‘Adrenaline Junkie’ Couple Found Dead After Falling 800-Feet In Yosemite While Taking A Selfie

Published October 31, 2018

"She gave me the willies. There aren't any railings. I was not about to get that close to the edge. But she seemed comfortable."

Moorthy Viswanath

Vishnu Viswanath/Facebook via APA photo of Vishnu Viswanath and his wife Meenakshi Moorthy posted to Facebook on June 26, 2017.

A daredevil couple who jumped from planes, stood on the edge of cliffs, and traveled the world together has died while trying to take a selfie.

The bodies of 30-year-old Meenakshi Moorthy and her husband, 29-year-old Vishnu Viswanath were found 800 feet below Taft Point in Yosemite National Park last week. Viswanath’s brother confirmed that they died while attempting to take a selfie near the edge of the point.

Moorthy was a self-described “adrenaline junkie” and Viswanath snapped photos of his wife in scenic spots while they traveled the world searching for adventure. They operated a now-shut down travel blog called “Holidays & Happily Ever Afters,” and documented their trips on Instagram.

The couple crisscrossed the world, taking gorgeous photos and recording videos of some of their daredevil stunts. For their anniversary last year, they posted a video of Moorthy leaping from a plane on a skydiving trip wearing a shirt that said, “Gimme Danger.”

View this post on Instagram

I believe I can flyyy 🎶 I believe I can touch the skyyyy 🌥 … Aaaand touch the sky I did from an effin’ 18000 ft thanks to the unconditional love-ninja in my life, Vishnu ❤️, who literally took this year’s anniversary surprise a notch “higher” than last year’s hot air ballooning adventure 🎈, by gifting this adrenaline junkie with one of the highest tandem skydives in the world! 🤘 … Hurling myself out of a perfectly functioning airplane was a dream forever for this pink-haired 💕daredevil and when it fiiiiinalllly turned into reality, it was a sensory overload of exhilaration and exultation to say the least! Between hyperventilating from overexcitement and sucking in the supplemental oxygen to get to 18000 ft, I barely noticed that suddenly I am sitting with my legs dangling out of the plane ✈️ at 18k feet with views to ahem, “die” for 😉 … As the beaming ocean vistas 🌊 beckoned me from far below, I realized that the wind whipping past whisked my breath away from my airways, deafened my eardrums and sent me into a euphoric disarray of emotions while we plummeted towards what eerily looks like Google Earth Maps in real life 😄 … And then it was time to PARTY in the sky! 🎉🎊🎉WoooHooo! Twists 'n' turns, screams 'n' spins ensued 🤘The 90sec freefall, aaaaah those 90 seconds of intoxicating freedom how I wish I could describe THAT! 🖋I am a wishful wordsmith, but there are times I just keep writing and deleting unable to put the zilliony emotions I experience to words, and yet those are simply some of the most magical moments in my life ✨✨✨(and every single time they have involved Vishnu in some way or the other 💕) Sooo since they say a picture speaks a 1000 words, here's a teeny video clip from my skydiving adventure which I hope will make up for my want of words🤗 • • • #skydiving #skydivesantabarbara #ibelieveicanfly #iloveskydiving #adrenalinerush #tandemskydive #freefalling #adventuretravel #18000ft #bucketlist #freefall #skydive #roadtrippers #roadtripusa #globalstorybook #girlgetters #radgirlslife #traveladdicts #femaletravelbloggers #skydivinggram #traveltales #exploreaholic #pinkhairdontcare #skydivegram #skydiving_everyday @skydive_gram

A post shared by TravelCreatives❤️Minaxi+Vishnu (@holidaysandhappilyeverafters) on

In an eerie post from March 2018, Moorthy can be seen sitting on the edge of a cliff at the Grand Canyon’s North Rim and the accompanying caption talks about the dangers people go to on their hunt for the perfect selfie.

“A lot of us including yours truly is a fan of daredevilry attempts of standing at the edge of cliffs — and skyscrapers. But did you know that wind gusts can be FATAL???” Moorthy wrote. “Is our life worth just one photo?”

In the caption, Moorthy goes on to mention other people who have died while taking dangerous selfies.

