With Spring-break fast approaching, many people are busy getting their plans in place for what they are hoping to be their best holiday yet. For this myTake I've decided to skip the cliche of posting about "The Top 10 places you DO want to visit" and gone with the places that you wouldn't and shouldn't visit.
10. Great Pacific Garbage Patch (Pacific Ocean)
Found stretched across the North Pacific Ocean, this 'trash-island' is becoming an ever increasing problem. The exact size of the Patch is currently unknown but it is estimated by some to be larger than the U.S state of Texas and by others to be larger than the continental United States. Its rather difficult to get an exact size of the Patch as rubbish is dispersed underwater as well as spread out over large areas.
The Patch is an example of a gyre- a huge spiral of seawater formed by colliding currents. Infact the North Pacific gyre is one of the largest in the world. The upper part of this gyre, is where warm water from the South Pacific crashes into cooler water from the north. Known as the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone, this is also where the trash collects.
The Patch is characterized by high concentrations of plastic, chemical sludge and other debris. I dont know about you, but this is definitely not my idea of an ideal holiday location.
9. Izu island (Japan)
Found on top of an active volcano chain which has erupted 6 times in the last century, the Izu islands are a danger to its inhabitants. Not only because of the volcanic eruptions, but also because the islands are constantly covered in the stench of a poisonous gas called sulfur (which smells worse than a thousand farts).
In 1953 and 2005 residents were evacuated because of high levels of sulfur in the vicinity. Residents returned in 2005 but now have to carry gas masks with them at all times just in case gas levels rise unexpectedly.
8. The Door to Hell (Turkmenistan)
This giant hole of fire in the heart of the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan has been burning for more than 40 years. In 1971 geologists were drilling at the sight when they found an underground cavern filled with natural gas. The ground beneath their drilling rig collapsed and sunk in leaving a huge crater. The geologists were afraid that poisonous gases would escape from the crater ,so the team decided to burn it off.
It was hoped that the fire would use all the fuel within days, but the gas is still burning today.
7. Alnwick Poison Gardens (England).
In 1995, Jane Percy became the Duchess of Northumberland, a county in northeastern England. After the family moved into Alnwich castle, her husband asked her to do something with the garden.The duchess' next move was very unexpected.
"I think he thought, 'That will keep her quiet, she’ll just plant a few roses and that’ll be it,'" the duchess says. But the duchess did a lot more than just plant roses. She decided to dedicate Alnwick Gardens exclusively to plants that can kill. The Poison Garden contains plants like Belladonna, angels trumpet, nightshade etc- all plants that are deadly.
Because of the plants' dangerous qualities, visitors to the Poison Garden are prohibited from smelling, touching or tasting any of them. Still, even with guidelines in place, visitors can fall victim to the plants. Many people reportedly faint from inhaling toxic fumes while walking through the garden.
6. Thetford Asbestos Mine(Canada)
Exposure to Asbestos causes mesothelioma, a fatal cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, as well as other cancers and lung-related illnesses. In fact it is so dangerous that the mining and use of asbestos in Europe has been banned by the European Union.
In Canada at the Thetford Mines, you can visit an enormous open pit asbestos mine which is still fully operational.The mine offers bus tours of the grounds. The most concerning fact is that miners are not obligated to wear any respiratory protective gear.
5. Ramree Island (Burma)
Ramree is a huge swamp that is home to thousands of deadly salt water crocodiles, malaria carrying mosquito's, venomous scorpions and snakes. During the Second World War the Island was used as a base for six whole weeks by Japanese soldiers.
Here is a description of the nights experienced on the island told by a Japanese soldier :
“That night [of the 19 February 1945] was the most horrible that any member of the M.L. [motor launch] crews ever experienced. The scattered rifle shots in the pitch black swamp punctured by the screams of wounded men crushed in the jaws of huge reptiles, and the blurred worrying sound of spinning crocodiles made a cacophony of hell that has rarely been duplicated on earth. At dawn the vultures arrived to clean up what the crocodiles had left…Of about 1,000 Japanese soldiers that entered the swamps of Ramree, only about 20 were found alive.”
4. Yungas Road (Bolivia)
This is a 61 km long road and is known as 'The Road of Death' or 'Death Road' for various reasons. One of the biggest reasons being that 200-300 travelers do die on this road annually.
Paraguayan prisoners built the road in the 1930 and it is one of the only routes connecting the Amazon rain forest region of northern Bolivia to the Capital City.
The road has many features which make it unsafe. Its extremely steep 500m drop-offs, single lane widths (widest areas are 3.2m wide), no guard rails, muddy surfaces and loose rocks. Furthermore fog and mist sometimes decreases visibility.
3. Ilha de Queimada Grande (Brazil)
Off shore of Brazil is an Island unpopulated and untouched by humans- for very good reason. The island is known as 'Snake Island' as it has been estimated by researchers that between one and five snakes per square meter can be found living on the island.
One of the most dangerous snakes found on the island is called the Golden Lancehead Viper.The Lancehead is responsible for 90% of Brazilian snakebite-related fatalities. The poison from this snake instantly starts melting the flesh around the bite. A permit is needed to set foot on this island.
2. West Flanders (Belgium)
In West Flanders there's a farm called La Basse Cour. On the surface it looks like any other normal farm - but it is far from it. Buried 24m under the farm is an unexploded mine weighing more than 20000kg which was left there by the British during the First World War.
The British laid mines underground in strategic positions so that they could blow them up once the Germans reached them.All of the mines were activated except for this one, It was lost when the Germans mounted a counter-mining attack and lay half-forgotten for 80 years until British researchers were able to establish its exact whereabouts using maps of the period.
The owner of La Basse Cour says that the mine doesn't trouble him and that he doesn't think it will ever explode because it has been dormant for such a long but history suggests otherwise. In 1955 one of the four unused mines at the southern end of the ridge detonated after 38 years in the ground.
1. Dzerzhinsk (Russia)
With an average life expectancy of just 40, Dzerzhinsk was rated the most chemically polluted city on Earth by The Guinness Book of World Records and in 2003 its death rate exceeded its birth rate by 260%.
The City was severely polluted during the Cold War. Environmentalists estimate that almost 300,000 tons of chemical waste — including some of the most dangerous neurotoxins known to man — were dumped in Dzerzhinsk between 1930 and 1998. The Cities water is infected with Dioxin , which is a highly toxic organic pollutant. Some areas water supplies are affected with Dioxin of up to 17 million times above the safe limit.
So if you like all of your limbs attached to your body, you prefer not to get swallowed alive by crocodiles or to be gassed by poisonous gases stay away from these places!!!