Eiffel Tower Suicide

Photograph supposedly shows a suicide victim stepping off the Eiffel Tower just before plunging to his death.

Claim: A photograph shows a suicide victim stepping off the Eiffel Tower.


Example: [Collected via e-mail, November 2009]

This can't be real, can it? Apparently it's a photo a man took before he killed himself by jumping off the Eiffel Tower. Has there ever been a case of a suicide off the Eiffel Tower? I'm dying to know if this is real.

Origin:"Last moment of life" photographs hold an especial fascination for many people, perhaps because they serve as chilling reminders of our own mortality yet also as reassuring notices that, whatever tragedies may have befallen others, those of us left behind to view such pictures have (so far) remained safely out of harm's way. Compelling examples of such photographs are relatively uncommon, however, leading to creations that are either fabricated images (e.g., the infamous "Accidental Tourist photo) or real pictures with fabricated back stories (e.g., the "Bull Shot" photo).

The image of an Eiffel Tower visitor about to take a deliberate plunge over the side of that famous landmark displayed above belongs in the former category: It's an entry (entitled "Paris Jumper") submitted to a 2003 Photoshop contest ("Final Photo 2") on the Worth1000.com (now the DesignCrowd) web site, a competition in which contestants were challenged to create images matching the tagline "The last picture you'll ever take ..."

Many people have indeed taken suicide plunges off the Eiffel Tower (a 1966 article placed the tally-to-date at 349 back then), but the installation of preventive barricades has made the practice more difficult in recent years.

Last updated: 20 June 2016

Originally published: 17 November 2009


Sparks, Ian.   "Teenager Jumps to Her Death from Eiffel Tower." 
    Daily Mail.   27 June 2009.

Time   "France: Jumping-Off Place."
    9 September 1966.

founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.