Places You Should NEVER EVER Swim - Part 2

From one of the most toxic lakes in the world to a blood-red boiling pool, let's dive into bodies of water around the world that you should never swim in.


From one of the most toxic lakes in the world to a blood-red boiling pool which resembles the depths of hell itself, here are 10 killer bodies of water around the world that you should never swim in. Seriously, these aren’t even worth a cautious dip.

10. New Smyrna Beach

Everyone loves a day out at the beach, right? Ice cream in hand, tanning on the hot sands before taking a cool swim in the sea. However, that's not always a good idea, at least not at this beach in Florida.

This stretch of unsuspecting sand and sea on the east coast is not only a popular destination for eager beach-goers but also has been recognized as one of the world’s top surfing spots. Don’t rush to grab your board just yet, though, because lurking just beneath the waves is one of the largest and most popular shark hang-out zones known to man.

New Smyrna Beach

Frequented by the aggressive bull shark, New Smyrna Beach has one of the highest rates of recorded shark attacks in the world, accounting for a third of all attacks in 2008 alone. In fact, the International Shark Attack file has recognized this beach as the ‘shark attack capital of the world’.

Scientists have even estimated that you will likely be within 10 meters of one of these toothy creatures at any given time while swimming. This is definitely one place where you truly enter the water at your own peril.

9. Berkeley Pit

This massive artificial body of water in Butte, Montana is 1,780-foot-deep and was originally used as a copper mine when it first opened in 1955. After the drainage pipes were shut off in 1982, though, groundwater from surrounding areas began to slowly fill the pit, creating a delightful cocktail of heavy metals and dangerous chemicals like copper, arsenic, cadmium, zinc and sulfuric acid.

Berkeley Pit

As a result, the water (which is both rusty-hued at its surface level and reportedly the color of Mountain Dew at its depths) now has a pH level of 2.5, which is around the level of cola or lemon juice.

If this fatal combination of acidic fizzy-drink-like water is still enough to tempt you in, though, be well warned that you wouldn’t be the first to meet a sticky end in the pit. In 1984, an innocent flock of snow geese decided to take refuge in the lake one night, and all 342 birds were found dead by the following day, their internal organs severely burned by the toxic water.

8. Exploding Lakes

These seriously are lakes which could explode and engulf you at any moment. Lake Nyos and Lake Monoun in Cameroon and Lake Kivu in Rwanda are prime examples of a risky swim which could quickly spell your untimely demise, so it’s no surprise that they have become known as the ‘killer lakes’.

Exploding Lakes Lake Nyos

These lakes are immensely dangerous because they’re formed above pools of hot, volcanic magma which, when releasing methane and carbon dioxide into the water with enough pressure, can cause what’s known as a ‘lake overturn’.

Although very rare, when this natural phenomenon does occur, it creates a large cloud of deadly carbon dioxide which bursts through the water in what is scientifically known as a ‘limnic eruption’.

Places You Should NEVER EVER Swim - Part 2

These killer lakes have already caused mass devastation; 37 people suffocated to death after a deadly gas eruption at Lake Monoun in 1984, and just two years later in 1986 a catastrophic explosion at Lake Nyos killed 1700 people and 3500 livestock, also creating a tsunami which destroyed nearby towns and villages.

7. Round Valley Reservoir

From the dangerous to the downright strange, here is a wildly popular tourist spot many would never think twice about avoiding for a casual swim. But beware, because once you enter the water at Round Valley Reservoir, you might never be seen again.

Round Valley Reservoir

This deep, circular valley Located in Hunterdon County, New Jersey seems like the perfect place to spend a summer afternoon, and many pleasure seekers enjoy activities from scuba diving, boating and fishing to camping and hiking around the serene lake.

The cool, calm water here generally makes for a pleasant swim, too. It certainly isn’t hot enough to boil you alive and it definitely won’t explode anytime soon, and yet, Round Valley Reservoir harbors a reputation as one of the world’s most cursed lakes.

Round Valley Reservoir

There have been over 30 reported mysterious deaths and disappearances in the reservoir since 1971, which claimed its first victims in 1973 when two brothers vanished after their boat inexplicably capsized under otherwise calm conditions.

Dozens more unrecovered bodies remain in the watery depths, and with some witnesses claiming unseen hands have pulled people beneath the crisp, clear water, would you dare to dip in the “Bermuda Triangle of New Jersey”?

6. Otjikoto Lake

If there’s one thing which might make you seriously consider entering a dangerous lake, it’s treasure, and this small lake in Namibia, Africa is rumored to possess so much of it that is more famously known as the ‘Lake of Gold’.

But how did so much valuable booty end up at the bottom of this small, circular sinkhole lake, and why has no one managed to successfully reap the reward?

 Otjikoto Lake

During World War l, Otjikoko Lake served as a dumping ground for German troops who abandoned all manner of war materials in the lake before their surrender in 1915. Alongside the swathes of cannons, firearms and ammunition left to sink to the deep, though, is a rumored 6 million gold marks, which has made the lake irresistible to greedy treasure hunters.

Before you rush off to go gold-hunting yourself, though, you should probably know that no one has ever found the gold at the lake's dizzying depths, and all that dormant weaponry might make for a less-than-pleasant dive.

