Many articles talk about the best places to go with beautiful sights, fun things to do, and wonderful family or romantic getaways. Here’s a twist the places below are places you don’t want to go unless you’re that crazy person who is thrilled by things that repulse others.
1. Great Pacific Garbage Patch – The Great Pacific Garbage patch is a marine litter sight in the central North Pacific Ocean between 135° to 155°W and 35° to 42°N. It is larger than Texas and some claim that as a whole it is larger than the US alone. It has high concentrations of pelagic plastics, chemical sludge, and other debris trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre. Most of the contents lie beneath the surface and it’s very depressing. To some it’s an eye opener and disgusting to others it’s a reminder of how we need to better care of our environment.
2 .Izu Islands, Japan – These islands are a group of volcanic islands stretching south and east from the Izu Peninsula of Honshu, Japan. Because there is so much volcanic activity in order to live or visit there you must always carry gas masks with you, it smells of sulfur, and the island is periodically evacuated due to activity.
3. “Door to Hell” Derweze, Turkmenistan – Back in the 1970’s geologists were drilling in Turkmenistan and drilled into a huge pocket of gas and the ground collapsed leaving a 5-100 meter hole in the ground. To avoid poisonous gas from escaping scientists decided to set fire to the hole to burn any gas and since then has always been lit.
4. Alnwick Poison Gardens, England – This garden is dedicated to danger. It contains poisonous, deadly, and unusual plants. They have to have a special license to grow some special plants including cannabis, coca, etc. behind bars in giant cages – for obvious reasons.
5. Asbestos Mine Quebec, Canada– Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals prized for their resistance to fire and sound absorption abilities. On the downside as many know exposure to these minerals causes cancer and a variety of other diseases. In Canada there is one mine that is still fully operational and the workers don’t use any sort of protection. You can hop on a free bus tour and take a look at the mine but be careful!
6. Ramree Island – Ramree Island is a huge swamp home to 1000’s of salt water crocodiles, which are considered the deadliest. In the world. It’s also home to the malaria carrying mosquitoes and venomous scorpions. In WWII the island housed a 6-week long battle. One solider wrote “The scattered rifle shots in the pitch black swamp punctured by the screams of wounded men crushed in the jaws of huge reptiles, and the blurred worrying sound of spinning crocodiles made a cacophony of hell that has rarely been duplicated on earth. At dawn the vultures arrived to clean up what the crocodiles had left… of about 1,000 Japanese soldiers that entered the swamps of Ramree, only about 20 were found alive”. What a great vacation spot!
7. North Yungas Road(Road of Death), Bolivia – This road is about 43miles long and leads from La Paz to Coroico in Yunags region of Bolivia. Its dangers are legendary ranging from random drop-offs of 600 meters, to single-lane width roads, to its rain and fog that makes all off the dangers unnoticeable.
8. Mud Volcanoes of Azerbaijan– In 2001 there was a volcanic eruption in Azerbaijan, Lokbatan. There were no casualties or evacuation warning even more impressively Azerbaijan doesn’t have a single active volcano. But it does have… mud volcanoes hundreds of them! They’re not dangerous at all but they do smell and leave quite a mess. If you’re trying to break your wife’s cleaning OCD … maybe this is the place to try therapy.
9. The Zone of Alienation, Eastern Europe – The Zone of Alienation is 19 miles from the site of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster. It’s controlled and administered by a special admin under the Ukrainian Ministry of Extraordinary Situation (ER). Thousands of residents refused to leave or illegally returned later. The population had gone under 400 residents and many were diagnosed with radiation poisoning. Although authorities have tried many times to clear this area they finally gave in and gave its residents few supporting services. There is a lot of looting so if you decide to go visit be careful you might just get shot or get radiation poisoning… to those of you who go… we’ll be waiting to see a horror movie inspired by you.
10. Ilha de Queimada Grande, Brazil – Off the shore of Brazil, just south of Sao Paulo, is an island that goes untouched by human developers and for good reason! Researchers say that there are 1-5 snakes for every square meter. These snakes aren’t few inches long either. They are a very unique species of viper, the golden lancehead. This snake is responsible for 90% of Brazilian snake bite fatalities and has one of the most painful venom in the world. Once it bites you the venom melts the flesh around the bite and kills you within a good amount of time. This island is so dangerous you have to acquire a very special permit to visit.
Jeff covers travel topics for the Travel Insurance blog