World's Most Dangerous Beaches

By chili, October 12th 2009 in Travel Destinations Comments (76)

When you hear "beach", you think sun, sea, fun and relaxation. In fact, most of the world's beaches are perfect getaways and for many no vacation is complete without golden sand and azure waters. Sadly enough, some of the world's most beautiful and luring beaches have claimed numerous lives. The powerful ocean currents, sharks, lighting and extremely venomous box jellyfish pose a serious threat to people.

See some of the world's most dangerous beaches:

Zipolite Beach. Mexico.

Zipolite Beach. By h-ibrido

Playa Zipolite, a beautiful tiny beach of white sands and crystal waters, is tempting but lethal. Located in Oaxaca, the southern state of Mexico, Zipolite has taken numerous lives. The name itself is quite alarming as in the Zapotec language it means "the beach of dead" due to its strong undertow and changing rip currents. The turquoise waters of the playa lure unaware travelers whereas locals prefer to stay away.

Among most dangerous periods when swimming is almost impossible are the so-called rebalses - the periods when the water "rebels". It is a time of high seas that follows a full moon and lasts around 3 days. Rebalses are stronger and occur more often from April to June.

Since the establishment of a professional guard program at the end of 1990s there have been fewer fatal accidents at the beach, though extreme caution is still advised.

If you decide to swim in Zipolite's waters stay close to the shore and do not enter the water when you see red flags.

Zipolite Beach By Kevin Hutchinson

Hanakapiai Beach. Hawaii.

Hanakapiai Beach. By Dimmerswitch

The breathtaking Na Pali Coast on Kauai is home to the world's most beautiful but treacherous beaches. As there are no big reefs that could hamper the strong ocean currents, the coast is extremely unsafe.

Among the most risky beaches is Hanakapiai - the 2 mile (3.2 km) long stretch of golden sand along the popular Kalalau Trail. Similarly to Zipolite, it is the powerful ocean that takes control over the Hawaiian beach. Strong rip currents, rip tides and shore breaks make swimming very risky here.

According to the sign posted on the beach at least 82 people have drowned here (as of December 2008). The waves are so large and strong that they can sweep away people who are just wading in the water and are not deeper than up their knees. Moreover, due to the Kauai's geography, if someone gets caught in a current the nearest safe shore is around 6 miles (10 km) away.

Hanakapiai Beach. By colorlessness

Hanakapiai Beach. By colorlessnes

Hanakapiai Beach. By AZAdam


 Praia de Boa Viagem. Recife. Brazil.

Praia de Boa Viagem on Sunday. By Marcio Cabral de Moura

The urban beach of Recife, a beautiful coastal town often called the "Brazilian Venice", is home to an extremely popular beach, Boa Viagem. It is one of the most visited beaches on Brazil's eastern coast, but unfortunately, it's popular with sharks, too.

Before the 1990s the sharks did not use to attack humans in the waters of Boa Viagem. Nevertheless, between 1992 until 2007 there were around 50 reported attacks (19 of them fatal) along the relatively short, 12.5 mile (20 km) long coast.

What factors have contributed to the increase in the number of attacks? It boils down to the destruction of the marine ecosystem that used to provide food for these carnivorous predators. The untreated sewage, industrial effluents, and increasing numbers of fishing boats have damaged the local reefs and reduced the marine biodiversity.

Moreover, Port Suape that opened in 1984 has emerged in the southern estuaries where bull sharks (by the way, one of the species most frequently recognized in attacks on humans) used to give birth. Therefore, the female sharks had to move to the next estuary, the one close to the city's main beach.


Sharks Warning Signs in Recife. By teufel


New Smyrna Beach. Florida. The USA.

New Smyrna Beach. By var resa

Another shark-infested area is Florida, the USA. In fact, the majority of unprovoked shark attacks on humans in 2008 took place in North American waters. According to the ISAF (the International Shark Attack File), there were 118 shark-human incidents and 59 unprovoked attacks worldwide, of which 42 (71%) occurred in the USA and 32 in Florida. Among Florida's most dangerous beaches is New Smyrna Beach in Volusia County that reported 22 shark-human interactions in 2008.

Nevertheless, the ISAF underlines that the high ratio of incidents is caused by the fact that people have been spending more and more time in the water and the number of Florida's beach visitors has been gradually growing over the past decade. Moreover. the experts point out that the Floridian sharks are not dangerous for people as these are mainly blacktips, blacknoses and sharknoses, and most incidents are not fatal. They add that you are more likely to win a lottery or be hit by lighting than eaten by the shark at Smyrna Beach.

