Beaches usually conjure up images of idyllic hot sun, white sand, the bluest of waters and plenty of relaxation. But there are a few beaches around the world that are more scary than serene:
Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
in Rio de Janeiro is as renowned for its petty crime, as it is for its party scene. Locals say that Rio by day is the most exciting city in the world (and Rio by night is a close second apparently), but crime is a major problem for local residents and visitors alike. Homicide rates are actually quite high there were nearly 30 people killed every week in 2007 and most were victims of mugging, stray bullets or narcoterrorism. So if you’re thinking about visiting this city's famous stretch of beach, make an effort not to stand out; put that expensive camera away and keep your cash close by and hidden.
Beaches off Australia's northern coastline particularly those in the Northern Territory
can be a dangerous place to relax. Marine life that can kill or injure hapless visitors includes sharks, rays, fish and jellyfish. Tourists to NT
beaches are told not to swim because of the box jellyfish, which has caused 60 deaths in 100 years as well as countless hospitalisations. Salt and freshwater crocodiles are also seen on some remote beaches in the area, which has to be enough of a reason not to let your guard down.
Kilauea, Hawaii, USA
It’s not the wildlife you have to watch out for on the east side of Hawaii
's Big Island, but lava from an active volcano. Hot lava flows from Kilauea Volcano into the ocean every day and has been doing so for 25 years. The US Geological Survey
publishes daily reports of activity and because the lava flow is slow, residents have plenty of time to evacuate. But it's the tourists who are regularly warned. Millions flock to Hawaii
each year to witness lava meeting water, which results in the growth of new land. But those who dare to walk too close are only asking for trouble, as large areas of the new land often collapse into the sea.
Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands, Micronesia
During the past 12 years, Bikini Atoll
the area evacuated and used by the US to test nuclear weapons between 1946 and 1958 has gained notoriety as a tourism destination. The island has offered diving, fishing and sun baking, as well as an important history lesson. But the atoll's local council
recently decided to suspend tourism, except approved diving expeditions, due to problems with the local airline and soaring energy costs. Regardless, Bikini Atoll will always be a questionable destination. There was widespread radioactive contamination following the 1954 detonation codenamed Castle Bravo, which was much more powerful than predicted by the US. Given the radiation risks, the atoll's Micronesian inhabitants still haven't resettled after all this time.
Brevard County, Florida, USA
Rip currents are another danger at beaches, but it's those in Brevard Country in the United States that have proven to be most scary. Last year 10 swimmers drowned in that county, which includes Cocoa Beach and Merritt Island. Rips, rip currents, or rip tides are strong surface flows of water which can carry a swimmer offshore. And the United States Lifesaving Association
has found that 80 per cent of rescues at lifeguard beaches in that country are caused by these water flows.
Be sure to check out our photo gallery of the world's deadliest beaches by clicking here:
Have you been to a scary beach? Tell us about it below ...