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Edge of madness: It's a horrifying new trend

2016-September-23       Source: Chinadaily.com.cn

A face peers over the edge several hundred feet above me. It is a grown man gripped by a morbid elation as he looks down on a sheer drop to the rocks, the beach — where I am standing — and the sea.

一个成年男子站在几百英尺高的悬崖边缘往下看,峭壁之下是巨石,是沙滩,还有大海,我站在下面,看着他沉浸在病态的喜悦之中。

What he can’t see from his perch is that he is resting on an overhang, a lump of chalk protruding over thin air and a very long drop. At any minute, the ground might simply give way, as this famous English beauty spot has had a habit of doing since time immemorial.

但他看不见自己正站于一大块向外突出的白垩岩上,巍巍高耸的峭壁之上空气稀薄,那块岩石随时都有可能垮塌,自古以来在这个著名的英国景点可没少发生这种事。

What happens next, though, is a more recent phenomenon.

接下来这个男人要进行一项如今风靡全球的活动。

Slowly a hand comes in to view and it is holding — what else? — a selfie-stick. Click. Moments later, the man has retreated back from the brink and moved on.

他慢慢地伸出了一只手,拿着一个什么东西?哦,自拍杆,咔哒!过一会儿他从悬崖边退了回去,继续上路了。

How much longer can it be before a new category is added to the list of verdicts available to a coroner? In addition to ‘accident’, ‘misadventure’ and ‘open’, there will soon be a new pronouncement: ‘death by selfie’.

估计过不了多久,在验尸官开具的死亡鉴定类型上除了“事故”、“意外”、“存疑”以外,又会多上一条新判决了,那就是“自拍死”。

Last year, it was reported that the number of people killed by sharks around the world had, for the first time, been overtaken by the number of those killed while snapping themselves on a phone (and in a record year for shark attacks, too).

去年,有报告称全世界“自拍死”的人数有史以来第一次超过了被鲨鱼袭击而死的人数(并且这年的鲨鱼袭击事件也创了新高。)

Pretty soon, no doubt, someone will kill two birds — and themselves — by taking a selfie with a shark moments before they are chomped to death.

很快,我们就会看到这样的新闻,有人为了与鲨鱼一同自拍而葬身鲨腹,这可就是两种死因都占全了。

But the number of narcissistic fatalities just keeps on rising. Last month alone, there were at least 15 selfie-related deaths.

这种自恋导致的死亡人数还在不断攀升,仅上个月就有15起与自拍相关的死亡案例。

Leading the world in this idiocy is India, where selfie-cide is almost a daily occurrence.

而印度可以算是这种蠢事的多发之地,几乎每天都有“自拍死”的事故。

In Britain, we have got off fairly lightly thus far. But if it is going to happen anywhere, it could easily be here, on the Sussex coast.

英国到目前为止还未有太多自拍致死的案例,但现如今这类事件已遍布世界各地,谁能说萨塞克斯海岸不会是下一个案发地呢?

For this six-mile cliff-top between Newhaven and Beachy Head — a stretch of corrugated peaks and troughs known as the Seven Sisters — has become so popular with selfie-seekers that the locals are about to take pre-emptive action.

在纽黑文和比奇角之间,有一片波澜起伏的山脉,绵延长达六英里,这里的七姐妹悬崖已经成为自拍爱好者们十分青睐的景点,当地人听闻也都纷纷抢先一步前去游览。

Lately, we have seen images of jaw-dropping stupidity as daredevil walkers — mainly young men, it seems — creep to the edge of these chalk faces in considerable numbers for that must-have selfie.

近来在新闻上我们常能看见一些让人跌破眼镜的图片,这些冒失鬼——多是年轻人——成群结队来到悬崖的边缘只为了一张“这辈子一定要拍”的自拍照。

Last summer, a local photographer captured a row of irresponsible people sitting at the site, with their feet dangling over an edge which is not even there any more.

去年夏天,一个本地摄影师在该景点拍下了一张照片,一群人坐在悬崖边缘,他们的腿在空中晃来晃去,但那块崖石现在已经不知所踪了。

In another shot, a man is sitting on a chalk overhang which already has a very obvious fault line running down the side.

另一张照片中,一个男人坐在一块突出的白垩岩上,但这块岩石已经出现了明显的裂纹,很有可能会滑落。

It is purely down to luck rather than judgment that no one has been sitting on these chunks of rock when the ground has given way. For erosion is a fact of life here.

目前还未有人坐在上面刚巧遇上岩石崩塌的情况,这不是因为判断力好,纯粹是走运,因为风化侵蚀是当地十分正常的自然现象。

‘Very often, you come here in the morning and see a great pile of chalk and rocks on the beach,’ says Molly, a volunteer in the National Trust visitor centre. ‘But with two tides a day, it gets washed away, so people don’t see it for long.’

“你早上来到这儿,很有可能会在沙滩上看见一些白垩岩粉末与石块,”英国国民托管组织游客中心的志愿者莫莉说,“只不过因为每天两次涨潮,这些石块都被海水带走了,所以人们往往看不见这些痕迹。”

And in recent years, for reasons which are not entirely clear, there has been a run of particularly hefty falls. Indeed, as Molly points out: ‘The Seven Sisters have now become eight.’

近年来,已经有数起崖壁垮塌事件发生,原因尚不清楚。并且如莫莉所说:“七姐妹悬崖现在不只是七座而是有八座悬崖了。”

That’s because one stretch of cliff has had such severe falls either side of a grassy promontory that it has now created an extra peak.

那是因为其中一处悬崖的石体数次坠塌落在长满草的海角周围,从而产生了一处新的陡崖。

The worst cliff-fall in living memory occurred during a storm in the winter of 2013-2014 when several yards fell into the sea at once. But these episodes are by no means restricted to extreme weather.

最严重的一次崖体坠落,发生在2013年到2014年那个暴雪肆虐的冬天,长达几英里的山崖岩石全部发生滑落,但这种小插曲绝不仅仅是极端天气导致的。

A German woman with two young children welcomes the idea of a fence but then wonders whether it would be wise to bash poles into ground that is already unstable.

一位育有两个孩子的德国妈妈认为这里应该装上护栏,但转念一想,如果这块岩石本来就不稳固,插上护栏杆又有什么意义呢?

 

yaning from language.chinadaily.com.cn

Editor: Steven

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