Staithes beach, Yorkshire
It may not be the warmest beach, but staithes beach in the UK is well known for its surfing. However, the group ‘surfers against sewage’ have declared it one of the worst beaches in Europe. According to the marine conservation society the water is so polluted, it fails to meet basic European standards for bathing sports. Runoffs from farmers’ fields appear to be the cause. While it hasn’t been declassified, few people actually swim there; most of the activities consist of surfing and paddle sports.
Hanakapiai beach, Hawaii
If someone wants to enjoy this picturesque location, they must first hike two miles along the Kalalau trail, along Kauai’s Na Pali coast. Hanakapiai beach is one of the most beautiful in Hawaii, but it’s also rather remote; there are no lifeguards stationed here. While the water may appear calm and tranquil, powerful rip currents have been known to pull swimmers out to sea. If pulled out, the closest shore area that’s safe is nearly six miles away. At least 83 people have drowned over the years by underestimating the waves.
New Smyrna beach, Florida
Listed as one of the top 10 Florida beaches by the Florida International University, this Florida beach’s reputation isn’t all good. Out of the 112 shark attacks worldwide in 2007, New Smyrna beach homed 17 of them. Blacktip, spinner, and bull sharks lurk in the waters, mistaking the splashing of surfers for food. While there have been 238 attacks over the years, none has been fatal yet. According to the ‘Guinness book of world records’, it’s the shark attack capital of the world. It’s not just the sharks in the water you have to worry about either; make sure to keep your eye on your bag as thieves are common on the shores.
Cape Tribulation, Australia
Home to multiple dangerous creatures, this northern Queensland beach’s own name serves as a warning to be wary. While crocodile sightings are surprisingly rare, they are not the only danger. Cassowaries, which are related to emus, and venomous snakes also make their home here. During the rainy season, from October to early June, the biggest dangers are in the water. Thousands of box jellyfish, which are translucent, swarm the waters near the beach. Known as one of the most venomous jellyfish in the world, they can kill a swimmer in minutes if stung. Their venom attacks the cardiovascular system, causing swimmers to drown; they have caused at least 70 deaths since 1883.
Just across the border from Hong Kong, Shenzhen beach is a popular spot for locals and tourists. So popular in fact that it’s dangerously overcrowded. Both the beach and the water are packed to the brim. Unfortunately with these many people on top of each other, accidents have been known to happen. It seems its popularity is its own outgoing as incidents of drownings, especially with children under the age of fourteen, are on the rise.
Playa Zipolite, Mexico
Located on the southern coast of Oaxaca, this beautiful stretch is also called ‘the beach of the dead’. With a nickname like that, you’d think people would steer clear; however the picturesque paradise masks its secrets well. While the sandy shore itself is safe, the sparkling waters are another story. Huge waves cause dangerous undercurrents. Due to these currents, specially trained lifeguards are stationed along the beach. The number of drownings since these guards were put into place have thankfully decreased.
Praia De Boa Viagem, Brazil
Before 1992, shark attacks were unheard of along the sandy beach near Recife, Brazil. Following that, at least fifty shark attacks have been reported; nineteen of which were fatal. Environmentalists believe that the appearance of fishing boats, which have destroyed the coastal ecosystem of the area, are to blame. They come closer and closer to shore, causing more damage which disrupts the sharks.
Heard Island, Antarctica
Unlike your typical beach vacation, heard island’s waters are dangerously cold. So why risk hypothermia to visit? The extreme surfing experience, if you can stand the icy waves. The island is actually a giant volcano, 4.100km south-west of Perth. While the island is owned by Australia, it’s much closer to Antarctica than anywhere else.