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The Most Dangerous Places on Earth

Worlds Dangerous areas

By Jeanette MPublished about a month ago 7 min read
The Most Dangerous Places on Earth
Photo by Itay Peer on Unsplash

There are some places on Earth you should never visit, no matter how much you need a holiday. We're talking lakes that'll kill you in a single hour, caves that will boil you alive, and radioactive islands where the rats will give you the bubonic plague. I don't wanna put you off traveling for life, but after reading this article, you won't believe just how dangerous our planet can be.

Death Road

If you're planning a road trip, you might wanna steer clear of Yungas Road in Bolivia. This terrifying track twists and turns along a sheer cliff-face, climbing to a height of 15,260 feet above sea level. In places, the road is only 10 feet wide, with no guardrails to protect you from the blood-curdling 2,000 foot drop.Clouds of dust from the poorly maintained track make it hard to see, while humid winds from the nearby rainforest create regular rainstorms and mudslides. No wonder this place has earned the nickname Death Road.Despite its deadly reputation, plenty of daredevil drivers continue to use the route. Cars, trucks, and lorries often need to pass each other, forcing one vehicle to teeter on the very edge of the narrow track. During the 1990s, between 200 and 300 people lost their lives each year after losing control of their car and plunging into the abyss below..

Naica Crystal Cave

Some of the most beautiful places on Earth are also the most deadly. Just take the Naica Crystal Cave, for example. Located nearly 1,000 feet beneath a mountain in Naica, Mexico, this underground cavern is crammed with enormous milky-white selenite crystals.The oversized pillars were formed by volcanic minerals in water, which crystallized as temperatures in the cave system cooled over thousands of years. Today, they're big enough for several grown adults to walk on, measuring as long as almost 40 feet and weighing up to 55 tons.But you might wanna think twice before paying the crystals a visit with your selfie stick. The cave is situated above an underground magma chamber, which means the temperature can climb as high as 113 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity can reach 99%. As a result, the air is so saturated with moisture that sweat can't evaporate from your skin to cool you down, making it difficult to survive more than 10 minutes without risking heatstroke, organ failure, and death.

Snake Island

You'd have to be seriously silly to visit this island off the coast of Brazil. Officially named Ilha da Queimada Grande, it's more commonly known as Snake Island. Beneath the treeline, you'll find a wriggling, writhing mass of around 4,000 deadly serpents, just waiting to sink their fangs into unsuspecting sightseers.These snakes are actually a rare kind of pit viper called the Golden Lancehead, known to be one of the deadliest snakes in Latin America. Their venom contains hemotoxins that will melt the flesh they bite, destroying red blood cells and causing death in under an hour.Snake island was once attached to the Brazilian coast before several millennia of rising sea levels separated it from the mainland. Because there were no predators and plenty of seabirds to eat, the stranded snakes thrived to a terrifying extent. There are now estimated to be between one and five Golden Lanceheads for every square meter of island, meaning that visitors are never more than a few feet away from a slithering adversary.The risk is so great that the Brazilian Navy has banned any human from visiting Snake Island with the exception of scientists conducting essential research. I can't say I'm disappointed.

Death Valley

Imagine a place so hot that if you get hungry, you can simply fry an egg on the ground. Well, that's a reality in Death Valley in California, a boiling desert basin where temperatures have been known to rise as high as 134 degrees Fahrenheit, or 56 degrees Celsius. That's the hottest air temperature ever recorded on Earth.Deep craters in the landscape trap pockets of scalding air, while four surrounding mountain ranges mostly prevent rain clouds from forming in the area and keep the valley in perpetual drought. For this reason, every Death Valley sightseer runs the risk of heatstroke and dehydration, with one to three deaths per year from heat-related causes.Visitors also need to keep a watchful eye out for the valley's teeming population of dangerous animals including rattlesnakes, scorpions, black widow spiders, and mountain lions.If all that doesn't turn you off visiting, whatever you do, don't take off your shoes while you're there. In 2017, one tourist was hospitalized with third-degree burns after walking barefoot in Death Valley, where the ground can get as hot as 201 degrees Fahrenheit.

