The Most Dangerous Places to Swim Around the World – Ranked

Going for a swim can sound like a lot of fun! A new fad in the world today is to close your eyes, spin the globe and pick a place to go. Well before you do, make sure to read up on our list of places you never swim in. Not everybody of water is meant for a human’s body, and if you make the mistake in dipping into the wrong spot, it may be the last dip you have had. Enjoy our list of 40 places you never want to swim in. Okay so maybe a few of them are safe under the right conditions, but for others, you will be surprised they even existed!

47. Sea Snakes Have Entered the Gulf of Mexico

There aren’t supposed to be any sea snakes in Gulf waters. They normally dwell in the Pacific but now they seem to be making their way up to the Gulf of Mexico. Someone saw a snake emerge from the edge of the 18 Mile Light (the Sabine Bank Lighthouse) out of Sabine Pass, Texas on the Texas-Louisiana border.

Source: Banded Sea Krait (Photo courtesy NOAA Photo)

“It had white/bluish and black bands and came from under the weeds and then swam to the surface. It was a sea snake and I have no doubts about what I saw,” said the person who witnessed it and chose to remain anonymous. He also said that the “snake” had a paddle-like tail and both he and his fishing partner watch it for a few minutes. What’s disconcerting is that there aren’t supposed to be any snakes in Texas. Yet here they are. So beware, swimmers…

46. Dipper Creek in Canada

Epic falls, and tight canyons are a trademark of this incredible stretch of water located in the Squamish Valley, in British Columbia, Canada.

Source: Mountain river in Squamish, British Columbia

Although it has been done before, it is very ill-advised to try and conquer the narrow white waters in this valley of death, especially considering there is a 40-foot drop along the way.

45. Jacobs Well in Texas

You are looking at Jacobs Well located in south-central Texas. This well has some very clear water, and you can see right into the large manhole inside, there are actually different tunnel systems down there that are very easy to get lost in.

Source: YouTube

You may not come out alive if you try, so maybe it’s better to just enjoy from afar.

44. The Nile River in Egypt

The Nile river is a huge river system that runs through Egypt connecting the middle east, Africa, and the Mediterranean all through one river system.


Beyond the fact that Egypt isn’t doesn’t exactly have the cleanest sewage system (which should be enough to keep you from swimming in it,) the Nile River is also full of crocodiles to the extent that if you lined humans all across the beaches of the Nile, there would be a crock for every human standing there.

43. Chattooga River  – Georgia and South Carolina

Section 4 is the most dangerous part of the Chattooga River between Georgia and South Carolina.

Source: One of the many rapids of the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River. This was the river featured in the movie Deliverance.

More legends exist about Five Falls of the Chattooga than almost any other set of rapids, and despite its seeming less appearance, many lives have been lost on section four.

42. Bubbly Creek in Chicago

This is Bubbly Creek Chicago. It is not a real creek, but actually, a human waste runoff that has existed for decades, so you can just imagine the amount of decay inside there.


Swimming in here will get you sick beyond belief so, even in a dare. Just say no to this one!

41. Samaeson Hole, The Gulf of Thailand

I personally have no internal need to ever dive into a hole under water, but many people do share the urge!

Source: Shutterstock

You are looking at the Samaesan Hole, it is an extremely dark swim, and very ill-advised even for the most advanced swimmers.

40. Whirlpool Rapids Gorge in New York

The Whirlpool Rapids is part of the American side of the Niagara River, in New York. The deadly exploratory class five rapids are currently off-limits to paddlers. The rapids are intense and can reach speeds of more than 20 mph, and that’s on a good day!

Source: White rapids on Niagara River, Ontario, Canada

There was an attempt to commercialize the location in the 1970s but too many tourists died on them, and it was subsequentially closed with no further notice since.

39. Sinkhole on the Coast of Florida

I can imagine the meeting at the mayor’s office right now. “We need a good designer to make a scary, almost nightmare inducing sign to keep people away from this sinkhole!” This Florida sinkhole has a dramatized sign for good reason.

