Children

Deceptively beautiful

When the blue waters of the ocean beckon, keep in mind that all that is alluring need not be good.

Beaches conjure up images of golden sands, a warm breeze and blue frothy waves. But, did you know that all beaches are not so comforting or soothing? Take a look at some of the deadliest beaches in the world.

SHIPWRECKED: “Southwest Seal” (1976) at the Skeleton Coast, Namibia.

SHIPWRECKED: “Southwest Seal” (1976) at the Skeleton Coast, Namibia.   | Photo Credit: MAIL PIC

The Skeleton Coast in Namibia in Southwest Africa, has the lethal Benguela current, regularly causing shipwrecks. Eleven species of shark swim in these waters and lions and hyena patrol the beach! Portuguese navigators refered to it as the “Gates of Hell”!

SHARK BAIT: At Gansbaai, in South Africa.

SHARK BAIT: At Gansbaai, in South Africa.   | Photo Credit: MAI PIC

Sharks are perhaps the most dreaded predators. And, there are several favourite beaches that suffer because of their presence. The New Smyrna Beach in Florida, the U.S., is known as the Shark Bite Capital of the world. The Boa Viagem Beach, Brazil; Gansbaai, in South Africa; and the Reunion Island, in France off the coast of Madagascar all suffer the same plight.

At Cape Tribulation in Australia, as its name suggests, there is no end to it. The waters teem with stinging jellyfish. As do salt-water crocodiles. The cape is also home to cassowaries, with talons so sharp that they can rip you from head to toe. This is also home to the infamous stinging tree with its jagged leaves that leave you writhing in pain for days. Fraser island, also in Australia, has been inundated with the most venomous type of jellyfish. And, packs of dingoes, a type of dog native to Australia, have been known to attack humans.

Deceptively beautiful

Hawaii, the land of beautiful beaches, golden sands and endless blue seas is also home to Hanakapiai Beach. But, the waters may not be as welcoming as they look. The incredibly strong rip tides can drag you off to an untimely death. Playa Zipolite too, boasts of powerful tides and has been called Beach of the Dead. Closer to the Kilauea volcano on Big Island, the beaches are stunning with their black sands meeting crystal clear sea. But, the volcano has been erupting continually for the past 35 years, spewing lava into the ocean and raising the water temperature.

Loften Islands like north of the Arctic Circle and are surrounded by waters that are between 46° and 57°F. According to the National Center for Cold Water Safety, water below 60°F is “extremely dangerous/immediately life-threatening.”

CASTLE BRAVO: With catastrophic results on Bikini Atool, in the U.S. Marshall Islands.

CASTLE BRAVO: With catastrophic results on Bikini Atool, in the U.S. Marshall Islands.   | Photo Credit: MAIL PIC

Bikini Atool, in the U.S. Marshall Islands is free from sharks, wild animals, swells and crime. But the U.S. army used it for nuclear testing from 1946 to 1958. Though the beach is open to tourists, locally grown coconuts and other fruits are considered unsafe to eat because of the radiation contamination,

So, all that‘s blue and beautiful may not be wonderful.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Related Topics
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 10:56:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/deceptively-beautiful/article26159919.ece

Next Story