8 Badass Tourist Destinations for the Criminally Insane
Got a taste for adventure? Let's face it -- even skydiving and bungee jumping are pretty passe these days. Your friends have all done that shit before. If you really want a tourist experience that will make your loved ones demand "What the Christ were you thinking!?" then we have a few recommendations for you.
You Can Rent a Tank in Minnesota
Paintball is for pussies. What's the point of shooting at people if there's no real potential to kill them? At Drive A Tank in Kasota, Minnesota, you can throw away the toys and live every man's dream of wrecking stuff from behind the wheel of a Vietnam-era death machine.
"Please keep maniacal laughter under 10 seconds in duration."
For a measly few hundred dollars, they will let you take a joyride in a genuine tank and wreak untold destruction in a family friendly environment. They have a 20-acre facility, an indoor range for firing machine guns and loads of mechanized artillery to choose from to satisfy your lust for destruction.
There are packages to fit every budget, too. For the right price, you can even take that bad boy over a car or two, monster truck style. Unfortunately, they choose the car, so you can't just pick the asshole who cut you off in traffic this morning.
"Sorry, I was texting."
That's just the beginning -- the car-crushing feature proved so popular that the company now lets you upgrade to crushing mobile homes. Sure, there are no people in there, but who's to stop you from pretending there are?
"The Johnsons sit down to dinner as one big happy family. By the time they feel the rumble, it's too late."
Swim With Crocodiles in Australia
Crocodiles are terrifying throwbacks to the dinosaur age, with one of the strongest bites in the animal kingdom. So, for the intrepid death-seeker, it's not enough to just see them in the zoo -- you want to climb into the water and laugh right in their ugly faces. That's why Crocosaurus Cove in Darwin, Australia, built what they quite honestly bill as the Cage of Death, in which you can spend 15 minutes eye-to-eye with a 19-foot, 2,000-pound killing machine.
"We decided that 'Cage of Death' looked better on brochures than 'Crocodile-Assisted Suicide'."
And the best part is that the cages are sturdy, transparent plexiglass, which increases the realism for both the participants and the giant territorial reptiles whose home you are invading.
"Mi estomago es su casa."
The guides at Crocosaurus Cove freely admit that the crocs don't like it when people are dunked into their tanks and feel obliged to attack, as shown here.
And just in case the animals fail to associate the cage and its contents with food, the operators of this ride will sometimes dangle chunks of meat off the edge.
"Pavlov's dog ain't got shit on me."
But not to worry, the last time the cable broke and the cage sunk to the bottom, the plexiglass hardly shattered at all. Oh wait, does that happen often or something? Because they sure responded quickly with that press release.
"Hey guys, can you put me in a tank that isn't named Titanic?"
Ride a Lion (and Other Dangerous Animals)
OK, so what if that thin layer of plexiglass is still too much separation from the dangerous predators of the world? Lucky for you there is the Lujan Zoo near Buenos Aires, Argentina. For a small fee and a signed release form that absolves the facility of any and all wrongdoing, you can ride a full-size lion!
"Come on, honey, really dig those spurs in!"
If that's not really your thing, you can play with tigers, cuddle with cheetahs or get chewed on by bears, or whatever dangerous beasts they've got available (seasonal restrictions may apply). They pretty much open the cages to people and let them do whatever. And bring your kids, too! What can conceivably go wrong?
"Awww, he just wants to get a taste of human flesh."
But those animals are all broken-spirited shells of the majestic beasts they once were. If you want to actually participate in the nightmarish brutality of nature, head on down to the Harbin Siberian Tiger Park in China, where you can purchase live animals, tie them to the top of your glass-covered SUV and drive through a pride of ravenous murder engines. The fact that someone gets dragged off now and then only adds to the excitement.
Finally, all the thrill of Jurassic Park without those pesky "fences" and "safety precautions."
Throw Yourself Down a Hill in a Plastic Ball
People do all kinds of crazy things to try to induce the body's natural shit-itself response. So it was only a matter of time before someone looked at a steep hill, scratched their chin and thought, "I would like to encase myself in a giant transparent ball and throw myself down this." That was the day zorbing was born.
In zorbing, the latest adrenaline sport to come out of New Zealand, they strap you inside a gigantic inflatable hamster ball and push you down a slope at speeds of up to 30 mph. That doesn't sound fast, but remember that you spend the whole time tumbling head over ass in a centrifuge likely filled with your own vomit.
"Don't worry, the ball will just spin-dry it out."
It's the perfect sport for anyone whose idea of adventure is careening down a slope in a screaming pile of dislocated limbs. And these things don't come with anything remotely resembling brakes or steering, so if you see yourself rolling toward a cliff or oncoming traffic, you have an unstoppable 30 mph drift toward doom to say whatever prayers might come to mind under the circumstances.