Source: Shutterstock

Many dumb people think they are cave divers in 2019.

38. Kipu Falls, Hawaii

Yes, it does, but just because something looks harmless does not mean it is! This is Kipu Falls, it’s always full of people in the summer, and because of the lack of space but the high abundance of people, many have drowned here.


There is also a lot of folklore that surrounds the lake itself!

37. Mumbai River in India

India is a country with a population of more than 1 billion people! A big chunk of these billion people lives in the city of Mumbai. A big chunk of that chunk lives in poverty, and bathing, grooming, and going to the bathroom all happens in the same place, the river. Let’s not forget that cows come there to bath too!

Source: Shutterstock

Not a place for a clean swim, you will be blessed with nothing but a stomach virus at best!

36. Upper Section of the Futaleufu River in Chile

The “Upper Section” is located on the notorious Futaleufú River, in the nation of Chile. The Upper Section is an indescribable 14-mile stretch of class four rapids.

Source: Petrohue Falls and Osorno Volcano with its snowy peak near Puerto Varas, Chile

You don’t just have to know how to wade in the water for this, but more so be in tip-top shape, to be able to keep your focus as you navigate through dangerous white water that can kill you at any moment.

35. “Blood” Lake in Spain

The Rio Tinto is a Spanish lake that really does all the speaking for itself. The lake is situated near an old mine, and all the runoff chemicals from it spilled into the lake.

Source: Shutterstock

Whatever got mixed in there gives it a shiny red tint. Don’t take a dip unless you want to die your hair red that is.

34. Ganges River in India

Not the first thing you think when you see this picture right? But the Ganges River in India is just that. India is a big place, and not everyone can afford a home let alone a bathroom. Guess where they go for business?

Source: Shutterstock

They also shower in the lake too. Moreover, a lot of industrial zones run chemicals into the river.

33. Section Two  of the Lochsa River in Idaho

“Section Two,” is a part of the Lochsa River, in the State of Idaho. The course of the Lochsa River is 57 miles long starting at “Crooked Fork Creek,” and ending in “Lowell.” Within this course, you will find a total of 63 rapids to choose from that range from class three, all the way to the expert class five.

Source: Raft Flipping on the Lochsa River, Idaho

This river often overflows after rainstorms and becomes one 57-mile class five. So, unless you are very experienced in white water, stay far, far away.

32. The Hoover Dam in the Colorado River

This is the Hoover Dam. See that guy floating in the picture there all alone. You do not want to be that guy. That is a very dumb guy.

Source: Shutterstock

The Hoover Dam has many big reservoirs and if he gets pulled into one, it will be the last tube ride he ever took!

31. Citarum River in Indonesia

You should start getting used to it on the list now, so you are not surprised later. Asia is a good place for food, hiking, or partying. Not a great place for rivers. Just like the Indonesian Citarum River, they all are chock full of waste in all its forms.


As most of the village people have no environmental education, It occurs to no one that things should be disposed of correctly.

30. Derbyshire Blue Lagoon in the UK

This water may look beautiful and clear, but it actually has a high enough pH Level to burn off your toes!


This is the UK’s Buxton Derbyshire Blue Lagoon, and it should be avoided at all costs. It would be a lot like swimming in ammonia or bleach.

29. The Gulf Coast

The Gulf Coast does have some nice beaches, and maybe some great spots to swim in, just make sure you are not coming in during hurricane season.

Source: Shutterstock

Also, make double sure that you didn’t come during snake season either!

28. Reunion Island in Madagascar

Welcome to Reunion Island Madagascar, as of 2019 shark capital of the world! If you throw a rock into the water here chances are you would hit a shark.

Source: Shutterstock

There have been close to 50 recorded attacks this year already. Be wary of coming here.

27. Strid River in England

The Strid River in the middle of Yorkshire, England is not the best place for a dip. Aside from the fact that England is cold most of the year to swim in.

Source: Shutterstock

The rapids here are very violent, and not welcoming for a swim. You’ll find yourself bouncing off rocks like a pinball if you swim here. So, don’t swim here please thank you!

