Water is usually good for you, but in this case, you better watch out!! From flesh-eating bacteria to radioactive streams, here are 5 places where you definitely shouldn’t swim!
5. Amazon Basin
There is a lot to be said about AmazonBasin. With so much water plunging down from the Andes into the lush canyons of the Amazon, you will certainly find some of the best whitewater rivers in the world, perfect for going white-water rafting. Or if that’s not your cup of tea, maybe you would rather take a canoe ride, or take a rainforest canopy tour. One thing you shouldn’t do is going swimming in the Amazon basin. Most of it is filled with rough waters and dangerous creatures ranging from toxic bacteria to black caimans. There are also plenty of piranhas that will bite if they see shiny jewelry or if you have any sort of cut. Scavenger and parasitic catfish are even more dangerous. The blue whale catfish is one of the scariest fish that can bite you because they have razor-sharp teeth that can tear out a chunk of your flesh in a moment. Parasitic fish like the penis fish can come after, and they can only move in one direction because of its needle-like spines. If one ends up in a human, the only solution is surgery. Usually, they get inside humans when they are urinating in the water so yeah, don’t do this! You can also get zapped by electric eels that hang out by the river bank which can cause excruciating pain and swelling. Flesh-eating bacteria can be found in the sediment of warm standing water almost anywhere in the world. The bacteria can get into your body through your nose and spread. If not treated quickly, the bacteria will start to consume your tissue and you can lose limbs. Did I already mention the large whirlpools that will pop out of nowhere and swallow entire boats? A tour group let 12 people into the water with life preservers, and 11 came back. Swim in the Amazon, but just remember you might not make it.
4. Cape Tribulation, Australia
This place earned its name in 1770 when BritishLieutenant James Cook’s ship sunk. He named it Cape Tribulation because “here begun all our troubles”! Not a good sign! Nowadays here you can find a small number of bed and breakfast lodges, tourism resorts, and backpacker hostels, some very rare plants, beautiful beach landscapes, and a list of dangerous creatures that would be more than happy to take a bite out of a swimmer! Of course! It’s in Australia! If you still think the beautiful beaches are as safe as they look, let’s review some of the dangers one might encounter at CapeTribulation! The most common thing that a swimmer might encounter is jellyfish. Between November and May, this place is full of them so pack your wetsuit. Even then, if you think you’ll be okay…you’re wrong. Stinger suits are just a tasty bonus for crocodiles! Just kidding! They’ll take a bite out of you with or without it. Even away from the water, you can have quite an unpleasant time if you’re not careful! There are lots of places to go hiking but beware of the stinging trees that are all over the place. This tree has heart-shaped leaves with very fine hairs on the leaves. Red berries hang from the trunk, but be careful! If you are tempted to grab one and you somehow touch the leaves you will receive a very painful sting, which will most likely last for a long time!
3. Laguna Caliente
The Poás volcano in Costa Rica is active almost continuously and the main crater is home to one of the most acidic lakes in the world, Laguna Caliente. In April 2017, visitors had to be evacuated because of the increase in gases coming out of the volcano. Tourists at the national park were complaining about eye and throat irritation as they were leaving. This volcano has erupted 40 times since 1828! Laguna Caliente which means “hot lagoon”, is located at a height of over 2000 meters, in a crater 1.7 km wide and 300 meters deep. Due to the high acidity, no aquatic life has been found in it. A fun fact about Laguna Caliente is that it changes colors every once in a while. You might see it as blue or emerald green, but then someone visiting a few hours later might see it as gray or white! Another interesting thing about this lake is that it often experiences eruptions caused by the magma reaching the water. When this happens, because of the extreme heat, the water and acid turn into explosive steam. These giant geysers can reach up to hundreds of meters high! Many guidebooks might claim that Laguna Calienteis a geyser but technically it’s not. The lush tropical forest around the volcano suddenly disappears because of the acid fog and rain caused by Laguna Caliente and other fumaroles.
2. Jacob’s Well Jacob’s
Well is a popular natural swimming spot in Texas. It looks very cool and refreshing at first glance! Especially since Texas can get hot as hell! It’s extremely tempting to get your diving equipment and just jump right in, but it is also a never-ending black hole that has lured divers to their deaths. People consider it one of the most dangerous diving spots in the world! Those with more adventurous spirits love to leap from a nearby outcropping into the well to get away from the heat. You might think you are ready to go in, but most likely you probably aren’t. This blue hole has a diameter of about 4 meters(13 ft) and it descends vertically for about 9 (30 ft). At that point, there are a series of small openings that can lead you into underwater caves that can go down 30 meters (100 feet)or more. In 2007, trained cave divers started exploring the well. To date, they have documented 1828 meters (6,000feet) of passages. What makes Jacob’s well so dangerous is that inexperienced divers love to explore the narrow cave system which can end in some close calls. Not everyone who makes it to the caves located at the bottom of the well will make it back to the surface. There are 8 recorded fatalities between 1964and 1984 but researchers guess there have been many more before that. Just don’t dive and you should be ok!
1. Lake Karachay
Between 1945 and 1948 the Soviet Union decided to build its own plutonium factory in the Ural mountains. Mayak was the largest nuclear facility in Russia and it was kept secret until 1990! But being the largest doesn’t mean being the best, clearly. Actually, the secret nuclear complex was concerned with everything but safety. There were many leaks, meltdowns, and tons of waste that was dumped into the river. Lake Karachay is considered the most polluted place on the planet. In 1990, standing on the shore for an hour could kill you. Now it’s supposedly better but I don’t think you should risk it. The nearby villages who used water from the river fell ill with radiation sickness but doctors weren’t allowed to talk about it because the entire operation was a secret. Lake Karachay is now full of concrete to keep the radioactive soil away from the shore, but the riverbanks will be toxic for hundreds of years. Now, you might not die but still…is it really worth it?