What could be more enjoyable and relaxing than a trip to the beach? Just be sure to pick your beach wisely. Sharks, currents, rogue waves, and jellyfish are just some of the dangers that lurk on the world’s most dangerous beaches.
Reunion Island, France
This tropical island off the coast of Madagascar was a well-liked vacation spot, particularly for surfers, but a sharp increase in shark attacks (at least 20 since 2011) has led to eight fatalities, with the most recent being a surfer in February 2017 Tourism has declined dramatically, and the cause of the attacks is still being debated.
Fraser Island, Australia
This island, located just off the coast of Queensland, is an ecotourism destination with more than its fair share of potential hazards. Swimming is dangerous due to rough waves and currents, sharks, and venomous jellyfish, while dingoes (a type of wild dog) may attack humans without provocation.
Gansbaai, South Africa
This beach south of Cape Town is the closest to Shark Alley, a narrow channel between two offshore islands where great white sharks can be found in large numbers. On Dyer Island, a large colony of Cape fur seals draws a lot of predators as well as tourists looking for thrills by cage-diving.
Between October and May each year, venomous box jellyfish swarms are frequent in this region. Crocodiles are a problem year-round, and sharks are present as well. If you’re in Darwin and want to swim, stick to patrolled beaches and always heed lifeguard warnings.
New Smyrna Beach (Florida, USA)
This Orlando-area beach had the most shark attacks recorded at nearly 240 as of 2013—more than any other beach on the planet. Fortunately, most of these attacks are not fatal so because sharks here are small black-tip reef and bull varieties, but it’s still best to avoid the water.