Deadly Hotspots

by MSO

The world's deadliest hotspots. "Source - BBC - c. (2013 BBC)

In The Daily Mirror a British tabloid newspaper, it was reported that secret government papers had been released in 2008 from 1980, which revealed scientific research conducted by British scientists to calculate the exact chances of a citizen being killed by a falling asteroid. What they determined was only one person of the public would be killed by an asteroid every 7,000 years – some good odds for a world inhabited by over 7 billion people. But as a populace, we are still prone to the incurable phenomenon known as death, and while we will all at one point succumb to this affliction that has plagued the world for eons, the BBC has gathered some evidence from around the world to show just where in the world you are most likely to die of the following:


Drugs: Afghanistan  – It was during the 1979-80 Soviet invasion when the Afghan government began losing control of its provinces. Warlords began to dominate the lands, and quickly they sought new means of generating money in order to purchase weapons. To finance their goals, they turned to opium production.

For the next two decades Afghanistan would grow to become the largest illicit opium producer in the entire world, earning an export value of roughly $4 billion. However, while opium is a large export for the country, it is also the source of opium addiction among its people leading to 100,000 deaths per year, according to findings presented by a UN report.

Meteor Strike: Antarctica – Since 1912 Antarctica has been the home of 19,884 fallen meteors. However, while no one has been killed by a meteor in Antarctica at this time, the continent has recorded 15 times more strikes than anywhere in the world.

Shark Attack: Australia  – They’ve been called the apex predators of the underwater; they’ve starred in numerous films and in 1975, they imprinted a long-lasting fear of swimming in oceans and seas – but what separates fact from fiction is a thin line. For years news of shark attacks surfaced from the shores of coastal waters but none so much as Australia, which sees many people entering the coastal waters for recreational and commercial reasons throughout the years.

Though the land down under is often recognized for its plentiful beaches, admiration of the outdoors and the surf culture, it also has a bad reputation for the threat of shark attacks, with Western Australia deemed the deadliest location in the world with a ranking of 884 attacks and 214 fatalities.

Fire: Bhutan – With the Himalaya Mountains running through the country, Bhutan has been internationally acclaimed for its commitment to the maintenance of biodiversity, with the decision to maintain at least sixty percent of land area under forest cover.

However, with such a massive growth of forestry within the country, the risk of forest fires continues to prove to be a consistent threat. With rugged topographic conditions combined with high ground fuel loads and erratic wind conditions, in the span of 14 years, Bhutan has had 868 reported incidents of wildfires that have threatened the pristine forest areas as well as the lives of inhabitants with an estimated mortality rate of 129 people per year.

Falling off a ladder: Czech Republic – In the US alone, there are more than 164,000 emergency room-treated injuries relating to ladders each year. A high number for a tool used to help us reach beyond for the things we cannot attain. While many inventors have often sought to go higher, it seems gravity and the laws of physics will always prevail in keeping us on the ground.

For those in Czech Republic, this couldn’t be more true with the claim that 6.5 per 1 million die just from falling off ladders. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) statistics for data compiled for January 2004, there have been 66 deaths of falling from ladders reported.

Cancer: Denmark – Cancer, we’ve read about it, heard about it and are informed regularly of cancer-inducing carcinogens. It can affect people of all ages, and the risk of developing cancer generally increases with age. And while the chances of survival depend on the type and location of the cancer, it was reported in 2007 that cancer was the cause of roughly 13% of all human deaths worldwide.

While medical technology has improved to slow the growth of cancerous tumors, and warnings are more prevalent of cancer-causing dangers, it seems of 17 countries, including Canada, US, UK and Japan, Denmark has the leading mortality rate of cancer-related deaths with 326.1 deaths per 100,000 people*.

Spider Bite: Dominican Republic  – The Dominican Republic is a tourist destination for those looking to escape the icy chills of winter and enjoy basking in the glory of lounging on the beach. But there is a silent hunter in the midsts that can cause medically serious dangers – they are spiders, and while the average domesticated spider lacks the ability to affectively poison its prey when threatened, some spiders from the Dominican Republic, which include the tarantula and the black widow account for upwards of .67 deaths per million who visit, making it the leading location of spider bite related deaths worldwide.

Bee Sting: El Salvador  – It was a strange case that occurred during the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying match between Mexico and El Salvador – it had been only twice that El Salvador had progressed past the initial group stages of the tournament and this was to be their year. At least, that’s what some fans had hoped. Sadly, during the game, things had to come to a momentary halt when a swarm of bees charged the spectators and players at the stadium.

While in recent years, there has been an increase of Africanized bees migrating into the US, the dangers of these bees has been greatly exaggerated by sensationalist movies and media reports, particularly with one or two deaths per year occurring in the US. However, according to statistics presented by the BBC, 1.5 per 1 million people will die of bee stings in El Salvador.

Asthma: Fiji

Meningitis: Guinea-Bissau  – Since 1998, Guinea-Bissau has been seeing an outbreak of meningococcal meningitis, with 522 cases diagnosed and 74 deaths registered within that year alone. However, according to WHO, the mortality rate per year is an estimated 419 deaths per 1 million.