When it comes to lighting the experts are actually right as between 1997 and 2006 there were 71 fatal accidents related to lighting in Florida. The New Smyrna is often evacuated and closed for days because of that danger.

New Smyrna Beach. By Brenda Y


The Northern and Eastern Beaches. Australia.

Queensland. Australia. By pommypaul

Australia, famed for its excellent beaches, is home to one of the world's most dangerous creatures. The biggest beach threat comes not from sharks and ocean currents but the almost invisible Australian Box Jellyfish - the Chironex fleckeri. The jellies are among the most venomous creatures in the world and their venom is most deadly in the animal kingdom. There have been over 5,568 deaths recorded worldwide since 1954.

The box jellies can be mainly found in the northern waters of Australia, from Darwin, down the eastern coast, to Queensland. The season for the Chironex starts in October and lasts until April.

If you get stung by the box jellyfish, never use alcohol to pour over the sting. The best neutralizer for the stung area is vinegar that disables the box jelly's nematocysts.

Box Jellyfish Warning Sign in Queensland. By cthulhia

Box Jellyfish. By VannaGocaraRupa

Care for a swim?


  1. karen Oct 12, 2009 1:01 PM

    They should have also mentioned Scarborough beach in West Aus, rip currents there are very fierce.

  2. Dr.Prahallad Panda Oct 12, 2009 9:05 PM

    Very nice beaches.

  3. Babel Oct 15, 2009 3:17 AM

    since i saw The White Shark i will never go swimming at a beach :D

  4. iskandarjet Oct 27, 2009 9:05 AM

    wonderful pic. it's don't make me scare @all... :D

  5. tyra Oct 29, 2009 11:42 PM

    the beaches are so nice.....(and terrible !...)

  6. Alyssa Nov 4, 2009 9:23 AM

    Beach are dangers because sharks are in the water and terrible!!!!

  7. john Nov 5, 2009 8:02 AM


  8. Kailyn Nov 10, 2009 4:52 PM

    Wow, Yeah I watched the show "Don't forget your passport" I think it was, and they said the Box Jellyfish are the most poisonous things in the world. And he got stung on perpose and he said it hurts like hell haha.

  9. Parker Jan 7, 2010 11:46 AM

    My only concern is stingray attacks. I live near Hilton Head Head Island South Carolina. I heard about attacks on Hilton Head.

  10. genard Jan 17, 2010 6:44 AM

    nice and beautiful beaches but you must be carefull and aware

  11. pooh Jan 19, 2010 12:22 PM

    dam watch out

  12. Vinu Feb 25, 2010 4:42 AM

    Its great to saw the places, exploring new words. but the sea seems to be dangerous in most cases .

  13. random Apr 20, 2010 6:16 PM

    idc i swim wea eva life sux n e ways hahaha

  14. munir Apr 24, 2010 7:15 PM

    Thats nice we just moved to florida and we have one of the most dangerous beachs!!!! Nice!!

  15. hawaii-freak May 24, 2010 11:05 PM

    uhhh....... you missed the most dangerous beach....
    have you forgot sandy beach in hawaii oahu ?? ?
    no wonder i'm called hawaii freak

    Anyway good job.

  16. kim Jul 6, 2010 2:08 AM

    wonderful beaches but dangerous . .tsk!!!!!!!

  17. math Jul 8, 2010 10:46 AM

    woa creepy stuff!

  18. sucker Aug 8, 2010 10:39 PM

    dam to dangerous

  19. Brad Aug 12, 2010 10:21 AM

    That's crazy but that have sharks in all saltwater box jellyfish never herd of it but ok

  20. e harris Aug 17, 2010 6:41 PM

    mnandi beach in south africa cape town come and try its where the oceans meet

  21. walford Sep 3, 2010 10:38 AM

    The most dangerous beach is Howard Beach, Queens :P

  22. Roni Oct 10, 2010 7:47 PM

    I live in Florida and go to New Smyrna every summer, not once have i seen a shark, but ive deffenatly been on the lookout! =)

  23. marjun Oct 14, 2010 6:00 AM

    dangerous but beautiful

  24. marjun Oct 14, 2010 6:00 AM

    dangerous but beautiful

  25. Wickedlucky Dec 12, 2010 2:01 PM

    What about Fish Hoek beach in South Africa? Tons of shark attacks there, so many that they now have Shark watch towers and if a shark is spotted white and black flags are raised.