"Don't worry, babe, your life insurance policy covers death by misadventure. I'll be fine!"
Dangle Off of One of the World's Tallest Towers
Toronto's CN Tower is the tallest freestanding structure in the Western Hemisphere. But what would be the point of that if you couldn't dangle off the edge while your life flashes before your eyes? With the EdgeWalk attraction, Toronto has your death wish covered.
"Feel how strong those straps are. Go ahead, really lean into it."
The EdgeWalk isn't just your ordinary trek through the stratosphere. Participants are encouraged to lean back (or forward, if you have the nads) over the Canadian skyline, even though there is a perfectly good walkway right in front of you.
Apparently, on a clear day, you can actually see over 100 miles away, over the Canadian border into New York State. If you're already in New York, it might be disconcerting to know that Canada is watching you pee right now.
While doing a choreographed skydance.
Stroll Through a Jungle of Poisonous Plants
Of course, even the most diehard adventurer needs a bit of time off now and then to just admire the scenery. So if you feel like something a little more laid back without lessening the personal risk, how about touring Britain's Alnwick Gardens, the world's most complete collection of the deadliest plants in all creation?
The garden is the brainchild of Isobel Jane Percy, the 12th Duchess of Northumberland, whose motivation for doing such a thing is nothing short of that of a Bond villain:
I wondered why so many gardens around the world focused on the healing power of plants rather than their ability to kill ... I felt that most children I knew would be more interested in hearing how a plant killed, how long it would take you to die if you ate it and how gruesome and painful the death might be.
"And then further down the road, you can see how your body would decompose in the blazing tropical sun."
To date, the gardens feature nearly 100 types of different noxious flora, a veritable A to Z of nature's most deadly floral inhabitants, from hemlock to ricin to strychnine. Incidentally, various flavors of narcotics and hallucinogens from marijuana to magic mushrooms are also kept there, by special permission from the Home Office. But it's insisted that their presence is purely educational.
"This one, kids, will literally make you shit your pancreas out."
Hike a Narrow Trail With a 7,000-Foot Drop
Are you the type of person who visits the Great Wall and then gets pissed off when law enforcement stops you from rappelling over the side in a homemade kit made from stretch pants and baling wire? Well, buck up, young adventurer, why not hike along the precarious ridges of Mount Huashan?
Now with fewer safety regulations!
One of China's five sacred mountains of the Tao religion, Mount Huashan is known by the locals as "The Number One Precipitous Mountain Under Heaven." But "precipitous" is just another word for "radical, bro!" for a thrill-seeker like you, right?
"I'd give you the devil horns, but I'm pretty sure I'd die."
The mountain rises to over 7,000 feet at the highest peak and attracts thrill seekers for the hiking trails, which are widely considered to be the deadliest in the world. Eschewing such paltry concerns as safety rails, nets or harnesses, hikers traverse the cliffs via a system of precarious planks barely wide enough to shimmy across. This jury-rigged shop project is the only thing between you and a plunge into the yawning abyss.
The Chinese government, which doesn't usually engage in misinformation, won't admit that anyone has ever died hiking there. The reality is estimated to be over 100 deaths a year. But hell, we all walked across those narrow beam thingies in gym class, so what's the worst that could happen?
"It's fine. I did this same thing in Donkey Kong Country in, like, three lives."
Bungee Jump into a Volcano
What's the big deal about bungee jumping, anyway? If your rope snaps, the worst thing that can happen is you take a cold bath. Well, the good folks at Volcano Bungee have just what you need. It's not just a name -- in Pucon, Chile, you can dive directly into the bubbling caldera of the active Villarrica Volcano from the skid of a helicopter.
"We really need to stress that this is not the time to lie about your weight."
At around 10,000 bucks, it's also the most expensive bungee jump in the world, but the 350-foot cord you're dangling from puts you within 700 feet of the lake of boiling magma. That's just about close enough to singe your hair. You wanna hope the pilot has his altitude set right; otherwise, you've just spent ten grand on the greatest Viking funeral ever.
The best part is that, after you've jumped, you can't be reeled back into the helicopter. The only way you can get down is to dangle from the end of the cord at 80 miles per hour for the whole 35-mile trip back to the airport, hoping that they don't fly over any power lines.
"Hey, now that you're dangling there at our mercy, we should probably mention that we accept tips."
For more ridiculous activities that will kill you, check out 5 Manliest Hobbies You've Never Heard of. Or learn about 6 Brutal Leaders And Their Ridiculous Secret Hobbies.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 3 Lame Hobbies That Somehow Became Awesome.