Dangerous Tourist Attractions Around the Globe
From the Statue of Liberty to the Eiffel Tower, there are plenty of safe and charming vacation destinations to choose from. Some people, however, aren’t content to have such a secure adventure.
If you’re a daredevil who needs a little danger to spice up your next trip, these locations certainly won’t disappoint.
Tanzania: Lake Natron
Don't let the birds fool you: Lake Natron in Tanzania is not a body of water in which you want to take a dip. The lake is named after natron, a chemical found in the lake that is a mix of baking soda and sodium carbonate. At times, the lake has had a pH level as high as 10.5, almost as high as ammonia. These conditions contribute to the temperature of the water, which can reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much can live in Lake Natron.
North Atlantic: Saltstraumen
The Saltstraumen Maelstrom is the world's strongest tidal current. The Dutch word maelstrom means 'crushing current', and that is a spot-on description for the Saltstraumen Maelstrom. As much as 400 million tons of seawater pass through the strait, which is only 150 meters wide — about one percent of a mile — every six hours.
Africa: Danakil Desert
The Danakil Desert sits in parts of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti, and it takes intense heat and unlivable conditions to a whole new level. Temperatures regularly reach over 122 degrees Fahrenheit, and the area is peppered with volcanoes.
California: Death Valley
Speaking of heatstroke, you can also get yourself a case of it right here in the United States. Located in the Mojave Desert, the Badwater Basin in Death Valley is the lowest point in North America. In 1913, Death Valley registered a temperature of 134 degrees Fahrenheit, the highest ambient air temperature recorded on the earth's surface.
Brazil: Snake Island
You are booking your honeymoon. While Tahiti, Cancun or Thailand are exotic, appealing destinations in their own right, they’re all missing something … slithery. Something venomous. Something that Snake Island has in spades.
Few people live in harsh winter conditions by choice. There is a reason why people retire to Florida more often than Wisconsin or Siberia. Sure, there are exceptions, but for the most part, warmer is better. So imagine the misery of the people who live in Oymyakon, Russia.
Africa: The Sahel
The Sahel, meaning "border" in Arabic, is the region in Africa that lies below the Sahara Desert and above the Sudanian Savanna. Its dry climate means humans and animals alike struggle to survive in the area, while local political conflicts make it risky for travelers.
Indonesia: Mt. Sinabung
Many people across the world live in close proximity to volcanoes. Most of the time, those volcanoes have been dormant for long periods, or they are completely extinct. But the thing about volcanoes is that they give little warning before eruption threatens countless lives.
Antarctica: Cape Denison
There’s an obvious reason why virtually nobody lives in Antarctica. It's cold, and if you’re not prepared, extremely dangerous. But beyond the sheer frigidness of Antarctica, several other factors make Antarctica extremely threatening to life. Cape Denison typifies the danger that Antarctica poses to those who underestimate it.
Australia: Fraser Island
Fraser Island lies off of the eastern coast of Queensland and is renowned for its wildlife. While the locals number only around a couple hundred people, hundreds of thousands of tourists visit the island each year.
Various Major Cities: Earthquakes
Earthquakes can cause massive destruction and loss of life. But despite the threat of earthquakes in some regions, people still live in those areas, whether by choice or necessity. Many of these cities are even popular with tourists.
While the Soviet Union was the first country to launch a person into space, its environmental track record was less impressive, especially when it came to nuclear power. Soviet citizens and people around the world were put at serious risk of nuclear exposure. The Chernobyl nuclear meltdown famously resulted in a nuclear cloud floating over Europe, and the city still has not been completely decontaminated.
Namibia: The Skeleton Coast
The Skeleton Coast in Namibia, Africa is aptly named. This region of the country is virtually without human inhabitants. However, lions and other predators stalk along the shore, looking for a live meal, while the treacherous currents have created many shipwrecks that can still be seen today.
Turkmenistan: The Gates of Hell
Sometimes, a name is enough to tell you to stay away. When a real-life location is known commonly as the Gates of Hell or the Door to Hell, then you should probably stay away. The Darvaza gas crater in Derweze, Turkmenistan, came into existence when part of a gas field collapsed into a cavern below.