26. Celestial Falls in Oregon

Located on Oregon’s White River, the Celestial Falls are a class five rapid’s system known for their extreme nature. Once a popular destination for extreme sports enthusiasts, the rapid’s at Celestial Falls are now legally off-limits to kayakers.

Source: The Celestial Falls – Image

You can still kayak farther upstream on class three rapids, which are more than enough if you enjoy a bit of thrill.

25. Red Triangle in California

The red triangle is a region in California where the great white shark loves to come and play.

Source: Shutterstock

The Bolinas Beach is at the center of this great white fun land and is a ruthless place that is not at all recommended for anyone who likes to live.

24. New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Florida is known for its beautiful people, sunny beaches, great food, and oh yeah, its also known for its insane amount of shark attacks. Be very careful when taking a dip in Florida’s beaches, and stay far, far away from New Smyrna Beach.

source: Khairil Azhar Junos /

It held the record for shark attacks before Madagascar took the coveted 1st place position.

23. Victoria Falls in Zambia

People with time and money come from around the world to look at death in the face by swimming to the edge of the Zambian “Victoria Falls.”

Source: Shutterstock

It’s a completely safe swim, just make sure you come with an experienced guide, and definitely, don’t try to pose like this fool!

22. Potomac River

The Potomac River is found within the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States and flows from the Potomac Highlands into the Chesapeake Bay.

Source: Shutterstock

The Potomac River may look harmless, but keep following your way down the current, and you will eventually find yourself being uncontrollably pulled into a waterfall, and on an express flight to heaven.

21. Bahama Islands

The West End of the Grand Bahama Islands is where those pesky Florida tiger sharks like to come for vacation, and they will stick around for most of the year, as long as it’s hot out at least.

Source: Shutterstock

Stay far away unless you like getting bitten by tiger sharks. In that case, you may have fun!

20. Lake Kivu in Rwanda

The water in Lake Kivu Rwanda is located on top of a crater.

Source: Shutterstock

Swim here and you will enjoy small monthly eruptions and the occasional seismic fun that comes with swimming an active crater under water.

19. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Do you know what most people that drown have in common? They have no idea how to swim! A quick lesson on currents. Currents are part of swimming in the ocean, you are likely to get caught in one if you swim out in the ocean. If you try to swim against it you will drown, if you swim with it and let it take you, you will live.

Source: Shutterstock

It’s important to note this fact before dipping in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (where the strongest currents in America are.)

18. Gulf of Thailand

Another lesson to note if you are planning a beach vacation. Try and do your research on where you’re going diligently. Just because a place like the Gulf of Thailand looks to be full of life, does not mean that life can’t hurt you!

Source: Shutterstock

Make sure to study the creatures that live there so they don’t sneak up on you and take a bite when you least expect it!

17. Blue Lake, Russia

This is the Blue Lake in Kabardino-Balkaria (Russia). It is full of hydrogen sulfide making it a very uncomfortable swim.

Source: Shutterstock

No one has ever been to the bottom of this lake. Anything can live down there. It just needed to survive the poisonous waters, and crushing pressure.

16. Mono Lake, LA

This lake is pretty odd from the get-go considering it is named after a disease that makes you sleep for a month uncontrollably.

Source: Shutterstock

The lake used to be full of natural resources, that the lovely city of Los Angeles drained it off. Now the waters of Mono Lake are unstable and toxic for a swim.

15. Laguna Caliente in Costa Rica

This cute body of water is called Laguna Caliente or the “Hot Lagoon” and is located in Costa Rica. Even being 20 feet, your body can cook up into a scrambled egg.

Source: Shutterstock

To get close you need special heat resistant equipment and a permit.

14. Lake Chagan in Kazakhstan

Not that kind of “cold.” Lake Chagan, in Kazakhstan, was the location of Russian underwater nuclear tests during the cold war. Maybe it will be swimmable in about 20,000 years.

Source: Shutterstock

It’s places like this that leave humans saddened at what we were capable of doing to our environment in times of war.

