More People Have Died Because Of Selfie Sticks Than Shark Attacks This Year

Photo: Andy Wong/AP Photo.
This is a story that could count as a victory for the human race, but only technically. Sure, only eight people, out of all the people in the entire world, died from a shark attack this year. What a triumph over the animal kingdom. Meanwhile, 12 people have died using a selfie stick in the same amount of time.

The average shark has 15 rows of teeth. The selfie stick is really just a slightly teched-out version of those dinosaur toys with the hinge-able jaw. Fellow humans, these two facts should make us wonder about who we are, what we create, and how much of a danger we truly are to ourselves — after all, these silly sticks have already been banned at Disney World, Wimbledon, and a ton of museums, and don't even think about bringing one along to the Pope's NYC appearances. Truly, they are an unholy force.

Earlier this week, Mashable made this connection and created a helpful bar graph to illustrate the discrepancy. Some may point out that the numbers of both shark- and selfie-stick-related deaths are relatively minor. This is correct. However, bringing those 12 selfie deaths to light underlines the fact that no one should die from using a selfie stick — at least if you're attacked by a shark, you might have a sense that you're entering a life-risking situation. If you die using a selfie stick, all you knowingly risked was your dignity.

Sadly, many of these deaths were the result of the stick user falling or failing to notice an oncoming train. But beyond being silly, selfie sticks are a grave distraction that are too frequently used in unfamiliar settings, usually by unaware tourists. So if you must use a selfie stick on your next vacation, please steer clear of ledges, bodies of water, stairs, or live train tracks. Of course, you should also be aware of sharks when you're traveling, but it seems like we have that problem a bit more under control.

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