20 Places You Should Never Ever Swim


Blue Lagoon, UK

The Blue Lagoon sounds lovely. Its shimmering waters are turquoise and appealing — beckoning those keen to cool down on a hot summer’s day. The trouble is, those appealing waters are also harmful to health. It has been described as a ‘toxic soup’. Trust us on this one: swimming here is not a good idea.

Located close to Buxton in Derbyshire, this is a former quarry, the waters containing dangerous residues that point to its industrial past. High in calcium oxide, the Blue Lagoon has a pH of 11.3. In comparison, ammonia is 11.5 and bleach 12.6.

Consider that, down the years, this has become a dumping ground, with abandoned cars, rubbish and rotting animal carcasses all hidden in the depths, and it starts to sound a little less lovely. The authorities here have even tried dying the water black — in order to make the ‘lagoon’ less attractive — yet still people swim here, forever risking illness and injury.