Attention all water lovers: No matter how strong of a swimmer you think you are, chances are, the locations mentioned in this article are even stronger than that. Whether it's the strength of the current, the sheer force behind the waves, or the fact that many of these destinations are seemingly bottomless, there are threats both seen and unseen to the world's most dangerous swimming locations. Toxic chemicals, harmful temperatures, and nearby predators only add to the danger level of these otherwise premier destination locations to try your hand at a backstroke.
Heeding warnings is the smartest thing a person can do when it comes to testing the limits to their own swimming skills because these destinations do not offer second chances. They might be enchanting from the shore but getting into their waters is a completely different experience altogether. Even the most Olympic of swimmers would caution others to stay away from these swimming holes... Here's why you should listen.
Hanakapi'ai Beach, Hawaii
It's a bit surprising to see a Hawaiian beach on here considering how picturesque and idyllic most of the state's beaches really are. However, Hanakapi'ai has a bit of a different reputation among the locals and it's one that visitors should heed as a warning.
For starters, the beach itself can only be reached via a two-mile hike and while jumping into the water after all that might be tempting, it's not something anyone would recommend - the strong riptides and currents that you can't see underneath the water have been responsible for carrying people out further than anticipated.
Jacob's Well, Texas
The problem with Jacob's Well is that from the surface, it looks like your average swimming hole that's actually pretty shallow... until you get a look into the actual well that lies just underneath the shallow surface of this river.
The water surrounding the well might be two feet deep at best but once you get into the well, it's a difference of 100 feet or so. The well extends even deeper than that, giving way to an underwater cave that many divers wouldn't even recommend exploring due to its dangerous, narrow passageways and disorienting routes.
Eagle's Nest Sinkhole, Florida
Similar to Jacob's Well, Eagle's Nest Sinkhole also has a cavernous underground that has taken the lives of experienced divers before. While the pond itself might seem unsuspecting, once swimmers dive a little deeper, they're met with an underground cave system that's filled with water and, by extension, significant threats.
There's no telling what's under there or how a diver can get out once they've gone in and it's created such an issue, that there's a sign posted under the water warning swimmers and divers to turn around.
Horseshoe Lake, California
Horseshoe Lake sounds pretty unassuming and if you're near Mammoth Mountain in California, you might be tempted to dip your feet into this lake after a rugged hike. We'd advise against doing that, though... unless you want to be exposed to lethal levels of carbon dioxide.
Three decades prior, an earthquake in this area led to exposed magma pockets that leaked carbon dioxide through to the surface of the lake, and it now poses a threat to anyone who camps nearby or hangs out in an enclosed space, such as a snowbank.
Blue Lagoon, England
This is in no relation to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland (which is perfectly safe and even boasts healing properties). Once part of an active quarry, the Blue Lagoon in England has now collected so many minerals from nearby mining that the calcium oxide buildup has led to an extremely high pH level in the water below.
The lagoon was once a gorgeous aqua color which is what led to so many swimmers thinking it was harmless but has since been dyed black to make swimmers think twice before diving into its toxic waters.
Bolton Strid, England
Speaking of harmless, that's exactly how Bolton Strid seems. This stream in England seems like nothing more than a small place to cool off and take a dip on a hot day, but there are signs posted all over to keep people from doing just that. So, how can a stream this small be so dangerous?
It's actually connected to a larger river - River Wharfe - and the stream itself has been known to carry with it powerful currents that can sweep a person's feet out from under them and carry them downstream. With so many crevices and spaces to get stuck and sides that are too steep in some places to make for easy rescue, this stream has been the subject of several works of literature in reference to its power.
Lake Victoria, Africa
Lake Victoria is well known for its connection to local fishing in Tazmania, Kenya, and Uganda. However, that doesn't mean these waters are friendly to swimmers - they're not even that friendly to fishermen or anyone who attempts to navigate its waters without prior experience.
The weather is so unpredictable on this lake that it's been known to change in a matter of minutes, with winds and waves capable of overturning a boat as if it weighs nothing. Based on statistics alone, this is the most dangerous body of water on earth.