Horrible Holes

What's 1,500 miles long, 44 miles wide, and full of creepy creatures? No, not the queue for your local McDonald's. The Mariana Trench, of course. Located in the South Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and the Philippines, this crescent-shaped scar in the seabed descends seven miles into the Earth's crust, making it the deepest point on Earth.In fact, the Mariana Trench is so deep that if you dropped Mount Everest into it, the peak would still be 7,000 feet below sea level. That's deep, man. The Mariana Trench isn't a great location for a quick swim. Sunlight can't penetrate its depths, meaning that the water is pitch black and just a few degrees above freezing.The pressure at the bottom of the trench is a bone-crushing eight tons per square inch, which is 1,000 times the standard atmospheric pressure on dry land. That means that if you exited your submarine at the bottom of the trench, any pockets of air in your body would instantly collapse under the weight of the water.While thousands of people have climbed Mount Everest, fewer than 20 have ever visited the bottom of the Mariana Trench. As a result, we know comparatively little about what could be down there, lurking in the darkness.Scientists do know what's inside another of Earth's terrifyingly deep ocean crevasses, though, the 407-foot-deep Great Blue Hole in Belize. This giant marine sinkhole began life more than 14,000 years ago as a limestone cave, before it was flooded by rising sea levels. The hole is large enough to be seen from space and attracts thousands of tourists every year, but be warned, inexperienced divers could easily find themselves struggling against the strong currents at the sides of the hole, which threaten to send you plunging into the abyss. On top of that, it's full of sharks. Nature watchers have spotted Caribbean reef sharks, nurse sharks, hammerheads, bull sharks, and black tip sharks swimming in the dark blue waters.Just look at the Mir mine, an open-pit diamond mine in Russia that's over 1,700 feet deep. Back in 2017, a leak caused this manmade chasm to fill with 10 million cubic feet of water, which is enough to fill over 1200 Olympic swimming pools. Getting caught in a flood in a place like this would be pure nightmare fuel. Not only that, but the hole is so deep that helicopters are banned from flying over it in case they're sucked in by downward air currents. That's right, navigators fear that warm air rising from the pit and meeting cold air at the surface will create a powerful vortex, pulling down small aircraft

Skeleton Coast

Some deserts are scorching hot, but the Skeleton Coast is actually one of the coolest places on Earth, in every sense of the word. Located in Namibia, Southern Africa, this desert got its chilling name after European explorers found human skeletons scattered across its misty shores. Portuguese sailors referred to it as "the gates of hell."There are many reasons why you wouldn't wanna holiday here. Firstly, the Skeleton Coast is extremely remote, covering an area of over 6,500 square miles, with few permanent settlements. Its dry, barren landscape of rolling sand dunes and jagged canyons makes it difficult to survive for long without food and water. Secondly, the thick coastal fog makes it hard to navigate by land or sea. As a result, many ships have wrecked on the Skeleton Coast over the centuries. It's littered with the carcasses of wooden boats, rusted steamers, and even more modern vessels.The area is also full of dangerous animals. Alongside its population of fierce, desert-adapted lions, you'll find hungry hyenas and jackals looking for their next meal. There's also a wide variety of highly venomous snakes, including the horned adder and the puff adder. Although it's too dry for many animals to live inland, the shores are crawling with Cape fur seals and brown hyenas, and if you get too close, they won't hesitate to attack.In fact, the Skeleton Coast is so dangerous that many explorers have died trying to cross it. One of the most famous incidents occurred in 1942 when a British pilot crash-landed his plane in the desert. Despite sending out distress signals, he and his crew weren't found for several days. By the time they were rescued, they'd already succumbed to the desert's harsh conditions.

Conclusion

If you're gonna take anything away from this video, it's that the world is full of deadly places. Whether you're driving along a narrow mountain road, descending into a dark cave, or exploring a radioactive wasteland, remember that some places are best left to the imagination. Stay safe and don't forget to like and subscribe for more fascinating facts about our planet.

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Jeanette M

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