The 30 Dumbest Things Tourists Have Ever Done
The world is a breathtaking place full of wonders. Sadly, some people just don’t seem to appreciate it, even as they’re supposedly traveling to explore the beauty of planet Earth.
Some tourists decide to vandalize irreplaceable landmarks, others break things while pursuing the perfect selfie. And yet others are simply lacking brains and common sense when it comes to travel.
We’ve gathered the 30 dumbest things travelers have ever done. Be prepared to laugh and cry at the same time.
30. Standing in Line to Take Pictures With a Wall of Bubble Gum
Some places, like the Louvre, are worth standing in line. And a wall filled with used gum is not one of these places. That hasn’t stopped tourists in Seattle, Washington, from spending long periods of time in line in order to take a selfie next to the germ-ridden wall.
Or worse, to add their own piece of gum to it. There are simply much better ways to spend your time in Seattle than in a dirty and overrated tourist trap.
29. Vandalizing The Little Mermaid’s Statue in Copenhagen
The statue of the Little Mermaid commemorates one of the most beloved fairytales in the world. It is located in a harbor in Copenhagen, as a tribute to the story's writer, Hans Christian Andersen, who was Danish.
But, for some reason, people really have a penchant for vandalizing the statue, painting it a number of colors over the years. This isn’t only dumb, it’s also woefully unoriginal and boring.
27. Getting Stuck Inside a Suggestive Sculpture
A foreign exchange student from the U.S. thought it would be hilarious to go into a public sculpture in Germany that looks like female genitalia. Of course, he got stuck inside, unable to come out and had to be rescued by 22 firefighters.
It was definitely funny, but more for us and less for him.
26. Defacing Several National Parks With Your Instagram Handle
Some people will really do anything for followers. A so-called “artist” sparked nationwide outrage in 2014 when she started painting on protected sites in numerous American national parks. The worst part was that she wrote her Instagram handle besides her random doodles.
One, don’t deface rock formations that are sometimes hundreds or thousands of years old. Two, if you do something illegal, don’t leave your social media footprint out there.
25. Leaving a Dog Inside Your Checked Baggage
In 2015, TSA agents at New York's LaGuardia Airport found a Chihuahua inside a checked bag. Once they tracked down the owner, she claimed that the dog must have climbed inside without her noticing.
We’re not completely sure we believe this, given that she’d have to close the bag herself and would’ve surely noticed a dog inside. Then again, Chihuahuas are tiny, and maybe she’s just an extremely messy packer.
24. Taping Two Pigeons to Their Legs to Smuggle Them
Even worse than the Chihuahua lady was a man who tried to smuggle pigeons into Australia from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. His plan was to tape the birds, which he had padded, onto his legs and then have his pants cover them.
This was in 2009, before full-body scans were a thing, so he actually made it to Australia without anyone noticing the live birds taped to his legs. He would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for meddling airport security.
23. Trying to Smuggle Someone in a Suitcase
And even worse than both Chihuahua lady and pigeon man is the guy who tried to bring his wife on a train inside a suitcase. This comical scenario doesn’t seem real, but it happened in Poland in 2015. Officials became suspicious of the man’s gigantic suitcase and asked him to open it, not expecting a woman in her 30s to pop out.
Allegedly, he was trying to smuggle his wife, who is Russian, into the European Union. But given that they were married, she could’ve just ridden on the train.
21. Pulling Out a Fake Sword When the Airport Police Suspect You of a Crime
We have to hand it to this guy for his sense of humor and originality. First of all, he was dressed like Zorro at Los Angeles International Airport for a reason no one can discern. But when there was a false security alert, airport security found him suspicious and approached them.
Most people would have simply complied, but Zorro decided to take out his plastic sword. He was subsequently arrested.
20. Getting Arrested for Stealing Sand From Italy
Apparently, a lot of people think sand is the coolest souvenir — so many people that it’s actually causing a problem in the Italian island of Sardinia.
In 2019, two French tourists fell in love with the sand and filled up 14 bottles with it to bring back home. Of course, they got arrested and fined. While they claimed to not know that their action was illegal, we really don’t see why you would need to import that much sand. This is not “Bram Stoker's Dracula.”
