Tourist Learns Why ‘Volcano Selfies’ Are Never A Good Idea

But did he get the photo though?

A 23-year-old American man has fallen into – and been successfully rescued from – the crater of Mount Vesuvius. He fell in, reportedly, while retrieving his phone, which was dropped taking a selfie.


A U.S. tourist recently learned the hard way why you shouldn’t take selfies on top of a volcano. The man, who is 23 years old, was visiting the famous volcano near Pompeii (they are 9km apart) along with two family members.

The family walked up Vesuvius from the nearby town Ottaviano and allegedly hiked to the top of Vesuvius via a trail with a small gate and a “no access” sign.

At the top of the volcano, which is over 1,219-metres-tall, the man tried to take a selfie and dropped his phone into the volcano.

“He tried to recover it, but slipped and slid a few meters into the crater. He managed to stop his fall, but at that point he was stuck,” the president of the Presidio Permanente Vesuvio, Paolo Cappelli told NBC News.

“He was very lucky. If he kept going, he would have plunged 300 meters [almost 1,000ft] into the crater.”

Fortunately, the man didn’t suffer any serious injury – only grazes and scratches. Unfortunately, Twitter has erupted with mirth, with comments ranging from “In his defense, who knew that falling into a volcano is bad??” to “if you ever get to go up to the edge of Vesuvius you should. It’s a really cool bus ride and usually a brisk walk. Falling into a volcano is ill-advised however, as Dante’s Peak taught me.” Another Twitter user sympathised, writing: “We will literally fall into Mount Vesuvius before losing our phones.”

Image Credit: New York Post/Guide Vulcanologiche Vesuvio

Back to the tale at hand: tourist guides saw the incident from the other side of the crater and quickly went around to assist, helping the man out with a long rope.

The man was taken in by local police, but it remains unknown what, if any, charges he could be faced with. Another thing that could get the man in hot water is that, according to Huffington Post, the man and his family “had neglected to purchase [the] tickets… required to ensure there are a manageable number of hikers on the path.”

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This isn’t the first time tourists have got themselves in a spot of bother by taking selfies. As we reported in 2019, tourists were warned not to take selfies in this creepy Czech chapel. Oh and in 2021 there was the incident where Chinese actor Zhang Zhehan highlighted the risk of selfie sightseeing in Japan. Wedding Cake Rock in Sydney has had issues with this too.

Maybe don’t do it for the gram?

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