The World’s Most Dangerous Natural Wonders Will Surprise You
Nature is a gift. There's no doubt about it. But the wilderness can also be dangerous.
No one can control the tempers of the wild Earth, which sometimes translates into accidents. Even fatalities.
It pays off to be prepared, so read on to find out the natural wonders where the most accidents happen, ranked by level of danger.
10. The Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Average annual deaths: 9
Average notable accidents: 5
One of Ireland's most famous landscapes, the Cliffs of Moher are as rugged as they are beautiful. The rock formations rise out of the cold Atlantic, standing strong against the harsh waves that continuously crash into them.
Sadly, the destination sees almost 10 annual deaths per year. Most of the accidents that occur happen when people step out of trails to take pictures. As is bound to happen, some trip and fall into the rocks below. Follow the safety signs, though, and you should be OK.
Note: Ranking is based on Holidu's "Most Dangerous Natural Wonders in the World" report. "Average notable accidents" refers, not necessarily to the total number of accidents that have happened at each natural wonder, but instead to how many times the natural wonder has been reported on in the context of an injury or accident.
9. Grand Canyon, United States
Average annual deaths: 12
Average notable accidents: 21
One of the most famous natural wonders on the planet, the Grand Canyon is a gigantic stretch of valleys and cliffs. The untamed land offers hiking, kayaking and climbing, but it's dangerous for inexperienced visitors.
Heat is one of the main culprits of accidents and rescues. People underestimate how harsh the high temperatures can be. In the summer, campers are often unprepared for the cold that sweeps the valley once the sun sets. Then, there are inevitable incidents like rocks falling.
Still, deaths and accidents once again happen when people attempt dangerous stunts or hang off edges for selfies.
8. Matterhorn, Switzerland
Average annual deaths: 12
Average notable accidents: 14
One of Europe's tallest mountains, this Alpine wonder attracts people from all corners of the Earth. Towering at 14,692 feet, it's not an easy peak to conquer. Its pyramid-like shape makes reaching the summit difficult.
Most grave incidents that occur are climbing-related. Avalanches, storms and falls are not rare and result in about 12 deaths per year.
7. Table Mountain, South Africa
Average annual deaths: 15
Average notable accidents: 11
Cape Town is defined by the flat top of Table Mountain. The easiest way to enjoy this beautiful natural destination is to ride a cable car to the top. Still, many people like the challenge of hiking up and around the mountain and the national park named after it.
With steep falls and gorges, some hikers inevitably face danger, especially when taking less-frequented trails. As is to be expected, climbing is the most dangerous activity.
6. Yosemite National Park, United States
Average annual deaths: 11
Average notable accidents: 41
A vast and beautiful national park, Yosemite captures the heart of anyone blessed with the opportunity to visit it. Most engage in low-risk activities, which include driving through the park and stopping at points such as the iconic Yosemite Valley. Many hikes are also appropriate for beginners.
Still, many others go deep into the park, where they sometimes encounter bears and other wildlife that sometimes can be aggressive. But grizzlies aren't what causes most accidents. Instead, it's the popularity of difficult climbing spots like the famed El Capitan and Half Dome rock formations.
5. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Average annual deaths: 10
Average notable accidents: 8
Africa's tallest mountain is on the bucket list of many an adventurer. The tall volcano stands over the savannah, which makes for a unique landscape beautiful enough to bring tears to your eyes.
Sadly, some of the people who attempt the climb are not prepared and can succumb to severe altitude sickness. When you're days away from reliable medical attention, it can mean death or serious injury. Slips and falls are also responsible for many accidents.
4. Mount Everest, China & Nepal
Average annual deaths: 8
Average notable accidents: 7
It should surprise no one to see Mount Everest here. The world's tallest mountain is notoriously perilous. Its 29,032 feet are merciless. Climbers face freezing temperatures, high winds and narrow trails. Lately, they've also been put at risk by overcrowding, which has made conditions even more dangerous.
While only eight people die on Everest per year, considering that only 800 brave souls attempt to summit each, that's actually a 10 percent death rate. Yikes!
3. Mount Fuji, Japan
Average annual deaths: 7
Average notable accidents: 11
Like other mountains on this list, Mount Fuji attracts climbers and hikers who dream of earning sweeping views from the top. Japan's tallest and most widely recognized volcano has had incidents of rocks falling and killing people.
But, according to reports, most fatalities occur in the winter, when climbers looking for a challenge brave the harsh conditions.
2. Ben Nevis, Scotland
Average annual deaths: 3
Average notable accidents: 20
Perhaps the least well-known natural wonder on this list, Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the United Kingdom. Located in Scotland, it is part of the untamed highlands.
Its death toll is only three, which is low compared to other places on this list. But given that it also receives fewer visitors than any other item on this list, the rate of accidents is quite high. This is mostly due because of the ruggedness of the land and its lack of tourism facilities.
1. Monte Bianco/Mont Blanc, Italy and France
Average annual deaths: 100
Average notable accidents: 22
No other place on here gets even close to Mont Blanc in the number of deaths. A shocking 100people are involved in fatal accidents here every year.
Though Mont Blanc is Europe's tallest mountain, it isn't by any means the most difficult terrain. Theories as to why it proves so deadly connect it to being overcrowded. Because the mountain is sold as being friendly to all levels and easy to hike, many people come completely unprepared for the climb, which puts them and others at risk.
Avalanches and other inevitable disasters also account for a number of deaths. Once again, many amateur climbers don't know the signs.