The world is a weird and dangerous place. There’s just so many strange habits people have and strange things that people do. While the weirdness of the human race gets a spotlight put on it through the Internet, one of the more fascinating things people do is build homes. Well, building houses isn’t really the unique part. Rather, it’s where these people tend to build the houses that leave people scratching their heads.
If you had a choice to choose building a house in a city, the countryside, or somewhere in between, which would you choose? Whatever answer you chose, I doubt you included squishing your house between two apartment buildings. Or chose to live in a desert. As wacky as these things sound, they are all too real.
While some people may not have much of a choice as to where they live, it is still mind boggling as to why some of these people are calling these locations “home”. With polar bears roaming right outside your window, wouldn’t you be a bit frightened? Or, how about living in a single room for decades? Yes, that also happened.
This list compiles 15 of the most dangerous places people have built their homes. Ranging from the zany to the dangerous and the downright bizarre, this list makes you scratch your head. What compels these people to do this? Why would they put themselves in harm’s way? And why do these people stay there? Only you can judge for yourself. And if you see your own area on this list, you may want to reconsider where you live. It may just be a bit too dangerous.
15 The Cold Pole
In the vast expanse of Russia, there’s plenty of dangerous places to live. If the wilderness and animals don’t kill you in the countryside, then the harsh and bitter cold will. And, for some reason, the extremely cold and icy backdrop of a place called “the cold pole” is a tourist attraction.
Located in Verkhoyansk, Russia, almost 1,500 residents call this place home. Attracting a decent amount of visitors every year, Russia’s center of cold drops into some pretty dangerous territory. For a bit of perspective on this, the average temperature in Russia in the month of January is 18 degrees Fahrenheit. At the Cold Pole, the average temperature during January is -56 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s an unbelievable difference of 74 degrees!
It's hard to imagine why people still live there. But, every niche needs a spot to thrive. And people who seek out extremely cold environments have found a fantastic spot in Verkhoyansk.
14 The African Lake of Death
The title should immediately scream at you, “stay away from this place and run away as fast as you can”. But alas, sometimes people either don’t have the means to do so or they have a sincere trust in nature and are willing to risk their lives for the surrounding environment. Either way, this lake is trouble.
Nestled between the country of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the “Lake of Death" is properly titled Lake Kivu. Whether you’re looking at the lake from a computer screen or you’re actually able to be there in person, the sight that greets you is gorgeous. Sadly, it’s what’s below the surface of the lake that is the issue.
The lake contains over 2 trillion cubic feet of trapped methane gas. It also houses over 60 miles of carbon dioxide. If any one of these gets released, a deadly cloud could rise up and kill the nearly two million African residents who call Lake Kivu home.
13 The Maldives Islands
When you picture islands, you probably think of sunny beaches, cold drinks and letting your worries and problems melt away into the sun. While all of this is true, what people don’t want to talk about are the environmental hazards that come with a lot of islands. A great example of a dream destination that is actually quite dangerous are the Maldives Islands.
Scientifically speaking, the Islands are relatively new in relation to other islands. Since the islands haven’t been around for long, scientists estimate that they won’t be able to stay above sea level for much longer. The threat of the islands being submerged quickly and without warning are so serious that, in 2008, the newly elected President of the Maldives tried to start a fund that would help relocate the entire population of the island. However, it seems people are content to continue building homes on the Islands and the population is still thriving.
12 Island House on St. Lawrence River
Imagine it’s the end of your workday. You’re tired and hungry, so you decide to cook some food at the house. You take the train to the seaboard, get off, and hop on a small boat. You travel about five minutes on the water and finally reach your house. Home sweet home.
This is a real scenario. In the 1950’s, a family bought a small island and proceeded to build a house on it. Supposedly, the house was built so that the family could escape the business world and all of the stresses that come with it. Today, the family doesn’t reside in the house. In fact, the house now serves as a tourist attraction.
11 The Mountain of Fire
Volcanoes are devastating in every part of the world. There isn’t a place where you can successfully live near a volcano and not understand the imminent danger you’re in. Sure, many volcanoes lie dormant for thousands of years. But, that’s exactly why they’re so scary. They can blow at any time. This line of thinking holds true for the residents of Mount Merapi, Indonesia.
200,000 villagers have built homes and reside within four miles of the mountain’s base. That’s way too close for comfort for a dormant volcano. And it’s not like the volcano has been sitting there quietly. On the contrary, the volcano has erupted an amazing 60 times over the past 500 years! The mountain is quite active, with the latest eruption occurring in 2006.
Although it hasn’t erupted since 2006, the volcano still smolders from time to time.
10 Xuan Kong Si
It’s late. You’re tired, yet you can’t fall asleep. The day’s events and fears of the future wrap your brain in a shroud you can’t escape. You decide to walk out onto your porch and look out at the stars to help clear your mind. You walk out, and look down thousands of feet. This, oddly enough, could be a real scenario if you lived in Xuan Kong Si.
The buildings are actually monasteries built high up on Mount Heng. Now a place of discovery for tourists, the hanging architectural wonders were first built in 491 AD. It served as a place for monks. They would meditate and pray all day in these hanging buildings.
The buildings are so interesting that modern architects still study the techniques used on them.
9 The Stone House
It’s one thing to have a gravel driveway. It’s quite another to build a house in between two humongous boulders. And, since people like to be creative, why not build a home in between two boulders?
