Top 10 Most Dangerous Lakes That Can Kill You

Tags: #LakeMichigan ,   #LakeNatron ,   #NatureLovers ,   #LakeLife

Alex O'Brien

Alex O'Brien

Last updated:  2023-07-04 06:16:23

Many of nature's wonders hold a dangerous secret underneath their beauty, and the same goes for the lakes. While a few hide their threats in plain sight, others will surprise you when you expect it the least. So without further ado, let's see the top ten list of the most dangerous lakes on Earth.

10. Lake Kaindy

Ice cold waters of Kaindy Lake have an eerie-looking landscape
Location: Kolsay Lakes National Park, Kazakhstan
Dangerous because: Ice-cold water, underwater obstacles
Known death toll: Not known
Lake info

The beautiful lake Kaindy was created after the 1911 earthquake, as a landslide formed its basin, submerging the forest. Even during the summertime, the water temperature is around 43°F, while the dead tree trunks gave it the nickname "Sunken Forest." The lake changes color from blue to green, and the crystal clear liquid lets you see underwater from the shore.

The lake is relatively safe if you can swim in ice-cold water, but the algae, plants, and submerged trees can be tricky obstacles. However, it deserves a place on our list because of its eerie yet spectacular scenery.

9. Boiling Lake

Boiling Lake is not just extremely hot, but it can start to bubble at any time
Location: Morne Trois Pitons National Park, Dominicana
Dangerous because: Hot temperatures, deadly gases
Known death toll: At least two
Lake info

Located at the heavenly Caribbean Island of Dominica, Boiling Lake keeps a Located on the heavenly Caribbean Island of Dominica, Boiling Lake keeps a deadly secret, as it can kill anyone who dares to enter its waters. With temperatures between 180 and 197ᴼ Fahrenheit around the edges, it's no wonder that no one dared to measure the warmth at the center of the lake.

Even though the heat can go down, the water is unpredictable, as it may start to boil at any time, releasing harmful gases such as carbon dioxide.
Therefore, due to high temperatures, the air in the area is hot, steamy, and moist, with a sulfur smell everywhere.

8. Horseshoe Lake

If you feel dizzy around Horseshoe Lake, leave the area immediately to avoid gas poisoning
Location: Mono County, California
Dangerous because: Deadly gases
Known death toll: At least three
Lake info

Settled up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Horseshoe Lake is a part of the City of Mammoth Lakes, created upon a volcano. This location has a creepy secret, as the soil around it contains high carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide levels, posing a threat to the trees and people.

The gas from the cooling magma beneath the lake comes to the surface through the terrain's cracks. To illustrate how dangerous it can be, let's say that back in 2006, three people who took shelter in a cave near the lake died from carbon dioxide poisoning.

7. Lake Nicaragua

The waters of Lake Nicaragua have a dangerous resident, bull sharks
Location: Southern Nicaragua
Dangerous because: Dangerous animals
Known death toll: At least 20
Lake info

On the border of Costa Rica and Nicaragua is the largest Central American freshwater lake, Lake Nicaragua. There is nothing unusual about it at first glimpse, except bull sharks inhabiting it! Therefore it could be dangerous to swim in these waters, as these animals are unpredictable, aggressive, and will eat everything. Even though only three lethal attacks on humans are reported, we wouldn't recommend swimming there.

At first, scientists were misled that this is some endemic species. However, later they discovered that the same sharks have been seen in the Caribbean Sea and Lake Nicaragua. Therefore, it was found that the bull sharks swim upstream of the San Juan River, crossing over 120 miles (190 km) and adapting to freshwater.

6. Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu looks beautiful, but it is a disaster waiting to happen
Location: Border of DR Congo and Rwanda
Dangerous because: Deadly gasses, unpredictable nature
Known death toll: Unknown
Lake info

This lake, located in Rwanda on the border with DR Congo, has carbon dioxide deposits in its volcanic rock bed. Moreover, add to that 55 billion cubic meters of methane gas produced by the lake bottom's bacteria, and you'll get the deadly combination. There are only three exploding lakes worldwide, but Kivu is the largest, making it the deadliest one. 

Any terrain disturbance, such as an earthquake or volcanic activity, can put two million people around the lake at risk. Rwanda uses the gases to produce electricity and pumps it out of the lake, but this is only a slight discharge. Therefore, the lake stands still for now, and we can only hope it will stay that way.

