When they first arrived on the scene, they were objects of near universal derision, but now they've spread into the mainstream. Now friends you respect and like have bought and used them. Now tourist sites the world over are infested with them. Now they are ubiquitous... and deadly.
What the hell am I talking about? Well, selfie sticks, of course. New statistics show that the bane of world heritage sites across the globe are now more officially deadlier than the most perfectly evolved of sea-beasts: Sharks. Perhaps its time Stephen Spielberg had a spectacular blockbuster about killer selfies?
The recent death of a selfie-taking Japanese tourist, who fell down some stairs at the Taj Mahal, has just upped this year's quota of selfie-induced deaths to 12. Conversely, the number of people killed by sharks this year comes in at only 8.
Sure, the year has yet to end, but if this trend continues, narcissistic photography may have claimed more lives than animals who can detect blood at one part per million.
Of course, for the most part, taking a generic selfie in the safety of our own home isn't particularly dangerous, but it's the new trend of exciting or 'daredevil' selfies which have claimed the most lives. For example, included within the dozen of selfie victims this year was one man who was gored to death by a bull after he tried to capture a selfie beyond the safety of a barricade at the famous running of the bulls. Due to this, the taking of selfies at the event in Pamplona has now been banned. Meanwhile, a woman in Russia also killed herself this year while trying to take a 'cute' selfie with a gun.
However, it's not just obviously dangerous situations which has claimed lives. As the most recent example above proves, taking selfies in crowded and busy locations can result in pointless deaths or injury. Because of this some theme parks, such as all Disney parks, have banned the use of selfie sticks, while hikers and campers have also been warned about the risks of taking selfies on cliff edges. Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry of Russia has also issued fairly self-explanatory selfie warnings like do not take selfies while driving a car or when standing in the middle of the road.
Many museums and galleries have also banned selfie sticks, claiming they infringe on other people's right to enjoy the art/artefacts, while they also pose a danger to the wellbeing of the displays and visitors. Other museums, such as the world famous Archeological Museum in Athens also forbid posing with the art or sculptures - firstly out of safety, and secondly in order to maintain the serenity and purpose of the museum.
As of yet, there is no news on whether the Australian government will attempt to cull selfie stick users with controversial baited drum lines.
For our next Moviepilot Magazine, it's all about fear. So we're polling our readers to find out what terrifies them. You can help by answering the question below!