The world is a dangerous place. Or so the safety signs we encounter on our travels would have us believe. Thankfully, the same people who try to scare us away from sharp objects, deadly animals and steep cliffs also have a fantastic sense of humor. How else could you explain the fascinating amount of truly hysterical warning signs that are displayed all over the world? From my hometown of New York to the Northern Territory of Australia, I’ve seen warning signs for any number of dangerous situations and more often than not, they’ve elicited more laughter than fear.
That’s not to say that these signs don’t have merit. To the contrary, safety signs should always be followed and care should be taken whenever they are present. But, as you walk around the mouth of the active volcano or avoid the snap of the crocodiles teeth, enjoy a hearty belly laugh. Just because you’re defying death doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun doing it.
What situations are the most dangerously hysterical? Let’s take a tour of amusing safety signs from around the globe.
%Gallery-88255%Watch your hands!
Subways can be death traps. If the train doesn’t hit you, its doors will eat your rabbit paws. Stand clear of the closing doors, please!
Cliff diving is popular from Mexico to New Zealand. But, unlike the public pool that you went to when you still wore floaties, there are no markers telling you the depth of the water. Sure, that lake at the bottom of the waterfall looks deep enough to safely welcome you after your plunge from 100 feet up, but who’s to say it’s not just shallow and murky? Maybe those rocks aren’t as soft as they look? Perhaps – and I’m just thinking out loud here – diving into a rocky abyss against the advice of a sign that uses simple mathematical symbols and disturbing images is not the best strategy. If you need an adrenaline rush that will also cool you off, try dropping the soap in the communal shower at your hostel.
Think airports are safe thanks to the TSA? Well, what about outside of the airport? Simply walking near a runway can be dangerous. Remember that airplanes always have the right of way. If you see one coming, best to curl up into a ball, soil yourself and apologize to your friend for the blood splatter that he’s about to get on his shirt.
Crocs aren’t just ugly shoes!
Crocodiles haven’t survived for millions of years by being idiots. They’re intelligent creatures who are as smart as they are powerful. Just because they could kill you with one bite doesn’t mean that they also couldn’t defeat you in a Mathlete competition. So, if someone spent an afternoon frantically scribbling a sign alerting you that there are crocodiles stalking boats and people, you damn well better listen to that warning. Because if a crocodile wants to find you, it will. And by the time you look at the caller ID on your phone and see that the croc is calling from inside the house, it’s too late.
Slippery when wet!
Achtung! Slip and falls are all too common and result in everything from sprained ankles to concussions to permanent death. If a sign tells you to avoid slipping into a swirling black hole that may lead to Hell and/or a netherworld, best to heed its warning.
I could go on and on, but perhaps you should just check out our gallery of warning signs to properly understand the dangers that loom all around. As you travel the world, please do obey all safety signs…and have a blast doing it!