If you’re a tourist, then you know the first thing you do when you go somewhere is try to learn about it. You try to learn about the people, the culture, what there is to do, how the locals live, where they eat, sleep, and play. Right? That’s the first thing on your list, no? Well, for some of you, we know that you definitely don’t do this. Your approach is probably a bit more along the lines of, “I’ll show up and see what happens.” While that’s all fine and good, the only problem is that sometimes you can end up walking into a bit of a pickle. Especially if the tourist locations you’re going has some hard to spot little secrets.
“Like what?” you ask. Well, take the pyramids at Giza for example. If you go visit Egypt, and somebody comes up to you offering to take you out to the pyramids on a camel, who wouldn’t say yes? You get to see the pyramids, and you get to ride a camel, right? Oh, and it’s only $15? That’s awesome! Well, did anybody tell you that getting off the camel would cost you $200? Or did anybody tell you that once you’re out there in the desert, you’ll have to pay more to come back? Read on so that you’re not a naive traveler because these are 25 Nefarious And Dark Facts About Popular Tourist Locations!
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Everywhere on Earth
For this first one, we want to make a public service announcement to the westerners here. When you go to any tourist attraction in the world and see disabled beggars, child beggars, blind beggars, old lady beggars….stop. Think very carefully before giving anything to them. Quite often there is a lot going on behind the scenes. Those beggars are put in that position by gangs who collect the money they make. Giving that child a few coins only encourages even more children to be abducted/trafficked and very possibly deliberately disabled (eyes gouged out, etc).
Note: Yes, Slumdog Millionaire is based on very real and very sad truths.
The Louvre, Paris
A lot of the art in this museum was stolen from countries that were invaded by Napoleon.
Not everyone has a fun time gambling, and more people than may you realize actually commit suicide at these establishments. Many casinos have suicide teams that are tasked with getting bodies out without the public seeing them and then cleaning up the mess.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
On the surface, it’s a bright and shiny modern city, but beneath the surface, there’s a lot of shady stuff in the works. For one, the city was (and still is) basically built using cheap slave labor from Asia.
Note: While this is coming to international attention more and more, there are still many tourists who do not know about this.
One of the happiest countries in the world has a recent history (80’s and 90’s) that is mired by kicking about 20% of its population (ethnic Nepalis). Although this has led to international condemnation, many tourists don’t realize the dark side of Bhutan’s recent political and social situation.
The Eiffel Tower, Paris
As of this writing, 349 people have committed suicide here by jumping off or hanging themselves.
There are some buildings in downtown Memphis that are built one story up because when yellow fever hit, they ran out of spaces for the bodies.
Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
This man-made lake was created by impounding the Osage River. Incidentally, the water flooded numerous cemeteries. If you think about it, it doesn’t take too much imagination to picture what lies beneath the water.
Nu‘uanu Pali, Hawaii
While this lookout is a popular tourist spot, and it is certainly very beautiful, it is also the spot where King Kamehameha’s army forced the Oahu army off the cliffs. Thousands of men fell to their deaths.
If you’re not ready to see humans get brutally gored by bulls, and bulls to be brutally gored by humans, don’t ever go to a bullfight. It’s not for the faint of heart and is quite a bit harder to see in real life than on TV.
Beware of bars that lure in tourists with offers of “free drinks.” Some of these bars are run by the Yakuza, an international organized crime syndicate that originated in Japan. Perhaps not surprisingly, you will leave the bar without your money, and the police will probably not do anything about it.
Looking for more “dark” and intriguing facts? Check out 25 Reasons You’ll Be Glad You Don’t Live In Medievil Times.
The Alps, Europe
There are thousands upon thousands of corpses buried beneath the snow that date from the World Wars all the way back to Hannibal’s attempted conquest of Rome. Due to the effects of global warming, many of these corpses have become exposed and are now being discovered.
Yellowstone, United States
In spite of numerous signs, every year tourists go missing, and quite often the reason is because they wandered off the path. The worst part about wandering off the path even a tiny bit is that many times the path winds through boiling lakes (yes, they are really boiling). Falling into one of these boiling lakes is a sure death sentence, and it happens more than you would like to think.
While they’re not tourist attractions in the normal sense, airports are a popular location where you will find tourists. For this reason, most major airports have morgues. People die mid-flight more often than one would like to think (some planes are even equipped with storage for the bodies of people who die during a flight), and there are many times when human remains need to be transported from one city to another.
Beware of the camel rides. Some riders will take you out into the desert for the “best pictures” only to threaten you once you’re out there.
Note: Also, be careful of common scams. For example, it’s $15 to get on the camel but $200 to get off again.
There are still some real human bones on display as part of the Pirates of the Caribbean exhibit.
Note: There used to be full skeletons but those were eventually replaced with fake skeletons. For the most part.
The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen
For some reason, this famous statue continues to have its head chopped off and stolen.
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
In spite of their beauty, these cliffs are another popular suicide spot.
We’ve already mentioned morgues at the airport, but it follows that cruise ships would also have them.
The Ganges River, India
Although this may be a bit obvious upon close inspection, the river is full of feces and even human/animal corpses.
National Parks, United States
We’ve already mentioned Yellowstone, but the fact is that many people go missing in national parks around the country every year. Quite often this is due to the fact that people don’t realize just how remote, big, and wild the interior of the US actually is. From rapid weather changes to wild animals, there are numerous ways you can die here.
Note: If you ever visit a national park in the US, make sure to follow directions to the dot. The signs are there for a reason.
Mount Fuji, Japan
Near the base of Mount Fuji, there is something known as the “Suicide Forest.” It’s basically just that – a forest where people go to commit suicide. It is such a popular suicide spot that gangs are rumored to pay homeless people to go to the forest and loot the bodies of people who have killed themselves.
Note: We are not exaggerating. The suicides here are quite a problem for the Japanese government. They have even posted numerous signs around the forest as a last ditch effort to prevent them from killing themselves.
Washington Square Park, Philadelphia
Beneath the soil is a mass grave from the American Revolutionary War. Many victims of yellow fever were also buried there.
Mount Everest, Nepal
As you get near the peak, you will find the bodies of numerous climbers that have died over the centuries. Unfortunately there is no way to bring their bodies down because they are located in the “death zone.” This is where there is not enough oxygen for the human body to properly function. If you stop to even sit down, you will likely never get up again (that is what happened to many of these climbers). Even more unfortunately, their friends had no choice but to continue down the mountain without them.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Although temples are usually associated with peace and solidarity, this temple complex has a history riddled with extreme violence between Buddhists and Hindus. As with many conflicts, the violence would flow back and forth.
If you enjoyed this list, check out 25 Most Dangerous Places To Visit As A Tourist.