Man Takes Extreme Selfie Atop Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil

Lee Thompson takes Selfie Atop Christ the Redeemer in Brazil
Lee Thompson
Courtesy Lee Thompson/The Flash Pack/Twitter

updated 06/02/2014 at 03:15 PM EDT

originally published 06/02/2014 02:45PM

A selfie is completely justified if it captures a special moment ... with Jesus ... and also a sweeping vista of Rio de Janeiro.

That's the logic that motivated Lee Thompson's snapshot atop the 124-foot Christ the Redeemer statue, which stands at the peak of Brazil's 2,300-foot Corcovado Mountain and offers a more breathtaking view than your average bathroom mirror. (Sorry, selfie-takers, but it's true.)

"As I popped my head out of the hole in Jesus's crown, I was in total and utter awe as my eyes met with a vast panorama that quite literally took my breath away," Thompson wrote in a blog post. "Talk about a religious experience!"

So how did he arrive at Jesus's noggin?



Lightning struck the towering art deco statue in January, and workers have been repairing the damage ever since. While visiting Brazil to document preparation for the World Cup, Thompson asked the Brazilian tourist board if he could use the scaffolding to begin a daredevil ascent up to the top.

Getting that "yes" was the easy part, per Thompson's description of his May 29 climb up inside Jesus: "After what felt like an eternity of pressing heat and pitch darkness, we finally reached the small compartment in Christ's shoulder ... My heart was pounding with excitement and I couldn't wait another second."

You can see this very moment in Thompson's YouTube video, which will make your head spin even more.


Thompson, founder of the British adventure travel company The Flash Pack, accomplished one other feat: He also managed to make everyone else feel a little less indulgent for their own selfies. "To some, taking pictures of yourself is considered vain, but this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity taught me that the selfie is a powerful medium through which we can share our perspectives, inspirations and personal stories with the world at large," Thompson wrote. "It's not about funny mug shots with scenic backdrops or daredevil stunts. It's a way to mark the moment and say, 'I was here.'"

Thanks, Lee! But yeah, now we will have to try especially hard to make our next bathroom selfies half as impressive.

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