The term ‘claustrophobia’ is described as ‘an abnormal fear of being in enclosed or narrow places’. If you are unfortunate enough to suffer from the condition then you may want to look away now, as the following 10 slides contain photos of some of the most claustrophobic places on earth. Whether it’s being trapped in a mine shaft, hundreds of feet below the earth’s surface or being surrounded by millions of people in the city of Mecca, the following locations are a claustrophobic’s worst nightmare!
This article is a good test if you have claustrophobia, if the images make you feel uncomfortable or uneasy then potentially you might have fear of tight and small places!
Underground Ancient City – Turkey
A large city capable of holding up to 20,000 people may not sound like the most claustrophobic of places, but when you consider the ancient city of Derinkuyu in Turkey is located 60 metres underground, you might start to understand why it made this list. The 5,000-year-old city is built over a number of levels and has narrow passageways and tunnels connecting each section. Definitely not a place to live if you suffer from claustrophobia!
Shinjuku Station – Japan
Most train stations can get pretty busy during rush hour, but Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, in Japan, takes busy to a whole new level. Shinjuku is officially the busiest train station in the world and is used by 10 different train lines and an estimated 3.65 million people a day! If you don’t like being in enclosed spaces with hardly enough room to breath, then you definitely want to avoid catching a train from Shinjuku station!
Spooky Gulch Passageway – Utah, USA
The beautiful canyons of Utah are home to some incredible sights and one of the most popular locations with tourists is a walk through Spooky Gulch Passageway. The famous passageway winds deep between the canyon for around half a mile and gets incredibly narrow in parts. This is definitely not an afternoon stroll to recommend to anyone who dislikes enclosed spaces!
Ancient Underground Tunnels – Jerusalem
Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world and it holds many secrets, including a huge maze of underground tunnels buried deep below the city’s streets. The narrow tunnels and passageways are a historian’s dream but, if you suffer from claustrophobia, the tight and constricted space is certain to bring you out in a cold sweat.
Simply looking down a mine shaft is a frightening enough experience for claustrophobia sufferers, but actually entering the shaft itself is the stuff of nightmares. The mines are often located hundreds of feet underground and many of the passageways are barely wide enough to crawl through. Plus there’s the added risk of the mine collapsing at a moments notice!
Catacombs – Paris
Paris may be known as one of the most romantic places on earth, but below the city streets the atmosphere is very different. The catacombs are a large labyrinth of underground tunnels and passageways that snake across the French capital. Simply entering the catacombs may sound nerve wracking enough if you have a fear of confined spaces, but when you take into account the fact there are the remains of over 6 million people inside the tunnels, the experience takes on a whole new level of fear.
Rising Star Cave – South Africa
The Rising Star cave system is located in the Malmani dolomites in South Africa and is famous for its narrow passageways and hidden caverns. Parts of the cave are that narrow that only the smallest and thinest of cavers can fully explore them. In 2013, cavers Rick Hunter and Steven Tucker discovered the ‘Dinaledi Chamber’ after crawling through a long and narrow chute. The chamber was found to be full of fossils, believed to be the remains of previous explorers who had entered the chamber and never made it out!
Pod Hotels – Japan
If the thought of waking up in a coffin shaped bed brings you out in a cold sweat, then you may want to avoid booking a room (or rather a pod) in Japan’s famous pod hotels. The convenient hostels are designed for busy professionals who work late and just need a bed for the night. A small fee can get you your own pod, complete with radio, tv and bed. The only problem is, the pods are little bigger than a coffin and guarantee anything but a sound night’s sleep for claustrophobia sufferers!
Rio Secreto Underground River Tour – Mexico
Exploring an underground river system may sound like a dream come true to daring adventurers, but for claustrophobia sufferers it is the stuff of nightmares. The Rio Secreto in Mexico is full of incredible caverns with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites on the river floor and ceiling. The only problem is, in order to reach these caverns, you must first travel through dark, cold and narrow water-filled passageways that are sure to have claustrophobia sufferers begging to see the daylight again.
Mecca – Saudi Arabia
The Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to the city of Mecca that all able-bodied muslims are expected to make at least once in their lifetime. Huge numbers of muslims make the journey each year and the sheer volume of people has increased that much in recent years that safety measures have been implemented after crushes and stampedes led to a large number of deaths. In 2012 alone, over 3 million people descended on the city of Mecca, easily making this one of the world’s most claustrophobic places.