Top Ten Places NOT To Go This Spring Break

By Lucas Rochester, Staff Writer

For many people, spring can be quite the horrific season. The unpredictable weather and fairly common allergies ranging in symptom severity from person to person can make anyone want to go somewhere, anywhere else where Mother Nature skips a season and heads straight for the undying sunshine and balmy climate brought by summer, or maybe takes it back a step and resides in the elegance of white, glistening snow falling onto a frozen landscape. Either way, spring break can be a great time for students to not just find an escape from their studies, but their own home as well. Although there are many fantastic places to vacation and unwind during spring break, you probably already know most of them. What you might not know is places you definitely should stay away from this year, starting with…

#10: Los Cabos, Mexico

For many vacationers, Mexico is an ideal destination. The warm climate, delicious(though quite fatty) food and generally friendly residents of the country are a great combination for a wonderful week-long vacation. But if you are planning a Mexico trip this year, Los Cabos is a place you probably want to stay away from.

Los Cabos is quite a small city, and quite a pretty one, as well. But don’t let this fool you. Los Cabos is also ranked as the murder capital of the world. With roughly one person killed for every thousand, playing with those odds don’t generally seem like an extravagant vacation. Statistically, one who enters the city has a 0.1% chance of being murdered by one of its residents. Try sun-bathing or water-skiing with that in the back of your mind.

#9: Villisca Ax Murder House, Iowa

In 1912, six children and two adults were bludgeoned to death in their tiny Iowa home. Now, this same prior place of residence is a tourist attraction and supposedly “haunted” house, called the Villisca Axe Murder House. Those who have dared to spend a night at this eerie-appearing home of the supernatural have reported hearing children’s laughter late in the hours of the night and seeing objects being moved mysteriously. Whether this is just some money-making ploy set up by whoever renovated this historic house or actual evidence of undead spirits, there’s no doubt you’ll be afflicted with some form of “the creeps” staying inside this homicidal relic.

#8: Amazon Rainforest, Brazil

Spring brings about the promise of new life, and this experience probably cannot be better replicated than it is in the notorious Amazon Rainforest. However, among all the radiant majesty of diversified and geographically original life, there exists many that are quite harmful to our way of life. These include, but are not limited to:

  • The bullet ant said to inflict the most excruciatingly painful sting of any insect.
  • Wandering spiders, one of the smallest, but also THE deadliest spider in the world.
  • Jaguars.
  • Piranhas.
  • Anacondas, which hide beneath the murky waters of the Amazon, then swiftly attack and strangle their prey to death.

Unless you want to spend your spring break with the company of ants that feel like bullets excommunicated from the barrel of a gun and snakes that hide in your drinking water, you’re better off just going to your local forest preserve.

#7: Hanakapiai Beach, Hawaii

The sandy, sun-drenched shores of Hawaii make up some of the most popular vacation destinations for many Americans all over the nation. Others fear the island for its history of erupting volcanoes. What many fail to realize is that there is an even greater threat lurking within this seemingly calm and peaceful island.

Hanakapiai Beach may seem like just another ordinary beach sitting neatly tied up with its surrounding ocean shores, but this is not the case. On this beach, you might be able to clock in some good hours of sun-bathing, reading, or even building sandcastles, if you’re into that. However, if you’re looking to go for a swim in the waters of Hanakapiai, I’d strongly encourage you to rethink your decision.

The underwater atmosphere of Hanakapiai has currents so strong, they can sometimes be nearly impossible to fight, dragging unsuspecting swimmers deeper and deeper into the empty ocean. As of today, roughly eighty-two visitors have died at the hands of the mighty ocean current. If you want to know the exact number, go see for yourself. The sign perched at the entrance of the beach warns visitors of the danger and even has the exact death toll tallied on it.

#6: Reunion Island, South Africa

Okay, so maybe you’re a strong swimmer, educated on how to handle a battle with a severely strong current, and the last one didn’t scare you that much. Well, if you want an even more bone-chilling place to go swimming, why not try Reunion Island in Gansbaai, South Africa?

Appropriately nicknamed “Shark Alley”, the waters of this South African territory are home to dozens of different breeds of sharks, including Great Whites, Makos, and even Puffadder Skysharks, whatever those are. I don’t want to know. Reunion Island has fifty-five times as many shark attacks per million people as the average beach, racking up thirty-nine in total, nineteen of which were fatal. We may not be on their menu, but sharks in this area sure do seem to have a taste for human.

