The 12 Most Dangerous Beaches In the World

clouds over namibia's skeleton coast
The Most Dangerous Beaches In the WorldBuena Vista Images - Getty Images

For most of us, the thought of a beach conjures images in our minds of peaceful days in the sun or exotic excursions into crystal clear waters. While many of the world’s most beautiful beaches offer these exciting activities, not every beach is perfectly suited for fun in the sun. From shipwrecks to sharks to nuclear radiation, there are a number of beaches across the globe that are better to avoid than to visit on your next vacation.

Utakleiv Beach, Norway

Many people visit Norway’s Lofoten Islands for a prime view of the northern lights, and while it may be tempting to traverse the islands’ beaches, it’s ill-advised. The waters surrounding the islands are so cold that they are potentially life-threatening, so visitors should remain on dry land.

uttakliev beach sunset
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Schitovaya Bukhta Beach, Russia

Even though Schitovaya Bukhta beach is known for being one of the best surf destinations in the world, you’re unlikely to find any surfers riding its waves. The beach looks perfectly safe from the shore, but old nuclear submarines have sunk to the bottom of the ocean from where they are quietly leaking harmful radiation.

nuclear submarine on parade
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Skeleton Coast, Namibia

Namibia’s Skeleton Coast Beach has seen more its fair share of shipwrecks due to the deadly Benguela Current. Equally treacherous are the waters that surround the beach, which are home to nearly a dozen species of sharks.

the eduard bolhen wreck, a supply ship for the miners that ran aground in 1909 its steel hull can still be seen and the channel they dug to try and re float it skeleton coast, namib desert namib naukluft national park, namibia, africa
Martin Harvey - Getty Images

West End Beach, Bahamas

The Bahamas are a wildly popular vacation destination, and for good reason; it is home to some seriously gorgeous beaches. However, stay away from West End Beach on your next trip to the Bahamas, because it is home to some of the most shark-infested waters in the world.

tropical white sand virgin beach
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Chowpatty Beach, India

Setting foot onto Chowpatty Beach reveals why it’s worth avoiding; the beach is heavily polluted and covered in sewage. The beach is literally toxic, which makes it even more surprising that it’s still popular among tourists.

chowpatty beach, mumbai, bombay, india
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New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Even though many surfers flock to Florida to ride the waves, New Smyrna Beach is one worth skipping. The beach’s waters are densely populated by sharks, making it undeniably one of the most dangerous.

woman by seagulls on beach against cloudy sky
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Cable Beach, Australia

Australia is known for its population of terrifying creatures, and Cable Beach is home to many of them. The beach is home to venomous spiders, snakes, white pointer sharks, crocodiles, and lethal box jellyfish.

cable beach
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Virginia Beach, Virginia

Believe it or not, the predators that are most commonly found on the shores of Virginia beach are wild foxes. Known for stealing food and terrorizing pets, wild foxes have been known to attack beachgoers for a number of years. If you’re planning a visit to Virginia Beach, leave your dog and your snacks at home.

boardwalk at virginia beach
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Praia Do Norte, Portugal

The home of waves that have shattered Guinness World Records, Praia Do Norte is a prized surf destination. However, surfers beware, because those big waves can be deadly, resulting in drownings and capsized boats.

can you feel the land shaking
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Boa Viagem Beach, Brazil

Known for one of the highest rates of shark attacks over the last two decades, Boa Viagem Beach in Brazil is one to be avoided. The beach is part of the hunting area frequented by sharks, which is why attacks are so prevalent.

boa viagem beach
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Darwin, Australia

On your next trip to Australia, skip Darwin’s beaches. The area is heavily populated with crocodiles, sharks, and deadly box jellyfish.

through the golden gateway
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Costa del Sol, Spain

Though the Costa del Sol region of Spain is nothing short of breathtaking, that doesn’t keep the jellyfish away. The area is home to more than one ton of jellyfish, meaning you may want to grab a pair of binoculars to enjoy Costa del Sol from a safe distance.

views from the balcony of europe in nerja, spain
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