20 Places You Should Never Ever Swim


Pustoye Lake, Siberia

Located in Western Siberia, picturesque Pustoye Lake looks pleasant enough. That ‘pustoye’ means empty’ in the local tongue tells a different story, however.

This is a lake where nothing lives — and no-one knows why. Countless studies have been done here, but answers remain elusive. Scientific tests suggest that the water here is harmless, but no fish live in the lake and, with no plant life or other organisms present either, it remains a mysterious place.

Siberia’s Altai territory is a place of innumerable lakes and waterways, a land teeming with life, where natural wonders abound and trees dot the scenic hillsides. This just adds to the riddle, with Pustoye’s shimmering surface hiding secrets that none have been able to uncover. There’s nothing official to suggest that swimming here could be harmful to human health. That said, given the mysteries that endure, we’d recommend giving this a wide berth.

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