11 Landmarks From Around The World That Look Like Fun But Are Actually Pretty Scary

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Vote up the landmarks that sound nice, but you wouldn't want to actually give a try. 

Being a tourist is an adventure. Seeing new places, eating exotic food, and meeting a wide array of people are all part of the experience of travel and exploration. Not all trips are enjoyable, however, and many destinations end up leaving a lot to be desired. 

Add to that many of the attractions that are actually the biggest highlights of a place can be downright disappointing - or even terrifying. Now that we think about it, maybe staying home is the way to go.

We found some landmarks around the world that sounded worthy in theory, but didn't seem all that great when we looked a little closer. Underwater tunnels, windblown buildings, and hanging off buildings might be on an adventure seeker's agenda, but we don't think we're up for the task. 

What about you? Which of these landmarks give you the jitters as well, and make you say "nope!”


  • Atop the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas, NV, sits the aptly named Insanity, a swing of sorts that moves around by an arm, extending off the edge of the building over the city below. 

    Insanity reaches speeds up to 3Gs, with riders tilted to an upside-down position. The view is described as “breathtaking” on the ride's website - and “freaky" by people who ride it.

    Insanity isn't the only ride at the Stratosphere summit. The Big Shot shoots riders straight up from a 921-foot-high platform to 1,081 feet above the city. And the X-Scream roller coaster sends riders over the edge of the tower, where they dangle for a bit. 

    It's the X-Scream that riders find to be the scariest:

    [The] X-Scream, is the scariest of them all. It's a roller coaster track that moves like a teeter-totter off the side of the building. You tip forward and zoom forward as if plummeting to your death off the tower, tip backward and do it again 3-4 times (I can't remember). We sat in the front car and there is NOTHING in front of you - not even handles to hold except on the lapbar. My 35-year-old sister was crying during the ride. I actually had to close my eyes - something I never do!

  • BASE Jumping From The New River Gorge Bridge Is Legal One Day A Year
    Photo: Steve / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

    Each year in October, the New River Gorge Bridge near Fayetteville, WV, is closed to cars and turned over to pedestrians. As a celebration to commemorate the structure's 1977 completion, Bridge Day draws crowds numbering into the thousands - with as many as 140,000 spectators venturing out in 2022. 

    The biggest draw of Bridge Day is the BASE jumping; the acronym stands for buildings, antennas, spans (bridges), and earth (cliffs) - the four types of fixed objects off which individuals parachute for the sport.

    BASE jumping off the bridge began with Burton Ervin - although he did it illegally and in the dead of night. It was through his efforts, however, that BASE jumping became an event at the New River Gorge Bridge, bringing hundreds of jumpers and rappelers out annually. 

    Jumping off the New River Gorge Bridge is something anyone can do, and first-timers are encouraged. They're also trained. BASE jumpers leap off the bridge - some 900 feet above the river - and land in the water below. 

    Four people have perished BASE jumping from the bridge. In 1983, Michael Williams drowned in the river after a successful jump (he got caught in the current). In 1986, Rick Stanley also drowned. Steven Gyrsting's main chute malfunctioned and he didn't deploy his reserve chute in time in 1987. Brian Schubert experienced a similar fate in 2006. 

    Problematic jumps happen, too. In 2022, two jumpers leaped too close to each other, and one individual hit the other's parachute. Luckily, both made it to the ground safely. 

  • They're not the largest catacombs in the world (those are in Ukraine), but the catacombs in Rome are the oldest - and go by many names. Catacombs served as underground tombs for human ashes and remains alike as early as the first century CE

    Pagan, Jewish, and Christian catacombs expanded beneath and around Rome through the fourth century, especially as persecuted individuals began practicing their beliefs in the catacombs themselves. Germanic invasions of Rome resulted in widespread looting and, as a result, many of the remains were moved from the catacombs to churches during the ninth century. 

    Not all remains were taken out of the catacombs and, out of more than 60 underground tombs that exist, only a few are open to the public. When visiting, individuals traverse cold, dark tunnels that once held - or still hold - bodies from centuries ago. The catacombs of St. Callixtus, for example, held about half a million bodies - including 16 popes.

  • Formerly known as the Sears Tower, Willis Tower in Chicago is 110 stories tall. On the 103rd floor, visitors can step out onto the Ledge from the Tower's Skydeck, some 1,353 feet above the streets of the city. Touted as “the highest public viewing area in the United States,” the Skydeck and Ledge allow for views that extend from Illinois into Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. 

    The Ledge, which opened in 2009, comprises several glass boxes that jut out from the Skydeck. Constructed with multiple glass layers laminated into one, the floor also features a protective layer of glass. When this layer cracked in 2014 and again in 2019, visitors were alarmed but, according to officials, were in no danger. 

    According to one witness of the 2019 incident, “There was a woman with two kids and they looked really pale and scared because the floor just cracked.” Another said:

    I'm scared of heights in general so when I saw that happen, I was like nope, not going on.

  • Mary King's Close Is A Dank, Dark Underground City That Might Be Haunted
    Photo: The Continuum Group / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain
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    Mary King's Close Is A Dank, Dark Underground City That Might Be Haunted

    Have you ever wanted to go back in time and visit a 17th-century city? It turns out that's more or less possible, but you have to go completely underground to do it. 

    The Real Mary King's Close in Edinburgh, Scotland, came to be after city officials removed the tops of houses on the street during the 17th century and built the Royal Exchange atop what remained. Alleyways (or closes) remained intact and people even continued to live and work in them after the Exchange was built. 

    An outbreak of bubonic plague during the 17th century contributed to macabre stories of residents of the Close being left to expire by members of the city council. When their bodies were retrieved months later, they were dismembered and transported to outside the city walls for burial. These plague victims are now said to appear as ghosts

    Narrow alleys, dank passages, and dark corners accompany a sense of being cramped when visiting Mary King's Close. While a tour isn't considered scary, claustrophobics are advised to reconsider visiting the site.

  • To Kiss The Blarney Stone, You Have To Hang Off A Castle
    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0
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    To Kiss The Blarney Stone, You Have To Hang Off A Castle

    Kissing the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle near Cork, Ireland, is supposed to bring the gift of eloquence. The word “blarney” literally means talking in a manner that can persuade people, and the stone is said to have been brought west from the Holy Land during the Middle Ages.

    Famous speakers the likes of Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, Mick Jagger, and Stan Laurel are said to have smooched the Blarney Stone. In July 1912, The Washington Post published this:

    Mr. Churchill is a dangerous public man, according to all the traditions, for the learned lexicographers state that he who kisses the Blarney Stone is endowed with the power “to blarney,” and “to blarney,” they say, is to humbug with wheedling talk so as to gain a desired end….

    The dangers associated with the Blarney Stone might come in the form of words, but the germs and acrobatics required to kiss it offer additional peril. 

    In 2009, the Blarney Stone was proclaimed the “most unhygienic tourist attraction in the world,” due to the thousands of people who planted their lips on it each year. When the so-called Stone of Eloquence reopened in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, measures to disinfect it were implemented.

    To get access to the Stone, a person must bend backward and dangle their head off Blarney Castle and through a murder hole (an area extending from the castle wall, presumable once used to drop stones and such on besiegers). From there, scooting and reaching earn you a kiss.

    To be fair, a backbend might be preferable to when people were once held dangling by their ankles.