Sandy and sun-kissed beaches, pristine sea water, and picturesque island sceneries are among the tourist attractions that lure visitors. But, have you ever wondered that there are surprisingly horrendous cities destroyed by subcultures of pollution, gangsters and/or poverty? These places have been considered as the most polluted, horrible, miserable and violent places in the world.

Mogadiscio, Somalia

Mogadiscio or Mogadishu, literally means ‘The Seat of the Shah, is the largest city in Somalia has become the world’s most chaotic city characterized with rebellion and civil war. Such conditions of unrest prompt its residents to flee to safer places. Its roads may be blocked or closed by the military wing without any notice. This city is renowned for its endless violence, so it is not a safe spot to visit. Until recently, a new federal government took control of this city trying to establish the new law and order.

Cubatao, Brazil

Occupying a 142 square kilometer area, Cubatao is the largest city in Latin America which is 12 kilometers away from the Santos seaport. The air here can melt one’s face or deform children. Due to its toxic polluted air, it is ranked top ten dirtiest cities in the world and hence it is also notorious for the award of “Valley of Death”. In February 1984, the tragic of oil spill event turned the city into a raging inferno with a death toll estimated to be more than 200. Even though 1.2 billion dollars of clean up measures had been taken to diminish the organic pollutants, it is impossible to clean the polluted soil and ground water completely, making this place an uninhabitable area.

Dharavi, India

Dharavi in Mumbai, India, is the largest slum in Asia, with its population more than six hundred thousand. It is also regarded as the dirtiest place on earth. As the cost of living in Mumbai city is higher, you just need to spend $4 per month to rent a house here and perhaps this is a plus point of Dharavi. Unbelievably, Dharavi is the world’s largest slum but total net income of the residents here reaches $650,000,000. During rainy season or flooding, the drinking water supply is always insufficient, in addition to poor toilet facilities. The poor hygiene and low awareness of cleanliness and hygienic practices have been a primary threat to public health here.

Kibera, Kenya


Kibera means “forest” in the Nubian language. Kibera is located in southwest Nairobi or about 5 km away from the city centre. It has over 1 million residents and is considered as one of the largest slums in the world as well as the largest slum in Nairobi, Africa. This place is lacking of basic facilities including water and electric supply and the ground is polluted with much solid waste and rubbish. The highlight of this place is its higher crime rates, and abortion (many pregnant females who age 16-25 years old will go for abortion). Worst still, cheap drugs and illegal drugs are sold like snacks. The threat of AIDS is on the rise here also.

Kabwe, Zambia

Kabwe catches attention for its deposits of zinc and lead. Since these minerals were discovered in 1902, little concern is given for the negative impact the toxic metal of lead might have on the health of the residents here. This is the main health concern people are facing here with higher lead concentrations found in children’s blood samples being reported, which are also 5-10 times higher than US Environmental Protection Agency approved levels.

Dzerzhinsk, Russia

There is a solid reason why Dzerzhinsk, Rusia, holds the auspicious honor by Guiness Book of World Record as “The most chemically polluted city in the world”. Massive tons of deadly chemical weapons had been produced for the Soviet Union in the secret city of Dzerzhinsk during the periods of Cold War. Accompanied with the fall of the Soviet Union, many chemical based factories have been abandoned and over 300,000 tons of chemical waste were not properly disposed and thoroughly cleared. The water is not safe for consumption as the levels of phenol and dioxin are 17 million times above the recommended safe levels. On average, a woman can live to 47 years while a male’s average life expectancy is no more than 42 years old.

Bassac Apartments, Cambodia

In the early 1960s, a 300- meter- long Bassac apartment was established to provide the poor with affordable low-cost housing. Since 1979, due to the decaying of the buildings, many occupants left these apartments but this place has served as a haven for up to 2,500 refugees. There is a growing concern for those who are living here as the buildings may collapse any time and 2,500 residents here might be buried alive under the rubbles due to the fact that most of the concrete walls have showed significant cracks caused by parasite plants.

Ukraine’s Chernobyl Power Complex, Russia

Lying approximately 130 km north of Kiev, and about 20km south of the border with Belarus, Ukraine’s Chernobyl Power Complex is a major concern for its radiation threat. The Chernobyl disaster happened in 1986 and there have been documented many radiation-related fatalities leaving obvious nightmares to be written down in their history. Due to the negative impacts of radiation, about 550 million people were faced with the major threat of thyroid cancer. Following this scary Chernobyl disaster, we witnessed four nuclear reactors exploding in Japan after the attack of Tsunami in March, 2011 causing nuclear radiation leakage which might as well cause a global concern of the radiation-related illnesses.

Favela, Brazil

Favela in Brazil is characterized by its noticeable slums or favelas which are known for endless violence, illegal activities and drug sales. There is a common scene of shoot-outs between drug traffickers and police making this place the most wicked and dangerous place in the world. Local gangs and drug lords run drug sales besides committing murder and other crimes.

Linfen, China

Linfen has the worst air quality and has been considered by the World Bank as one of the most polluted cities in the world. The air is filled with burning coal resulting in poor visibility and respiratory-related problems. Do not hang your laundry outside as it will be blackened by thick smoke, dust and coal particulates before it gets dried. The water from the river is contaminated with dangerous substances that can cause cancer. However, the recent clean-up activities and green policies have helped improve the condition here.

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