30 Places You Should Never Ever Swim
Many of nature’s pools tempt swimmers to jump in, especially on a hot day. But there are waters you don’t want to approach at all. Gorgeous places like Victoria Falls and the Bahamas may appear as fun spots for swimming. However, many dangers lurk in the depths.
From lakes to pools to beaches, here are 30 of the most dangerous places to swim on the planet.
Boiling Lake in Dominica
In Dominica, sits a lake that angrily boils and bubbles thanks to the magma at the bottom. The lake’s edges reach a temperature of 197 degrees Fahrenheit. But scientists don’t know the temperature of the lake’s center, where the intense boiling actually takes place. We can imagine, however, that the temperature is far greater.
Kauai is one of the most beautiful islands on the planet to visit. It’s home to breathtaking waterfalls, relaxing beaches and the jaw-dropping Nā Pali Coast. Director Steven Spielberg also shot the film Jurassic Park on the island of Kauai. But one beach on Kauai has left tourists with some tragic vacation stories.
Described as a "black silty hole of death," the Samaesan hole is the deepest dive area in Thailand, dropping to 280 feet in depth. It’s also one of the darkest spots to dive in the country. The Samaesan hole has points with poor visibility, causing even the most experienced divers to get lost and become completely unable to find their way out.
Lake Nyos is an exploding body of water located in Cameroon, Africa. Sounds horrible, right? At the bottom of the lake, lies a layer of magma that leaks toxic amounts of carbon dioxide into the water. The carbon dioxide forms pockets of gas that burst into the atmosphere occasionally.
Swimming near a volcano is never a good idea. You may want to stay far away from Laguna Caliente, which translates to "hot lagoon." This lake sits close to a very busy stratovolcano in central Costa Rica. With a pH level of almost zero, Laguna Caliente is known as the most acidic lake on the planet.
The Amazon River
The second longest river in the world, the Amazon River, is home to many scary creatures, including the red-bellied piranha, electric eel and river stingray. The most feared creature of all is the candiru, a tiny transparent fish that’s extremely difficult to see. The candiru is notorious for sneaking into swimmers’ urethras and eating their genitals.
The Northern and Eastern beaches of Australia
The beach is where most vacationers go to soak up the sun, build sandcastles and go for a fun swim in the refreshing water. However, the Northern and Eastern beaches of Australia can quickly kill the fun. Terrifying animals inhabit these waters.
One of the dirtiest and most polluted rivers in the world, Citarum River, is located in West Java, Indonesia. However, West Java locals can’t just abandon Citarum River because it provides many resources, including agriculture, water, fishing, industrial usage, sewerage and electricity.
Nyiragongo Crater's Lava Lake
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, lays the massive lava lake of Mount Nyiragongo. The lake releases a toxic amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which can kill any human or animal that breathes in the deadly air. The lake’s depth can reach up to 10,700 feet. When the lake isn’t at rest, it spews and empties out.
According to local legend, no one has fallen into the Strid and made it out alive. The Strid is a section of the River Wharf in Yorkshire, England. It looks like your regular babbling brook, but looks can be deceiving.
Gansbaai, South Africa
In Gansbaai, South Africa, you’ll most likely get attacked by a sharp-toothed creature if you swim in the ocean. Gansbaai is known as Shark Alley or the great white shark capital of the world. In 2009, a poacher hunting for abalone fell victim to a shark.
Kipu Falls in Kauai was once described as "a glorious little hidden place" and a "swimming hole extraordinaire." Its reputation changed when swimmers started getting injured and disappearing in the waterfall’s pool. Unexplained deaths caused the local tourism bureau to request guidebooks to remove all mentions of Kipu Falls.
Horseshoe Lake in California offers visitors picnic areas, hiking trails, beaches and boating fun. One sketchy feature you’ll certainly notice is the 100 acres of dead trees in the area. Small earthquakes from 1989 to 1990 cracked pathways for carbon dioxide to escape into the air, killing these trees.
The coasts of India feature many beautiful beaches. But some of these beaches are so toxic that bathing and swimming in the water are publicized as unfit. Massive amounts of waste pollute the beaches. The waters in the congested city of Mumbai face this same problem.
