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Selfie-snapping photographer falls into Mount Vesuvius

man falls into crater of mount vesuvius
(Image credit: Getty Images)

An American tourist had a narrow escape after falling into the crater of Mount Vesuvius while on holiday in Italy. The 23-year-old was traversing a path closed off to the public when he took a selfie before dropping his phone into the crater. For reasons unknown, the man then tried to retrieve it from what is thought to be one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world – you really can't make this stuff up. 

Mount Vesuvius is an active volcano located on the Gulf of Naples in Campania, Italy. Although it hasn’t actually erupted since 1944, climbing into its crater is certainly not advised, even if you have dropped one of the best camera phones (opens in new tab) or best iPhones (opens in new tab) into it. 

According to Wanted in Rome (opens in new tab), the US tourist and three family members decided to avoid paying the entrance fee and took an unofficial, forbidden path to the summit of the 4,203ft volcano. Despite there being clearly marked signs to say the route was prohibited, the group continued onwards to avoid the 10 euro fee it costs to take the official route.

Despite falling a couple of meters into the volcanos crater, the man came off relatively unscathed – minus a few cuts and bruises. He did however have to be rescued by a helicopter after mountaineers were unable to pull him out themselves. 

Famously, Pompeii was buried under meters of ash and pumice after Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79AD causing catastrophic damage and wiping out an entire city. Today, Pompeii is a popular tourist destination and due to being buried in ash has remained a well-preserved look into what Roman life was like. 

While the man might’ve got away with very few injuries, Italian police have charged the man and his three relatives with the invasion of public space. Perhaps next time they decide to climb a volcano, they’ll pay the fee like everyone else and follow a route that has been designed with safety in mind. Everyone wants the perfect selfie for Instagram but it should never be worth risking your life over. Someone give the man a Darwin Award (opens in new tab).

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Hannah Rooke
Hannah Rooke

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.