9 deadly places that lure tourists
Nepal is issuing permits for Everest climbing again after a 4.5-month break because of the coronavirus.
The highest mountain in the world attracts not only professional climbers, but also ordinary tourists, who are not always well prepared to climb. In the spring of 2019, 12 people died there.
Some sights look harmless, but in reality pose deadly dangers. We tell you about nine places with bad reputations that beckon tourists.
Beaches in Recife, Brazil
The Brazilian city of Recife has beautiful beaches. For example, at Boa Viagem, there are fine clean sand, warm water, and coral reefs nearby. But on the coast there are warning signs: visitors are asked not to go into the open sea because of sharks.
Since 1992, sharks have attacked people on Recife’s beaches 60 times. In 2013, an 18-year-old girl died from predator bites despite receiving help. In 2018, a shark ripped off a tourist’s leg on a beach.
The risk of attack by predators increases when the water becomes turbid because of rain: then sharks blindly rush on everything that moves.
On the beach, Boa-Viagem visitors are asked not to go behind the reefs, not to swim at high tide and in turbid water. Before swimming it is better to remove jewelry: shiny objects attract sharks
The Danakil Desert in Ethiopia
The Danakil Desert features relief streams of frozen lava, unusually shaped salt deposits, volcanoes, and toxic green and yellow lakes. The African desert looks like another planet, and it attracts tourists.
Danakil is the hottest place on earth. The average annual temperature reaches +34.4 ° C. During the summer the thermometer column stays at +40 ° C – the heat can have a negative impact on health. The desert is also dangerous due to toxic fumes and acid lakes. Some of them have water temperatures of up to 100°C.
Travellers did not die in Dananil from poisonous fumes: they were kidnapped and killed by terrorists. In 2012, five European tourists were killed and two were kidnapped. In 2017, a German traveler was killed and her guide injured.
Tourists go to the desert for such alien landscapes. With an experienced guide and security guards, it’s safe to explore all the sights
Jacob’s Well in the United States
Jacob’s Well is an artesian spring in Texas about 40 m deep and is shaped like a well. It runs through silty caves. The main cave system is almost 1.4 km long.
The attraction itself is not dangerous: you can swim near the well and take beautiful selfies. But to dive is very risky: in the past, some divers paid for it with their lives. Now dive into the caves allowed only to professional explorers.
That doesn’t stop extreme divers. In 2015, a 21-year-old traveler from San Antonio recounted how he nearly died while diving. He was diving without an oxygen tank and assures that he reached the entrance to the third chamber of the well. Extreme filmed the process on video, and commentators argue how deep he actually swam.
The path to the “magic bus” in Alaska, USA
For several years, tourists have walked through Alaska to have their picture taken against the backdrop of an old, rusty bus. This tradition seems strange if you don’t know the backstory. The pilgrimage to the bus began after the release of the movie Into the Wild, which is based on the book of the same name. The work tells the true story of Christopher McCandless, a successful young man from a wealthy family who decided to give up everything he had, give his money to charity, become an ascetic and travel to live in the wilderness.
Christopher was making a living from casual earnings and called himself Alexander the Super Rogue. His wanderings took him to Alaska. There he found an abandoned bus and took up residence there. In Alaska, Christopher hunted, searched for edible plants, and kept a diary.
The traveler lived in the bus for several months. When he decided to return to civilization, he found that the river’s current had increased and it had become impassable. If Christopher had had a map, he would have known where to wade across the river.
The traveler was ill-prepared to survive in the wilderness, and he had almost no equipment or supplies. He eventually died of exhaustion in an old bus.
A book about Christopher was published in 1996 and a movie was released in 2007. Some tourists were inspired by the traveler’s story and philosophy and risked their lives to get to the iconic bus. Since 2009, authorities have had to organize 15 rescues to get the grief-stricken hikers out. Sometimes the stories ended tragically. Last year, for example, an actress from Belarus died on her way to the bus.
To stop the reckless pilgrimages, the bus was moved to another undisclosed location in June 2020. It is now planned to be placed in a museum.
Blue Hole in Egypt.
The Blue Hole is an underwater 130-meter cave in the Red Sea. It is adored by divers and freedivers. At the depth of the cave is a passageway, an arch through which you can swim.