Watch on YouTube

5. Chinoike-Jigoku, Beppu Hells (Japan)

Japan is home to some pretty stellar natural sights, and the Beppu Hells Springs in central Oita are surely no exception. Attracting over 60,000 tourists during its ‘Golden Week’ with eight natural hot springs or ‘Onsen’, some of the cobalt-blue waters at Beppu really do look like heaven on earth.

 Chinoike-Jigoku,BeppuHills (Japan)

Don’t be too fooled though, because these pools also harbor an array of pretty nasty secrets, so much so that they have a far more sinister local name: the 8 fiery “pits of hell”.

The most menacing looking among them, called Chinoike-Jigoku, otherwise known as the “Blood Pond Hell”, owes its delicate name to the acidic iron and magnesium-filled clay which oozes from the ground below, causing both the water and the steam itself to turn completely red in color.

 Chinoike-Jigoku, BeppuHills (Japan)

At an estimated 1300 years old, it doesn’t help that the pool itself was originally used to torture people and boil them to death, only furthering its hellish reputation. Tthe water at Chinoike-Jigokucan also reaches a staggering 78 °C, so taking a dip here would probably be like bathing in a pool of boiling blood.

4. Acid Lake

Much like Beppu’s “Blood Pool Hell”, the name Acid Lake itself should be enough to make you instantly recoil before you decide to dip a curious toe in the water. This brightly colored turquoise lake nestled right at the crater of the Kawah Ijen volcano in Java, Indonesia truly looks like the stuff of dreams.

Kawah Igen volcano in Java Acid Lake

An innocent onlooker might even imagine this lethal lake to be like a beautiful natural hot spring with endless views of the mountains beyond. But choose to take a relaxing dunk in this pool and you will probably return a mere pile of bones. This is because the water in this lake has a pH of less than 0.3 on a scale of 0-14.

For some perspective, while 7 is considered ‘neutral’ a pH of 1 is around the same as battery acid, so you can only imagine just how lethal this lake water could be. And the vibrant turquoise color is simply a result of materials such as hydrochloric and sulfuric acid dissolved in the water.

3. Naruto Whirlpools

Ever wondered what it might be like to get sucked down a giant plughole? Should you ever wish to find out, then Japan’s biggest tidal whirlpool, located in the Naruto strait, a channel between Naruto and Awaji Island in Hyōgo, might just be the perfect spot.

Places You Should NEVER EVER Swim

Connecting the Pacific Ocean and the Inland Sea, the Naruto whirlpool is the fourth fastest whirlpool in the world and is capable of creating vortices of up to 20 meters in diameter as the tide moves large amounts of water to the Inland sea twice a day.

Watch on YouTube

The meeting place of two opposing currents at this point forms a powerful vortex which can suck any object beneath the water’s surface, dragging them to the seabed with immense strength. If you do want to catch a glimpse at this incredible natural phenomenon, it is probably best viewed from the safety of the Naruto Bridge, which passes directly over the strait.

2. Lake Natron

This extraordinary lake in Rift Valley, Tanzania recently earned itself an almost mythical reputation for seemingly turning any poor creature who entered it to stone. The mummified corpses of some of Tanzania’s native flamingo population, alongside bats and other small birds, turned up on the shores of this mysterious alkaline lake.

As if things couldn’t get more horrifying, it has a deep crimson color due to the high levels of bacteria inhabiting it. As it turns out, to claim that Lake Natron possesses some serious Medusa-like abilities for immortalizing its victims is a bit of a stretch, but the high levels of sodium carbonate flowing into the lake from surrounding hills are enough to calcify the corpses of anything that perishes in the lake in a process similar to Egyptian mummification.

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Due to its incredibly high pH level and caustic qualities, a swim in this lake would definitely burn your eyes, and the rest of your body, since the water temperature often reaches 60 degrees. While the lake itself is deceptively shallow in some areas, other parts are in fact a few meters deep, and it has also been thought that the water's highly reflective surface is enough to trick passing birds into diving below the surface.

Lake Natron (Tanzania) – 2017-03-06 (very early in rainy season) – satellite image (cropped)

1. Buriganga River

While most of the lakes and rivers on this list will likely kill you due to natural phenomena or freak environmental incidents, the Buriganga River in Bangladesh is a man-made human death trap.

Pollution by a factory on the bank of the Buriganga near Dhaka 04

The river flows past the southwest outskirts of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, and has been referred to as a ‘dead river’ due to the vast amounts of toxic waste polluting the water from local tanning factories.

The Bangladeshi leather industry is worth around 1 billion dollars per year and is responsible for luxury leather items all over the US and Europe, but the tanning industry also hides a sinister secret. Huge factories dump up to 22,000 cubic meters of toxic waste into the main river supply every day, making the ‘tanning capital’ of the Hazaribagh district alone one of the 5 most notoriously polluted places on earth.

buriganga river toxic waste leather industry

Locals who swim and fish in the river suffer from a number of ailments, and experience chronic diarrhea, severe itching, paling skin and even the yellowing of their eyeballs, making the water here more than deadly.

I hope you were amazed at these dangerous places you should never swim, you might want to read part 1, our article about horrifyingly mysterious lakes and our article about some of the most dangerous lakes in the world. As always, Thanks for reading!

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