Death World
Never a dull moment around here.

"We've run into scorpions the size of battle tanks, three men died from Eyerot last week, I've sweated enough to fill a lake, my boots just got sucked into a sink-swamp and the trees are so thick in places, you can't squeeze between them. Emperor help me, I love this place! It's just like home!"
Captain Rock of Catachan, Warhammer 40,000

A Death World is a highly dangerous place, where simply going there is considered taking your life into your own hands. It could be from hazardous environmental conditions, such as an acidic swamp or poisonous fog, or from powerful native predators (Here there be Dragons, or worse, something that eats them), dangerous flora, or even all of the above. It's like the entire place is deliberately hostile to human life. (Of course, if it's also a Genius Loci, it just might be!)

Very few people would ever choose to live there, but since anyone who does is almost always a badass, expect any populated Death World to be a World of Badass by default. Sometimes, The Mentor may hide out here. Alternately, it may be Mordor, and/or home for an exceptionally tough and ferocious race. Some actually take advantage of this as a way of training their Super Soldiers on a planetary scale. Sure, half of the population might not survive through adolescence, but those who do should make good soldiers. Sometimes they are genetically engineered. Those who live on such a world may be an example of Had To Be Sharp.

In real life, every planet outside Earth is dangerous, because we have yet to verify that any other planet out there can support human life. The difference is that fictional death worlds are more interesting. Generally this means they have a relatively breathable atmosphere (for native life, at least), have a compelling reason for characters to get out and walk around, and have a variety of dangerous flora and fauna. A planet that cannot host life for any amount of time is just "uninhabitable", not this.

For more details, the various Videogame Settings actually do a decent job of describing the various kinds of dangers you might find in different ecosystems, as a result of Everything Trying to Kill You. The Dark World is often a magical variant. Don't be too surprised if there are More Predators Than Prey.

Compare to Gaia's Vengeance where a world can become like this as a response to some threat. For examples of entire Death Universes, see Crapsack World.

Truth in Television: There are plenty of environments here on our own planet that can and will kill those who fail to prepare for them or take the appropriate precautions around their hazards. Even the most fantastic fictional examples are often extrapolations of dangers present here on Earth — and that's before we get into the fact that we still haven't found any worlds outside our own that are particularly inviting for human life.