One of the reasons for the death of a diver can be a nitrogen narcosis: at a depth of nitrogen acts on the body as a drug. The person experiences a strange euphoria and is not fully aware of what he is doing. His brain functions slow down and he may even lose consciousness. Local divers advise even experienced divers to take a training course with a mentor before diving. Diving instructor Yuri Lipsky died here in 2000. In 2017, Irish freediving instructor Stephen Keenan died while diving. He was accompanying an Italian athlete.
On a rock near the Blue Hole, a spontaneous memorial has been created with plaques in memory of the dead divers. There are no exact statistics on the victims. Local divers believe that about 200 people have died while diving.
You do not have to dive and risk your life. You can just swim and snorkel near the Blue Hole.
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Yellowstone National Park.
Tourists go to Yellowstone Park to see geysers, a mud volcano, lakes, waterfalls and thermal springs. They also come to see animals in their natural habitat. There are foxes, cougars, bears, bison, moose, otters, squirrels, beavers and bats.
In this picturesque park, travelers can fall prey to predators or die in an acidic pool or a hot pool where the water temperature reaches 121 ºC.
The administration asks tourists to observe safety rules: not to leave the walking trails, keep a distance from wild animals and carry a special spray that scares away bears.
Since 1870, 22 people have been killed in the park, including seven children. There have been only two such cases in the past 20 years. In 2000, a park employee died when she and her friends decided to go swimming in the lake. She mistook an ordinary stream for a hot pool and died a few hours later from severe burns. Her companions survived, but spent months recuperating in the hospital. In 2016, Colin Scott, 23, walked up to a body of water to check the temperature. The hiker slipped and fell – he could not be saved. Not even a body remained: rescuers couldn’t get the corpse out of the water right away, and the next day it dissolved into the acid spring.
Rangers rescue tourists who enter the danger zone every year. Some visitors get burned. For example, in 2006, a six-year-old boy from Utah fell into hot water: fortunately, he survived. And in 2016, a 13-year-old received burns. He was taken to the hospital.
Death Valley in Russia
The natural “gas mine” is located in the Kronotsky Nature Reserve in Kamchatka, at the foot of the volcano Kikhpinych. It is not more than 2 km long. Poisonous gases, destructive to all living things, have made the valley fatal: high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide. Having inhaled these gases, animals die.
Researchers noticed the Valley of Death when they saw a large cemetery of animals: among the corpses were 12 species of mammals and 13 species of birds. Since the valley was discovered in 1975, 25 bears have died here. Dead foxes, wolverines, wolves, and other animals are regularly found dead in the area.
Unlike Yellowstone, no human deaths or poisonings have been reported in the Valley. But some researchers and photographers have felt the effects of poisonous gases: headaches, respiratory problems, and an unpleasant taste in the mouth. All the symptoms went away once one got away from the Valley.
You can see Death Valley on a helicopter or regular tour.
The reserve says the death trap begins to work in late spring, when the snow melts. Birds land on the ground in search of food, breathe the gases and die. Scavenger predators come for their prey and die, too
Madidi National Park in Bolivia
Madidi is a park rich in flora and fauna. Here you can watch monkeys and jaguars, swim with pink dolphins, see colorful parrots and exotic flowers.
Poisonous plants and wild animals pose a threat to travelers. Predators do not consider tourists a delicacy, but may well attack in self-defense. Also be careful of piranhas, leeches, spiders and snakes.
Guidebooks recommend taking more repellent to repel mosquitoes on the trip. They carry malaria and yellow fever, so it’s a good idea to get yourself vaccinated before you travel.
Tourists explore the forests with experienced guides: being in the jungle alone is deadly. In 2017, a 25-year-old hiker fell behind the group in the forest and got lost. The hiker’s search lasted nine days. Rangers thought he was already dead, but the hiker was eventually found. He was wounded, emaciated and covered in insect bites. The man said he was rescued by a group of monkeys: they shared fruit with him and helped him find water.
San Fermin Festival in Spain
At the annual San Fermin Festival, the bulls and humans run 875 meters together. It takes place every morning from July 7 to 14. People from all over the world come to the event. Anyone over the age of 18 can participate for free. Organizers advise wearing comfortable clothing and shoes. They also urge those who have spent the night at a drunken party or are not feeling well not to go to the race. Drunken runners are not allowed to participate.