5. Lake Monoun

Monoun Lake gained the reputation of killing lake after it exploded in 1984 and killed 37 people
Location: West Province, Cameroon
Dangerous because: Unpredictable explosions
Known death toll: At least 37
Lake info

Lake Monoun is located in Cameroon in the volcanic field. At first glance, it's peaceful and beautiful, but it holds a deadly secret. Hence, Monoun Lake is one of three exploding ones on Earth. Due to the limnic eruption, the lake erupted without warning back in 1984, killing 37 people after releasing a massive amount of carbon dioxide.

The limnic eruption works much like a can of soda. The gas is on the bottom of the lake, as any disturbance of the terrain can release it and make it explode, much like the soda can when you shake it before opening.

4. Lake Natron

Lake Natron turns animals into stones, so it's such a weird site
Location: Ngorongoro District, Arusha Region, Tanzania
Dangerous because: High pH levels
Known death toll: Unknown
Lake info

The magnificent reddish colors of Natron Lake in Tanzania are quite alluring. Water is oversaturated with salt, and the red color comes from the algae. However, the beautiful lake is among the most terrifying wonders of nature. The danger lies in high pH levels, so corrosive that they can strip ink from dyed materials! 

The pH level of water is extremely high, as it reaches up to 12pH, with the temperatures extending above 104º F. Such a high amount of acid can mummify unadapted animals and turn them into stone. Moreover, high levels of acid can cause chemical burns to human skin.

3. Lake Michigan

Regardless of all the warnings of danger at Lake Michigan, people still swim in it
Location: Northern United States
Dangerous because: Strong undercurrents
Known death toll: Thousands (38 in 2022)
Lake info

The five Great Lakes are situated on the border of Canada and the United States. One of those lakes, Lake Michigan, the third-largest one, is considered highly dangerous, but it's very popular despite this. The threat comes from enormous undercurrents, which cause few deaths each year.

Lake Michigan's shape predisposes it to dangerous rip currents, as the docks and piers only amplify this problem, causing injuries and even deaths. Moreover, due to sudden and substantial air and water temperature changes during October and November, currents and waves become more lethal. Regardless of the warnings, swimmers still love the lake's waters, and the death toll keeps increasing.

2. Laguna Caliente

Among the most acidic lakes in the world, Laguna Caliente
Location: Central Costa Rica
Dangerous because: Hot temperatures, acidic nature, explosions
Known death toll: Unknown
Lake info

Laguna Caliente in Costa Rica is among Earth's most acidic natural lakes. Its size varies greatly, as it can be up to 160 feet deep or disappear entirely. Water temperatures also change from 71°F to 200°F, while the colors go from emerald green to gray and yellow. The yellow appearance comes from the floating liquid sulfur.

Moreover, due to its location in a volcanic crater, the lake often creates eruptions, much like giant geysers. Therefore, thanks to the high levels of acid (larger than in car batteries) and frequent explosions, it forms acid rain and fog, causing the devastation of flora around the lake. Consequently, it can also be harmful to humans.

1. Lake Nyos

Lake Nyos explosion caused massive asphyxiation
Location: Northwestern Cameroon
Dangerous because: Explosions, dangerous gases
Known death toll: At least 1800
Lake info

Lake Nyos in Cameroon has a reputation as the deadliest in the world. In 1986, the lake exploded due to a limnic eruption (see number five on our list), releasing a carbon dioxide cloud. As this gas is heavier than oxygen, it stayed close to the ground, as it slowly drifted to the villages in the valley, causing death to more than 1700 people and over 3000 livestock.

This was the first known case of massive asphyxiation caused by natural events, not by men. Once a beautiful blue lake became murky brown because of carbon dioxide saturation. The government built a degassing station in the lake to prevent future disasters.

Finally, we would like to mention one more lake, even though it doesn't exist anymore. Once, the beautiful mountain lake Karachay in Russia was the deadliest in the world. This was because it became a dumping location for radioactive waste from a nuclear plant nearby. It was so radioactive that the ten minutes spent nearby could cause severe health issues. However, today it's entirely infield and sealed with concrete to prevent any more damage to its surroundings.

Have you visited some of these top ten dangerous lakes? Please write to us in the comment section, as we would like to hear your thoughts.

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Dan Says:

It's incredible to me that so many people die annually at the Great Lakes. What's wrong with everyone?

July 04 at 06:16:23 AM

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