A trip to the beach typically involves lounging in a deck chair, swimming in the fresh sea water and topping up your tan. However, some beaches can potentially do more harm than good. From lurking sharks to stinging jellyfish and tidal waves, the world's most dangerous beaches may well cost you your life.
Here are 30 beaches that should be avoided at all costs.
1. Reunion Island- France
Whilst the tropical French paradise Reunion Island looks like any other magical paradise, this popular surfing destination has seen a spate of shark attacks in recent years. In fact, there have been 20 since 2011.
Unfortunatley, 8 of these attacks resulted in death, the most recent coming in February 2017.
2. Fraser Island- Australia
Australian beaches are known for being both the height of luxury and among some of the most dangerous in the world and Fraser Island is no exception to this. The ecotourism beach is a premier Queensland destination despite its many dangers.
To unruly waves, strong currents, circling sharks and poisonous jellyfish, venturing into the clear blue waters may seem tempting, but it's worth staying well within the shallow end because of the many dangers this beach has. But staying on dry land isn't entirely safe either. The dingo, a common wild dog, often roam in packs and have been known to attack beach-goers.
3. Gansbaai (South Africa) - Sharks
This favourite beach hangout in Cape Town isn't far from the infamous Shark Alley, a thin channel within two offshore islands known for its abundance of white sharks.
Whilst this sounds like a perfectly reasonable excuse for the entire human race never to set foot here, many thrill-seekers and divers flock here in the search of seeing these feared ocean predators.
4. Hanakapiai Beach, Hawaii
Hawaii is cartoonishly beautiful, with a phantasmagorical landscape like no other. But it is not without its dangers.
The Hawaiian island of Kauai is home to Hanakapiai Beach, another paradise island. However, with rip-roaring currents that have been known to drag the most able of swimmers far from the shore, it should be of little surprise that over 30 swimmers have drowned on the island since 1970.
5. Playa Zipolite, Mexico
The southern coast of Mexico attracts tourists from all over the world, but few will be spending their lazy beach days on Playa Zipolite in the Mexican state of Oaxaca.
Translated as “the beach of the dead,” because of the strong undercurrents, reports in the local area estimated that around 50 human lives are lost each year, making Playa Zipolite one of the most dangerous beaches in the world.
6. Dumas Beach, India
A city beach overlooking the Arabian Sea in the Indian state of Gujarat is one that has long been the subject of folklore and mystery owing to its history as a former cremation ground.
With a foreboding sense of doom always in the air, many disappearances have been reported so we think we'll stay well clear of this beguiling stretch of sand.
7. Staithes Beach, UK
The U.K. doesn't have the best reputation for beaches, but one beach in Britain has a reputation for an altogether different kind. Staithes Beach is known for having some of the highest levels of polluted water in the county.
Despite this, surfers flock here every year for the strong waves despite the water capable of causing the body serious harm if digested.
8. New Smyrna Beach, Florida
With a recorded 238 shark attacks, Florida's New Smyrna Beach has some of the highest levels of shark attacks in the world, yet tourists flock here year on year.
That said, all these attacks have come from smaller bull sharks that have mistaken swimmers in shallow waters for more edible prey
9. Bikini Atoll Beach, Marshall Islands
Sitting close to the equator in the Pacific Ocean lies the history-rich Marshall Islands, home to some of the most wonderous and secluded beaches in the world.
In the post-war period of 1946-198, the U.S. military used its beaches as nuclear testing grounds, and one area that proved particularly popular as a testing ground was Bikini Atoll Beach. To this day, the radiation levels remain alarmingly high, and travelers are well advised to stay clear.
10. North Sentinel Island Beach, India
In a remote region of the Andaman Islands lies the home of an indigenous group of Sentinelese villagers. If foreigners greet them, they are met with spears at the coastline. If they go as far as the shore, tourists can potentially be rushed and contained in makeshift fishing nets.
Having been entirely untouched by modern civilization, the Sentinelese are fiercely protective of their people and land and intended to keep it that way. So out of kilter are they with the contemporary world that they are thought to be the only people on the planet not to have reached further than a Paleolithic level of technology.
