The term ‘selfie’ has been bandied about for sometime now, it even became ‘word of the year’ in 2013 and subsequently ended up in the Oxford English Dictionary.
With selfies all the rage in recent years, people are now looking to capture more terrifying and unique images. It’s in the last year that we have started to see the extreme lengths some people are going to in order to achieve the most outrageous selfie snaps.
Last summer this death-defying craze saw many youngsters heading to the English beauty spot in Dover to capture nail-biting photos of themselves and friends precariously dangling over the iconic white cliff edges at Beachy Head.
Only at the beginning of this year we saw reports of Korean tourists taking it in turns to sit close to the edge of a crumbling 500ft cliff at the Seven Sisters Country Park in Sussex to take selfies and pose for portraits, seemingly oblivious to the dangers.
One photo shows a woman sat on the edge with her legs dangling over the side and in another we see a young woman leaning towards the edge to include a view of the sea below in her selfie.
These antics emerged in a number of posts on Instagram over the holiday period under the hashtags #sevensisters and #sevensisterscliffs. It seems to be a growing trend as #cliffselfies has nearly 1000 posts and #dangerousselfie with nearly 2000 posts.
The Coastguard has issued a warning and condemned this sort of behaviour and warned that no selfie or photograph is worth risking your life for. A spokeswoman for the Solent Coastguard said: “We’ve seen a number of cliff collapses around the coast in recent months and it’s very clear that these cliffs are very unstable places. Don’t be tempted to go and investigate and don’t risk going to the edge to get a dramatic picture.”
Current estimations suggest that approximately 10 inches of rock erode along the Seven Sisters cliff edges each year and it’s only a matter of time until before someone disappears off the edge with falling rock.
Despite warning signs of eroding cliffs, it’s worrying to see that people are still taking risks to get the perfect picture. A spokesman for Newhaven Coastguard said: “Please keep a safe distance form cliff edges. In a coastal emergency dial 999 and ask for Coastguard.”