19. Stealing a Bust From Jim Morrison’s Grave
The iconic lead singer of the Doors is buried in Paris, France’s famous Pere Lachaise Cemetery. Fans of the rock band have thought that graffitiing and scribbling on his grave is the greatest tribute they can pay him.
We don’t fully agree, but one absolute jerk decided to go further and steal a bust of the singer from the grave. The situation got so bad, that Morrison's family — you know, the people who actually loved and knew him — had to hire security to guard the grave.
18. Vandalizing a Sacred Native American Site
Starved Rock State Park in Oglesby, Illinois, is home to stone formations that are a sacred place of gathering for indigenous tribes. So when a photo surfaced of two visitors drawing their initials on a formation that was more than 400 million years old, the rage was real.
Unfortunately, this won’t be the last instance of jerky tourists drawing on landmarks.
17. Cutting Off the Ear of an Easter Island Statue
Even worse than writing your name on a landmark is actually breaking it in order to take a piece of it home. This is exactly what happened in 2008 when an entitled Finnish man thought he was more important than the rest of humanity and decided to break part of an ear from a Moai, one of the famed ancient statues on Chile's Easter Island.
He was eventually caught, arrested and fined, but that doesn’t make up for the irreparable damage he caused.
16. Jumping Off a Cruise Ship Balcony for Social Media Fame
If your parents didn’t give you enough attention as a child, go to therapy, don’t engage in life-threatening stunts for attention. Someone should’ve told this to a cruise passenger who thought it would be ha-larious to jump from the balcony of his 11th-floor room while the ship was docked in The Bahamas.
For those of you who don’t know, falling into water from such heights is extremely dangerous and potentially lethal. The man and his entire crew got kicked off the cruise and banned from Royal Caribbean for life.
15. Use Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Geyser as a Laundromat
Before people start complaining about how dumb today's youth is, let’s take it back to way before washing machines existed. Back in the 19th century, explorers, soldiers and traders who were near Yellowstone did their laundry in Old Faithful, the national park’s most famous geyser.
They would throw their dirty clothes into the geyser and wait for it to erupt and throw out their clean clothes back to land. We’re sure many garments were ruined, but what we care about is the possible damage it could’ve made to the sensitive ecosystem of the park.
14. Vandalizing Stonehenge Stones
As one of England’s most iconic and oldest landmarks, Stonehenge attracts thousands of people during the summer and winter solstices. Unfortunately, many of these people think they’re at a music festival and behave like uncivilized douches.
The BBC reported that people have defecated close to the site, stuck chewing gum on the stones, graffitied and marked them, and even sprayed them with oil.
13. Committing Lewd Acts Atop the Great Pyramid of Giza
Some people really don’t get the basic concept of not posting their illegal activity online. This would’ve been particularly wise when that illegal activity involves one of the most famous landmarks in the world.
A Danish photographer thought he could get away with climbing the Great Pyramid of Giza and posting the video on YouTube. He also posted an image that looked like he and his companion were having sex on top of the pyramid. Needless to say, the Egyptian authorities and the general public were not amused.
The man claims he did not have sex on top of the pyramid, which would mean he photoshopped himself in the compromising position at the top of it to get attention. Now, that’s just sad.
12. Dropping Down the Anchor During a Cruise
People tend to drink a lot on cruises, and sometimes, they don’t make the best decisions while intoxicated. In 2012, one man drunkenly decided to drop down the anchor on an MS Ryndam cruise from Mexico to Tampa, Florida, stopping the ship forcefully. He also stole a lifejacket, but when the panic started, he threw it overboard.
Of course, this caused people to think that someone had jumped overboard, prompting an even more serious emergency procedure. The man basically ruined the cruise for everyone else and endangered many, many lives.
11. Taking Nude Photos at a Thai Temple
There once was an Instagram account called “Traveling Butts.” Its whole purpose was for the two people who ran it to travel around the world taking pictures in the nude.
The problem wasn’t so much the pictures, but rather where they would take them. The pair often showed disregard for cultural sensitivities and disrespected places like Bangkok’s Wat Arun. Thailand was not happy with having people be nude in one of its most important temples, so it arrested them and banned them from ever coming back.