India: North Sentinel Island
When you're not welcome, you know it. The residents of North Sentinel Island, an archipelago in the Bay of Bengal, are technically part of India. However, they’re not exactly willing to join the larger nation or fraternize with visitors, Indian or otherwise.
South Atlantic: The Bermuda Triangle
Back in the day when sailing was an essential means of travel, few regions were more feared than the Bermuda Triangle. Draw a triangle between San Juan, Puerto Rico, Miami, Florida and Bermuda, take all of the water within that triangle, and you have the Bermuda Triangle.
South Pacific: Vanuatu
The Vanuatu Archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean is a chain of islands that, while beautiful, are not without danger. Over 80 islands make up the Vanuatu chain, and they were created as the result of volcanic activity. That activity continues today, and the threat of eruption is a real danger to residents.
Lake Nyos: Exploding Lake
Limnic eruptions are rare natural disasters that occur when dissolved carbon dioxide erupts from deep in the waters of a lake. The result can be a suffocating gas cloud that’s potentially lethal to living beings in its proximity. One such eruption occurred in Cameroon's Lake Nyos in August of 1986.
Haiti: Earthquakes and Storms
If it seems as if Haiti is in the news because of natural disasters more often than the average country, that's because it is. While Haiti does boast beautiful beaches and rich Caribbean culture, it’s also one of the most at-risk nations when it comes to natural disasters.
Some people just can't get enough sun. They spend their lives on the beach or in backyards working on their tans. If they really love the sun, however, they should test their limits by spending some time in Dallol, Ethiopia.
Italy: The Phlegraean Fields
Naples, Italy has much of the Old World beauty and culture that visitors to Europe hunger for. Though it has a fair amount of poverty as well, there is much to like about Naples. That said, Naples is also nestled near a supervolcano that adds a surprising amount of danger to this otherwise idyllic part of the world..
Madagascar: Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve
Madagascar is an island twice the size of Great Britain with an astonishingly diverse range of landscapes and biomes. One of the most beautiful — but also dangerous — parts of the country is the Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve.
Guatemala: Mudslides, Hurricanes and More
What Guatemala lacks in size, it makes up for it natural disasters. While tourists flock to the country to see its rainforests and Mayan ruins, the locals have to deal with an astounding number of natural threats on a regular basis.
After Chernobyl, no name brings to mind nuclear disaster like "Fukushima." The Japanese government did their best to mitigate the effects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in March 2011, but the effects of the disaster linger, and tourists now avoid the area.
Arizona: Antelope Canyon
Arizona's Antelope Canyon is a majestic sight to behold. With rocks that take on beautiful, wave-like forms, it’s worth a visit if you ever make it out to that part of Arizona. However, when the rain begin to fall, Antelope Canyon is not the place to be.
South America: The Amazon
The Amazon is one of the greatest marvels of the natural world, but it is not without danger for visitors. Far from it. If you choose to visit the Amazon and its surrounding rainforests, know what you're getting into.
United States: Metropolises
Maybe you’ve decided after looking at this list that international travel isn’t for you. Why travel halfway across the world for danger when you can visit one of any number of amazing American cities full of fun opportunities and local culture in perfect safety? However, danger is never as far away as people imagine.
Egypt: The Blue Hole of Dahab
The Blue Hole in Dahab, Egypt is a submarine sinkhole in the Red Sea with a maximum depth of about 328 feet. While thousands of divers from around the world visit the site each year to take advantage of its deep and mysterious waters, some never return.
While Dzerzhinsk, Russia is home to Shukhov Tower, a unique steel lattice tower that was once used as part of a transmission line, it doesn’t see many tourists. It’s probably safe to guess that many of the locals would rather not be there as well.
Argentina: The Matanza River
As the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires attracts tourists from all over the world. In 2012, it was the most-visited city in South America. While the city’s diverse culture and the presence of the world’s widest river, the Río de la Plata, certainly justify its popularity, it’s not without its problems.