Some travelers are far more daring than others and when the adrenaline gets the best of them, dangerous destinations can often be part of the itinerary. The world is full of inhospitable locations, but many don't realize the dangers just by looking at them, since looks can be deceiving... especially when it comes to dangers that lurk just below or above the surface.

Despite the dangers that lurk in these regions, many are still not off-limits from the public. While there are warnings and cautionary tales, some of these places are actually inhabited by people - making them some of the harshest living conditions on earth.


Lake Natron

This lake might look inviting (or menacing, depending on your point of view) but it's one of the deadliest lakes on the planet. Lake Natron has a natural defense mechanism in the form of its alkaline level, which is higher than any other in the world.

The bright red color of the lake comes from the amount of sodium carbonate that flows into the water since it's located right below Ol Doinyo Lengai, an active volcano in Tanzania. The caustic level of this water could scorch a human and essentially calcify them (see above), but surprisingly, it's an active breeding ground for flamingos.


Oymyakon is known as one of the coldest inhabited places on the planet and is located in Russia's Oymyakonsky District. With extreme temperatures occasionally dropping to -90 degrees, it's hard to believe that anyone lives in such a harsh environment.

Even so, roughly 500 people have still managed to call this place home and have found ways to deal with its frigid temperatures. The highest temperature this town has seen was 67 degrees, and that was back in July of 2010.

Death Valley

A roundup of the most dangerous places on earth wouldn't be complete without noting Death Valley, which is still one of the hottest places on the planet.

Located in between Nevada and California, this desert's only competition are those of Africa and the Middle East. Temperatures here remain steady above 100 degrees in the hotter months, with an overnight low of 108 degrees, which is still hotter than many states see in one summer day on an annual basis.

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Skeleton Coast

Often called "the end of the earth," the Skeleton Coast is located on the coast of Namibia. The harsh, dry conditions of this section of the coastline are the reason for both its name and its landscape - those who have seen it, or even seen photos of it, will have likely noticed the unusual numbers of skeletons that litter the shoreline. Many animals have tried and many have failed in terms of making this place a home or simply passing through. The lack of fresh water and the environmental conditions make it a challenge that not even animals native to the area are prepared to face, let alone survive in.

Danakil Desert

The Danakil Desert is also one of the most uninhabited places in the world due to its conditions. Similar to Death Valley, the temperature of this desert often reaches upwards of 120 degrees and its landscape is something similar to that of Mars.

With geysers that spew toxic gas rather than water, this desert is a hazard just to walk through, let alone live in. Furthermore, it's nearly impossible for anyone to reach due to its remote location and health risks for anyone spending any amount of time there, including sulfur inhalation.

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