Is This the World’s Most Dangerous Selfie?

Slate’s design blog.
Aug. 26 2014 11:12 AM

The Race to Take the World’s Most Dangerous Selfie

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Daniel Lau's selfie atop a Hong Kong skyscraper.

Courtesy of Daniel Lau/YouTube

The famous photograph Lunch Atop a Skyscraper of 11 steelworkers blithely suspended on a crossbeam in the air above Manhattan while constructing the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center in 1932, remained a complete mystery for decades. Nobody knew who the photographer or the workers were or if the photo had been doctored until the mystery was partially unraveled in 2012, when two of the men in the photo were identified and the photograph was deemed to be real.  

In recent years, the phenomenon known as rooftopping, pioneered by Tom Ryaboi, has gained mainstream traction. In rooftopping, daredevil photographers scale dizzying heights to capture unprecedented views of urban landscapes. Even though part of the thrill of those images is knowing that a human engaged in risky behavior to capture them, the photos seem to be more about the subject matter than the photographer.

But in the age of the insipid selfie, even photographers often supersede their own subjects, as a recent slew of extreme selfies around the world can attest. This week’s extreme selfie publicity stunt involves photographers Daniel Lau, Andrew Tso, and A.S., who climbed to the top of an 1,135-foot-tall Hong Kong skyscraper to take a short video that shows them eating bananas before panning out to reveal them using a selfie stick to shoot a vertigo-inducing money shot of their attention-seeking stupidity.

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A still from photographer Daniel Lau's self-titled "Crazy Selfie From Hong Kong Skyscraper" video on YouTube.

Courtesy of Daniel Lau/YouTube

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Narcissus is said to have drowned from staring too long at his own beloved reflection. Isn't it only a matter of time before the treacherous race for the world's most dangerous selfie ends in tragedy?

Check out the video below to see the stunt in action:

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