Don't You Dare: 10 Of The World's Most Dangerous Places To Swim

Swimming in cool waters under a shining sun is a simple pleasure. Some incredible swimming spots are protected areas while others are open year-round for people to dive off docks, swim, go on boat tours, and enjoy any way they can. Most are completely safe, but some only appear that way.

West End, Grand Bahama Island

West End has some of the most shark-infested beaches in the world. Aptly named, Tiger Beach off of Grand Bahama is one of the world's top spots for seeing tiger sharks. Most diving expeditions guarantee an up-close sighting of these toothy creatures, which can grow to be about 16 feet long. Tiger Beach is on the bucket list of many underwater photographers and adventurers.

The Boiling Lake, Dominica

The name says it all; the dangers are clear. Some people, however, may not take the risks into account and fall victim to the allure of the steam. The boiling is believed to be caused by heat from a magma chamber beneath the lake. The water temperature can reach 194 degrees F.  You can only get there on foot and the hike is rather strenuous.

East and North Coasts of Barbados

The South and West coasts are the best areas for swimming and snorkeling, while care should be taken on the East and North coasts as the large waves and strong tides are dangerous — swimming is not recommended, according to Terra Caribbean. Crashing waves and cool winds make this part of the island very relaxing and a favorite spot for locals to vacation along the coastline. Just avoid getting deep in the water.

Condado Beach, San Juan, Puerto Rico

A lot of people write on Trip Advisor that Condado Beach is "very nice but very dangerous." Big waves, strong underflow, and rip currents scare people away. There are also big rocks on both sides of the beach, which only increase the danger of you getting hurt while swimming in less-than-ideal conditions.

New Smyrna Beach, Florida

New Smyrna is known as the shark attack capital of the world. Be careful when surfing out in the Atlantic; Florida sharks are known to attack humans. Common sharks in New Smyrna beach include blacktip, spinner, and tiger sharks.

Queensland, Australia

Queensland beaches have proven to be so dangerous that the Queensland Government initiated a Shark Safety Program that "relies on nets, drum lines or a combination of both to remove high risk sharks from a particular location." Officials claim that in the 44 years history of the program, there has only been one fatal attack. But, since 1700, there have been 163 reported total attacks and 45 fatal attacks. Saltwater crocodiles and venomous blue-ringed octopus also live in these waters.

Hanakapiai Beach, Hawaii

This is a dangerous destination due to unseen and powerful rip currents. Waves that are known to sweep people out to sea are also a huge concern, according to The Weather Channel. In the event that a swimmer gets caught in a rip current, the closest safe shore area is about six miles away. Due to these risky conditions, 83 people have drowned there over the years, according to news reports.

Gansbaai, South Africa

Often referred to as the "Great White Shark Capital of the World," Gansbaai is a premier cage-diving location that promises to offer a truly thrilling experience. The area is the best place in the world to get up close to Great White sharks as they hunt and move through this area year-round. Whale-watching on a boat from Walker Bay is a safer option — the peak time is October, but many are still seen in November and early December.

Chowpatty Beach, India

This is India's most infamous beach — there are no sharks or lethal rip currents, but the amount of garbage on the shores is troubling. Chowpatty is among the most polluted sands in the world. There is debris, scraps from salvaged ships, and tons of dumped waste and disposal from Mumbai. You are putting your health at risk if you choose to get in the water.

Lake Victoria, Tanzania and Uganda

Lake Victoria is referred to as the "world's most dangerous lake." Don't let the calm water fool you; more than 5,000 people die in the waters every year. The high death toll makes the lake "arguably the most dangerous stretch of water in the world in terms of fatalities per square kilometer," according to The National Lake Rescue Institute. One of the reasons is due to its own distinct climate, such as sudden thunderstorms that can lead to overturned boats, stranded passengers, and dangerous swimming conditions.