#5: Aokigahara Forest, Japan

If you want to go somewhere extra special this spring break that may be fun for the whole family, why not try the remote landscape on Japan’s Mount Fuji literally nicknamed, the “Suicide Forest”? A staggering number of somewhere around fifty-three Japanese citizens have taken their own lives in this forest, many by hanging.

It’s not just the spooky remains of dead bodies that set this place apart, however. Locals believe this forest to be haunted by a curse put on Japanese mages of the 1900s who used to practice evil magic on its terrain. Not only that, but the place even looks evil. The trees twist and turn, and there are hundreds of caves leading to God knows where all over the place. Once again, we do have our own forest preserve right around the corner, Niles West!

#4: Blue Lagoon, England

Okay, okay, I know what you’re thinking…why would anyone even go on vacation to a place literally called the “Suicide Forest” anyways? Well, as evident from this ironic Hellhole, names don’t always mean everything.

Blue Lagoon is a lagoon. It is also blue. In fact, it is incredibly blue. Beautiful, but…a little unnatural looking at the same time. Well, this is for a very good reason. For all of you who weren’t so fond of or haven’t taken sophomore year chemistry, I apologize, we are going to discuss toxicity for a moment. Normal water has a score of 7/14 on the ph scale. Bleach, which contains incredibly toxic chemicals for human consumption, has a ph of 12.6. Now, put this into perspective: the ph level of the water in Blue Lagoon is 11.3. I mean, can we even call that water anymore?

The toxicity of the water is due to chemicals within the stones surrounding it, but this has not stopped people from taking a dip in its magnificently blue waters. Unfortunately, I did lie about one thing, however: Blue Lagoon is not blue. At least not anymore. In fact, it was died black just to keep people from swimming in it. So if you’re too tough for catastrophic currents and salivating sharks, why not try a little backstroke in this pitch-black pool of laundry detergent?

#3: North Korea, Pretty Much Everywhere in North Korea

This one should be pretty self-explanatory…unless you live in North Korea, I don’t think its politicians will particularly enjoy your presence in their country.

#2: Fukushima, Japan

Ah, Japan. You give us anime, and you give us suicide forests. You give us Pokemon, and you give us the second most extreme nuclear accident in history. Fukushima, Japan, was subject to a severe earthquake in 2011. Preparation for this earthquake caused operators of the local power plant to shut down the functions within the plant, made a few mistakes, and BOOM! Chaotic leakage ensued. The worst chemical disaster since Chernobyl in 1986, this slight error caused a fatal flaw, that of which threatened the lives of those in the surrounding community.

Like Chernobyl, the radiation contamination produced by the disaster in Fukushima makes a portion of the city unsafe to enter. Needless to say, the majority of it is completely safe, but if you really want to enter that restriction zone, how about trying for spring break in the year 20019? You might just be the first to do so since the accident!

Now, some of you may be familiar with my replicated format for these types of articles, and expect me to come in with the big finish–THE NUMBER ONE WORST VACATION SPOT FOR SPRING BREAK IS NOT GOING ANYWHERE AT ALL! But, let’s be honest, there’s really nothing wrong with kicking back in bed and shutting out the world for a week. But there is something much, MUCH worse than anything previously mentioned on this list. This place is so horrifying, not even the sly anaconda of the Amazon, poisonous waters of Blue Lagoon or the nuclear treachery of Fukushima can stand up to its level of pure and total horror. Ugh, I almost don’t even want to say it–but here goes. The number one absolute WORST place to go this spring break is…

#1: School

Ok, ok, I was only kidding, of course! School is a great place, and education is quite important for one to make a positive impact on society. School makes this ten times easier, putting a system in place for students to become adults achieving at the highest possible level. But, one cannot lie, it can get exhausting–that’s why we have things like spring break to help us wind down for a while before getting right back into it. So do something fun, something different, something adventurous this spring break–but don’t do it at the risk of your own life. None of you may be jumping into the toxic depths of Blue Lagoon to burn your skin off, but the amount of alcohol many of you are sure to consume is just as poisonous for your bloodstream. None of you may find yourselves casually strolling through the Amazon Rainforest and suddenly be face to face with an anaconda profusely tying itself around your neck, but the various types of smoke many of you are sure to inhale will still slowly, but surely, choke the breath right out of your lungs, until you breath your last. These things have a much greater potential of ending your life than any civilian in Los Cabos, Mexico. So, let’s make smart, productive decisions, Niles West–and have an amazing spring break!