Tourists Accused Of Causing A Malaysian Earthquake With Their Butts

Photo: MOHD RASFAN/Getty Images.
Traveling in another country can involve committing a few cultural faux pas, but bad behavior doesn't usually result in taking the blame for causing a deadly earthquake. Malaysian officials have detained five tourists and are looking for several others who they say angered a mountain spirit by posing nude for a photo atop it.

The group of 10 tourists snapped their cheeky photos on Mount Kinabalu in May, and while many Malaysians responded with annoyance at the foreigners for stripping at a sacred site, things didn't get ugly until after a 5.9 quake hit on June 5. Once the death toll started rising, local residents decided the travelers' disrespect had caused the quake, and authorities picked up several of the travelers who could now face public nuisance charges, according to The Globe and Mail.

While the charges likely wouldn't carry much of a penalty, the story is a reminder to be respectful when traveling in places with unfamiliar customs. You don't have to get caught smuggling drugs to cause an international incident.

According to The Washington Post, one of the hikers has a habit of baring it all in scenic locales. The man, Emil Kaminski, also has a bit of a mean streak; he's taunted cultural ministers and angry Malaysians through social media.

Kaminski may be right that tectonic plates, not bare butts, cause earthquakes, but his attitude isn't going to set the next bunch of backpackers up for a warm welcome in Malaysia.

More from Global News


R29 Original Series