But guess what? There are also some places that are so goddamn terrifying you’d trade all the Angel Falls and Grand Whatevers just to never ever experience them. Yes, as much as our planet offers you stunning beauty, it also houses many regions of pants-change-inducing horror. Let’s talk about five those today, shall we?
5 The Bermuda Triangle
Look, I know it’s probably a mix of bad luck, deliberate hoax, legend, and so on, but the thought of a region where people regularly just disappear? That’s scary stuff. And for centuries that has been just what the Bermuda Triangle, an area roughly delineated by lines drawn from Bermuda to Puerto Rico to Miami, has been. From mariners in centuries past to modern seamen to pilots, many a person has headed into this large swath of ocean and just vanished. Take our advice, and take the long way around.
4 Yellowstone National Park
Yeah, you may think of Old Faithful and charming, pic-a-nic basket stealing bears, but Yellowstone is actually just about the most volcanically active place on the planet. The park sits atop a massive caldera of volcanic activity and if (or when) it ever decides to take its activity up a notch, it could produce a super massive volcano the size and magnitude of which would render most other historic eruptions about as impressive as a sneeze. And we’re kind of due for that to happen, by the way. The sneeze, I mean—let’s hope the Yellowstone Caldera chills the hell out for a while yet.
3 Dallol (Ethiopia)
Dallol, in Ethiopia, is the hottest inhabited place on earth. Temperatures regularly soar above the average, which is one hundred and six degrees Fahrenheit! That’s the average, man. Also, pictures of the place look something like a sulfurous wasteland Spaceman Spiff would find himself marooned (with no offense meant to residents of Dallol and with a tip of the cap to anyone who did not have to Google Spaceman Spiff).
2 Mariana’s Trench
The Mariana’s Trench boasts the deepest point anywhere on earth, with the current measurements putting its floor at 6.83 miles below sea level, the temperature at just a hair above freezing, the water pressure at almost 16,000 pounds per square inch, and my interest in visiting somewhere rather low on the scale. But people have explored it, including famed director James Cameron who made a descent just a few years back because… he could?
1 Gobi Desert
When you think of deserts, what comes to mind? The unyielding, searing sun bearing down hotly onto endless hills of sands, right? Well, not in this case. In the Gobi Desert, you can easily find all the joy of there not being a single drop of water for months on end and combine it with the pleasure of freezing to death! That’s right, in the Gobi, the average temperature is just a few degrees above freezing, and spends lots of time hovering right around “My toes just fell off.” Add in the fact that at some times the temperature will change by almost 100 degrees in less than a day and the occasional flash floods of the monsoon season (when it rains, it’s deadly flash floods!) and you have a region of southern China/northern Mongolia to pretty much avoid.
Now that you have learned a little bit about a few places to never, ever visit, why not consider never, ever visiting them? And why not try re-reading this list to yourself in David Attenborough’s voice to see if it still inspires spine tingling fear or instead seems charming and British. Or maybe it can do both.