Dangerous Wild Places
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PHOTOS: 8 of Earth's Most Dangerous Wild Places

Only the most adventurous (or crazy) among us would attempt to visit.

From mountainous hikes to sun-drenched beaches, some places in the world are so wild and remote they might seem like heaven. But look closer, and they're exactly the opposite.

Maybe it's a beautiful mountain... that turns out to be a volcano about to erupt at any time. Or it's a national park's rainbow pools that could technically boil people alive. Or it's a gorgeous mountain range that threatens any life that dares enter its canyons.

Read on for a few of the most dangerous places you'd be tempted to visit - but practice extreme caution, lest you lose your life on the journey!

Ilha da Queimada Grande (Snake Island), Brazil

This tropical isle sits 25 miles off Brazil's coast and is teeming with golden lanceheads - a species of endangered pit viper that's among the most venomous in Latin America. Estimates say there's one snake per square meter, which makes it basically the island paradise of our nightmares. The island's lighthouse is automated after snakes killed its keeper, if that tells you anything. Thankfully the Brazilian government closed it to visitors in the 1900s.

Death Valley, California

Dangerous Wild Places

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Badwater Basin in this desert valley is the lowest point in elevation in North America at 282 feet below sea level. Temperatures here get among the hottest in the world, regularly topping 100 degrees (and setting a record 134°F at Furnace Creek). Without water, you'd likely die in less than a day, and if the searing heat didn't get you the rattlesnakes might. Just consider it Earth's oven.

Valley of Death, Kamchatka

Dangerous Wild Places

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Russia has its own "death valley," but it's quite different from the one in the States. In the country's far-east region lies a volcanic mountain range that's seemingly a chilly wonderland. When spring comes, so do small animals and birds looking for food and water, only to die soon after. Scavengers come for a meal and also mysteriously die. Legend has it that two hunters discovered the valley 100 years ago, devoid of vegetation but littered with hundreds of dead animals, and locals will tell you 80 people have died there. The culprit is suffocation due to the volcanic gasses that accumulate in the narrow valley with no way of escaping.

Mount Washington, New Hampshire

Dangerous Wild Places


This peak is the highest east of the Mississippi, and the views are spectacular high above the clouds once you ascend its 6,000-plus feet. And while mountain hiking always comes with its share of risks, the dangers here are peculiar. Not only do temperatures sink as low as -40°F, but unexpected winds can come out of nowhere due to the mountain's unusual geology. Winds have hit records of 231 mph and are known to blow people right off cliffs.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming/Idaho/Montana

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Yellowstone National Park draws millions of visitors each year, most of whom certainly survive their trip and go home with great memories. That is, unless they're one of the hundred or so who've ignored the dire warning signs to leave wildlife alone and stay on the clearly designated paths. Some 20 people have perished falling into Yellowstone's bone-melting hot springs and steam vent temperatures that have reached 275°F. The good news is this is completely avoidable, if you follow the rules.

Yungas Road, Bolivia

Billed for years as the world's most dangerous road, this one that climbs 15,260 feet and winds through the Amazon rainforest took out 300 drivers a year before 1994! Until 2006, the one-lane dirt road was the only way to get from the little town of Coroico to the capital of La Paz. It's been somewhat improved, with most deaths today being local workers, backpackers, and thrill-seeking cyclists who incorrectly navigate hairpin turns and fly off the 2,000-feet cliffs.

The Afar Region, Ethiopia

Dangerous Wild Places

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If you thought this was a portal to Hell, you might not be far off. Erta Ale is one of the world's only volcanos to have a lava lake - in fact, the longest-lasting lava lake on the planet. Temperatures in this region typically hit 122°F and geysers spew poisonous sulfuric gasses. Not much is known about this area because it's so inhospitable and hard to reach, not to mention the threats from local warfare. Travel agents advise hiring armed guards if you really, really need to visit.

North Sentinel Island, Indian Ocean

The Indian government stopped visits here in 1997 and has made it illegal to get within five miles of it. Why? The Stone Age tribe inhabiting this island really, REALLY doesn't want you to show up. They fire spears and arrows at anyone daring to approach, including helicopters flying above, and have actually taken the lives of adventurers trying to get too close. Their most recent victim was in 2018 when an American missionary named John Allen Chau thought introducing the Sentinelese to Jesus was a great idea. (It wasn't.)