Generally water parks and swimming pools are supposed to be a fun way to cool off on a hot day, but sometimes the designers get things horribly, horribly wrong. Looking for scary water slides? How about the scariest water slides in the world? And that’s just for starters. This is a list of the most terrifying water attractions in the world. Some are now closed because of their safety hazards (credibility), while others just make you cringe at the thought of what could happen. They don’t stop at scary slides, either. Chillin’ with alligators? You got it. Swimming with sharks? You bet. We can’t make this stuff up, people.
Sit back, relax, and be grateful that you’re currently sitting safely on your couch, dry as dust while you read about these “great” water attractions that are really aquatic nightmares.
Bondi Baths – Bondi Icebergs Club
The Bondi Baths have been declared everything from one of the most gorgeous swimming pools in the world to one of the most ill-conceived aquatic attractions imaginable. Situated on the southern end of Sydney’s Bondi Beach, the Baths is a swimming pool literally built in the ocean. That means that the waves, which can get quite violent and dangerous, regularly come crashing over the sides and into the pool. It also means that regular, chlorinated pool water is impossible to maintain in the Baths, so it’s filled with saltwater (why not just swim in the ocean?). There are even stories of sharks being tossedinto the pool during high tide and becoming trapped. Probably not the most relaxing or idyllic way to spend a leisurely afternoon.
The Joule Hotel Pool – The Joule Hotel
The infinity pool located in Dallas’ Joule Hotel is cantilevered eight feet out from the rest of the building, which essentially creates a pool that dangles hundreds of feet in the air. To make the experience even scarier, the end of the pool that juts out from the building is made entirely of glass. There’s also bar service in the pool area, so that may explain the popularity of The Joule’s mysterious hanging pool. If all this sounds a bit unsettling, that seems to be just what the hotel is going for. According to The Joule’s website, the pool “gives guests the sensation of swimming out beyond the hotel’s edge.”
The Cannonball Loop – Action Park
Quite possibly the worst water slide ever conceived, the Cannonball Loop that used to stand at Action Park in Vernon Township, New Jersey, is exactly what the name implies: a water slide with a loop in it. The slide was only open for a month in the summer of 1985, after which it was permanently closed because of the amount of injuries. Some people didn’t quite make the loop and fell off the top, because of, you know, gravity. Other, more fortunate souls (just?) had their backs scratched up by all the sand and dirt that collected at the bottom of the loop by, again, gravity. Also, confoundingly, there was no pool at the bottom of the slide. Disoriented and often injured Cannonball-ers were greeted by nothing more than a wet mat to stop their downward trajectory.
With a name like Devil’s Pool, you know you’re in for one helluva nightmare. On the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, perched 355 feet in the air, is a natural infinity pool right where the falls crash over the rock wall. Once a swimmer gets in the pool, there is only a thin layer of rock separating them from a sheer drop off the face of the falls. At most times of the year, entering the Devil’s Pool would mean almost certain death, but for a brief window of time each year, water levels are low enough that hundreds of people press their luck and jump into this horrifying little body of water.
The Golden Nugget Pool – Golden Nugget Las Vegas
At first glance, the pool at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas looks fairly normal, if not a little luxurious. The pool itself is round, and in the center is a large aquarium filled with ocean life. So, you can swim with the fishes without all that nasty touching of the fishes. But the main feature of the pool is its water slide, which turns into a glass tube that shoots straight through the center of the aquarium. Sounds innocent and fun enough, right? Well, consider this: The aquarium is actually filled with sharks.
Cage Of Death – Crocosaurus Cove
At Crocosaurus Cove in Darwin, Australia, you have the opportunity to spend 15 minutes in an attraction they’ve becomingly called the Cage of Death. Fortunately, it’s not really a cage; it’s more of a glass enclosure. You start out dangling above the crocodile pen before being lowered into the water for an up-close-and-personal encounter with the crocs. Oh, and the crocs are usually fed while you’re in there so they are as “active” as possible for your visit. Lucky you.
SkyPark – Mariana Bay Sands
Skypark in Marina Bay, Singapore, is a ginormous platform that rests across the tops of three different skyscrapers and offers a bird’s eye view of the entire city. Its claim to fame is the infinity poolcantilevered out from the northernmost tower by about 220 feet, 57 stories above the ground. Obviously, the pool is just an illusion; you can’t really swim over the edge because there’s a ledge just below the water’s surface on the other side. Still, if heights or water (or both) aren’t your thing, you’d best be advised to avoid what would surely be an anxiety-inducing dip in the SkyPark’s pool.
Insano – Beach Park
Insano at Beach Park near Fortaleza, Brazil, once earned itself a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the tallest water slide in the world. At 14 stories high, riders can reach speeds of up to 65 miles per hour as they fall the entire length of the slide in just a few seconds. This is one of those drops in which you leave your stomach at the start of the ride and it only catches up to you after you’ve splashed to a stop in the pool below.
Scorpion’s Tail – Noah’s Ark Waterpark
At 400 feet tall (nearly 10 stories), Scorpion’s Tail at Noah’s Ark Waterpark in the Wisconsin Dells is the US’s first nearly-vertical water slide loop. As if that wasn’t scary enough, before you’re sent shooting into the almost-inverted loop, the floor literally falls out from underneath you. Thankfully, the sciencebehind Scorpion’s Tail is perfectly sound and the ride is as safe as can be.
