Last week in Gansbaai, South Africa, a man almost became an afternoon snack for a great white shark when the predator forced its way into a protective shark diving cage. A video uploaded by YouTube user Bryan Plummer shows a large shark ignoring the bait put out by tour operators and instead going straight for the main course: diver. After jamming its head into the cage through the viewing portal, the shark thrashed around and then swam away. A few nervous seconds later the divers in the cage popped back up, apparently no worse for wear. The man closest to the action, known only as Roger, had reportedly gotten married the day prior.
The Los Angeles Times recently compiled a list of their picks for the world’s most dangerous places, with some popular tourist destinations earning amongst their ranks. Unlike other lists of this kind however, they automatically omitted places like Baghdad or Afghanistan, which are not travel friendly to begin with. Instead, this list points out the the very real dangers that a tourist might face while visiting one of these places.
For example, Gansbaai, South Africa earns a spot amongst the world’s most dangerous destinations because of the shark infested waters that surround the city. The region has an abundance of seals and penguins, which attract hordes of great white sharks, making it a popular place for visitors who want to see those predators up close. Thrill seekers can take a dip in those dangerous waters inside a shark cage, while most will look on from the safety of their boat.
Other dangerous destinations include Mt. Everest in Nepal for the extreme conditions and high altitude. The entire country of Australia gets the nod thanks to all the dangerous snakes and spiders that live there, and Memphis, Tennessee is a surprise entry for its proclivity for earthquakes. The city sits on a major fault line that could make it a major disaster waiting to happen.
There are a number of other popular destinations on the list, each with a unique threat to those that visit there. The list is a good reminder that we don’t have to visit a war torn nation to face real dangers on our next trip.