New Smyrna Beach, FloridaPat McGinley/Shutterstock
It’s known as the shark attack capital of the world: In 2017, University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File recorded nine shark bites for the year, down from 15 in 2016. While that sounds like good news, it still puts New Smyrna Beach-goers at more risk for shark attacks than anywhere else in the world. These 13 truths about shark attacks may surprise you.
Gansbaai, South AfricaAlessandro De Maddalena/Shutterstock
Not far off the coast of this popular vacation destination lies a stretch of ocean called Shark Alley. Shark cage diving, which puts tourists in shark-proof cages to get them up-close-and-personal with the creatures, puts a somewhat safe spin on the area. However, the publication Digital Nomad points out that there’s an “inordinate amount of blood and chum being dumped along the South African shoreline every day” to lure the sharks close to the boats. For a more pleasant getaway, check out these gorgeous pink sand beaches around the world.
Cape Tribulation, AustraliaMarine Morelle/Shutterstock
If you want to swim the waters of the aptly named Cape Tribulation, Cape-Trib.com suggests you wear a “stinger suit” as the area is home to a lot of stinging jellyfish. Saltwater crocodiles are also prevalent; the locals advise visitors stay away from swimming in the mouths of rivers. If that’s not enough to keep you out of the water, consider these obstacles: Cassowaries—big flightless birds—whose dagger-like claws “can disembowel you,” and stinging trees which, yes, can actually sting you quite painfully with their jagged-edged leaves.