10. Deliberately Knocking Down a 3,000-Year-Old Stalagmite
Like dear Alfred said in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight,” some people just want to see the world burn. Such was the case with a tourist who for absolutely no reason decided to kick a stalagmite down to the ground while visiting a cave in southwest China.
The stalagmite had been formed by the power of nature for over 3,000 years.
9. Throwing Trash Into Yellowstone’s Colorful Springs
Poor Yellowstone is back on here because of tourists who can’t appreciate the delicate nature of its beauty.
For hundreds of years, people have made it a habit to throw trash into the park’s iconic geysers. One particularly maligned one is Morning Glory, which received the name because of its deep blue color. Thanks to the coins, clothes, plastic trash and other garbage thrown into it, it is endangered, and its color has changed.
8. Defacing the Colosseum
The Roman Colosseum is one of Italy's greatest treasures. But this isn’t enough to earn it the respect of tourists, who have made it a habit to treat it like a bathroom stall.
Several tourists have been arrested and fined for carving their name into the landmark’s stones and some have even tried to steal a brick from it and keep it as a souvenir. Again, don’t be this selfish and ruin something that is meant to be enjoyed by all mankind.
7. Leaving Trash at Mount Everest
For the great majority of human history, Mount Everest remained a peak that was impossible to reach. As the highest mountain in the world, people have been trying to climb it ever since Sir Edmund Hillary did so in 1953.
But humans being humans, the increasing number of people climbing the Himalayan summit often leave behind a mountain of trash. The result is that what was once one of the most pristine and untouched places on Earth is now a dump.
6.Taking Train Selfies
Ruining things because of a selfie is one thing. Endangering your life for one is another. Apparently, taking a selfie as you poke your head and body out of a moving train is actually a thing that a ton of people have done!
We hope we don’t need to explain why this is incredibly dumb and dangerous.
5. Climbing Up Onto an Airplane’s Wing
Quarantining because of COVID-19 gave many of us cabin fever. We get it. But that’s still no excuse for what a man at the Las Vegas airport did in December 2020.
After getting onto the tarmac, he managed to climb the wing of an airplane, causing general panic. Unsurprisingly, he eventually fell and was arrested.
4. Jumping Out of an Airplane When a Flight Is Delayed
To be fair, 2021 has not been a good year for unruly passengers either. This time, a man decided that he did not want to wait any longer after his American Airlines flight out of Charlotte, North Carolina, was canceled — but the passengers had already boarded.
His solution? He climbed over the people sitting at the emergency exit, opened the door and jumped out of the plane. He was arrested soon after and had to wait much longer to get home than if he had simply stayed seated.
3. Putting a Child Inside an 800-Year-Old Coffin ... And Cracking It
Why would anyone think it’s OK to place a child on top of something in a museum? It should be common sense, but just in case, let us spell it out: If something is in a museum, it’s valuable.
A couple in England thought that an 800-year-old coffin at the Prittlewell Priory Museum was so cool that they just had to get a picture of their kid inside it. Needless to say, the coffin broke in half and was ruined forever.
2. Preventing Sea Turtles From Laying Eggs for a Selfie
Seeing turtles hatch their eggs is an incredible wildlife experience many people want to have. But sometimes, these people simply don’t deserve to have it, as a large and uncontrollable crowd of tourists proved in Costa Rica.
In 2015, the rowdy crowd made their way into a protected beach just in time to see the turtles coming in from the sea. Instead of appreciating the moment, they got right into the sea, harassing the turtles so much that many of them went back to the sea without laying eggs. Sea turtles are an endangered species, so this lack of consciousness strained the species even more.
1. Throwing Coins Into the Airplane Engine for Good Luck
Some people have weird superstitions. Some have the power of turning your life into a Greek tragedy and bringing about the thing you so desperately want to avoid, like death.
In 2017 in Anqing, China, a woman in her late 70s threw coins into the engine of her airplane for good luck. She thought this would keep it from having any accidents. Thankfully, people noticed and accidents were avoided, but her superstition could’ve easily led to her demise.