Murder: Honduras  – As the Miami Herald once wrote, with a combination of graft, greed and mayhem, and an unholy alliance of cops, crooks, prisoners and politicians, the nation of Honduras has turned into the murder capital of the world. In fact, as the article read, Honduras is a country where the son of a university president is gunned down by cops; prisoners are forced to leave jail to run drugs and are eventually shot down; and a place where the Peace Corps has pulled out claiming that conditions are too dangerous.

So what are the odds of survival living in a country that has an increasing trend of violence and murder? The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reported in their 2011, Global Study on Homicide that 821 deaths will occur per 1 million per year.

Falling out of bed: Hungary  – If you ask someone how they’d like to die, many would say “Peacefully in my sleep,” but for Hungarians, it seems that this tongue-in-cheek desire is being taken literally with recent WHO reports of mortality in the country, particularly deaths arising due to falls out of bed. Recently it’s been noted that there were 14.39 deaths per 1 million per year.

Snake Bite: India  – It’s an iconic folk art, one that has long been held as a fixture in India, it is the mystique of snake charming, but no matter how carefully snakes are looked after, the life of a snake charmer is often considered to be at risk. It isn’t enough that there is an estimated 1 million people bitten by snakes a year, but after a report conducted by WHO, it is estimated that between 10-12,000 people in India will die from snake bites from the Indian cobra, Russel’s viper and the saw-scaled viper.

Execution: Iran  – Throughout history, execution has always been prevalent as a form of legal punishment towards actions opposing laws, and while some of these forms of executions were deemed barbaric long ago, they’ve since grown more compassionate in terms of swift deaths. Though many countries have relinquished their execution laws, there are still some countries who use capital punishment as a final judgement for those who break laws. Particularly, the People’s Republic of China and North Korea are two of the most recognized countries who continue to enact indiscriminate executions. However, second to China, Iran has seen roughly 1663 people executed between 2007-2011.

Terrorism: Iraq

Old Age: Japan  =  As one mortician once said, there is no such thing as old age being a natural cause of death.

Male Suicide: Lithuania  – For the tiny, former Soviet Republic on the shores of the Baltic Sea, suicide has been a growing epidemic in this country since it achieved independence in 1990, particularly among young men. While suicide cannot be explained using only individual reasons, experts have speculated that the increase of suicides could have been brought on by growing economic unease, combined with crisis in values

Diabetes: Mauritius

Liver Cirrhosis: Moldova

Road Accidents: Namibia  – With a population of just over 2 million, it seems Namibia is plagued with roads that are increasingly becoming more dangerous and exceedingly deadlier. In 2011 alone there was a report of 2846 crashes reported, with no less than 5645 injuries and 491 deaths. To curve the increasing fatalities of road accidents Namibia government officials have been looking at the possibility of introducing a demerit system for transgressive drivers on local roads along with alternative measures.

Drowning: Nauru  – Isolated in the Pacific, the island of Nauru is the world’s smallest republic, at just 8 square miles – a third of the size of Manhattan. While the island has a long history dating as far back as 3000 years, its lush tropical rainforest has since been stripped after years of phosphate mining. With high unemployment rates, a scarred land and a looming threat of climate change, which will see sea levels rising three feet or more by the end of the century, the already drowning island of Nauru is also number one on the WHO’s latest findings of drowning deaths with a mortality rate of 259 deaths per 1 million per year.

Poisoning: Russia  – Back in 2006, former Soviet KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko was making headlines. He’d written two books in which he accused Russian secret services of orchestrating acts of terrorism in an effort to bring Vladimir Putin to power and further accused the president of Russia for the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkvoskaya. Then something happened, 43-year-old Litvinenko suddenly fell ill before dying three weeks later of poisoning by radioactive polonium-210.

However, while Litvinenko’s death occurred in London, according to the World Health Organization, one of the leading causes of death in Russia is poisoning, but not just any kind of poisoning… In Russian, the word Voda means water, and with Vodka being a staple in Russian society, WHO has reported that 410 deaths per 1 million are results of alcohol poisoning.

Malaria: Sierra Leone

Drunk Driver: South Africa

Female Suicide: South Korea – Recently, news has been emerging from South Korea that suicide rates have been on the rise within the female gender as data shows that 18.7 of every 100,000 South Korean women committed suicide in 2008. With such an increased number, one government official attributes the rise to the drastic changes occurring in the South Korean society which sees women having to adapt to higher education, the workforce, relationships, parenting and financial problems rather than the role as maternal figurehead in the household that had been their predominant role in previous decades.

Lightning Strike: Swaziland

Syphilis: Tanzania

Heart Disease: Ukraine

Lawnmower: United States – Lawnmowers, the concept is simple enough, what perils could come from a device built with a motor that controls high=powered blades to cut through an overgrowth of grass? A lot. In fact mowing the lawn could be more hazardous than one may have thought, particularly in a recent study conducted by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who found that accidents from 1996-2004 have increased in regards to lawn mower related accidents.

According to the study, it was found that one in every 2,245,264 people would suffer a fatal accident involving a lawn mower. While these fatalities may seem far and few between, in 2004 the World Health Organization (WHO) reported 27 deaths had occurred through contact with powered lawnmowers.

To see the complete list and Map:

Deadly hotspots: Illness, accidents and incidents | BBC

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