The Rio Tinto
The Rio Tinto is not made of blood. Its deep red and orange coloration is caused by 5,000 years of ore mining, specifically iron mixing into the water. The river is also extremely acidic (pH 2) with high levels of heavy metals.
Don’t let a cute name like "Bubbly Creek" fool you. Located in the South Branch of the Chicago River, Bubbly Creek is the most polluted section of the river. Bubbles pop on the surface due to disgusting waste below, like animal carcasses, fecal matter and urine. The creek has been a dump site for the meat packing industry for more than a century.
The Nile River
Running through 11 countries, the Nile river is the longest river in Africa and may just be the longest river on Earth. Many dangers lurk in the waters, such as treacherous rapids, insects carrying parasites, venomous snakes and aggressive hippopotamuses. But the most deadly threat in the Nile is the crocodile.
New Smyrna Beach
National Geographic named Florida’s New Smyrna Beach as "one of the world's top 20 surf towns" in 2012. Sounds like a great destination for swimming, right? The world thought the same thing until shark bite incidents increased in Volusia County.
Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and the third largest lake on the planet. It’s so big that Lake Victoria’s shores touch three countries: Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. For the millions of people who live closeby, the lake has been an important resource. But the lake also comes with countless problems.
Potomac River looks just like any normal river. It appears to be beautiful, calm and easy to swim in. Flowing from the Potomac Highlands to the Chesapeake Bay, the Potomac River actually poses a serious danger, even when visitors wade in ankle-deep. Below the surface, a powerful undercurrent pulls victims down.
Running from the Bayan Har Mountains to the Qinghai province of Western China, the Yellow River is China’s second-longest river. It’s also known as a dangerous place to swim. Devastating floods occur often. However, the river’s biggest problem is that it’s extremely polluted.
Victoria Falls lures many visitors to its unique swimming hole. The rocky barrier at the edge of the falls forms shallow pools, best known as "Devil’s Pool." Victoria Falls in Zambia is jaw-dropping, but simply splashing in its pools can easily lead to plunging to one’s death.
The Mississippi River has a brown color due to the large amount of waste that continues to be released in it. As the second-largest river in North America, it serves millions of residents in the U.S. But it also comes with its perils.
Located in south-central Texas, Jacob's Well is surrounded by crystal clear waters. Its beauty attracts many swimmers and divers. Although the waters look inviting, Jacob's Well is one of the most dangerous dive caves in the world. Those who peek into the dark hole can’t see the bottom, which is full of risks.
Grand Bahama Islands
The Bahamas is one of the top destinations for travelers with its gorgeous beaches and clear waters. How could you resist the beautiful waters here? Unfortunately, some parts of the islands are infested with tiger sharks, the second most dangerous shark species in the world.
About 400 million people live near the Ganges River and use it for religious reasons, bathing, washing and cooking everyday. It’s one of the most sacred and valuable rivers in India. However, it’s also a massive dumping site for raw sewage and plastic that can cause gastrointestinal disease, cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A and typhoid.
Swimming at the Hoover Dam is illegal. Getting arrested is actually the best thing that could happen if you trespass and go for a swim, because the situation can quickly turn deadly. On the borders of Nevada and Arizona, the famous Hoover Dam is a spot you definitely don’t want to splash in.
Lake Kivu appears calm, but researchers believe it’s a ticking time bomb. Similar to Lake Nyos, Lake Kivu is an "exploding" lake. However, it’s 2,000 times bigger than Lake Nyos and has 2 million people occupying the shores. When Lake Kivu erupts, it could cause an even worse catastrophe than the Lake Nyos disaster.
Derbyshire Blue Lagoon
Located in Harpur Hill, Derbyshire, "The Blue Lagoon" tempts swimmers to jump in with its attractive color. However, the body of water is far from safe for swimmers. Caustic chemicals create the lagoon’s blue color. The water is also polluted and has a pH level of 11.3, which is highly alkaline, similar to ammonia and bleach.
Atolls of the Marshall Islands
Between 1946 and 1958, the U.S. army tested nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands. Before the testing began, the army evacuated residents near Bikini Atoll and Enewetak Atoll. The U.S. blasted more than 30 megatons of TNT at Enewetak Atoll, while 67 weapon tests were done at Bikini Atoll.