  26. lilo Dec 19, 2010 7:08 PM

    well all beaches are really dangerous and there are sharks and other creatures all over the world

  27. sash Jan 23, 2011 8:26 AM


  28. caitlin Feb 24, 2011 12:53 AM

    They should have mentioned Piha in Auckland New Zealand.

  29. meowmeow May 8, 2011 8:09 PM

    yeah Zipolite unbelievably dangerous. Someone died from the rip current as I was sitting on the beach.

  30. Mark May 12, 2011 4:47 AM

    I am terrified of swimming in the sea, I hope one day I can get the courage to go swimming again, I am terrifed, as soon as I enter the water, I start screaming saying get me out, as I am terrified of sharks, I don't care about jellyfish or stingrays, just the sharks I am scared of, that's all, because they rip off your arms and legs and it just freaks me out what is down below. I am 23 years old.

  31. sean Jul 19, 2011 8:30 PM

    Im from coney island,Brooklyn,nyc, and we got great whites comin in,da sharks be comic outta no where wtf

  32. pol Jul 22, 2011 12:08 AM

    God Today i almost lose live in zicatela puerto escondido the waves are so big i just lose the coast for strong current was past. Thanks to the beach patrol who saving me. Now i can't feel yet my muscles

  33. Nick Oct 30, 2011 7:17 AM

    I swam at Hanakapiai and lived, waves were huge, unpredictable and huge black shadows (sharks as far as I could tell) swam in the waves. The sign is unnerving and the undetow was very, very strong. A few of us ventured in and lived.

  34. Kody Taylors Dec 1, 2011 7:33 AM

    Oooo, Those Beaches Are All Dangerous! :O But Gorgeous. ;P I'm Gonna Go To One Of Them, Someday... (Don't Die Now) q(x_x)p

  35. Kody Taylors Dec 1, 2011 7:35 AM

    Eww, Look At My Picture

  36. kareebian Dec 2, 2011 1:57 PM

    i wl try to go there

  37. gayatri Dec 4, 2011 9:19 AM

    this beaches sounds very very horrible!

  38. varadarajan Dec 10, 2011 3:51 PM

    All that glitters are not gold... The jelly fish looks great. unfortunately its terrible...

  39. justin Jan 28, 2012 4:41 PM

    I live in California We have a lot of white sharks but it don't scare me even thought it would suck to lose a ARM or leg

  40. subukalpana Jan 31, 2012 4:16 AM

    we will try to go their, very nice place,i like it

  41. albert Feb 5, 2012 6:19 PM

    kinda cool kinda weard and kinda freeky :p

  42. awesomness Feb 5, 2012 9:45 PM

    just moved from florida and im glad there is no beaches where i live now never knew that about florida but here i have to watch out 4 the lock ness monster

  43. THESHARKTHTWILLEATU Feb 5, 2012 10:46 PM

    sounds great. i really want to go to the ones with sharks in them. I love when those sharks attack me. its awesome.. right?

  44. Udon't need2nomyname Feb 5, 2012 10:49 PM


  45. Classified info Feb 5, 2012 10:52 PM

    ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff sharks and jeelysish yum yum... when they go together they are to so

  46. aira Feb 6, 2012 6:12 AM

    i want to try those freaky beaches

  47. angelitos Feb 24, 2012 5:35 PM

    so beautiful but so treacherous

  48. Mike Lathouras Mar 3, 2012 5:03 AM

    One hit by a box jelly and you are usually toast. Freaky thing is that they are all the way up inside the Great Barrier Reef - not out on the reef but on the coast. On the coastal resorts you will see nice pools and reef tourist boats but between Sept and March you won't find anyone swimming on the lovely palm fringed mainland beaches. Very nasty stuff..