L2 – Wave
The first double-looping slide in the world, L2 is located at Wave water park in Wörgl, Austria. It drops riders from a whopping 40-story height before sending them careening through two gigantic loops at more than 40 mph. By the time the thrill-ride ends, most riders aren’t even sure what hit them.
Swimmable Sky Bridge – Sky Habitat
Picture this: you’re at one end of a 38-story-high skyscraper in Singapore, and your friend is at the other. Your options? Take the elevator all the way down and walk across to meet them, or stay at the top and take a leisurely swim between the two highrises. Well, you can do just that at the Sky Habitat condominium complex in Bishan, Singapore. Their swimmable sky bridge lets brave swimmers enjoy the infinity pool and views of the entire city at the same time.
Nemo 33 – Uccel, Belgium
Once the deepest pool in the world, this massive indoor swimming facility lets divers drop 113 feet into the bowels of the earth. And because its non-chlorinated water is temperature-regulated, you don’t need a wetsuit. Nemo 33 also boasts simulated underwater caves, pits, and platforms to make your dive even more of an adventure.
Aquaconda – Aquaventure Waterpark
Grab five friends and a raft and make your way through the slithering passageway known as Aquaconda at Aquaventure Waterpark in Dubai. At more than 30 feet, it’s the widest water slide tube in the world, sending riders down a thrilling and wildly twisting tunnel. It ends by dropping riders into a gigantic fiberglass tube – also the largest of its kind in the world.
Leap Of Faith – Atlantis Paradise Island
Oh, just a nice little jaunt down the water slide – OMG ARE THOSE SHARKS?!? This 60-foot tall Mayan temple slide is located at the Atlantis Paradise Island resort in the Bahamas. It’s an almost-vertical drop that ends only after you are propelled through a shark-infested lagoon in a glass tube at breakneck speed.
Verrückt – Schlitterbahn Kansas City
The aquatic attraction known as Verrückt at the Schlitterbahn Kansas City water park was, at one time, the tallest water slide in the world. The first drop, at a terrifying 168 feet, was followed by another stomach-in-the-throat drop of 50 feet. But Verrückt was shut down permanently in 2016 after a 10-year-old boy died on it. Criminal charges were eventually brought against the ride’s designers and operators, as well as the owner of Schlitterbahn.
Kilimanjaro – Águas Quentes Country Club
Another former recordholder for tallest water slide in the world, Kilimanjaro at the Águas Quentes Country Club in Rodovia, Brazil, offers a terrifying 163-feet plummet at 57 miles per hour. First, though, you’ll have to climb 234 steps to the top, then conquer the urge to turn around and run in fear. It’s estimated that up to a third chicken out and climb back down those 234 steps.
Summit Plummet – Blizzard Beach, Walt Disney World
Disney isn’t usually known for scaring the pants off of grown adults (unless we’re talking about the creepy animatronics in It’s a Small World). But the near-vertical drop of Summit Plummet at Walt Disney World would rightly frighten even Walt himself. It’s one of the tallest, fastest free-body slides in the world. Riders can reach 60 mph as they slide down all 120 feet of the plummet.
Jumeirah Sceirah – Wild Wadi Waterpark
Two tandem slides give you the opportunity to race your friends down this 104-foot slide at Wild Wadi Waterpark in Dubai. You each step into a capsule and cross your arms and legs (a perfect moment to pray for dear life). Then, the bottom of the tube falls away and out you drop at speeds often reaching close to 50 miles per hour.
Faser – Galaxy Erding
In 2012, park officials at the Galaxy Erding water park near Munich, Germany, made the 45-mile-per-hour water slide Faser a men-only attraction after six women were injured on it. Park manager Marcus Maier said, “These injuries are caused by the nature of the female anatomy.” But the park did say they are working on a protective suit for women to wear on the Faser; as of 2018, however, the ride remainsmen-only.
Mammoth – Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari
Mammoth at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana, is the longest water coaster in the world, a sort of water slide-roller coaster hybrid that contains all the scariest parts of both rides. Six- and eight-passenger watercrafts careen over seven hydromagnetic peaks before they hit a 270-degree turn, which throws the entire vessel up against a high wall. In all, Mammoth covers over three acres and seven stories, from highest point to lowest.
Brain Wash – Wet ‘N Wild Orlando
Brain Wash was an unusual – and unusually trippy – water slide. All six stories of the slide were completely enclosed, and riders were dropped nearly vertically down 53 feet into a 65-foot domed tunnel. All the while, psychedelic music was playing as lights flashed in every color of the ‘bow. Unfortunately, Wet ‘N Wild in Orlando, the home to Brain Wash, closed in 2016.
Tsunami Surge – Six Flags Over Georgia
Tsunami Surge at Six Flags Over Georgia in Atlanta is the world’s first hybrid, zero-gravity single slide that marries two different slides into one thrilling and scary-as-hell experience. Along with three other riders, you start out dropping five stories, part of which is a whirlpool that tosses you down and around at a dizzying 360 degrees. As your head spins, you’re then thrown down another slide – an enclosed tube – into a massive pool…but, before you hit the water, you’ll experience weightlessness.