32 Most Dangerous Beaches in the World

Edited by Kathy McGraw, Maria

Beaches are among the most popular destinations for tourists around the world, and you can enjoy most beaches in relative safety. However, some beaches of the world are not as safe as others, and some are downright deadly. Whether the dangers come from sharks, deadly oceanic conditions, or other humans, here are the beaches in the world you don't want to visit (or do you).

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  1. 1
    Gansbaai, South Africa
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    The waters off Gansbaai Beach in South Africa are so popular with great white sharks that savvy entrepreneurs have made businesses out of taking tourists out in shark-proof cages to see these magnificent and deadly predators of the deep. But, you don't want to go out swimming unprotected, because these sharks can and do mistake humans for their preferred prey, fur seals, which are abundant in the area.
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  2. 2
    Playa Zipotle, Mexico
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    Called the Beach of the Dead in the local tongue, the shoreline of Playa Zipotle is known of its deadly riptides and strong undertow that have doomed many swimmers to die in a watery grave. It is reputed to claim at least 50 lives every year.
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  3. 3
    Fraser Island, Australia
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    While its stunning white sand beaches and magnificent blue crystal waters might entice you to visit, beware of the roaming packs of dingos and poisonous spiders on land and sharks and jellyfish swimming in the water
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  4. 4
    Cape Tribulation, Australia
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    The waters along the sandy of beaches of this northern Queensland Australia coastline are plagued with box jellyfish, the venom of which is strong enough to put a human in cardiac arrest and deadly crocodiles looking for a tasty human snack. And if you think you're safe if you stick to the beach, think again, because roaming the area are cassowaries, large flightless birds that are related to the emu, which are aggressive and more than capable of ruining your day.
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  5. 5
    Praia de Boa Viegem, Brazil
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    Sand and surf aren't the only things you'll find at this beautiful beach in Recife, Brazil. Starting in 1992, there have been 50 shark attacks here, 19 of which were deadly, but sharks aren't the only predators stalking unsuspecting beach-goers: human thieves and other miscreants prowl the sands, looking for a mark or two.
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  6. 6
    Volusia County, Florida
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    While the beaches in this Florida country may look beautiful and inviting, their waters are much less so, having been the site of 267 shark attacks since 1882. While none were fatal, having a shark take a nibble out of you is definitely something to be avoided. Also, you're more apt to be struck by lightning there, too.
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  7. 7
    The Island of Reunion, Indian Ocean
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    The beautiful beaches of this small island in the Indian Ocean are well-known for the number of shark attacks that occur there. There have been 20 attacks since 2011, with seven of them resulting in death.
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  8. 8
    Second Beach, South Africa
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    Bull sharks are to blame for as many as eight fatal shark attacks off the waters of this South African beach. This beach is noted as one of the most deadly for shark attacks in the world.
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  9. 9
    New Smyrna Beach, Florida
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    The waters off this beautiful Floridian beach are home to baby bull sharks that like to take a nibble out of the unsuspecting feet of beachgoers who wade in the warm shallow waters there. Although there have been 238 attacks over the years, none have been deadly. Still, it's best to watch your toes!
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  10. 10
    Heard Island, Australia
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    Heard Island belongs to Australia but is closer to Antarctica. As such, it shares the extreme conditions of the extreme southern hemisphere, making the remote island treacherous for humans to sojourn there for any length of time.
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  11. 11
    Staithes Beach, United Kingdom
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    Popular with surfers, Staithes Beach has a major pollution problem caused by run-off from farmers' fields as well as sewage. It is one of 31 British beaches that fail to meet European standards. Taking a dip here can earn you a nasty case of diarrhea on the minor end or meningitis, typhoid fever, or hepatitis A in the worst cases.
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  12. 12
    Hanakapiai Beach, Hawaii
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    Although this beach on the island of Kauai is stunningly beautiful with its yellow sand, verdant hills, and wave-splashed rocks, its waters are quite deadly, especially for weak or inexperienced swimmers. The area has a strong riptide that has been known to pull even experienced swimmers out into the deep ocean, miles from the safety of shore. These dangerous waters have claimed the lives of 30 swimmers since 1970.
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  13. 13
    Dumas Beach, India
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    Situated along the Arabian Sea, Dumas Beach has a dark history. Here, the bodies of the dead were cremated and sent into the afterlife, and it is said that their spirits haunt this stretch of the coast. While you might not fear ghosts, several people have gone missing while visiting here, without any apparent cause.
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  14. 14
    Kilauea Beach, Hawaii
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    Kilauea Beach is one of the few black sand beaches in the world, but the cause of all that black sand is the active volcano nearby, which has been erupting constantly since 1983 and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. This hotspot brings up rivers of lava from the hot mantle beneath the crust, and lava is not good for feet, or any other human body part, for that matter. Also, watch out for the sharks: there have been 102 shark attacks here since 1828.
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  15. 15
    Bikini Atoll Beach, Marshall Islands
