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Think Hanford Is Dangerous? Check Out These Amazingly Dangerous Places!

Nurcholis Anhari Lubis/Getty Images

People think we’re crazy for living near leaking nuclear waste — but they don’t even know about the rattlesnakes! Or the chemical waste depot to the south (closed now, thankfully). But it turns out the Mid-Columbia has got nothing on the “most dangerous places on earth” — at the top of the list is an island with one snake per square meter!

No. 1 Ilha de Queimada Grande (Snake Island)

93 miles off the coast of Sao Paulo, Brazil, is a small, rocky island full of snakes that feed on migratory birds. There are so many snakes experts say a safe estimate is one every square meter! That means if the snakes are evenly spread out, you’re never farther than three feet from a snake. Are they poisonous? They are golden lancehead vipers — one of the most deadly snakes on earth! The island is so dangerous Brazil’s navy won’t let anyone near it — except scientists with special permission. There used to be a lighthouse on the island — the only building — but it was abandoned years ago. Surprisingly, the snakes are considered endangered because they’re so isolated. They feed on migratory birds and are becoming inbred. One brush fire would wipe them out.

No. 2 The Strid at Yorkshire Dales

Imagine a river running sideways. That’s right, imagine a river’s worth of water flowing on its side. The Strid is where the River Wharfe in the United Kingdom flows into a deep channel that’s only about 6 feet wide! The water runs so fast and so deep anything that falls into it is sucked down and often trapped in the numerous caves and tunnels the water carves beneath the surface. According to lore, NOTHING that has ever fallen in has come back out again. What makes this place so dangerous is its seeming harmlessness. The water’s roar is your only clue this isn’t just a bucolic rural stream.

No. 3 Japan’s Suicide Forest

This national park is only dangerous because people hurt themselves there. Aokigahara is a 14-square mile beautiful forest in Japan known for being quiet. For a variety of reasons, it’s a popular place to commit suicide! This most commonly occurs in March at the end of the fiscal year. Right now, despite the government’s best efforts, about 100 people commit suicide, usually by hanging or drugs, every year. Before the efforts to stop them, hundreds of people did it each spring. The problem is still so prevalent volunteers scan the forest every spring looking for bodies.


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