Can you believe that there are people who live so close to the ocean that they can just think “hey, I should go to the ocean” and then they just do???
For those who can’t go to the ocean….
…I can bring an ocean to you.
high tide and low tide in great britain. photographs by michael marten
Frederick Judd Waugh.
Here it is folks:
My definitive ranking of my least favorite bodies of water! These are ranked from least to most scary (1/10 is okay, 10/10 gives me nightmares). I’m sorry this post is long, I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about this.
The Great Blue Hole, Belize
I’ve been here! I have snorkeled over this thing! It is terrifying! The water around the hole is so shallow you can’t even swim over the coral without bumping it, and then there’s a little slope down, and then it just fucking drops off into the abyss! When you’re over the hole the water temperature drops like 10 degrees and it’s midnight blue even when you’re right by the surface. Anyway. The Great Blue Hole is a massive underwater cave, and its roughly 410 feet deep. Overall, it’s a relatively safe area to swim. It’s a popular tourist attraction and recreational divers can even go down and explore some of the caves. People do die at the Blue Hole, but it is generally from a lack of diving experience rather than anything sinister going on down in the depths. My rating for this one is 1/10 because I’ve been here and although it’s kinda freaky it’s really not that bad.
Lake Baikal, Russia
When I want to give myself a scare I look at the depth diagram of this lake. It’s so deep because it’s not a regular lake, it’s a Rift Valley, A massive crack in the earth’s crust where the continental plates are pulling apart. It’s over 5,000 feet deep and contains one-fifth of all freshwater on Earth. Luckily, its not any more deadly than a normal lake. It just happens to be very, very, freakishly deep. My rating for this lake is a 2/10 because I really hate looking at the depth charts but just looking at the lake itself isn’t that scary.
Jacob’s Well, Texas
This “well” is actually the opening to an underwater cave system. It’s roughly 120 feet deep, surrounded by very shallow water. This area is safe to swim in, but diving into the well can be deadly. The cave system below has false exits and narrow passages, resulting in multiple divers getting trapped and dying. My rating is a 3/10, because although I hate seeing that drop into the abyss it’s a pretty safe place to swim as long as you don’t go down into the cave (which I sure as shit won’t).
The Devil’s Kettle, Minnesota
This is an area in the Brule River where half the river just disappears. It literally falls into a hole and is never seen again. Scientists have dropped in dye, ping pong balls, and other things to try and figure out where it goes, and the things they drop in never resurface. Rating is 4/10 because Sometimes I worry I’m going to fall into it.
Flathead Lake, Montana
Everyone has probably seen this picture accompanied by a description about how this lake is actually hundreds of feet deep but just looks shallow because the water is so clear. If that were the case, this would definitely rank higher, but that claim is mostly bull. Look at the shadow of the raft. If it were hundreds of feet deep, the shadow would look like a tiny speck. Flathead lake does get very deep, but the spot the picture was taken in is fairly shallow. You can’t see the bottom in the deep parts. However, having freakishly clear water means you can see exactly where the sandy bottom drops off into blackness, so this still ranks a 5/10.
The Lower Congo River, multiple countries
Most of the Congo is a pretty normal, if large, River. In the lower section of it, however, lurks a disturbing surprise: massive underwater canyons that plunge down to 720 feet. The fish that live down there resemble cave fish, having no color, no eyes, and special sensory organs to find their way in the dark. These canyons are so sheer that they create massive rapids, wild currents and vortexes that can very easily kill you if you fall in. A solid 6/10, would not go there.
Little Crater Lake, Oregon
On first glance this lake doesn’t look too scary. It ranks this high because I really don’t like the sheer drop off and how clear it is (because it shows you exactly how deep it goes). This lake is about 100 feet across and 45 feet deep, and I strongly feel that this is too deep for such a small lake. Also, the water is freezing, and if you fall into the lake your muscles will seize up and you’ll sink and drown. I don’t like that either. 7/10.
Grand Turk 7,000 ft drop off
No. 8/10. I hate it.
Gulf of Corryvreckan, Scotland
Due to a quirk in the sea floor, there is a permanent whirlpool here. This isn’t one of those things that looks scary but actually won’t hurt you, either. It absolutely will suck you down if you get too close. Scientists threw a mannequin with a depth gauge into it and when it was recovered the gauge showed it went down to over 600 feet. If you fall into this whirlpool you will die. 9/10 because this seems like something that should only be in movies.
The Bolton Strid, England
This looks like an adorable little creek in the English countryside but it’s not. Its really not. Statistically speaking, this is the most deadly body of water in the world. It has a 100% mortality rate. There is no recorded case of anyone falling into this river and coming out alive. This is because, a little ways upstream, this isn’t a cute little creek. It’s the River Wharfe, a river approximately 30 feet wide. This river is forced through a tiny crack in the earth, essentially turning it on its side. Now, instead of being 30 feet wide and 6 feet deep, it’s 6 feet wide and 30 feet deep (estimated, because no one actually knows how deep the Strid is). The currents are deadly fast. The banks are extremely undercut and the river has created caves, tunnels and holes for things (like bodies) to get trapped in. The innocent appearance of the Strid makes this place a death trap, because people assume it’s only knee-deep and step in to never be seen again. I hate this river. I have nightmares about it. I will never go to England just because I don’t want to be in the same country as this people-swallowing stream. 10/10, I live in constant fear of this place.
Honorable mention: The Quarry, Pennsylvania
I don’t know if that’s it’s actual name. This lake gets an honorable mention not because it’s particularly deep or dangerous, but it’s where I almost drowned during a scuba diving accident.