Though the Internet may have brought the selfie phenomenon to prominence, the practice of taking a self-portrait actually has a long history full of weird, wonderful and cringe-worthy moments.
Pioneering photographer Robert Cornelius has the distinction of taking the first known selfie, all the way back in 1839. The daguerreotype image is a haunting one thanks to Cornelius' intense stare and the ghostly quality of the photo. It's fortunate that the world's first selfie also turned out to be one of the most memorable.
Adventurer, explorer and "Angry Planet" TV series host George Kourounis took one of the most extreme selfies ever attempted when he hung his head out over a volcano and snapped a shot. It's impossible to tell if he's smiling thanks to the respirator he's wearing, but the image certainly makes bathroom-mirror selfies seem like the safest pursuits in the world.
The selfie phenomenon has grown to such proportions that it now has sub-genres. One of the most notable of these is the belfie, a backside selfie. Since the angles involved with taking a butt-selfie are incredibly challenging, social networking site On.com developed the idea for an angled selfie stick called the BelfieStick. It's designed to make your tush the star of the photo.
In mid-2014, NASA's Mars Curiosity rover celebrated the anniversary of its first Martian year on the Red Planet. A Martian year consists of 687 Earth days. To mark the occasion, NASA released a rover selfie, a charming portrait of the plucky machine as it sat in the dusty, rocky landscape of a distant planet. The image is a mosaic consisting of photos taken with a camera at the end of the rover's arm.
A giant selfie stick and a couple thousand willing rabbis made selfie history by taking a snapshot of themselves at a meeting in New York. This wasn't just any selfie stick, but a 30-foot-long behemoth extended to about half its potential length. It took two rabbis to wield the stick, and the remarkable resulting photo was well worth the effort.
As selfies have grown in popularity, companies have stepped up to provide accessories to aid in the quest for the perfect selfie. The Selfie Brush is a curiosity, a combination of a hair brush, iPhone case and mirror. You can brush your 'do, check your look in the mirror, then take a photo using the Selfie Brush as a handle. Now all you need is a BelfieStick to complete your selfie tool arsenal.
This prototype shows the wrist-worn selfie-enabling flying machine called Nixie. Nixie is a small drone that parks on your arm. It can then take off and snap an aerial photo of its owner. As far as selfie-assisting gadgets go, the Nixie is way less obnoxious than the BelfieStick or Selfie Brush.
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin hopped on the selfie bandwagon long before it was an Internet movement. He posted this image on his WhoSay page with the caption "@NASA I believe I get to claim the first EVA selfie from space during my Gemini 12 spacewalk orbiting Earth 17,000 mph. Best. Selfie. Ever." The space-selfie was taken in 1966.
What's more extreme? A volcano or a crazy-tall skyscraper? Both have been a setting for selfies. Three friends in Hong Kong perched themselves atop a 1,135-foot-tall skyscraper to nibble on bananas and take some selfies from a great height. If taking selfies were a sport, this would be the X Games of the selfie world.