30 Dangerous Places Where You Should Absolutely Never Swim

By Camila

on Mon Jun 08 2020

Swimming is a fun way to burn calories, work your muscles, and escape the heat on a hot summer afternoon. But you probably didn’t know that swimming can also be pretty dangerous, especially if you step foot in any of these high-risk lakes, rivers, and oceans. Only problem is, these swimming spots look pretty normal at first sight! But don’t be fooled! Dipping your toes could cost you your life.

The Boiling Lake, Dominica


The Boiling Lake in the island of Dominica might sound all warm and bubbly. But swimming in these bubbling blue waters definitely won’t feel like a relaxing day at a spa or a whirlpool. Lurking underneath the surface, you will find scolding hot magma that causes the water to boil. So, taking a dip here is like jumping into a boiling pot of water.

Jacob’s Well, South-Central Texas

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The water in Jacob’s Well in South-Central Texas is so clear that swimmers can see all the way down. But as tempting and inviting as it may look, you’d have to have a death wish to jump into these dangerous waters. Underneath the surface, there’s a system of caverns and tunnels that look like the ultimate adventure. Sadly, many thrill seekers who scuba dive in these waters or explore the caves don’t make it back alive. In fact, at least eight or nine adventurers have passed away at Jacob’s Well.

Blue Lagoon, England


The Blue Lagoon of Buxton in Derbyshire, England can trick anyone into assuming the water is safe because of its pristine-looking waters. But the lake’s pH levels are at 11.3, so basically, swimming in this lagoon is like swimming in a giant tub of ammonia and bleach.

The Nile River, Africa


It’s best to steer clear from the treacherous Nile River in Africa. Unless you want to come face to face with the many crocodiles, deadly snakes, and spiders that live there. In fact, there are about 100 attacks being reported every year. So, anyone who values their arms and legs should consider swimming somewhere else.

Hanakapiai Beach, Hawaii


The Hanakapiai Beach in the Hawaiian islands is a beautiful location to sunbathe and take some great Instagram pics. This idyllic stretch of sand offers plenty of sun, beautiful waves, coral reefs, and a beautiful hiking trail called Kalalau Trail, located just a few miles away. But don’t be fooled by the the tempting iridescent turquoise waters. Unfortunately, the beach is extremely dangerous. Rip currents are so strong, they can sweep away even the most experienced swimmer. What’s even more hazardous is the fact that the nearest shore is about six miles away. The Hanakapiai Beach has claimed the lives of over 80 people.

Bubbly Creek, Chicago, Illinois

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The Bubbly Creek is a section of the Chicago River in Illinois where you absolutely don’t want to go for a swim. There are all sorts of nasty things floating in the water like some seriously gross runoff that’s been dumped into the creek like litter, raw sewage, animal remains, heavy metal contaminants and discarded meat. As the trash decays, bubbles form, which is how the creek got its name.

The Samaesan Hole, Thailand


The Sameasan Hole in Thailand is one of the deepest diving holes in the world, plummeting 280 feet deep into the ground. As exotic as it may look, the hole is so deep that even an experienced diver won’t be able to see a thing inside this dark abyss. This makes it easy to get lost and impossible to get back to the surface before the oxygen in the tanks run out. But the Sameasan Hole is also hiding a scary secret. It used to be a former military dumping ground, so the are tons of unexploded bombs scattered on the sea bed. Scary!

Lake Karachay, Russia


Lake Karachay in Central Russia is pretty toxic, and it’s all thanks to the Mayak Production Association. The nuclear waste storage and processing facility has been dumping radioactive waste in this beautiful lake for ages. Swimming in these waters can cost someone their life in an hour. Even standing on the shore isn’t safe because of the high levels of radiation.

Eagle’s Nest Sinkhole, Florida


Eagle’s Nest Sinkhole is located in west-central Florida in the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area. The underwater caverns found underwater are a beautiful sight. But even experienced divers undermine how dangerous the sinkhole can be. Although it’s okay to swim in these waters, diving is not recommended because the hole is about 300 feet in depth. Many adventurers who tried to explore the beautiful underwater passages at Eagle Nest lost their lives.

Kipu Falls, East Kauai, Hawaii


Kipu Falls is located in East Kauai, Hawaii and is a mystical getaway filled with whirlpools, a giant waterfall, and mountains. As beautiful as it is, this place is responsible for many deaths. In fact, over the span of five years, five people have perished and there have been many injuries reported as well. Many swimmers have been pulled 20 feet under water by the strong currents seconds after jumping head first in these waters.

The Amazon Basin, South America


The Amazon Basin in South America offers incredible wonders and terrors that can freeze someone’s soul. Travelers should avoid swimming in these waters at all costs because they’re infested with piranhas, barracudas, and tons of other dangerous underwater animals. Rumor has it, the Basin is also home to Candiru fish which likes to swim up people’s urinary tract and wreck their reproductive organs.

Lake Victoria, Africa

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Lake Victoria in Africa is so vast that it’s considered the third largest lake in the world. It’s also prone to some unpredictable water conditions, like its massive waves that have reportedly claim the lives of 5,000 swimmers every year. It’s also tipped over boats. Its volatile microclimate has tipped over boats that can’t fight the strength of the wind and the powerful waves.

