The six most inappropriate tourist selfies ever?

Be honest, you’ve got a few embarrassing travel selfies tucked away on social media, right?

There’s that drunken night out in Stockholm when you decided a traffic cone would make a truly fabulous wizard’s hat.

There’s the time you decided bear hugging a bronze statue of one of Peru’s founding fathers was the best way to honour his contributions to society.

Yes, we’ve all been there.

But what you – hopefully – managed to achieve was limiting weary eye-brow raises to members of your own social circle and not the world’s media.

These travellers? Less so.

1. Chernobyl no no

Yes, it’s very in right now with the recent release of its very own HBO mini-series. But let’s keep in mind that this was a bona fide tragedy. Perhaps stripping off for an ‘artistic’ glamour shot is not the most sensitive way of remembering the thousands of victims of the world’s worse nuclear catastrophe.

2. Yolocaust?

Berlin-based artist Shahak Shapira grew so frustrated with seeing tourists taking grinning selfies (as well as performing yoga poses) on the city’s holocaust memorial, he decided to take matters into his own hands. His project Yolocaust superimposed those same selfies on top of harrowing images from Nazi-era concentration camps. Lesson learned.


3. Covering up

Sure, you like to express your spiritual side sometimes. And what better way to convey that to the world than an artfully composed pic of you pretending to meditate while on holiday? But if you wouldn’t wear it to Sunday lunch with your grandma, perhaps it’s not appropriate attire for a 12th century religious building.

4. Yet more nudity

Speaking of covering up, the phenomenon of stripping off at sights of historical interest is as perplexing as it is widespread. Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, the Pyramids of Giza – it seems nowhere is safe from the urge to go au natural while perched on ancient stones.

5. Spatial awareness

Even well-meaning tourists can cause a incident when they’re not paying attention. This 18th century Portuguese statue – yet another blameless victim of our incessant selfie culture.

6. They’re fighting back

The terrified look says it all. These Balinese monkeys – most notable so far for their ‘endearing’ habit of stripping tourists of their snacks – have had enough of social media fame. Repent while there’s still time, people.

For more insights into traveller mishaps and successes, follow battleface on Instagram here.

6 borderline-genius travel hacks

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Jack Davidson is a nine-year digital nomad who's made his home in such far-flung locations as Cambodia, East Timor, Colombia and Hungary. He writes on a variety of topics relating to travel, travel insurance and financial matters for globetrotters and occasional wanderers alike. Jack is also the host of battleface's podcast When It Hits The Fan.