It’s summertime, and you probably want to get the hell away from your sweltering apartment or not very sexy office and take your ass to the beach, where you can cool off in the surf and ogle babes until you pass out. But guess what? The beach isn’t a good place. In fact, it’s a bad place. In this article, we’ll give you ten incredibly awful things that happened there to convince you that it’s safer to stay home.

Unexplained Explosions

Typically, unless you’re filming a movie, the beach is a low explosion zone. That’s what makes stories like this one all the more terrifying. At Rhode Island’s Salty Brine Beach, a huge underground explosion shattered the peace of a Saturday afternoon, sending a woman named Kathleen Danise flying through the air and into a jetty. The beach was evacuated and crews brought in to investigate the source of the explosion, but it’s still a complete mystery. An electrical line was pulled up from beneath the sand, but officials state that it had nothing to do with the blast. Salty Brine Beach has been re-opened, but I’d stay away if I were you. (Photo Credit: Susan Campbell/WPRI)

Jellyfish Plagues

Human beings weren’t made to go into the ocean. If we were, we’d have gills and flippers. But year after year, hordes of people flock to the vast inhospitable expanse of salt water and try to have fun in it. Sometimes, Mother Nature decides to teach them a lesson. In 2014, Florida beaches were swept with a plague of jellyfish attacks, as Daytona and New Smyrna both reported literally hundreds of people who got stung. Jellyfish migration is unpredictable, and they come in huge numbers. Although their stings aren’t typically fatal, they can be incredibly painful and cause unpleasant rashes – perfect for your new beach bod. (Photo Credit: Andrew Braithwaite via Flickr CC)

Sand Drowning

Although people panic about sharks when they go to the beach, the honest truth is that there are things way more dangerous… like sand. A recent study revealed that more people are killed when sand holes collapseon them than in shark attacks. Take the story of Matthew Garuder. The recent high school graduate was tossing a football around with friends on a Rhode Island beach in 2001. He went deep for a pass and fell into an 8 foot deep hole that had been dug earlier in the day, and when people tried to pull him out they inadvertently collapsed the edges, suffocating him. Sand: the real silent killer. (Photo Credit: Stuart Jones via Flickr CC)

Lightning Storms

Typically the beaches of southern California are climate oases, with clear skies and light winds making them perfect for hordes of people enjoying the sun and sand. But as man-made climate change continues to reshape the planet we live on, that could be changing. A freak storm over Venice Beach in 2014 saw one man killed when four bolts of lightning struck the ocean at 2:30 in the afternoon. The beachgoers could not be evacuated in time, and many felt their hair stand on end from the charge in the air. The California drought has intensified the conditions that cause these storms, so expect more in the future. (Photo Credit: James Insogna via Flickr CC)

Beach Apples

If you’re hanging out on a Caribbean beach and you find a cute little apple on the ground, think twice before you eat it. The Manchineel, also known as the “beach apple,” is considered by some to be the most toxic tree in the world. The fruits, which look like green crabapples, have a seductively sweet smell that lures people into snacking on them, confident that they’re not poisonous. Unfortunately, the fruit is overflowing with horrible substances that cause internal bleeding, vomiting and a host of other symptoms. The entire tree is dangerous – the sap is so virulent that it can peel the paint off of cars. Photo Credit: (Jason Hollinger via Flickr CC)

Syringe Tides

The ocean is huge, and like any other huge thing, humans like to dump their trash into it. Sure, we say we don’t, but you’d be amazed at the amount of waste that goes into the water every year. Sometimes, though, that stuff comes back to haunt us. One of the most notable occurrences of the ocean rejecting our pollution came with the “syringe tide” of 1977, when New York area beaches started to become inundated with medical waste, including used needles. This was during a heat wave, so Gothamites were notably pissed that all of their beaches were closed while public health officials tested the syringes for hepatitis and AIDS, both of which can survive for several days in the ocean. (Photo Credit: Ria Tan via Flickr CC)

Shore Breaks

The ocean can mess you up in dozens of ways, from massive tsunamis to devastating undertows. But one kind of deadly wave comes completely without warning. They’re called shore breaks. Typically, ocean waves hit a sandbar further out and lose some of their momentum, or break. But when beach sand gets replenished (to make it aesthetically nicer), it can remove those essential sandbars. Without them, waves hit at full force very close to shore, which has been known to flip people off of their feet, capsize surfboards, and cause vicious spinal injury and even death. (Photo Credit: The Hamster Factor via Flickr CC)

Algal Blooms

We’re all worried about the big animals out there in the ocean like sharks, but the little ones can be just as awful. Marine algae is one of the keystones of the food chain, but as larger fish and other marine animals die off, it reproduces unchecked. The resultant phenomenon is called an “algal bloom,” and if it happens too close to shore it can turn ordinary beaches into rainbow-colored hellholes. A 2012 bloom at Australia’s Bondi Beach turned all of the water so red that people thought a group of sharks had feasted there. You need to stay out of the water during a bloom, as many algae produce toxins that are harmful to humans. (Photo Credit: Eutrophication/Hypoxia via Flickr CC)


Many of the ocean’s most dangerous creatures don’t want anything to do with humans – they just want us to stay out of their home. Very few people are ever intentionally attacked by a stingray, but injuries from the unusual fish happen all the time. The reason? Rays hide out in soft, loose sand in shallow water to hide from predators. But when the human foot disturbs them by stepping on them, they lash out with their pointed tail in self-defense. That tail holds a seriously powerful toxin that makes your blood vessels constrict, causing an agonizing, throbbing pain that lasts for hours. (Photo Credit: Jeff Kraus via Flickr CC)

Serial Killers

New Yorkers know that the beaches of Long Island are glorious respites from the crowded city. But if you step out around Gilgo Beach, you’re taking your life into your own hands. The Gilgo Beach Killer, as the press has dubbed him, is one of the state’s most prolific and successful serial killers. He’s claimed the lives of as many as 17 different women over the last twenty years. Police have absolutely no leads as to the identity of the sicko, who finds his victims on Craigslist, strangles them, and then dumps their bodies in burlap sacks on the beaches on Long Island’s south coast. He’s still out there. (Photo Credit: Investigating Crimes).


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