Organizers say the risks to participants are small, but they are there nonetheless. Each bull weighs half a ton, it can injure and even tear a runner. There have been 16 deaths since the festivals began. Participants constantly get minor abrasions and bruises.
Best to stay away: Top 10 most dangerous places for tourists
Of course, extreme tourism is very interesting and exciting. However, the pursuit of excitement and new emotions can end badly enough. The result of traveling to the most dangerous places for tourists on the planet can be a loss of health and even life. Where exactly should you be extremely careful?
Lake Nyos, Cameroon
The crater lake of Nyos in the Adamawa Mountains of northwestern Cameroon is known as the “Lake of the Killer.”
The lake is 201 meters deep and at the bottom huge amounts of carbon dioxide accumulate, produced by a volcano that is extinct on the surface but active in the depth of the reservoir.
Any external impact – earthquake, landslide, collapse, strong winds – can provoke a repeat of the 1986 disaster. At that time, almost the entire population of nearby villages – 2,000 people – was destroyed by a gas explosion that rose from the depths.
Huashan Mountain, China
On the Qinling Range in Shaanxi Province is one of the sacred mountains in Taoism, Huashan Mountain. Thousands of tourists every year make the difficult and dangerous ascent to 2160 m.
The unique trail winds its way past beautiful sites such as monasteries and pagodas, temples and gates, with the road being extremely dangerous. Extreme climbing leads to rickety bridges without railings, in some places travelers are hanging over an abyss. The road is called the “trail of death” for a reason.
Reward the brave will be tea at the tea house at the top. Back travelers descend by cable car.
Hussaini Bridge, Pakistan
The age of the suspension bridge over the Huntsi River in Pakistan is unknown even to locals. The rickety structure is made of wooden planks and ropes, and over the years the thin ropes have frayed and the planks have fallen out. Crossing the bridge is extremely dangerous also because of the strong cold winds, which tend to throw the traveler into the swift river.
Salta-Antofagasta Train, Argentina
The railroad route that connects the cities of Salta province with the borderlands in the Andes is also called the “Train in the Clouds,” or Tren a las Nubes.
The road runs at an altitude of 4,220 meters above sea level.
The 217 kilometers provide dizzying descents and ascents, 21 tunnels and 29 steep bridges. A visit to the most spectacular amusement park does not compare in adrenaline experience with a ride on this train.
Death Valley, Kamchatka
Discovered in 1930 Death Valley has already killed about 100 people.
Death Valley, or the Land of Paradoxes, is located in the Kronotsky Reserve near the volcano Kikhpinych. The territory is small – 2 km length and 500 m width. But all living things in the valley literally die within minutes. Scientists have not yet found an explanation for this dangerous phenomenon.
The Hanging Rock, or Kjeragbolten, is a large rock, stuck at a height of one kilometer between two rocks.
It is located above Lucie Fjord, 240 km from Stavanger. Whoever stands on this stone, experiences inexpressible sensations.
Volcano Mayon, Philippines
Volcano Mayon is an active volcano in the southeast of the island of Luzon.
From a height of 2462 m lava flows gush out periodically and ejected rocks. The volcano has caused the death of the town of Kagzawa as well as hundreds of locals and tourists.
Goufre Berger, France
Located on the Sornen Plateau (French Alps) the cave has long been considered the deepest cave in the world.
Its depth is 1,323 meters and to get to the bottom you have to spend 15-30 hours without rest. The length of the passages in it is 30 km.
At the bottom of the Abyss Berger is an underground lake. For those who have ventured on a trip, the rains pose an extreme danger – the cave fills up with water in a few minutes. It is because of the floods the speleologists die in the cave.
Pripyat city, Ukraine
An accident at a Chernobyl nuclear power plant has turned a blooming city into a ghost: gradually crumbling houses stand, but no one is alive.
Nature is gradually recovering – animals and birds are returning, berries and mushrooms are growing, but for people the level of radiation contamination in some areas remains unacceptably high – about a million decays per minute.
Fish Hoek Beach, South Africa
Swimming in the company of aggressive white sharks – what could be more attractive for extreme thrill seekers!
Cape Town’s coastline is famous for the huge number of these predators that can be found even in the shallow waters. Fish Hoek Beach leads the world in the number of white shark attacks on people.