11. Snake Island Island Beach
It's many people's worst nightmare: an island full of snakes. Located on a remote island just off the coast of Brazil, rare and dangerous snakes slither through the vast swathes of empty land.
While visiting the island would be an exciting prospect for some, most of the snakes are endangered, and thus the island is off-limits to the public. For the rare few people granted access, such as conservationists and scientists, they are required to catch a ferry in Sao Paulo and travel 18 nautical miles to the 110-acre island.
Studies conducted on the island found that there is around one snake to every square meter, one species of which is the Golden lancehead viper, one of the most deadly snakes known to man.
12. Surtsey Beach, Iceland
Potentially one of the youngest drylands on Earth, Surtsey in Iceland was only formed in the late 1960s following a volcanic explosion.
The rural and pristine nature of the mostly untouched island has no doubt attracted attention across the world, but only a few scientists have ever been allowed to explore it.
13. Bukhta Beach, Russia
This Russian beach is known for being a surfing hotspot but you can't just rock up with your board and hit the waves. You actually need to have a surf permit from the local authorities.
This is because of the sheer volume of military facilities in the local area. The peninsula itself is home to the Russian Navy who used to own fleets of nuclear submarines. The radiation alone has already infected those who made the mistake of coming into proximity to the navy base.
14. Praia da Boa Viagem (Recife, Brazil) - Sharks
While sharks can often be some of the most misunderstood creatures of our time, there's no denying that they are responsible for a large proportion of human fatalities at sea and at least 56 people have passed away from shark attacks in the Brazilian coastal attraction of Recife since 1992. At 37%, the fatality rate of shark attacks at Praia da Boa Viagem beach is the highest in the world.
While this is sad and in many cases, terribly unlucky, seasonal shifts in the migration pattern of sharks bring significant numbers of them closer to the coast making it impossible for lifeguards to even train in the sea!
15. Darwin, Australia
The Northern coastal city of Darwin is home to some of the most poisonous box jellyfish in the world. Between October and May, colonies settle within the more shallow areas of the ocean while crocodiles and sharks remain a year-round threat.
Locals and tourists are advised to only swim at the patrolled beaches because if something did happen a lifeguard would be on hand. But even then, is it worth the risk? Hell no.
16. Girgaum Chowpatty Beach, India
Owing to holistic and religious customs, India has a reputation for having some of the most polluted and contaminated oceans in the world and the coastal waters of Mumbai are no exception to this. With an abundance of sewage and faecal matter floating freely, Girgaum Chowpatty, in particular, has gained an infamous reputation.
Despite this, it a popular tourist beach, even though the pollution in its waters only seems to be worsening.
17. Copacabana Beach
Rio De Janeiro is the crown jewel of South America not only for its world-famous carnival and non-stop party atmosphere but because of its stunning choice of beaches, which includes the famous Copacabana Beach.
However, the city is also synonymous with crime-riddled favelas and drive-by shootings, while a recent study found alarming levels of bacteria in the sand and sea.
What was once a small fishing port in the Arabian Desert has been transformed into an ostentatious destination for the rich and famous.
As well as indoor ski slopes, six and seven-star hotels and a profusion of Michelin star restaurants, Dubai also has an impressive coastline. While many choose to soak up the scorching rays in a private stretch of sand exclusive to their hotels, a favorite beach with expats is Umm Seqeim beach, set amidst a stunning backdrop of height-defying skyscrapers. However, recent reports have also warned of rising mercury levels in many of the U.A.E.'s seemingly pristine and clean waters, so be careful.
19. Mindanao Island- Philippines
This cluster of stunning islands in the southern Philippines draws tourists far and wide for its fun activities and verdant tropical delights, but in recent years the islands, particularly Mindanao, have been engulfed in bitter infighting between Muslim militants and government troops.
To increase their bargaining power Muslim groups have even been known to kidnap foreigners, so it's advised that you avoid this area of the country for a while.