13. Lake Nyos in Cameroon

In 1986 Lake Nyos in Cameroon erupted into a violent volcano with a cloud that killed more than 1,700 people, and devastated livestock. It has since remained docile, but that can change at any moment, as it was docile before it erupted too! Why risk it?

Source: Shutterstock

12. Nyiragongo in the Republic of Congo

The Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa, is not exactly a lake with water in it, but actually the largest active lava pit in the world!

Source: Shutterstock

Sounds refreshing right! Just to get close you need special equipment and clothing, or else you will pass out and suffocate.

11. Berkeley Pitt, Montana

The Berkeley Pitt in Butte, Montana, used to be a copper quarry and is full of toxic chemicals. Not exactly a great place for a swim!


People have swam here, 100% of the people who did found themselves in the hospital shortly after.

10. Beqa Lagoon, Fiji

The Beqa Lagoon in Fiji is more of an all you can eat fish buffet for sharks than a swimmable Lagoon for humans. In most beaches around the world, there are sharks, but the likely hood of getting bit is usually not likely from sharks. We do not taste good to them; we don’t smell good to them either.

Source: Shutterstock

But once there are hundreds hunting and competing against each other for the next catch, they bite whatever they can grab. If you find yourself treading water here, count your blessings!

9. Pustoye Lake, Siberia

During 90% of the year, it is not even relevant to even talk about swimming in Siberia. The Pustoye Lake has extra detail that it makes it all the less appealing as a place to swim in! Apparently, no animals are able to reproduce here, and moreover die from unnatural causes.


So, if a fish can’t handle the waters, neither can you!

8. Lake Victoria, Africa

One of the largest lakes in all of Africa, Lake Victoria is for sure a swimming destination if your planning on visiting the continent, but be careful where you go, some parts of the lake have very extreme weather systems.

Source: Shutterstock

The number of fatalities in Lake Victoria a year currently stands at 5,000.

7. Queensland, Australia

Welcome to Queensland, Australia. Home of the Box Jellyfish. The box jellyfish may sound like a cute harmless creature, but these pin sized little guys have a sting that can make an elephant go into cardiac arrest.

Source: Shutterstock

People who get stung by these little demons have a 99% chance of not even making it out of the water.

6. Amazon Basin, South America

This is the Amazon Basin. It runs through South America and boasts some of the most dangerous predatorial creatures in the world. Maybe you like getting eaten by piranhas, or enjoy the teeth of a barracuda? Not enough to scare you?

Source: Shutterstock

Well, there is also small fish here that swim into your urinal tract here and lay eggs in your bladder! Yea you heard me right!

5. Gansbaai, South Africa

You are looking at a dorsal fin of tiger shark of the coast of South Africa in a region called Gansbaai.

Source: Shutterstock

It has a wide abundance of shark species all roaming in it together, and if you find yourself running into a great white, don’t be surprised, you’ve been warned.

4. Horseshoe Lake, California Natural Gas

Welcome to Horseshoe Lake California, there are many lakes in the state that you can swim in, and this is not one of them.

Source: Shutterstock

Horseshoe Lake is full of carbon dioxide, you’ll know you’re getting close when you come across a swath of dead trees on you’re way in.

3. Lake Karachy, Russia

Looks beautiful doesn’t it? Well, it’s not! This is a toxic dangerous swim in the central Russian mountains called Lake Karachy.


Stay far away! According to experts a one-hour swim in the lake can result in death by poison.

2. Hanakapiai Beach in Hawaii

Hawaiian beaches are the first thing you think of when planning a fun island getaway. Just stay away from this one!


There are not really any human safe beaches here, and the waves can reach exhausting heights, pushing you right into the rocks!

1. Boiling Lake in the Dominican Republic

This may look like a fun pool size jacuzzi to swim in, but you are actually looking at one of the most dangerous places to swim in the world!


This is the Boiling Lake in the Dominican Republic. Under the water is volcanic magma, and the water is boiling so hot you can probably poach an egg in it in 10 seconds, and it would still be overcooked!