10 dangerous beaches of the world
Weather.com -- Beaches are paradise getaways under the sun, with sand and surf aplenty. But some beaches are home to a number of hidden dangers and hazards that can ruin any vacation—or even potentially kill you. From the "Shark Attack Capital of the World" to "The Beach of the Dead," here are 10 of the world's most dangerous beaches.
(MORE: World's Most Crowded Beaches)
1. Cape Tribulation, Australia - Dangerous Creatures
Located in northern Queensland, Australia, Cape Tribulation has a name that may serve as a warning for many travelers. The area is home to jellyfish, venomous snakes, crocodiles and cassowaries, perhaps the scariest birds in the world. Cassowaries are large, flightless birds related to emus, and can grow to weigh more than 160 pounds, according to National Geographic. When provoked, cassowaries can be aggressive and capable of inflicting injuries.
2. Hanakapiai Beach, Hawaii - Powerful Rip Currents
Nestled in the Napali Coast of Kauai and only accessible by the Kalalau Trail, Hanakapiai Beach is one of the most dangerous places in the world to go swimming due to powerful rip currents and waves that are known to sweep people out to sea. In the event that a swimmer gets caught in a rip current, the closest safe shore area is about six miles away. Due to these hazardous conditions, The Telegraph reports that at least 83 people have drowned there over the years.
3. Gansbaai, South Africa - Great White Sharks
Gansbaai has been called the "Great White Shark Capital of the World" because of the sheer number of these dangerous predators found lurking off the coast. According to The Telegraph, the sharks are attracted to the area by the colony of 60,000 fur seals living in the small channel of water between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock, also called "Shark Alley." As dangerous as these waters can be, visitors can safely get up close to these scary creatures by going cage diving with a reputable tour company.
4. Chowpatty Beach, Mumbai - Pollution
Mumbai's Chowpatty Beach is one of the world's most polluted in the world, making the sea here unfit for swimming, according to The Telegraph. The sands on this beach are full of debris and scraps from salvaged ships, and the waters are full of dumped waste and disposal from city of Mumbai. The beach's waters have only gotten more polluted since 2011 when the MV Rak sank and spilled 60,000 metric tons of coal. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, swimming in polluted water may result in illnesses, such as diarrhea or sore throats, or even more serious illnesses in children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.
5. Black Sand Beaches of Kilauea, Hawaii - Erupting Volcano
Located in Volcanoes National Park, the black sand beaches of Kilauea may be beautiful, but they are also dangerous. The beaches sit next to one of the world's most active volcanoes, Mount Kilauea, which has been continuously erupting since 1983 and spewing hot lava into the ocean. The temperatures of the water here reach about 110 degrees, according to the Huffington Post.
6. New Smyrna Beach, Florida - Shark Attacks
Florida's New Smyrna Beach, while beautiful, also has a scary reputation. With a recorded 238 attacks, the beach, which part of Volusia County, is also known as the "Shark Attack Capital of the World," according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Volusia County has a popular surfing spot near New Smyrna Beach, just south of an inlet considered a fertile hunting ground for sharks. Because the surf inhibits visibility, sharks react to splashes like those made by surfers paddling to catch a wave, and bite blindly, reported the Miami Hearld.
7. Fraser Island, Australia - Deadly Creatures and Rip Currents
Fraser Island's beaches are some of the most dangerous places. The waters surrounding the island have strong rip currents and are brimming with sharks and jellyfish. Beach-goers can also run into other dangerous creatures on land as well, including saltwater crocodiles, deadly spiders and even dingoes, which have been known to attack children according to the Associated Press.
8. Playa Zipolite, Mexico - Dangerous Rip Currents
Also known as "The Beach of the Dead" (Playa de los Muertos), it's not surprising that Playa Zipolite, located on the southern coast of Oaxaca state in Mexico, has a deadly reputation. This picturesque beach is popular with backpackers and nudists but is also notorious for its dangerous rip currents. According to the Telegraph, a volunteer lifeguard team was established at Zipolite in 1995, which reduced the number of drownings dramatically.
9. Beaches of the Northern Territory, Australia - Venomous Jellyfish
Box jellyfish are the most dangerous and venomous jellyfish in the world, growing up to 11 inches wide with 60 tentacles that can stretch up to 6 feet long. These jellyfish, which are transparent in the water, can be found in large swarms along the coast of the Northern Territory of Australia. Their sting is so painful that some victims suffer cardiac arrest before the reach the shore. Trying to remove the tentacles from a sting can cause more venom to be discharged, and death can occur within five minutes. According to the Telegraph, these jellyfish have been responsible for at least 70 deaths since 1883.
10. Beaches of the Amazon, South America - Dangerous Creatures
Piranhas, anacondas and electric eels are just some of the creatures visitors may encounter on a trip to the dangerous beaches of the Amazon. The river is home to rich biodiversity, the richest of any river in the world. And while it's known for its scary residents, such as sharp-toothed red-bellied piranha, the Amazon's waters are populated by 2,500 different species of fish, and many scientists believe that there are many more that have not been identified yet, according to Discover Peru.