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25 Most Dangerous Tourist Attractions

Alnwick Gardens

England

Despite its harmless sounding names, this is not your grandmother’s garden. The Duchess of Northumberland, Jane Percy, decided to collect some of the rarest plants in the world, even including some deadly ones into the mix. Although visitors are kept at a distance from the dangerous plants, anyone who would sneak into the Poison Garden would be making their last mistake.

(image via Steve F, CC)

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Skellig Michael

Ireland

The views from the top of the small, craggy island of Skellig Michael are unbeatable--but the trip itself is unbearable. Most visitors come to see the ancient monastery on the island, and that just inconveniently happens to be located at the top of a precarious path of 600 steps that are more than 1000 years old. Several people have died over the years because of this dangerous trek, and there was even a safety review board that determined a fatality is likely to occur once every five to fifty years. 

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Praia de Boa Viagem

Brazil

While this Brazilian beach draws countless tourists each year, it is also known for its history of shark attacks. Since 1992, there have been over 60 reported incidents. This, however, isn’t enough to keep adventure seekers from swarming to the beach each year.

(image via aduarteweb, CC)

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The Kokoda and Black Cat Trails

Papua New Guinea

This trail, a 60-mile stretch of Papua New Guinea jungle, is one of the most dangerous on the planet. Between the unforgiving heat, dangerous wildlife, and armed locals, there are many people each year who do not make it out alive. Also, many foxholes and weaponry left over from World War II are still lying around, which can lead to serious injury.

(image via dfataustralianaid, CC)

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El Caminito Del Rey

Spain

Caminito Del Rey is a man-made walkway along the side of a mountain claimed the lives of enough people to have it closed to the public, but that didn't stop people from trespassing along its deadly path. In 2015, the path reopened after many years of renovations to the deteriorated concrete and exposed rusted metal supports.

(image via katexic, CC)

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Yosemite National Park’s Half Dome

California

This ascent is over 5,000 feet, much of which is nearly vertical. While it may sound like a rock climber’s dream, the Half Dome has taken about 60 lives. It is estimated that those who do make it to the top burn between 4,000 and 10,000 calories in doing so.

(image via janitors, CC)

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The Beaches of Acapulco

Mexico

While its beaches may be lovely, the crime rate of Acapulco is nearly 30 times that of the average American city. Once a favored vacation spot for Hollywood's biggest stars during the 1950s, the city is now overrun with gang violence. The large number of murders is normally drug related, but unfortunately, tourists sometimes get caught in the middle.

(image via Jeff Futo, CC)

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Cliffs of Moher

Ireland

With their stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and Irish countryside, it is no wonder why travelers are drawn to the Cliffs of Moher. However, the steep hills and rugged walkways have seen many people plummet to their deaths. For this reason, the area has an unfortunate distinction of being a popular suicide location.

(image via alexranaldi, CC)

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Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

Hawai'i

At Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, more adventures tourists are taken to the mouth of an active volcano and ride bicycles down. This attraction has been temporarily shut down more than once due to deaths. The active volcanoes of Hawai'i have been known to erupt frequently, resulting in serious burns to some of the visitors unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity.

(image via art-sarah, CC)

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The Colorado River System

Colorado

The Colorado river system may be deceptive, but melting snow and heavy rains fill these waters causing them to have treacherous currents which have been known to suck people under. In 2007 alone, the river system logged 12 deaths and 176 near fatal injuries. Whitewater raft at your own risk.

(image via mypubliclands, CC)

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Death Valley

California

With a name like Death Valley, what did you expect? When you add in the fact that it’s also the hottest place in the United States (and one of the hottest in the world), its reputation for danger really begins to make sense. While deaths from heat exhaustion are the main concern here, extreme weather conditions, like flash flooding, also pose a risk.  