Not to be confused with a Place Worse Than Death, which refers to Real Life locations with bad publicity.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Sea of Corruption in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. The very air is full of poisons that kill any humans that breath them in, and giant insects that can shrug off modern day weapons.
  • There are many places in the Hunter × Hunter world that are extremely dangerous to humans. Those regions are closed off to everyone except full-fledged Hunters — because Hunters are the only ones who have even a snowball's chance in hell of surviving a visit. The Swindler's Swamp is an exceptionally dangerous area, even to Hunters. The Swamp's entire ecosystem has evolved around deceiving and eating humans, with such friendly wildlife as "man-faced apes" which go out to masquerade as humans and lure them back to the swamp.
    Swindler's Swamp is used as staging ground of the second phase of the Hunter Exam that Gon and company take. The goal is simply to reach the other side. Everyone who reached this phase is a 1 in 10000 badass. Out of a group of a few hundred, only 150 make it out alive. The rest became lunch or were killed by Hisoka.
    • The Dark Continent. It's so dangerous and uninhabitable it makes the Berserk-verse looks tame in comparison.
      It turns out that the place where humans live is only 1% of the entire world. The continents are actually islands on Mavius, a great lake of the Dark Continent.
  • The entire world of 7 Seeds by the time our characters awaken in it. Evolution has begun to repeat itself and is filled with rodents, insects, dinosaurs and even flesh-eating plants that are trying to kill the humans, but also each other. It's a survival-driven world.
  • The New World in One Piece could be considered one, as anyone who has been there then on refers to the first half of the Grand Line as "Paradise". Mind you, the first half is crawling with dangerous pirates, many of which have some pretty badass superpowers, seakings, unknown and unpredictable weather phenomena, and of course, islands that are somewhat few and far between, and is thus itself considered a Death World by just about everyone who hasn't been there or the New World. And even by Oda's standards it screws with physics! Islands that are consumed by perpetual fire, or plagued with storms where lightning strikes like a downpour, or a giant, floating one are some of the highlights from what we have seen thus far.
  • The Megastructure in BLAME consists of thousands upon thousands of post-apocalyptic wastelands stacked on top of one another and compartmentalized.
  • The planet Chimera in Jyu-Oh-Sei.
  • The world of Toriko, as it is filled to the brim with animals that are strong enough to level cities (creatures are given capture levels, and monster with a capture level 5 or higher can topple tanks singlehanded), the worst place being the Gourmet world, a region which basically encompasses 2/3 of the planet, and was originally thought to be a paradise since no one who went there ever returned, until someone actually did return, and revealed that it was in reality a hell that would kill a normal person almost instantly and even trained professionals who are considered superhuman can't survive without considerable training. Chapter 259 reveals that Gourmet World was created when a Gourmet Cell infused meteorite struck Earth. The Gourmet Cells absorbed energy from Earth's mantle and grew additional landmass. "Human World", the safest part of the world, is the original Earth. The reason Gourmet World is such a hostile and alien environment is because it was spawned by something from the depths of space. And apparently, this alien being did this on purpose. It's fattening the world for dinner.
    • Taken up to 11 as of Ch 263, when we see the creatures that can survive such an environment. The Four Beast that nearly killed the human world is revealed to be nothing more then an ant in the grand scheme of these creatures. This included a massive Stronghold Rhino, a powerful humanoid multi-armed Thunderous Devil that make volcanoes seem only as big as anthills underneath its feet, itself dwarfed and nearly stomped on by an even bigger Ficasdaltonphant, with a flying dragon like creature overhead that's stronger then that, only for that to run away from a Fully grown, mature Battle Wolf. To put this in perspective, the Four Beast had a capture level that maxed out at 350. The beasts just mentioned range from 972 to 6090. And let's not start on the titanic beasts that rule these inhospitable lands. Basically, the Thing-O-Meter hasn't been made that can read them properly.
  • Every Earthlike planet, save one, in 2001 Nights is a Death World that eventually overwhelms the efforts of humans to colonize them: mind-altering spores, periodically being engulfed in firestorms, wasting diseases, and run-of-the-mill hazardous planets and animals. As a few characters occasionally point out, and as humanity learns to great ruin, a few decades is not enough time to fully understand the biosphere of an alien planet. And the one basically Earthlike exception to the mix was actually terraformed at hideous expense, and even then said terraforming will degrade and collapse in a few centuries, rendering the planet uninhabitable. Oh, and even it has a few giant man-killing monsters.
  • Earth becomes a death world in Blue Gender. The only safety and civilization is in orbiting colonies, and only remains safe for those willing to train to die on the planet.
  • The titular planet in Hell Star Remina. The planet's atmosphere is poisonous and nightmarishly corrosive, but the planet's surface is also filled with horrible hostile flora. What really sets it apart from the rest of the examples on this page, though, is the fact that Remina itself is hostile, which is to say it's a living planet capable of detecting, traveling to, and consuming other worlds, making it something of an Eldritch Abomination.
  • The world of Berserk is this - and this was even before it became a Hell on Earth. Life was so harsh that humanity subconsciously willed a God of Evil into existence just to give their suffering some semblance of meaning.
  • The Earth of Vandread. Turns out the planet got so polluted it's barely habitable, with such things as the moon being driven out its orbit.
  • Trigun is set on planet Gunsmoke, an endless desert with sparse animal representation- including sandworms- and seemingly no natural flora. Its population are refugees from a fleet of Generation Ships, who would have bypassed the planet had not the Big Bad forced them to crash-land. In the 100-odd years they've been eking out a living on the harsh surface, human population figures have been in gradual decline and the people have become harsher and more violent as they've adapted to the environment.
  • Outlaw Star gives us a Penal Colony on a planet with gravity that greatly varies from one place to another. It barely even needs the security it has since wondering into the wrong place can lead to a person getting crushed to death.
  • Near the end of Naruto, Kaguya Ootsutsuki possesses several personal dimensions that she can hide in or weaponize; among them are a lava world, a blizzard world, a desert world, an ocean of acid, and an extreme gravity field.

