It’s a phenomenon we all know oh so well. We sigh and go ‘tsssk!’ at others when we see them doing it, yet most of us are guilty of doing it ourselves at some point…

What am I talking about? That incredibly tacky pose tourists strike when they pose in front of a certain sight or landmark.

Whether it you’re ‘holding up’ the leaning tower of Pisa or pretending to be eaten by an enormous dinosaur in the Bolivian salt flats, chances are millions of tourists before you will have done the exact same thing.

This is a photo of fellow travelette Mary and her friends in the Bolivian Salt Flats.  I’m usually not a big fan of tourist photo poses, but this one is just too cool.

But what exactly is it that motivates us to pose in the same ways half of our Facebook friends have posed in before? Do we do it because somewhere, deep down, there’s a subconcious telling us we need to? Is it to show others we’re just as cool for having been in that place? Do we do it just for the laughs? Or because it would be lame just to stand there and smile?

When my best friend and I visited the Gizeh pyramids in Cairo, our guide asked us to strike the poses shown below. We were definitelyembarassed, but also a bit curious to see how the photos would turn out. Even though it is probably not our best holiday souvenir, this photo collage still makes me laugh every time I look at it… so surely the pose can’t be a complete and utter failure?

Either way, apart from being a bit, errr, silly, a lot of these poses come out looking pretty funny. Especially when there’s a dozen people in the background, doing the exact same thing you are.

Back in her days, the lady on the left was probably pretty individual. The people on the right, however, just look silly.

photo by Times Newspapers/Rex Features

Bet you’ve seen lots of “Abbey Road” imitations before… but did any of them feature a Japanese Beatles cover band?

photo by Christian Haugen

The typical Taj Mahal pose is almost as common as the Eiffel Tower one…

photo on the right by Raymond Hoffer

Now, let’s dish the dirt! Have you ever taken a clichéd tourist photo before? If yes, when and where?

Upload your embarassing holiday snaps to the Travelettes Flickr group to share the laughs!