Darwin Awards Get Another Candidate in the “Photograph” Category

bayu pamungkas / shutterstock.com
bayu pamungkas / shutterstock.com

Most people love visiting unfamiliar places and capturing a photo to document the moment. It’s human nature to want to have a small keepsake, and at an Indonesian volcano, a married couple wanted to get theirs. As reported by the Straits Times, this location is infamous for the “blue fire” phenomenon and attracts visitors from across the globe, as well as multiple Darwin Award winners.

Ms. Huang Lihong, 31, and her husband Zhang Yong, 32, had gone on a guided tour to Ijen in East Java province. While their tour guide allegedly warned them about the drop, the pair journeyed to the crater’s edge to watch the sunrise.

Initially heeding this warning, she stayed 5 to 10 feet away from the ledge and edged backward towards a tree with long photogenic branches when she suddenly fell. Slipping on her skirt, she went over the edge and plummeted 75 meters to her death. It was ruled an accident; she did not suffer as she died on impact.

Best known for its blue fire, the crater’s phenomenon is created by blue light emitted from the sulphuric gas combustion. However, the crater itself is popular with tourists as well as miners looking to get big chunks of sulfuric rock. Used frequently in cosmetics and matches, the substance is crucial to many modern conveniences.

Tourists not minding what they are wearing, and in her case, a photographer (presumably her husband) not directing her better, proved to be horrific. While this man will have to live the rest of his life with what happened, this was a dumb and easily prevented death.

Mind you, this seems to be something of a cursed crater. Multiple people die at or on the way to this spot. While the views are breathtaking, so is the burning sulfur in the air.