The Thrill of Death and the Perfect Instagrm Shot

The Thrill of Death and the Perfect Instagrm Shot

Pedra da Gávea is a monolith – that is a single enormous rock – rising 2800 ft above sea level. It’s located in Brazilian Floresta da Tijuca, near Rio de Janeiro. Being the biggest monolith in the entire world facing the sea, it has been visited since the early 19th century. Its name means “Rock of the Topsail,” since it’s shaped like one. But why are we talking about it? Are we promoting it for tourists? Well, it isn’t necessary. Lots of tourists come visit it every year – the important thing is what they do there. Not surprisingly these days, it has something to do with Instagram.

Being so high, Pedra da Gávea is an excellent place to look at Rio, and it is almost mandatory to take a picture when you go. But some people are going a step too far and have begun taking pictures in ways that greatly endanger their lives. Nobody has died so far because of this, although the monolith is well known for the deaths of people who try to climb it or who jump on top of it.

Right—The rock. Left—The void. Right—The rock.
Left—The void.

The hashtag #pedradagavea is completely full of pictures. There are exactly 69,141 posts featuring the hashtag in question. Among selfies, scenery shots, group pics and photos depicting the cities beneath the monolith, we can find some of the pictures people take in risky positions, on the edge of the rock, letting their feet or their entire bodies hang over the void that is beneath.

People even dare to jump on top of the rock, and some shots depict what seems to be their last jump, their bodies heading towards the void. But, of course, they didn’t fall. Sometimes the need for thrilling sensations overpasses the need of security. Then, also, you can share it on Instagram.

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