  49. i heart Mar 8, 2012 7:28 PM

    i heart you all

  50. kendrick Mar 30, 2012 6:13 AM going to hilton head sc with my family do i need to worry about sharks

  51. tu wey Apr 3, 2012 8:07 PM

    so dangerous

  52. Pinky Apr 13, 2012 7:57 AM

    So nice but I'm really scared........ :)

  53. kumar nungambakkam May 11, 2012 3:19 AM

    Very nice beach

  54. Sylva from OZ May 18, 2012 4:36 PM

    Northern Territory & Northern Queensland (Australia) don't just have the box jellyfish you need to worry about. Home of the Saltwater Crocodile and many Sharks species. Lots of safe beaches down under though. Just do your home work before traveling over here : )

  55. court adams May 27, 2012 3:36 PM

    I love sharks more than I love people.Did youknow that sharks do not have a urinary track?They simply extract the urin from thier skin,mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

  56. NABEEL Jun 8, 2012 1:52 PM


  57. Andrew Jun 14, 2012 12:27 PM

    I would be willing to bet if the statics for human on human attacks were reported they would be 100 times greater than any other creature on human attacks. I am way more concerned about humans then animals.

  58. Joe Oder Jun 20, 2012 4:50 PM

    What about Hilton head? I know somebody stung by a portugese man-o-war, and all of my family was stung by unknown jellyfish.

  59. Ari Jun 20, 2012 6:27 PM

    ok ummm im still scared i was looking up where im going and how dangerous it is im going to South Carolina Hilton Head are any beaches their dangerous like even if they aren't im not swimming im just protecting my family

  60. cc Aug 2, 2012 2:02 PM

    its lightNing, not lighting that kills people.

  61. Jp Aug 3, 2012 7:32 PM

    They should put Martinique the water is crystal clear but there's sharks ocean currents r really strong and the there's octupos and waves up to 10 meters!!

  62. some1thatknowsstuff Aug 8, 2012 5:39 AM

    yes the beaches are beautiful and yeah they are verey dangres but those are the chances you take in life but if you ever go to any shark infested waters remember we arnt the only meet eaters and sharks can smell one singel drop from blood from milles away so keep that in mind ladys

  63. trueblue Aug 9, 2012 4:49 PM

    never saw one up close and never will lol

  64. Messi10 Aug 19, 2012 1:30 AM

    Stupid scientists

  65. M Sep 29, 2012 3:01 AM

    You don't have to swim just lay down on shore and let the water come to you

  66. Tsuhah Oct 20, 2012 9:08 PM

    Ahh..thy shud av mntion 'choche beach'chizami,nagaland,india..,out thr we find white sharks,..oh wow ..the sharks are really sexy out thr in dat beach ,ya..n we usd to have sex with those sexy white sharks..come and try it they are all virgin.,ohlala

  67. Rasutshu tsuhah Oct 20, 2012 9:14 PM

    Hw about azupu beach chizami where people used to have anal sex with anacondas ..awe dat beah's rly cool smokt ....

  68. John Jul 14, 2013 7:33 PM

    Aulstralia takes the cake, crocs, great whites, box jellies, etc. I lived in Daytona and could see sand sharks swimming around from my second floor apartment. I'd rather swim with sand sharks in Daytona then great whites anyday.

  69. BakoymaTravels Sep 3, 2013 10:28 PM

    Good to know! It's so easy, especially coming from a country where the beaches are relatively safe, to underestimate the ocean and currents...

  70. Pye Nov 23, 2013 9:29 AM

    I got stung 3 hours ago in Sorrento W. Aus.
    First time and its very unpleasant.

  71. TJ Dec 29, 2013 8:16 PM

    I do surf lifesaving in the northen beaches and I spot plenty of box jellyfish and lots of crocs. On a big kinda wavy day I had a 2 meter croc swim underneath me crazy and scary

  72. TJ Dec 29, 2013 8:16 PM

    I do surf lifesaving in the northen beaches and I spot plenty of box jellyfish and lots of crocs. On a big kinda wavy day I had a 2 meter croc swim underneath me crazy and scary

  73. TJ Dec 29, 2013 8:16 PM

    I do surf lifesaving in the northen beaches and I spot plenty of box jellyfish and lots of crocs. On a big kinda wavy day I had a 2 meter croc swim underneath me crazy and scary

  74. TJ Dec 29, 2013 8:16 PM

    I do surf lifesaving in the northen beaches and I spot plenty of box jellyfish and lots of crocs. On a big kinda wavy day I had a 2 meter croc swim underneath me crazy and scary

  75. JOJO MANO Feb 6, 2014 12:48 AM

    Jellyfish and sharks in Florida. Got stung by one and live to tell about it. Charged me 82% interest. Never do bus with them again.

  76. Flo Oct 1, 2015 4:01 AM

    I was attackt by a shark in Brazil. I just had luck and didn't die.
    I will can never walk normal again.
    Stay out of the dangerous areas.

  77. Name: Feb 12, 2016 2:06 AM