9 Things (Besides Sharks) That Can Kill You in the Ocean

Your life preserver can't save you now

Sure, summer is a great time to visit the beach, build sandcastles and splash in the water, but it can also ​be a time of grave danger. The ocean is dark, deep, and loaded with mysterious creatures and tales of woe. If you don't stay alert, you can lose a heck of a lot more than your sunglasses! "Jaws" might be scary, but sharks can't hold a barnacle to some of the deadly killers in this list.

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Olive Sea Snake

Sea snake
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Snakes really creep a lot of people out. They are scary enough on land, but imagine a killer snake squirming around in the water! The Olive Sea Snake is a marine reptile found in various areas around the world, including the Great Barrier Reef and the Philippines. This snake is one of the most venomous animals on the planet, and one bite can deliver enough venom to kill 20 full-grown men. And watch out because this snake surfaces to breathe!

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Ocean wave
Getty / Vince Cavataio / Design Pics

Want to take a selfie next to the beach? Don't turn your back for a second. Waves are one of the most powerful forces on Earth, turning boulders to tiny specks of sand for millions of years. Waves can knock the wind out of you, depending on their strength, and drag you back into the ocean without asking if you need a breath. And tsunamis showcase the fiercest of Mother Nature's wrath. 

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Box Jellyfish

Box Jellyfish
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Most people know jellyfish sting, particularly if you step on or touch them. Most stings do not require immediate medical attention, but if you meet up with a box jellyfish, you better run. This guy is the biggest known venomous killer of humans in the sea, claiming 80 lives in Australia in the past 50 years. It actually hunts rather than just drifting along, unlike most jellyfish. Its strong venom can cause complete cardiac and respiratory arrest in humans.

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Rip Currents

Soft rip current at the beach
tumteerasak / Getty Images

Some of the ocean's most dangerous parts are not even living things. Rip currents certainly make swimming in open water dangerous and difficult. You'll be swimming along, enjoying the ebb and flow of the waves, and all the sudden you are extremely far from the shore, and can't swim hard enough to get back. Take care to watch for beach water safety warnings, and stay close to shore. 

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Surfers make riding the waves look so simple! They carve into the crests of water and ride in to the shore with complete ease. The boards they carry look light as a feather, but you'd be surprised how heavy they actually are. If you are not paying attention and a surfer can't see you or goes out of control, you can end up getting bonked on the head or trapped underneath their board. No one wants a concussion on vacation. 

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Alexander Safonov/Moment/Getty Images

Whales are not really the cute smiling little guys that adorn your Vineyard Vines polos. And remember Moby Dick? That was one angry whale. There are about 86 species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises in the Order Cetacea, which is divided into two sub-orders, the Odontocetes, or toothed whales, and the Mysticetes, or baleen whales. And killer whales are actually not the most murderous of the bunch!

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Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox

Remember "Titanic"? Poor Jack didn’t make it. And neither will you if your body temperature drops below 95 degrees for an extended period of time. And it's not just sinking ocean liners that contribute to hypothermia. Surfers also have to take precautions when the weather gets the slightest bit chilly. 

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Saltwater Crocodile

Saltwater Crocodile
Reinhard Dirscherl/Getty Images

This guy is the largest reptile on earth with 900 kg of pure muscle, and it doesn't have any plans of changing anytime soon. This crock has existed without evolving for 60 million years. Its 60 sharp teeth can cut easily through flesh and break bone. Most saltwater crocks thrive in northern Australia and enjoy eating anything in their path, even hippos. 

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Flesh Eating Bacteria

Beautiful beach at Fairmont hotel on Bali
Fairmont Sanur Beach Bali shows why this island's beaches are legendary. ©Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Few people enjoy stepping into a chilly ocean. It shocks the senses and makes us run for our towel. However, many of those warm bodies of water you enjoy—lakes, ponds, rivers and the Gulf Coast, host something a bit more terrifying than an ice bath. Vibrio vulnificus is a flesh-eating bacteria that killed several people in 2014. The bacteria breeds in warm spots in the ocean and can infect a person via open wounds. Pretty much stay away from warm ocean water, and you should be good.