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World’s Deadliest Beaches

SmarterTravel

Does Shark Week have you thinking shark attacks are the only thing you should fear beachside? Think again. From hot lava to snapping piranhas, there are plenty more natural (and man-made) perils you should fear more than just a great white.

For Strong Currents

Don’t go in the water at Zipolite Beach (Mexico) or Hanakapiai Beach (Hawaii) … or you could be added to the wooden tally board of those killed by the current. Zipolite translates to “beach of the dead,” literally.

For Piranhas

The river beaches of beautiful Alter do Chao (Sao Paolo, Brazil) are a prime spot for dangerous piranhas (even paddling is not recommended!).

For Sharks

From great whites (Gansbaai, South Africa) to bull sharks (Second Beach, Port St. John’s, South Africa), South Africa takes the cake for most dangerous country when it comes to the Jaws creatures. Other spots to watch out for sharks: Australia and Florida.

For Venomous Jellyfish

Australia’s Northern Territory box jellyfish can kill you in under five minutes with their 10-foot-long tentacles. And did we mention there are also snakes, crocs, and cassowaries (flightless birds known to attack humans when provoked) to worry about on some of these beaches?

For Lightning Strikes

As one of the most beautiful beaches in Florida, New Smyra Beach (Volusia County, Florida) boasts the most unprovoked shark attacks on humans per square mile (though none have been fatal). But you also have to worry about lightning strikes: Central Florida has more per mile than any other region in the U.S.

For Radiation

Coveted surf spot, Shield Bay (Russia), reportedly contains irradiated water due to its location near cracked underground radioactive storage units from a Russian naval base. Also at risk—Bikini Atoll (Marshall Islands) which was used for nuclear testing by the U.S. in the ’50s.

For Hot Lava

We don’t like our ocean water too cold, but at certain points on this beach you are actually swimming in hot lava. Kilauea Beach (Hawaii) has a volcano that has been erupting since 1983, bringing water temperatures to over 100 degrees (while the lava itself reaches temperatures in the thousands.)

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Photos: (Photo: Rick McCharles via flickr/CC Attribution) (Photo: Rick McCharles via flickr/CC Attribution) (Photo: Fozzman via flickr/CC Attribution) (Photo: paularps via flickr/CC Attribution) (Photo: Hawaiian Sea via flickr/CC Attribution)

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