Wikipedia
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Valley of Death

Russia

Not content to let America have all the fun, Russia has its own Valley of Death at the base of the Kikhpinych volcano. However, the danger here lies in the toxic gas released by the volcano--it’s killed all plant and animal life in the valley, and humans notice symptoms immediately upon entering the area.  

Wikipedia
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Action Park

New Jersey

When Action Park opened in 1978, it was one of the first water parks of its kind. However, most people today remember it for the numerous injuries occurred. 40 foot waves in the wave pool, a water slide with a loop, live electrical wires in the water--it’s no wonder this place was shut down in 1996.  

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SeaWorld

San Diego

Whether you’re a human or an animal, you’re probably not safe at SeaWorld. Over the years, trainers have sustained injuries from encounters with orcas. One orca in particular, Tilikum, was responsible for the deaths of three employees. 

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Christmas Island

Australia

Christmas Island is an idyllic Australian destination home to exciting wildlife species like the coconut crab. They sound cute and tropical, right? Wong! These monsters can grow up to three feet and are found, not just on beaches, but in the trees as well. Sounds more sci-fi than Christmas! 

(Image via Pinterest)
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North Korea

While tourism is technically allowed in North Korea, it’s highly regulated by the government--less than 10,000 Westerners are permitted to enter each year. But that raises the question of why you would want to visit in the first place. While the majority of their human rights violations fall upon the citizens of North Korea, the hermit kingdom has been known to imprison and torture visitors for “disrespecting” the country, too. 

Wikipedia
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Danakil Desert

Ethiopia

It’s no wonder that the Danakil desert is a popular tourist spot in Ethiopia--its brightly colored terrain is truly something to see. Unfortunately, the desert is home to volcanic activity, which means that toxic gases abound and breathable oxygen is in short supply. 

Wikipedia
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New Smyrna Beach

Florida

The hit movie Jaws made people more afraid of shark attacks than they should be. The chances of being killed by one are tiny--unless you’re visiting New Smyrna beach, that is. With a tally of 250 recorded incidents, it holds the record for most shark attacks per square mile. 

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Bikini Atoll

Marshall Islands

Bikini Atoll may look like a paradise untouched by humans, but that’s definitely not the case. The area served as a nuclear testing site in the 1940s and 50s--meaning the land is still teeming with radiation. Visits to Bikini Atoll itself are now restricted, but you can still take boat tours around it...if you’re not worried about growing a third arm!

Wikipedia
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Middlemoor Water Park

England

A water park trebuchet is one of the most self-evidently terrible ideas in human history. And yet, here we are. For the low, low price of $60, brave (re: stupid) riders could load themselves up and be launched into the air at 60 mph into the “safety” of a net. Despite numerous injuries, the trebuchet remained in service until 2002, when a rider missed the net and was killed.  

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Mont Blanc

Alps

You might think Mount Everest is the deadliest climb in the world, but that (dis)honor actually goes to Mont Blanc--the tallest mountain in the Alps. While only about 200 people total have died climbing Everest, Mont Blanc sees about 100 fatalities a year.   

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Eagles Nest Cave

Florida

A dangerous destination in Florida--who would have thought? Referred to by some as the underwater version of Mount Everest, this sinkhole with depths of up to 300 feet has claimed twelve lives since the 80s. 

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Barcelona

Spain

While there’s nothing particularly deadly about a visit to Barcelona, it is home to some of the most “talented” pickpockets in the world. You might not lose a limb, but being stranded in a foreign country without a wallet or passport sounds pretty dangerous to me. 

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Pamplona

Spain

A simple visit Pamplona, Spain is probably not going to put you in danger. But many tourists come here for one reason only--the Running of the Bulls. This festival, in which bulls chase participants down the streets of the city, is exactly as reckless as it sounds. If you’re not looking to get gored, you might want to plan around those dates. 

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Trift Bridge

Switzerland

Structurally, Trift Bridge in Swizerland is incredibly secure--you’re not in any real danger. But try convincing yourself of that as you stare into the 300 foot gulf below you! 

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