Outdoors

The World’s Creepiest Places To Scuba Dive

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Diving in the Red Sea

Image: Shutterstock/Stas Moroz

The World’s Creepiest Places To Scuba Dive

If you thought scuba diving was all coral reef and schools of fish, think again. The world is full of underwater sites to explore, from shipwrecks to buried cities to flooded alpine meadows.

Scuba diving is one of the last great forms of exploration, so don’t hesitate to plan a trip to some of these creepiest spots to scuba dive. But don’t forget your camera—your friends won’t believe you saw all of this without proof!

Easter Island

This archaeological wonderland in the Pacific Island is most known for it’s 900 monumental statues, called mo’ai. Created by the Rapa Nui peoples during the 10th-16th centuries, the carved human figures have captivated travelers for decades. The volcanic island is surrounded by epic underwater rock formations, sea life, and animals. You can even spot aged green sea turtles while diving. The most famous diving site, however, is that of a submerged mo’ai statue in the bay of Hanga Roa. A chilling, yet mysterious site, the statue rests peacefully gazing into the blue abyss. You’ll be left asking the question, “how did the statue get there?” The locals might know, but their tight-lipped explanations keep the mystery alive.

Beautiful cliffs and deep fissure in Thingvellir National Park. Southern Iceland

Image: Shutterstock/Olga Gavrilova

Iceland’s Thingvellir National Park

An exceptional diving spot is in Iceland’s Thingvellir National Park, where two submerged rifts provide excellent scenery and exploration opportunities. The rifts, Silfra and Davíðsgjá, have crystal clear, cold, ground water that give the diver extreme visibility throughout their journey. Many people choose to dive at Silfra because it provides the rare opportunity to explore the border between the North American Tectonic Plate and the Eurasian Tectonic Plate. That’s right—you can literally dive in the place where the plates shift. Don’t worry, though, because they only move about one centimeter per year.

Sunken City of Baia, Italy

Let’s be honest, we all still secretly dream of discovering the underwater world of Atlantis, right? It’s hard to face the reality that it might not come true, but luckily there are other places in the world to explore. The sunken city of Baia off the coast of Italy in the Tyrrhenian Sea remains one of these mysterious adventures to this day. What once was a powerful resort town that catered to the Roman elite, Baia slowly flooded from volcanic vents. Now it’s possible to scuba dive below the waters to view the wonderfully preserved sites, including a statuary and expansive mosaics. It’s also possible to see plenty of crumbled ruins, still standing where they originally fell.

Sameranger Lake, Austria

Perhaps one of the most unique places to scuba dive on Earth, the flooded meadow of Sameranger Lake in Austria is only available to tour for a few months of the year. That’s because the “lake’s” waters are entirely filled by snow runoff from the surrounding mountains. The process happens in early spring, which makes spring and summer the only time to explore the grassy underwater meadows (complete with park benches, trails, and pathway railings). Once late summer begins, the waters dry up and the lake once again becomes an alpine park for hiking.

Numidia and Aida | The Brother Islands, Egypt

The Numidia (1901) and Aida (1957) are two sunken ships fifty miles off the coast of Egypt in the Red Sea. Their most noticeable feature is that they’re lodged against a vertical wall that makes up the underwater portion of the Brothers Islands. Divers take trips exploring the corals that have clung to the wrecked ships, as well as the ins and outs of the structures. But be weary if you’re skittish—the Brothers Islands are famed for their Hammerhead and Oceanic Whitetip shark encounters.

Mandy Burkholder is a travel, adventure, and outdoor writer who honed her craft in the foothills of the La Plata Mountains of Southwest Colorado. After a stint in the Swiss Alps, she now resides in Tennessee. Follow her on twitter — @mandyburkhold3r