When the weather allows, there’s nothing as refreshing as a dip in the sea, river or lake. However, swimming sometimes comes with risks. There are some bodies of water that are best observed from a distance. Here’s five of the world’s most dangerous lakes, and the thing that makes them that way.

Lake Lanier – Georgia

Lake Lanier is considered the most dangerous lake in Georgia. There have also been numerous drownings, sometimes several in a week.

When Lake Lanier was created, it displaced a number of graveyards. This fuels the theory that there are angry spirits in and around the water, including a phantom nicknamed, The Lady of the Lake.

Despite this theory, Lake Lanier’s popularity is seemingly unaffected. It attracts more than 11.8 million people annually.

Frying Pan Lake – New Zealand

Frying Pan Lake, also called Waimangu Cauldron, is the hottest in the world. The temperature ranges from 122 to 144 degrees Fahrenheit, and the billowing steam is impossible to miss.

If you want to go on a tour, book the Full Waimangu Experience. You will not only see the lake, but also every inch of the Waimangu Volcanic Valley.

Lake Nyos – Cameroon

The waters of Lake Nyos turn a murky brown because it shoots out toxic gases.

In 1986, the lake emitted enough lethal gas to suffocate thousands of people and livestock. Experts discovered that carbon dioxide gases had built at the bottom of the lake for centuries.

Guided tours of the lake are available, but be careful.

Lake Michigan – Michigan

This lake may be beautiful, but its mood can change in an instant.

Lake Michigan was dubbed the deadliest of the Great Lakes. In 2022, there were 38 recorded drownings.

Be mindful of high winds, waves and rip currents. These can pose a threat even to experienced swimmers. If you find yourself in a rip current, try not to panic. Swim parallel to the shoreline, and then turn toward the shore.

Boiling Lake – Dominica

Boiling Lake and its surroundings recall Jurassic Park. The area where it’s found is called The Valley of Desolation.

Dominica’s Lake is the second largest of its kind after Frying Pan. Hiking there is demanding, but an experienced guide will make sure you get to your destination and back safely.

There are plenty of places on the island to swim safely; however, this is not one of them.