The stories of people dying from attempted selfies at outdoor destinations are on the rise and the most recent victims, a couple who fell from Yosemite’s Taft Point, were identified as travel bloggers who knew the risk of their adventurous lifestyle.
Yosemite officials identified them as Vishnu Viswanath, a 29-year-old man, and Meenakshi Moorthy, a 30-year-old woman. The married couple were India citizens who were living and working in the Bay Area.
“Yosemite National Park continues to investigate this case, which will take several weeks,” park officials wrote in a news release Monday. “No further details are available at this time.”
The couple ran a website called Holidays and HappilyEverAfters, which chronicled their travels and adventures around the world. In an Instagram post from March, the couple posted a warning to adventurers willing to do anything for that perfect post:
“A lot of us including yours truly is a fan of daredevilry attempts of standing at the edge of cliffs and skyscrapers but did you know that wind gusts can be FATAL??? Is our life just worth one photo?”
Taft Point has become one of the most popular destinations in Yosemite due to its picturesque scene off its high cliff. Accessible from Glacier Point Road, the cliff provides great views of Yosemite Valley and El Capitan, but lacks any guardrails.
The couple marks more fatalities attributed to dangerous exploits for smart phone photos and videos in the area. Earlier this fall, An Israeli teenager died trying to take a selfie next to Nevada Fall in Yosemite. This spring, a Northern California student fell and died off Toketee Falls in Oregon while trying to snap that perfect photo. And this summer, a 30-year-old died attempting to jump off Burney Falls.
So the question remains- how far is too far? Why do people continue to risk their lives for Instagram photos? And how do we limit these deaths going forward?