UK river 'with 100% mortality rate' thought to be world's most dangerous
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A small river in the north of England is one of the most dangerous stretches of water in the world, with local legend suggesting that nobody has ever fallen into it and survived to tell the tale. Have a look at it - it looks pretty safe, right?
Of course, it’s always better to be careful around any body of water, particularly ones that are fast-flowing and that have strong currents.
And though you’d fancy yourself to survive a fall into most rivers - not this one.
No, it’s not infested with crocodiles or dangerously deep or wide – in fact, you can jump across it at the most dangerous part.
You’d just better make damn sure that you stick the landing of that jump, though.
The name comes from an old English word that means ‘turmoil’ and that’s exactly what you’d be in if you went into it.
Basically, the Wharfe is funnelled through an incredibly tight gap at The Strid, meaning that the water beneath is deep, full of hidden crevices, and strong currents.
There’s a sign by it that explains how dangerous the river is at that point, but that hasn’t stopped people from ending up in the water over the years.
Stories about The Strid’s lethal nature started back in medieval times when the ‘Boy of Egremont’ and his dog were allegedly pulled in.
It’s so dangerous because the Wharfe is generally a shallow and wide river, but at this point it becomes very narrow and deep, essentially flipping the whole river on its side.
It’s a very powerful bit of water that goes through underwater caves and overhanging rocks.
Since that first medieval death, there have been numerous others, including 19th century picnickers, an artist in 1934, and a newlywed couple in 1998.
Then, in 2010, an eight-year-old called Aaron Page fell in, his body getting dragged downstream.
This infamous part of the river has even been immortalised in poem by William Wordsworth over the years, as well as American author Gertrude Atherton.
Explaining the power of the river, YouTuber Tom Scott – who made a video about The Strid – said: “There are certainly rivers that have taken more lives, and there are rapids and waterfalls that few boats could sail, but generally you can see them coming.
"This is just an innocent-looking stream in the middle of some woods, you could jump over it, people occasionally do, but if you miss that jump, it'll kill you."
"Those banks are actually overhangs - there isn't any riverbed just below the surface, it's a deep, boiling mass of fast and deadly currents.
"There are claims that falling in has a 100 percent fatality rate; there's no way to confirm that, of course, because 'local person doesn't die in river' doesn't make the news, it has claimed a lot of lives.
"There are even tales from the 12th century of a young boy, set to be the future king of Scotland, who died trying to jump across those waters.
"And anyone or anything that falls in might not come out in any recognisable form, it could just get pulverised against the rocks and the water, over and over and over again.”
He added: "Is it survivable? Yeah, with a lot of equipment and a lot of luck.
"And you've find occasional testimony from foolhardy people who've swum on the calmer pools at the bottom on drier days, but that's also where a young child drowned back in 2010.
"That's why it's so dangerous, it looks safe, it looks tempting, and it will kill you."