Five most dangerous vacation tours in the universe
Five most dangerous vacation tours in the universe
While many spend their lives trying to avoid danger and tragedies, millions of people travel the world on vacation to some of the most dangerous places on the planet - and also pay for the privilege.
"Adventure tourism" refers to the traveling to exciting destinations to engage in challenging or risky activities - usually in the great outdoors - and experience something you cannot do at home. As explained in R. Buckley's book, adventure tourism is sometimes about activity and location often, both. Famous feats, such as climbing Mount Everest, are becoming increasingly popular - to the point of overcrowding. Other destinations, such as North Korea, are only available to a few people and are subject to strict control. Some sites are only destinations for tourists with specific hobbies and specialized skills, such as deep sea caves or potential storm sites.
While this type of tourism can be exciting, it can also be deadly. Some attractions require a lot of preparation and training to try, which some tourists may not be aware of before they arrive. Others are risky, violent, or unpredictable and can be a real threat to anyone trying to visit.
- The sites of some of humanity's most terrible nuclear tragedies have become tourist attractions. Companies offering tours have proliferated around places like Chornobyl - but visitors may not be safe from the radiation.
As the New York Times described, Chornobyl was once the site of the worst nuclear disaster in history. Today, parts of it are back in nature. However, in the 30 years that have been abandoned, the remains of human homes have become overgrown. Entering these abandoned buildings is dangerous, not because of the radiation but because of the danger of collapse.
- Trips to the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone became famous, not despite the suffering there but because of it. The Washington Post attributes the increase in tourism to Chornobyl to the video game "S.T. Since airing, several companies offering guided tours of the exclusion zone have reported a 30-40% increase in the number of tourists. Radiation is still a threat in Chornobyl, but the exposure depends on where the tourists go in the exclusion zone and how long they stay. The forest around Chornobyl was not part of the cleanup, and also the plant life there is radioactive. The tourists are advised to spend as little time as possible, put on a mask and gloves, and get rid of their clothes.
- There are always many risks when it comes to the sport of extreme mountaineering, but not all mountains are created equal. For example, Pakistani mountain K2 is the second tallest mountain after Mount Everest. National Geographic reports that Mount Everest may be the tallest, but K2 is considered the most challenging mountain to climb.
- Less than 400 people have successfully reached the K2 summit. While K2 was called by the alphanumeric designation given during a survey project in the 19th century, it has come to be known as the "Savage Mountain." As described by the NASA, this nickname comes from the extreme dangers to climbers due to frequent avalanches and extreme weather conditions. Only one mountaineering team summed it up in winter when temperatures can be as low as -58 degrees Fahrenheit, and in 2012 the mountain's fatality rate is thought to be 29%.
- A trip to K2 can also be dangerous for tourists. In February 2022, the U.S. government recommended Americans "reconsider travel to Pakistan due to terrorism and sectarian violence."
- Death Valley National Park receives approximately one million tourists each year. As described in Death Valley, tourists used to visit Death Valley as there were ways to get there. In 1920s, the first resort was built to accommodate many visitors. But the harsh conditions that make it attractive to tourists can also put them at risk.
- The harsh conditions there have given rise to a variety of ominous names other than Death Valley, including the "Coffin Canyon," "Chaos Ridge," and the "Dripping Blood Cliffs." It is one of the hottest and the driest places on the planet. In 1913, Death Valley's temperature was 134 degrees Fahrenheit - the highest temperature ever recorded. In 2001, the temperature was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit for 154 days. There have been several deaths in Death Valley due to the extreme heat. For this reason, NPS encourages tourists who visit Death Valley in the summer not to hike after 10 a.m., to stay in the mountains and always pack the necessary items to survive an emergency.
- As expected for a national park, many creatures live there, some of which can be dangerous to humans, including scorpions, rattlesnakes, and venomous spiders. In addition, flash floods may occur in canyons during storms. Illegal pot fields have even been found within the park. Should visitors stumble upon it, they are advised to "run, walk, crawl or hide" and leave as quickly and calmly as possible.
- Glass bridges, walkways, and slides are becoming famous worldwide, especially in China. There are about 2,300 glass bridges in the China alone. They have become the part of many tourist attractions because they integrate and do not detract from the appeal itself. As it is described by the New York Times, the longest is over 1,700 feet and stretches across a strait 650 feet below. For some, the awe-inspiring appearance of being able to see Earth far away is part of the appeal. One is designed to swing, while the other looks like it crack when you walk on it. Unfortunately, sometimes these passages get cut off, which leads to disastrous consequences.
- As reported by the BBC, in 2021, the tourist was left hanging on the side of a bridge after the bottom of the glass was broken. The fire department eventually rescued it, but not all visitors survived. In 2019, a tourist was killed, and others were injured by falling from a glass slide.
- While skywalks are very popular in China, tourist attractions in the United States have also had to rethink them for safety reasons. For example, the Grand Canyon has a horseshoe-shaped walkway, which had to be re-evaluated for post-mortem safety in 2019.
- The storm chasing is precisely what it sounds like: following potential storms for a chance to see incredible storms in action. As the Washington Post described it, it takes years of experience and a thorough understanding of the weather. Chasers try to predict how storms, especially hurricanes, will develop so that they can watch them at their strongest. They should be close enough to see the storm but far enough away that they are not in danger.
- As explained in "When Severe Weather Becomes a Tourist Attraction: Understanding the Relationship with Nature in Storm-Based Tourism," some tour operators charge for tours that promise the opportunity to witness incredible storms but do not guarantee that showers will occur. Chasing storms requires forecasting the weather - which is very difficult. On the morning of a storm, chasers have to look at several weather models and create a forecast that they think the storm will follow and get into its position. Often, even the experienced chasers guess wrong and miss the chance of seeing a storm they've been tracking for days.
- While missing a storm is the most likely consequence of a miscalculation, you may end up in the storm's path instead. As storm chaser and meteorologist Charles Doswell explains, extreme chasers are willing to do "almost anything" to see a storm in action. Unfortunately, it can be dangerous even for experienced stalkers. In 2013, three veteran chasers died while trying to spot a devastating one-mile-wide tornado.