Some years ago, I remember seeing someone try to crawl over a barricade atop the Empire State Building. This person––a man in his thirties, or thereabouts––was immediately stopped. Was it a suicide attempt? No, thankfully. They simply wanted to see what the ground would look like from 1,250 feet up. Needless to say, he was escorted away (and probably would be thrown into jail for being stupid, were it possible to jail people for being stupid). Let's just say his attempt to look down could have ended very, very badly.
People told us all about their experiences with terrible tourists after Redditor chimacuhama asked the online community,
"If you live in an area heavily visited by tourists, what is the dumbest thing you've seen tourists do?"
Please for the love of God, do not swim in the canals, the water is so dirty, polluted and it smells. Every summer I see some tourists swimming or washing their feet in them and it boggles my mind.
Trust me you don't want to touch that water, ever."
Okay, that's just nasty. The mere thought of getting into a grimy canal sends a shudder up my spine.
"I had to go out..."
"I grew up in a beach town.
On one occasion I was chilling on the beach and this couple next to me was getting smashed.
They had a 3-4-year-old. So while they were getting blackout drunk their child was playing in the water unsupervised. She had a floaty vest but that was it. The current started taking this child out to sea. I had to go out and get her."
Do people seriously not realize that the ocean is perhaps the most powerful and dangerous form on earth?
"I have seen..."
"I have seen way too many tourists in Florida try to pet wildlife."
Definitely not a smart idea... I mean... this is Florida, we're talking about.
"This was in a city park..."
"I've seen a guy climb down into an active geothermal hotspot to scoop boiling mud into a plastic container. He looked so pleased with himself, too.
This was in a city park that had a legal disclaimer and body count at the gate."
Take it from me... people don't read. Ever. They walk past signs like nothing.
"I work at an aquarium near the beach. One day a couple came in holding a cup and explained to me that they had found a crab on the beach. They were concerned that he was in distress and were not sure how to best take care of it, so they brought it to me. I look at the cup and see a very dead hermit crab.
Basically, they kidnapped a crab from his home, drowned him in a cup full of Ozarka bottled water, and gave him to me to throw away."
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"It always baffles me..."
"There were a couple of tourists who decided that it would be a good idea to stand directly in the path of the Queen's guard to take a selfie with them. Those guys don't stop for anyone, they will walk through you if they have to. I've seen so many videos of it happening online but I never thought I'd get to see it with my own eyes. Man, the look on their faces when they got yelled at to move out the way... it was like a weird mixture of terror and offence. Like they completely expected them to stop and pose or something.
It always baffles me that people seem to forget that they are actual soldiers and not just some guys playing dress up for the sake of tourists."
"A tourist with a baby..."
"Live close enough to Banff that I visit regularly. A tourist with a baby in a snuggly on her chest got out of her car in a bear jam, walked up to the bear, and tried to hand it an orange."
Contrary to what some of you might believe from television, actual bears are nothing like Yogi Bear.
"Try to get a close-up..."
"Try to get a close-up photo of a rattlesnake. Guess what the rattle noise means?"
"I've seen someone start walking towards a bison with the intention of petting it. Luckily a park ranger noticed too and quickly put an end to the suicide by buffalo attempt."
"Grew up in Oxford..."
"Grew up in Oxford in the UK and a lot of tourists hop over from London for a day of looking at old university buildings. One set of American tourists wandering along were overheard saying something like "you can really see the early American influence on the architecture" about buildings that predate the whole country."
Tourists never fail to amaze me. Here's a simple rule before you go traveling anywhere: Educate yourself.
Educate yourself on some local customs and the dos and donts of being out in public (and especially when you're out in the woods).
And for heaven's sake, don't pet the wildlife.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us in the comments below!