When beaches are right, they’re everything. Who can resist lounging in the warm summer sun before enjoying a refreshing dip in the cool, salty sea?
But for every stunning and destination-worthy beach out there, there’s a terrible stretch of shoreline lurking in the shadows. And when a beach goes bad, it’s a really awful sight.
There are numerous reasons a beach might be considered the worst of the worst, but pollution is No. 1 by far. With many urban centers located near water, strong conservation efforts are a must. Sadly many cities lack robust controls around sewage discharge, especially those in poorer or developing nations. But even wealthy U.S. and other first-world countries have their share of water woes.
Besides pollution, beaches can also be plagued by crime, dangerous wildlife, overcrowding, general drabness — or in particularly dire cases, some combination of all of the above.
Which beaches fit the criteria for being, well, the most dismal on earth? Read on. And next time you have a hankering for a beach day, don’t make plans to visit these destinations.