for stopping to take a selfie in front of a burning house - instead of running in to help his colleagues and stop the fire.
Perhaps this picture wouldn't be so bad if the guy hadn't also been smiling from ear to ear.
36. Leap of Faith
Matthias Giraud, better known as "Super Frenchie", is a professional skier and BASE jumper, and this selfie shows him seconds after jumping off a bridge.
For us, the mere idea of jumping off a bridge is a cause for a small heart attack. Super Frenchie, on the other hand, looks like a happy man.
37. Plunging Down
This guy seems so calm even though he is actually capturing his free fall to the bottom of a waterfall.
Luckily, with a waterfall, the force of the water coming down breaks some of that tension and makes for a softer landing.
38. Out of This World
Selfies are so big right now, they even made it to outer space. NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins tweeted out this selfie, taken while he was on a spacewalk, changing a degraded pump module on the exterior of the International Space Station.
As if the picture wasn't great enough, the reflection of Hopkins's colleague, astronaut Rick Mastracchio, appears in his helmet visor.
39. Crocodile Smile
In 2017 a French tourist was bitten by a crocodile in Thailand, after getting close to it in an attempt to take a selfie with the enormous reptile.
The outcome of this selfie was a bit better though, with both human and crocodile finishing the encounter with a smile.
40. Take the Jump
If someone told you to go jump off a cliff, would you? For some people, the answer is obviously yes. And for some unfathomed reason, they bungee jump.
This gut-wrenching selfie was taken at Canyon Swing, a famous New Zealand bungee site, and was incredibly taken with a GoPro - during the bungee jump.
41. Splash Mountain Win
It's tricky enough to go down the Splash Mountain in one dry piece, let alone take a successful selfie during the descent. But this Twitter user did both.
"Splash mountain at 11:30 at night and a selfie while going down? How did my phone not fly out of my hands", was the caption of this hilarious post.
42. Breaking Out
We'll end with another gut-wrenching selfie from Russian daredevil Alexander Remnev, and a little behind the scenes peek at how rooftopping is actually done:
“You use stairs or the elevator as far as you can go, like an ordinary citizen, and then up there you need to look up for ways to get on the roof, by breaking locks, bypassing obstacles and finding a way to outsmart alarm systems,” Remnev told the LA Times. “Sometimes we just break in - or rather out - ignoring the alarm that goes off in some office down below.”