Horseshoe Lake, California

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The Horseshoe Lake in Mono County, California, is a swimmer’s nightmare. Earthquakes released highly toxic carbon dioxide from underneath the surface. It’s so bad that it killed all the area’s vegetation, too. So, imagine what it can do to swimmers!

Rio Tinto, Spain

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Rio Tinto in Spain contains high concentrations of natural metals, which makes the water highly acidic. Years of mining pollution have turn this Spanish river into a breeding ground for iron-oxidizing bacteria and sulfur-oxidizing bacteria. The colorful water could live swimmers with a painful and potentially fatal exfoliating experience. So you may not be able to swim there but it’s still a gorgeous place to visit!

The Ganges River, India


The Ganges River in India was once considered a hot spot for tourists looking for a swim, but when the area became heavily industrialized, the water got polluted with carbon emissions. Sadly, the locals have also contributed by throwing away their trash and plastic waste which have pretty much made the river unsuitable to swim in.

Gansbaai Beach, South Africa

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Gansbaai Beach is a region off the coast of South Africa. It’s also known as the Great White Shark Capital, and for a very good reason. The waters are infested with sharks who can smell a tasty swimmer from a mile away. While people are forbidden from diving without proper equipment, divers can sink in these dangerous waters inside a cage with metal rods.

Hoover Dam, Nevada


The Hoover Dam which borders the states of Nevada and Arizona is neither safe nor legal to swim in. The number of intakes around the dam produces strong currents that will pull anything down, so anyone that goes in, will definitely not come out. Oh, and if you try to swim there, you’ll most likely end up imprisoned.

Citarum River, Indonesia


The Citarum River in Indonesia is also known as the world’s most polluted river, although you probably wouldn’t realize it at first sight. Unfortunately, this beauty is a real beast thanks to the hundreds of textile factories that have polluted the water with lead, mercury and arsenic, making the river too dangerous for people to swim in.

The Gulf Coast, Southern United States

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The Gulf Coast located off the southern United States is a herpetologist’s dream come true thanks to all the snakes slithering around in the water. So, anyone looking to swim in this area better swim fast if they see one heading their way because they’re highly poisonous.

Reunion Island, Madagascar


Reunion Island is located off the coast of Madagascar, and it’s also home to a ton of sharks. The island has recorded approximately 39 shark attacks, so anyone looking to swim in the world’s shark capital is risking all of their limbs as well as their lives.

The Strid, Yorkshire, England

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The mystical Strid is located in the middle of Yorkshire, England, but its dangerous waters can take anyone out in a heartbeat. The threat is not easily visible but there are tiny hidden currents that can drag anyone under and keep them trapped under the rocks.

Queensland, Australia


Queensland, Australia has everything for every traveler from surfing spots to rain forest retreats, but it also has some pretty dangerous creatures. The shores have lots of box jellyfish whose sting can cause swimmers’ hearts to stop. But sharks, saltwater crocodiles, and blue-ringed octopi are also lurking underwater. Not a place you’d want to swim in, right?

Bolinas Beach, California


Bolinas Beach in California isn’t exactly a swimmer’s paradise. The waters are full of great white sharks, and they tend to confuse divers for the seals and turtles that roam the area. So, avoid Bolinas Beach, because around here, swimmers can easily become lunch meat.

New Smyrna Beach, Florida


New Smyrna Beach is in Florida and is home to a number of dangerous sea creatures, particularly sharks. That doesn’t mean that it’s not a great place to visit in the summer, but it’s probably safer to sunbathe or play beach volleyball in the sand and avoid the water.

Victoria Falls, Zambia


Victoria Falls in Zambia has one of the most breathtaking waterfalls in the world, which is why adrenaline junkies love it. But the edge of the falls is also known for its precipitous death fall, (cleverly nicknamed “The Devil’s Pools”) because swimmers can’t see the dip in the fall’s lip and fall to their untimely end. Plus, there are wild animals roaming nearby like elephants, crocodiles, and hippos.

Potomac River, Maryland and West Virginia


The Potomac River is located near the states of Maryland and West Virginia and attracts a lot of swimmers. But the river’s rapids are very powerful and can pull someone to the bottom quite easily. The currents are so strong that even the best swimmer can’t break free. If you visit this hot touristy spot, you’ll be met with a sign that says “If You Enter the River, You Will Die.”

West End, Grand Bahama Islands


The West End in the Grand Bahama Islands turns swimmers into easy bait for the deadly tiger sharks, one of the most dangerous creatures in the sea. Anyone foolish enough to go for a swim in these waters will end up in pieces.

Lake Kivu, Rwanda

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The calm and lovely waters at Lake Kivu in Rwanda can fool anyone into thinking that the water is calm and lovely. But this place is anything but peaceful. The lake is known to be an “exploding lake” because occasionally it can erupt. This is due to a nearby a volcano. When the lake erupts, toxic levels of carbon dioxide and methane are released that make the water toxic to living things.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

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Myrtle Beach in South Carolina looks calm, but it can be dangerous and unpredictable. The waters are full of cannonball jellyfish that can sting and leave swimmers paralyzed and unable to make it to shore. The beach also has strong rip tides that pose a threat, too.

Gulf of Thailand, Thailand


The Gulf of Thailand’s oceans are full of eight-inch long box jellyfish whose stings that are so powerful, they can paralyze a swimmer and cause them to drown. Anyone willing to take their chances and swim here is definitely playing with fire.