Man Dies While Trying to Get Perfect Picture in Machu Picchu

Sadly, another person has died while trying to get the perfect picture of themselves while at a tourist location.

While it wasn’t another death by selfie, it was close.  The man ignored warnings not to go to the edge of a ravine and tried to get a picture that looked like he was flying off the edge.  He didn’t execute the jump quite right, and ended up slipping off the edge.

Machu Picchu selfie

From WUSA9, a DC local affiliate:

Peru This Week reports that a German tourist died Wednesday while posing for a photo at Peru’s famed Machu Picchu site.

Oliver Park, 51, went into a restricted area of the mountainous tourist locale in the Andes, despite warning signs and instructions from wardens, reports the BBC. The channel says that while posing for a photo at the edge of a ravine, Park apparently decided to jump in the air to make it look like he was flying. Instead, he ended up falling off the cliff.

While some might categorize this as a Darwin Award, I think it reflects an overall pressure (thanks to social media) of coming back from a trip with the perfect picture.  I see more people trying to take selfies than actually enjoying themselves in some places.

And it certainly feels like deaths while taking pictures has been on the rise, though it could just be reported more.

Vacation photos used to be the butt of a joke.  You didn’t want your friend to pull out their vacation photos while you were over (or worse, a slide show!)

Now, it’s an expectation almost to have photos on your social media accounts while you are supposed to be having fun.  And I wonder how much fun that actually is.

Last year, an Instagram star went around and changed the captions on all her “perfect” photos, and explained how alone she felt and how difficult it was to take the “candid” pictures she was posting.  She wanted to stop being a part of this one-up-(wo)manship that was going on.

We can disagree about how connected or not connected we should be on social media–especially when on vacation–but I think we can all agree on this: the perfect selfie isn’t worth dying for.  Even a Machu Picchu selfie.

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. just saw this. Saw similar behavior at the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and in Ireland. No pic is worth danger

  2. Population control…

  3. No, it’s a Darwin award. No sympathy.

  4. Life is more dear than a photo. Not sure why many don’t understand that. I see people posing near the geysers in Yellowstone that could char them for life. Just posted this photo of a guy in Yosemite. He almost slipped; but fortunately hit the rock ledge and survived. Hope more sanity is drilled in.

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