When you hear the word beach, you conjure up images of fine white sand, crystal clear blue waters, and the sun shining on a cloudless day. After all, a trip to the beach is meant for relaxing, rejuvenating, and chasing your cares away, right?
It turns out, not all beaches fit that description. It’s a bit of a jolt when one discovers that there are actually beaches in this world that are considered deadly. And that kind of makes you recoil from going to a beach on your next vacation trip. But let this article save you some time and trouble so that you don’t have to change your travel plans. These are the beaches you shouldn’t go to if the water is what you seek for your holiday plans.
Hawaii is known to have some of the world’s best beaches for sun bathers and surfers alike, for its smooth sand and big waves. But Hawaii is also an island filled with volcanoes, the most active of which is Mt. Kilauea, named after the island where it’s located. The island surrounding the volcano has a beautiful black sand beach, but because the volcano has been continuously erupting since 1983, it may not be the best decision to risk the trek there.
Playa Zipolite, Mexico
Tucked within the confines of Oaxaca state in Mexico is a beach that may or may not mean “beach of the dead” in one of the country’s native languages. Playa Zipolte is popular among backpackers and nudists, but it’s also known for its huge waves and dangerous undercurrents. There’s currently a lifeguard team stationed on the beach to reduce drownings and luckily, the numbers have declined thanks to these heroes.
Fraser Island, Australia
Not all beaches in Australia are as inviting as the ones on the Gold Coast. The seas encompassing Fraser Island are off-limits—unless you’re crazy enough to court danger by swimming with sharks and jellyfish, all the while muscling your way through strong rip currents. Further within the island are some of the world’s deadliest spiders and crocodiles, too, so this island is best avoided at all costs!
Gansbaai, South Africa
This part of South Africa is solely for adventure seekers who want to come face-to-face with great white sharks. In Gansbaai is located a little channel of water called Shark Alley, where all the great whites swarm to hunt potential prey. Tourists can be brought to the alley and lowered into the water in shark-proof cages. With underwater cameras in tow, they can snap away oodles of photos of the beautiful, but deadly sharks.
Volusia County, Florida
A beach that can cause death by sharks and by lightning is hands-down, a beach to avoid. Reports have stated that there have been more shark sightings off the coast of Volusia County, Florida than in the entire South African region, which is notorious for its shark habitat. Though no shark attacks in Volusia have been fatal, the very fact that they’re there makes one think twice about treading its waters. It’s also a site where lightning strikes often, as Florida is known to have the highest lightning fatalities in North America.
Chowpatty Beach, India
Chowpatty Beach in India is both famous and notorious. It’s famous as the venue for the Hindu festival of Ganesha Chaturthi, a celebration wherein hundreds of Mumbai residents flock to the beach and immerse their idols of Lord Ganapati into the sea. But the water is also notorious for being one of the most polluted in the world and is deemed not swimmable. So if you want to drop by this beach, go for the festival and not for the waters.
Bikini Atoll, US Marshall Islands
It’s a beautiful diving site with a rich marine life, making it a Unesco World Heritage Site. But Bikini Atoll in the US Marshall Islands is as dangerous as it is beautiful. It’s shark-infested and is also an area where nuclear radiation once permeated from. There were around 20 nuclear weapon tests in the islands from 1946 to 1958 and though it’s since been declared “safe” by the US government, its former inhabitants refuse to return to the islands.
Schitovaya Bukhta, Russia
The beauty of Russia is usually marred by such incidents as brute military force and nuclear testing areas. Schitovaya Bukhta or Shield Bay located in the former Soviet Union nation is known to be one of the greatest surfing spots in the world. But it’s not the waves that makes this place dangerous. It’s the seemingly endless number of military permits needed to secure the use of the bay due to the restricted military facilities in the area. Added to this, the other side of the peninsula is Vladivostock, which houses nuclear submarines that allegedly emit radiation.
Heard Island, Antarctica
Once you’ve crossed off Antarctica from your bucket list, you can honestly say you’ve been around the world. Known as the world’s coldest continent, Heard Island in Antarctica is said to be an extreme surfing experience for the sole reason that you may or may not survive the cold. The entire island actually rests on a giant volcano called Big Ben, but this doesn’t provide the heat you need. It’s truly a beautiful spot and can be appreciated if you’re able to prevent hypothermia from overtaking you!
North Sentinel Island, Andaman Islands
You’d think you’d only see it in the movies: getting shipwrecked on a beautiful, pristine island, being discovered by the island’s savage natives—and then getting killed by them, never to be found again. But this has happened in North Sentinel Island, which forms part of the Andaman Islands. The inhabitants are known to be very territorial and do not take well to outsiders. In 2006, they killed two fishermen who docked on their island by mistake. So no matter how spectacular the beach is on this island, it’s not worth your life!