The depressing reality behind one of Instagram's most popular nature shots revealed

David Maclean
Friday 03 November 2017 16:38 GMT

You’ve probably seen it pop up on Instagram - and it looks like one of the remote places on the planet.

Perched at the end of a jutting rock with jaw-dropping landscape as far as the eye can see, people posing on Trolltunga in Norway look like they’re hundreds of miles away from the nearest human.

Known in English as Troll’s Tongue Rock, it dangles out 1,000ft over the Ringedalsvatnet lake below, and looks like the type of spot where you could happily meditate for hours.

This drone shot shows the gathered crowds waiting to take their long-awaited snap

But a bunch of behind-the-scenes videos on social media expose the reality of the spot – with hundreds of tourists lining up for hours for their turn to get the Instagrammable snap.

And that means you’ll get a couple of minutes – tops – to take the perfect shot, before tired tourists start tutting and you’re forced to move on.

Queuing for hours is a lot of dedication for a photo, and even more impressive given it takes up to six hours of challenging climbing to reach the beauty spot.

It’s led to safety concerns locally, as the delay for the photo means some aren’t making it back down the mountain until long after dark – up to 40 rescue missions a year take place for struggling climbers.

It’s one of a number of places that have exploded in popularity since the advent of ubiquitous smartphones with good quality cameras. Before 2010, just 800 people hiked to Trolltunga each year. But by 2016 more than 80,000 make the trek from nearby Skjeggedal, making it one of Norway's most popular hikes.

It takes a lot of effort to get to the top, and some people don't leave enough time to come down

The hike is described as “challenging” by authorities and the spot is only accessible for experienced hikers and guided groups from mid-June to mid-September.

The season for guided trips with snowshoes or skis starts in March. The long distance means hikers have to set off to Trolltunga before 10am in the summer season and 8am in September.

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