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    The site of over 20 nuclear weapon tests from 1946 to 1968, this beach is still experiencing their effects. While declared safe as of 1997, local fruit and vegetables remain unsafe to eat, and because of the lack of fishing, the waters have experienced a sharp increase in the number of sharks roaming the surrounding seas.
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  16. 16
    North Sentinel Island, India
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    Humans are the dangerous animals to beware of on this remote island that belongs to the Andaman chain off the coast of India. While it features amazingly beautiful beaches with white sand surrounded by lush greenery and bright blue waters, the locals are hostile to outsiders and will kill you if they catch you on their territory, which, by the way, is the entire island.
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  17. 17
    Chowpatty Beach,India
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    The dangers of Chowpatty Beach in Mumbai, India have nothing to do with the weather or the animal life in the area. You don't have to worry that a shark will take a bite out of you while you're splashing through the waters, no, nor will have to worry about jellyfish stinging you, either. The source of the danger here is entirely human in nature: the waters here are a cesspit of pollution, including chemicals and sewage. Yuck.
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  18. 18
    Schitovaya, Bukhta, Russia
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    Known for its excellent surfing, the dangers of this beach result in what lies underneath the epic waves: rusted hulks of decommissioned nuclear Soviet-era submarines which leak radiation into the water.
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  19. 19
    Copacabana Beach, Brazil
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    While there have been a few shark attacks in the waters off Copacabana Beach, the larger danger you will face is from the other humans around you. Theft occurs quite regularly here, so guard your valuables closely.
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  20. 20
    Utakleiv Beach, Norway
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    Close to the Arctic, while this beach is beyond lovely, the harsh climate can be deadly to anyone who chooses to stay out in the elements for a prolonged period of time. And if you decide to take a dip in the freezing waters, you can quickly succumb to hypothermia if you're not careful.
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  21. 21
    The Red Triangle, California
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    Home to colonies of seals, sea lions, and otters, this area, which runs from Big Sur to Bodega Bay in northern California is the site of 11 percent of attacks on humans by great white sharks.
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  22. 22
    Beaches of the Amazon, Brazil
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    While the beach may look inviting, piranha, electric eels, and even anacondas lurk beneath the waters, so you may want to think twice before taking a refreshing dip in the murky river water.
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  23. 23
    Martin County, Florida
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    With over 34 recorded attacks, the beaches of Martin County have one of the highest shark attack rates in the state of Florida. In 2010, a 38-year-old surfer found out that the waters were not safe the hard way when he was attacked and killed by a deadly school of sharks lurking just 500 yards off the beach!
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  24. 24
    Broome Beach, Australia
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    While this beach is beautiful, its waters are full of box jellyfish, the venom of which is extremely toxic to humans and able to stop your heart.
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  25. 25
    Manaus Beach, Brazil
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    The waters off this Amazon beach are full of piranhas, anacondas, and electric eels, all of which can be deadly to humans.
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  26. 26
    Lamu Island Beach, Kenya
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    While it is known for its sparkling sand and beautiful aqua waters, the threat of terrorism from neighboring Somalia makes this beach a risky place to visit.
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  27. 27
    Skeleton Coast Beach, Namibia
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    Named for the many whale and seal skeletons discarded on its sandy shores by the whaling industry, Skeleton Coast Beach is pristine and beautiful, yet deadly for its harsh climate and rough seas. The rusting hulks of shipwrecks also litter the coast, foundered by the howling winds and churning surf.
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  28. 28
    Tamarama Beach, Australia
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    Powerful riptides make this Australian beach one of the most deadly for swimmers in the land down under. These currents have been known to trap even the most knowledgeable swimmers and drag them far from land and into the open ocean.
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  29. 29
    West End Beach, Bahamas
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    Don't let the pristine waters of this Caribbean paradise fool you: lurking underneath the placid waters are dangerous sharks, including the toothy and deadly tiger shark, which is the most numerous shark species in the area.
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  30. 30
    Costa Del Sol, Spain
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    This region of Spain is home sandy beaches which draw tourists from the rest of Europe and around the world to enjoy the warm sunshine and the beautiful blue seas. However, the area is also known for its high winds and a deadly undertow.
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  31. 31
    Shenzhen, China
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    This Chinese beach, located across from Hong Kong, is so popular that the crowds can become deadly. Overcrowded conditions at this beach lead to drowning deaths, which is the number one cause of death in children between the ages of 1 to 14 years in China.
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  32. 32
    Horry County, South Carolina
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    The beaches of Horry County, including the popular Myrtle Beach, have seen a rise in the number of shark attacks in recent years. Although the total number of attacks since the 1830's is 29, two of them occurred in the summer of 2015. Increased fishing activity and drier than expected conditions have contributed to the rise in shark attacks, experts say.
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Categories : Travel & Leisure

Recent edits by: Kathy McGraw

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