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30 Most Dangerous Beaches in the World

Kilauea, Hawaii

Color us surprised that a beach near an active volcano might be a dangerous place to be. The gorgeous and unusual black sand of Kilauea beaches make it an obviously popular spot, but the volcanic fumes can be dangerous to your health--especially for the young or elderly. It goes without saying that you should probably also avoid swimming when molten lava is pouring into the ocean nearby. 


New Smyrna Beach, Florida

New Smyrna Beach is an all-American vacation spot with your classic, all-American shark problem. This stretch of ocean is home to large schools of fish, and we can't blame the sharks for wanting an easy meal. However, we will blame the sharks for mistaking multiple surfers for guppies. 

Boa Viagem Beach, Brazil

There are shark-infested waters...and there there's Boa Viagem Beach in Brazil. This gorgeous, tropical spot has one of the highest rates for shark attacks in the entire world, and the death rate from these attacks reaches almost 40%. 

Hanakapiai Beach, Hawaii

Hanakapiai Beach in Hawaii is so dangerous that you can't even technically access it--all roads have been cut off. The rip tide here has been responsible for the deaths of at least 83 people. 

Gansbaai, South Africa

Gansbaai Beach in South Africa has a well-deserved reputation problem. It's known as the "great white shark capital of the world." That's all we need to hear to stay away. If you're feeling adventurous, though, you can arrange an underwater exploration to see these majestic creatures face to face--within the safety of a metal cage, of course. 

Playa Zipolite, Mexico

If you visit Playa Zipolite in Mexico you're safe and long as you stay on the beach, that is. This is another spot with a powerful rip tide notorious for dragging swimmers far out to sea. 

Skeleton Coast, Namibia

Here we have another beach who advertises its danger right in its name. Skeleton Coast in Nambia is known for a few things: a lethal current that has caused numerous shipwrecks, 11 species of sharks, and maybe the occasional lion or hyena roaming around. No biggie, right? 

Virginia Beach, USA

Virginia Beach is a beautiful vacation spot nearby our nation's capital, but things aren't all fun in the sun here. While sharks won't be a huge problem, you will have to deal with an increased population of foxes and feral hogs, meaning you'll probably be running toward the ocean in terror instead of away from it. 

Copacabana Beach, Brazil

You won't find views more spectacular than at Copacabana Beach. The problem here isn't in the environment--it's the petty crime that plagues this idyllic spot. 

Fraser Island, Australia

Poor Australia, it just can't catch a break when it comes to dangerous beaches. At Fraser Island, you're likely to find irukandji--one of the most venomous species of jellyfish known to man. At best, their sting will cause symptoms like pain, vomiting, and sweating. At worst they can lead to cardiac arrest. Oh, and there are also large packs of dingoes roaming the beach. Did we forget to mention them? 

Utakleiv Beach, Norway

The scenic Utakliev Beach in Norway is a beautiful destination and a prime spot to see the northern lights. But don't you dare think about bringing your swimming trunks and taking a dip. Even in the summer, the waters only reach about 50 degrees, which is considered life-threatening to humans. 

Cape Tribulation, Australia

If the name is any indicator, Cape Tribulation is a trying place. While the stereotype about Australia being home to all sorts of terrifying and dangerous creatures isn't always true, it most definitely is at this beach. This spot is the stomping ground for cassowaries--an aggressive species of flightless bird that can weigh up to 160 pounds! It's best to leave them to their own devices and take your chances with the jellyfish and venomous snakes that also call Cape Tribulation home. 


North Sentinel Island Beach, India

Chances are you'll never actually be on North Sentinel Island, but if, for whatever reason, you find yourself there, it's best to make a quick exit. It's home to a remote tribe who wants no contact with the outside world--and they've been known to kill people who don't respect their wishes. 


Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands

While the island of Bikini Atoll looks stunning, we also know that looks can be deceiving. In the 1940s and '50s, the US government used this spot as a place to test nuclear weapons, which has meant radiation problems ever since. Visiting Bikini Atoll is considered generally safe, but eating food that is grown on the island is discouraged, as it could still be contaminated. 


Staithes Beach, UK

You won't find any dangerous sea creatures waiting to take off your leg at Staithes Beach. But you might still lose one from a gnarly bacterial infection! Thanks to the sewage that runs into the ocean here, it's known as one of the most polluted beaches in Europe. The microscopic nasties lurking in the water here include meningitis and E. coli! 


Chowpatty Beach, India

You won't find any unbeatable views or blue waters at Chowpatty Beach in India--it's home to some of the most polluted water in the world. If you're looking for a swim, look elsewhere, because no one should step foot in this water. 

Dumas Beach, India

The main threat at Dumas Beach in India is the king cobras. But if venomous snakes aren't enough to keep you away from the water, you should also know that it's considered one of the most haunted beaches in the world. Apparently even ghosts like to have a little fun in the sun. 


Red Triangle, California

The Red Triangle isn't a beach per se, but rather, it's a stretch of coastline in northern California. And you know that they don't call it "Red Triangle" for nothing--11% of all great white shark attacks take place in this stretch of ocean. 


Cable Beach, Australia

Cable Beach is a real who's who of terrifying Australian creatures. You've got poisonous snakes and spiders on the beach, while the water is home to pointer sharks, box jellyfish, and the occasional saltwater crocodile. It's like a petting zoo from hell. 

Tamarama Beach, Australia

It's Australia, so this is a shark-infested beach, right? Wrong! While you might not lose a leg in the waters off Tamarama Beach, you might be pulled to see by the powerful riptide. 

Darwin, Australia

On the island of Darwin in Australia, it's survival of the fittest--and let me assure you that you are definitely not the fittest when you visit here. Home to crocodiles and sharks year round and box jellyfish for several months annually, there's nary a creature here who doesn't want to do you harm. 


Mindanao Island, Philippines

Mindanao Island is another spot where there's nothing wrong with the environment--it's a gorgeous beach. However, it's also a site of conflict between the Philippine government and Muslim rebels, which means it should probably be avoided. 

Amazon Beaches, South America

The Amazon river is big enough that it's got its own beaches, which you should probably avoid. Between the piranhas, electric eels, and anacondas that roam these waters, it's not worth the effort. 

Reunion Island, Indian Ocean

The only things being reunited on Reunion Island are you and your fear of sharks. With 20 attacks and seven deaths since 2011, it's one of the more shark-infested places in the world. 

Schitovaya Bukhta, Russia

While you might not think of Russia as a surfing hotspot, there's a surprising bit that goes on at Schitovaya Bukhta. Know what else is surprising about the place? The Soviet-era submarines leaking radiation under the water. 


Lamu Island Beach, Kenya

The pristine beaches of Lamu Island in Kenya would be the perfect place for a sunny getaway...if it weren't for violent conflict in nearby Somalia. 

West End Beach, Bahamas

You probably won't find many great white sharks at West End Beach in the Bahamas, but you're likely to run into their equally terrifying cousin, the tiger shark--who has the distinction of being the species with the second most deadly attacks on humans. 

Costa del Sol, Spain

Costa del Sol is a beautiful Spanish beach that draws tourists from all over Europe annually. And most of them have a great time--assuming they can weather the dangerously high winds and undertow in the ocean. 

Shenzhen, China

Shenzhen Beach is one of the most popular beaches in China--so much so that it becomes dangerously overcrowded. This has led to numerous deaths of small children who have drowned while swimming here. 


Heard Island Beach, Australia

Heard Island is a part of Australia, but unlike other Australian beaches, you won't find many poisonous or otherwise dangerous animals here. Instead, it's the temperature that will get you. While it's technically a portion of the land down under, it's actually closer to Antarctica, meaning that water temperatures are deadly pretty much all year round.