There are endless metrics to measure danger. Is it random gun violence? War? The possibility of natural disasters? Poisonous predators? Or maybe it’s a little bit of all of the above. Basically, measuring the most dangerous places in the world is tough. It’s also murky — because while it’s fun to talk about islands covered in snakes, it’s a whole different matter to plan a trip to war torn countries.
Right now, there’s a shockingly low number of nations not at war in some way. Add in the fact that we spent a few centuries building cities and amassing populations in danger zones before we had any purchase on volcanism or tectonic science and we’re left with a whole lot of scary shit on the globe.
We decided we’d go ahead and compile a list of some of the most dangerous places around the world. To keep it somewhat even-handed we’re using half natural dangers like volcanoes and lakes that’ll turn you to stone after suffocating you with noxious gases, and half places where the danger comes from humans. We do not encourage you to visit places in the latter category unless you are going with a clear intent and a plan for bringing something positive to the area.
Ilha de Queimada Grande, Brazil
It’s snake island! Seriously, it’s full of snakes! Legend has it that a knot of snakes killed the lighthouse keeper and his entire family back in the 1920s and the island was summarily abandoned to the snakes. The snakes have spent 11,000 years evolving on the island without any predators or outside intervention. You’re thinking about snake cannibalism now, aren’t you?
But it doesn’t end there. This is the sole home to the Golden Lancehead Viper which has venom that melts your skin. Hello nightmares! So, yeah, you won’t be finding Indiana Jones booking a trip… or many other people for that matter.
The island off the coast of Brazil near Sao Paulo is a pretty popular diving and fishing destination. So getting around the island is as easy as chartering a trip. Getting on the island is another matter. The Brazilian government strictly forbade anyone landing on the islands without a very specific and hard-to-get permit (mostly given to scientists and photographers). So, maybe take that Instagram shot from the safety of your fishing boat.