Located in the northern portion of Portugal, the Stone House (or Casa de Penedo as it’s known in Portugal) is an oddity. The people who constructed the home literally used four boulders to form it. Two serve as the roof and floor, as the other two serve as the walls. It took two years to complete from 1972-1974.
Originally, the house was used as a holiday home for its owner. Today, it serves as a museum that displays the history of Penedo.
8 The Grand Cayman Islands
As noted above, building houses on islands may not be the best idea. Sure, the weather and relaxation is enticing, but islands tend to be a place where bad things can happen. The Grand Cayman Islands are no different.
If you’re taking a trip near Cuba, you may be near these islands. However, it may be in your best interest to steer clear. Why? Because, probability dictates that you’ll probably run into a hurricane. According to numerous scientific reports, a hurricane hits the Grand Cayman Islands once every two years. That’s not a lot to time to rebuild your home after the house just survived hurricane-force winds and, potentially, damages from flying objects.
People who built houses on these islands were completely devastated in 2004, when Hurricane Ivan wiped out 70% of the buildings on the islands. It’s a dangerous territory and should be treated with caution.
7 The Keret Home
This home is an extreme oddity. While it’s technically an art installation, it can function as a house and is currently a tourist attraction. Although the home gets tourists, the building does have one tenant. The house is known for its narrowness. Specifically, it’s 3.02 feet at its smallest and it grows to a whopping 4.99 feet at its widest. Can you imagine actually living there?
Enclosed spaces freak a lot of people out. This place is no different, as it can only be guessed how many people have visited the house only to leave because it made them feel uncomfortable and stressed. The home is located in Warsaw, Poland and is tucked in between two buildings. The house contains all the rooms you need (a bathroom, living room, and bedroom) and garners electricity from neighboring buildings.
6 Changthang Region, Tibetan Plateau
So far on this list, you’ve seen houses and homes built on mountainsides, in between buildings, and even in the coldest parts of the world. But, you haven’t seen any homes that sit at around 16,400 feet. And yes, this is exactly how high a house is currently sitting in the Changthang Region on a Tibetan plateau.
While the population is quite small and quaint, people do actually call this place home. In fact, they’ve built huts and can surprisingly sustain life up there. However, living at such a high altitude does affect the human body. Specifically, it gets harder and harder to breathe the higher up you go.
5 One Room
Religious persecution is as good as a reason as any to flee a country. If your rights are being infringed, you should find a place where you can live free. But, there’s a fine line between fleeing to another country and living in a room on the side of a mountain while raising an entire family and not letting them socialize with anyone for years on end. Yes, this actually happened.
In 1978, a group of geologists were researching a mountainside in Siberia. During their research, they came across a family who called the mountainside home. The family had fled Stalin in the mid 30s and had resided in a single room on the side of the mountain ever since. The children couldn’t speak properly and hadn’t seen anybody outside of their family their entire lives.
4 Gonaives, Haiti
Whenever Haiti is brought up in the news, it never seems to be for anything positive. While Haiti needs to be rebuilt in a lot of ways, rebuilding homes there tends to be a problem. The weather is the main culprit as to why Haiti has a lot of problems, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise as to why.
With the coastal city sitting in the eye of the Caribbean (which is a huge spot for hurricanes), it’s a prime target for inclement and horrendous weather. In the late summer of 2008, the city was hit by four tropical cyclones within one month. Part of Haiti’s bad luck is its geography. Building a house here is tempting fate.
When people think of Greenland, they probably visualize a serene place where stress melts away and you can find peace of mind. This line of thinking couldn’t be farther from the truth. Greenland is a vicious place full of dangers.
For starters, it’s not completely uncommon to see wild animals such as polar bears roaming the countryside. Think about that. You have to deal with deer in your backyard. They have to deal with almost 600 pounds of fur and flesh. Then, there’s the unnatural sun and moon cycles.
At two different points during the year, there are separate, three month periods when daylight never ends and daylight never comes. That’s right. Imagine three months of night. Seasonal depression is an extremely real thing and this can really hurt those people. Overall, the real Greenland probably vastly differs from the Greenland in your imagination. If you build there, be prepared.
2 Minquin County, China
The desert is not a great place to be. It’s hot. Too hot. But, it’s OK if you build a home close to the desert. Right? Wrong. Well, it’s wrong if the desert slowly begins creeping up on your home. And that’s exactly what’s happening in Minquin County.
In the northwest Gansu province, the desert is moving its way towards the city at a rate of 10 meters per year! A drought and a diverted river aren’t helping the situation. The Chinese government stepped in and began displacing people. However, the population continues to grow! Whatever the reason people flock to this portion of China, they need to be aware that building a house here is setting themselves up for failure in the future.
1 Tornado Corridor, Oklahoma
This is an extremely dangerous place to live. People may not take things like weather into account when they move, but weather is an important and powerful part of life. The Tornado Corridor, also known as Tornado Alley, is a mass of land that is the epicenter of hot and cold air during the spring season. With this unhealthy mixture, tornadoes abound.
In 1999, 70 tornadoes caused destruction in 2/3 of Tornado Alley. During one horrendous and scary twister, 40 people’s lives were taken by these thunderous twists of wind. Oklahoma City seems to the center of it all. With 700,000 residents living in Oklahoma City, they all need to be cautioned and on alert when the spring arrives.