20. Cairns- Australia
Yet another Australian territory to make the list is the turquoise waters of Cairns in north Queensland. Often sold as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, the popular tourist hotspot may be home to a plethora of island paradises, but with such beauty also comes heaps of aquatic danger.
During the so-called stinger season between November and June, the world's most poisonous jellyfish, such as the Irukandji and Chironex fleckeri jellyfish increase in numbers and can quite easily take your life if you suffer the great misfortune of stepping on one.
21. Amazon Basin- Brazil
The Amazon is home to one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, with an array of fauna ranging from an array of exotic and dangerous within the Amazon's murky waters.
A few of these dangerous animals include piranhas, electric eels, anaconda snakes, and perhaps most scarily of all, the candiru, a parasitic catfish that is capable of entering the human body through any opening.
22. Kilauea (Hawaii, USA) - Lava
Hawaii is actually on an active volcano, and although the likelihood of an eruption is very, very low, you can still see lava flows and lava fields all over the islands, and they can be just as stunning as the rest of the place as they drip into the water forming unique and magical shapes.
Just be careful not to get too close- the U.S. Geological Survey recommends staying well away from certain vents as they can be unpredictable and spurt hot lava jets at any moment.
23. The Red Triangle- California
Along this wonderous 200-mile sun-dappled California coastline lies the scene of 38 percent of all recorded great white shark attacks in America. From Bodega Bay to Big Sur, many roam the shallow waters to prey on sea lions and seals.
So if you want to catch some waves in California, perhaps go to beaches where there are less seals.
24. Utakleiv Beach, Norway
While it may not look like your typical sun-soaked beach getaway, Norway's mystical Urakleiv Beach is considered one of the most romantic beaches in the world, especially under the county's famed midnight sun.
However, with such an extreme, northern hemisphere climate comes incredible cold conditions. Thus the water is best avoided during all but the warmest months of the year.
25. Lamu Island Beach, Kenya
Not too long ago, Lamu Island was one of Keyna’s most famous beach resorts, but because of the unfavorable political climate in nieghboring Somalia, the all-too-real threat of Islamic terrorist groups has seen the beach become visibly empty.
Those who have ignored advice and risked their safety to enjoy the beach have even been kidnapped, so visiting simply because people don't come here anymore really isn't worth the risk.
26. Skeleton Coast Beach, Namibia
The name alone sounds pretty scary due to the number of visible whale and seal skeletons. And while the beach itself may appear to have a brilliant blue ocean with picturesque waves and year-round sun, the area itself has seen many problems over the years.
Many locals have even died because of the poor socioeconomic conditions of the area.
27. Costa del Sol, Spain
A staple British holiday destination for many years, millions of sun-starved Brits flock to the sun-blessed area of Southern Spain every year in search of sun, sea, British cafes, karaoke clubs and bars with widescreen televisions playing Premier League soccer. However, the popular Spanish coastal region suffers from high winds and strong rip currents.
These dangerous weather conditions have actually led to some notable drowning cases in recent years, so always stick to the beaches where a trained lifeguard is present.
28. Cape Tribulation Beach, Australia
Another beach located in Queensland, Australia, Cape Tribulation is a popular tourist destination thanks to its awe-inspiring beaches and clear blue ocean, but as is the case with many Australian beaches, it's also a minefield of dangerous animals.
From jellyfish to venomous snakes, crocodiles, cassowaries and flightless birds that can lash out at any moment, this beach isn't for the fainthearted.
29. West End Beach, Bahamas
Before you even set foot in the sparkling translucent waters of West End Beach, it's worth bearing in mind that this seemingly placid setting is home to the largest percentage of tiger sharks in the world.
So if you ever find yourself in the quaint coastal town, be sure to check the sea for shark fins before you even think of going for a swim.
30. Manaus Beach, Brazil
In the Amazon city of Manaus, the beaches are almost as dangerous as the jungles due to the vast array of fauna lurking the river.
For those brave enough to dive straight in, they should be well aware that they will be sharing the water with piranhas, anacondas, electric eels, and other deadly animals.