The 10 Most Shocking Instagram Travel Photos of 2015

See recent posts by Jordi Lippe-McGraw

Vertigo-inducing View from Pegasus Suites & Spa, Santorini

Vertigo-inducing View from Pegasus Suites & Spa, Santorini

As we enter a new year, we tend to look back on the last 52 weeks and reflect on the biggest changes, the most talked about events, and the best (and worst) trends. And just like the most shocking celebrity moments of 2015, so, too, are there highlights in the travel world. Here at we decided to scour through Instagram to find some crazy travel pics. From selfies with sharks to snaps on the side of a mountain, these are 10 of the most shocking Instagram travel photos of 2015.

Hotels in this story

1. The Daredevil Shot

Millions of people each year
travel to Brazil to see the famous Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks
Rio de Janeiro. And while there are plenty of selfies and snaps taken of the
incredible view, stunt photographer Thiago Correa took it to a whole new level
in 2015 when he snapped a picture from the treacherous edge of the outstretched
arm. He had to gain special access from the authorities to climb the statue,
but the jaw-dropping photo from 124 feet up was certainly worth the effort.

2. The Hammock Tower

When you think about a hammock, you think about vacation.
Nothing beats gently rocking in the breeze as you lie by the water at your
favorite beach. But, there are some hammock aficionados that have taken “hammock
life” to whole new heights…literally. A group called “Hammockers Indonesia” says
they actually set the record last year for creating the world’s highest hammock
tower and, of course, shared a picture of the feat. Twenty-seven hammocks were stacked on
top of one another to reach 80 feet into the sky.

3. The Painted Sky

Pictures of the Aurora Borealis,
aka the Northern Lights, will always be breathtaking, but one photographer
captured a particularly incredible shot while in Fáskrúðsfjörður, East Fjords
Iceland, when a solar storm created hours
of bright colors moving across the sky. Even the shutterbug was blown away. “I’d seen the Southern
Lights several times and even the Northern Lights in Canada but the displays of
the aurora that I witnessed in Iceland were beyond anything I could have
imagined or hoped for,” wrote Will
. “On this particular night we experienced a solar storm which
made the lights so bright that I could even get images on my iPhone.”

4. The "Elphie"

The term “selfie”
was certainly not new in 2015, but we’re pretty sure “elphie” was
coined last year. Christian LeBlanc trekked into the jungle and decided to take
a picture with an elephant — like many tourists would. But, rather than taking
the snap himself, he had the elephant hold out the phone, and hence the
“elphie” was born. 

5. The "Jaws" Snap

Speaking of pictures with
wild animals, one photographer and one diver took their encounter to another level.
The result was a too-close-for-comfort moment with a tiger shark, during which the
daredevils actually touched the nose of a tiger shark as it swam at them, mouth

6. The Cliffhanger

Most of us are content
looking at a super tall mountain or structure from a safe distance, but for
climber Alex Manelis he has to see it from the top. That’s why he took on Moonhill in Yangshu, China
where a stunning natural 164-foot arch resides. Only given one chance to scale
the rocky formation, he made sure to capture the moment that will keep you on
the edge of your seat. Can you spot the climber in the snap?

7. The Bathroom with a View

Comfy bed? Check! Incredible views? Check!
Perched on the side of a mountain? Check! Some brave travelers have opted to
stay at the Skylodge
Adventure Suites in Cusco, Peru where the rooms are made of glass pods suspended
on the side of a mountain. If sleeping while overlooking a sheer drop down
wasn’t enough, one guest had to share the terrifying view from the bathroom.

8. The Viewpoint

Despite the exhausting climb, many people still trek
up the Tab Kak Hang Nak Hill Nature Trail in Thailand to catch the panoramic
views from the top. One adventurer decided to really take it all in by carefully
sitting on a dangerous overhang while a pal snapped a photo of the unique vista.

9. The Crabby Photo

Usually it’s impossible to get a
baby to sit and smile for a pic, not to mention if the baby was surrounded by
thousands of crabs. But, that’s exactly what happened in this shot when an
adorable tot sat in the middle of the road during the famous Christmas Island
red crab migration. Every year, 40 million red crabs make their way from the rainforest to the
ocean to spawn — and this kid was in the middle of it all.

10. The Moonscape

First look at this photo and you might think it was taken in the great
Sahara desert or even outer space, but in fact it was snapped in the good ol’ U S of A. The
Imperial Dunes are located in Southern California and span some 40 miles, creating the perfect setting for capturing this stunning snap that features the
moon, stars and, sunset.

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