Enter At Your Own Risk

I’m sitting here nursing my injuries and thinking about how dangerous a beach could be.  In my case, it’s because a bum foot and knee doesn’t lend itself to walking on sand and –god forbid– beach rocks, which are abundant along the Lake Huron shore.  (You also can’t swim with a cane, air boot and knee brace, but that’s another story.)

Other beaches are treacherous for different reasons.  Here’s a list of the 5 most treacherous beaches in the world.

1.  Zipolite Beach, Mexico.  

Zipolite Beach, Mexico.

Looks innocent enough, but this beach, translated to mean “the beach of the dead”, has lethal undertows and riptides that have claimed many lives.  If you see red flags posted, it means that the tides are at their most dangerous, so stay out.

2.  Hanakapiai Beach, Hawaii.

Hanakapiai Beach.

Another beach with killer riptides, Hanakapiai Beach has claimed the lives of people wading knee-high in its deceptively tranquil waters.  And, should you have the misfortune of being caught in a riptide, the next closest beach is 6 miles away.  Judging by the sign posted near the beach, 82 people have been killed as of December, 2008.  I wonder how many more knotches have been etched in the sign since then.

Sign posted at Hanakapiai Beach.

3.  Praia de Boa Viagem, Brazil.

The cosmopolitain beach in Recife:  Priai de Viagem.

Care to guess what makes this beach so dangerous?  If you guessed over-crowding, you’d be correct, in a way.

Over the last 15 years, there have been at least 50 shark attacks reported for these waters, with 19 of those attacks fatal.  And that’s along a short, 12-mile coast line. Yikes.  The slow erosion of the area’s ecosystem, which used to provide food for these predators, is cited as the reason for the increase in human snacking.  And what a smorgasbord for the sharks to choose from.

Warning sign to would-be shark bait.

4.  New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

New Smyrna Beach: Take-out for sharks.

New Smyrna Beach reported 22 shark-human “interactions” in 2008 alone, according to the ISAF (International Shark Attack File).  Does “interaction” include teeth?

5.  Northern Beaches, Australia.

Say g’day to to locals: The Australian  Box Jellyfish.

These venomous little buggers reside primarily in the Northern reaches of Austrailia, from Darwin to Queensland.  And no, you don’t pee on a jellybean sting; you use vinegar.

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