20 Places You Should Never Ever Swim

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Lake Nyos, Cameroon

Locally, Lake Nyos is known as the Bad Lake. Even for those not planning to take a dip in its perilous waters, it poses great danger. One to avoid? We recommend giving this place a wide berth.

Located high on an inactive volcano, this is a crater lake like no other, a magma pocket deep beneath the surface leaking carbon dioxide into its waters, making carbonic acid in the process and threatening all around. The natural wall that forms the lake’s perimeter is starting to crumble, threatening countless villages that lie beneath. Yet it is not Nyos’ acidic waters that pose the greatest threat to life here.

In 1986, natural disaster struck, a huge explosion sending a fountain of water 300 feet into the air. In the process, deadly gases were released, poisoning those who breathed them in — and killing more than 1,700 people. One to avoid? This isn’t called the Bad Lake for nothing.