“When we squirm at another selfie attempt gone south from a skyscraper, let’s remember to save that in our core memory and not the memory dump…I know I know, I am guilty as charged for all of this and if I didn’t have Mr. Two Goody Shoes, Vishnu with me, I am not even sure I would have written this post,” Moorthy wrote.

View this post on Instagram

CHASING SUNSETS or CHASING LIKES ??? 😛 … Sooo today on #socialmediabadasstribe we are talking about limits of #doitforthegram.😶Yeah sure it can be limitless but guys, we reaaaallly need to have boundaries(this is handy as life lessons too but we will revisit that later😉) A lot of us including yours truly is a fan of daredevilry attempts of standing at the edge of cliffs ⛰and skyscrapers🌆, but did you know that wind gusts can be FATAL??? ☠️ Is our life just worth one photo? … When we squirm at another selfie attempt gone south 😱 from a skyscraper, let’s remember to save that in our core memory 🧠 and not the memory dump 🛢(I am still on the Inside Out 🎬 train y'all 😬) Same applies when we get our knickers in a twist and hog a spot till we get the perfect shot🙄 I know I know, I am guilty as charged for all of this 🤦‍♀️ and if I didn’t have Mr. Two Goody Shoes, Vishnu 🤭 with me, I am not even sure if I would have written this post. … Let us all try to be responsible digital citizens and use our “numbers” to be transparent and honest, shall we?🤗 None of us is perfect and the more we accept it and share our flaws as much as our wins, we are one step closer to creating a sane social media without the scary brouhahas.💕✨ … Still there?👀 Woohoo, a backflip is in order, or wait maybe a pizza? 🍕 What about a unicorn ice-cream 🦄 🍦 with some Disney-approved cotton candy 🍭🍬 and pixie dust infused sprinkles 🧚‍♀️ if…..IF you could tell me the one time you were effin’ proud of being candid and real AF in social media? 😎 … PS – Not sponsored but sweatshirt is from @radearthsupply • • • #grandcanyonnps #northrim #instagramaz #visitarizona #travelarizona #shotzdelight #discovertheroad #usaroadtrip #visittheusa #outdoorsusa #exploretheusa #womenwhoexplore #iamtb #radparks #thediscoverer #gtgi #sheisnotlost #wearetravelgirls #hikemore #radgirlslife #travelreality #dreamscape @womenwhoexplore @visit_arizona @visittheusa @shotzdelight

A post shared by TravelCreatives❤️Minaxi+Vishnu (@holidaysandhappilyeverafters) on

After years of seeking thrills across the world, the couple’s trip to Yosemite would, unfortunately, be their last. The couple allegedly set up their tripod near the edge of the scenic overlook at Taft Point. The next day, visitors saw the camera set up and alerted park rangers.

The rangers used binoculars to look at the ground hundreds of feet below the cliff edge and spotted their bodies. The bodies were then airlifted via helicopter out of the park.

Another couple was sightseeing at the same spot in the park around the same time as Moorthy and Viswanath. This couple snapped a selfie as well and accidentally captured Moorthy and her signature pink hair in the background. Officials believe that this is the last photo taken of Moorthy before her death.

Taft Point Selfie Background

Sean MattesonA selfie taken at Taft Point featuring Meenakshi Moorthy in the background.

Sean Matteson, who took the selfie, said he remembered seeing Moorthy that day and noted that she seemed to be hovering a little too close to the cliff’s edge.

“She was very close to the edge, but it looked like she was enjoying herself,” Matteson reported. “She gave me the willies. There aren’t any railings. I was not about to get that close to the edge. But she seemed comfortable. She didn’t seem like she was in distress or anything.”

Selfie-related deaths are on the rise across the world. According to a recent study, 259 people died between October 2011 and November 2017 while attempting to take a dangerous selfie. 48 of those deaths were caused by people falling.

Everyone is guilty of doing crazy, or even dangerous, things to capture the perfect selfie, but sad instances such as this remind us to think twice before snapping the shot.


Next, take a look at the selfie trend put into perspective and discover the total number of selfie-related deaths since 2014. Then read the story of a woman who fell from a 730-foot bridge while taking a selfie.

Caroline Redmond
Caroline is a writer and Florida-transplant currently living in New York City.
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