    Comic Books 
  • DC: An artificial planet created by Devilance, a New God from Apokolips, is a death world, with automated defenses based upon the strength of the intruders and killer midgets, among various monsters. Seen in 52, the third-generation Blue Beetle, and Salvation Run. Apokolips itself is also something of a deathworld.
  • Marvel's Ego the Living Planet is a Genius Loci (or Loco) Deathworld. And frequently a mobile Genius Loci Deathworld, meaning it doesn't just wait for you to come to it...
  • The homeworld of the Dire Wraiths from ROM was sufficiently dangerous that when ROM tricked Galactus into trying to consume it it was GALACTUS that had to run (acid rains that could dissolve away even his armor and was semi-sentient to target any intruders).
  • The Mighty Thor: In his own words after Heimdall gave him the play by play run down of how the last incursion was playing out between earths during "Time Runs Out". Odin nonchalantly coins how "Midgard is—as ever—a roiling sea of chaos and madness". Often true given the Marvel Earth's penchant for Armageddon causing/defying events which leaves the planet a wasteland then does a hard reset that usually has (often negative) after effects on the universe as a whole.
  • In Supergirl story The Supergirl From Krypton, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Big Barda travel to Apokolips, a hellish planet ruled by Darkseid, The DCU's God of Tyranny.
    Wonder Woman: Smells like death.
    Barda: There's no place like home.
    Batman: (narrating) The concept of Apokolips is, at best, difficult to explain. A blazing inferno of misery, the planet exists in another universe. The gates of Hell can only be opened via Boom Tube.
  • Krypton's Deathworldiness plays a part in the backstory of Superman's foe, Doomsday; a Mad Scientist dumped a baby onto the surface, where it died instantly. He then cloned the few surviving cells. Repeat ad infinitum until you get a Nigh Invulnerable monster that has evolved enough to survive.
  • The goal of X-Men baddie Apocalypse is to create one of these via taking over the world, destroying civilization and culling billions of people he considers to be "weak" (and not necessarily in that order). In Age of Apocalypse he achieves this by triggering World War III and turning North America and much of the planet into a radioactive wasteland where he rules with an iron fist, while Europe exists as a continent-sized refugee camp in a state of total war with him and his empire. Other versions include the Bad Future his Arch-Enemy Cable hails from, an After the End dystopia where he rules the entire world. Apocalypse is the ultimate Social Darwinist so he wants to make a world so hellish and hard that only the toughest and meanest will be able to survive in it.
  • Aliens: Nightmare Asylum takes the characters to the Xenomorphs' homeworld, which is naturally crawling with them and predators nasty enough to keep them in check.
  • 2000 AD:
    • Judge Dredd:
      • The Cursed Earth, the nuke-blasted wastelands outside of the few surviving Mega-Cities, is inhabited only by mutants, criminals and exiled lawmen. Many areas are so contaminated that human habitation is simply impossible, and there are many nasty critters that love snacking on unfortunate wanderers. At the end of their career a judge can choose to take "The Long Walk" to bring law to this region as their final mission.
      • Even worse is Deadworld, the home dimension of Judge Death. All life is illegal. After Death destroyed it, it's nothing but a ruinous wasteland filled with piles of bones and deserted buildings. Venture there, and the undead custodians will prosecute you to the full extent that their law allows.
    • Rogue Trooper has Nu Earth. Both of them. Due to chemical warfare, the very air and water are poisonous, and the slightest rip in a soldier's isolation suit guarantees death. Only the Genetic Infantrymen (GIs) can survive unaided.
    • Shakara: There's a sentient planet that is used as a killing ground by The Hierarchy, as it fights off every intruder by warping the environment to produce things like lighting strikes and earthquakes.
    • Zombo: In the outer rims of explored space are Death Worlds, which are sentient planets that kill any humans who go near them. The flora, the fauna, even the air is a death trap. There are several different classes, with the worst being zombie-infested worlds.
    • D.R. & Quinch once featured the antiheros being conscripted to fight in a war on a planet where "The saliva trees digest you alive and even the hideous diseases have hideous diseases".
  • Bizarrely enough, the homeworld of Marvel Comics' happy-go-lucky Impossible Man was apparently one of these, with his species developing their Voluntary Shapeshifting as a survival mechanism. (When Galactus ate the planet, he got indigestion.)
  • The Blister in Six-Gun Gorilla is an alternate dimension that's basically a giant desert inhabited by all sorts of hostile native life, where the high-noon sun (known as "the Blaze") literally disintegrates anything that goes out unprotected. On top of that, combustion doesn't work in the Blister, so the locals are reliant on Clock Punk. The only reason people colonized the Blister in the first place was because the soil was surprisingly well-suited for growing crops. And then it turns out the place is alive, in a manner of speaking.
  • The reformed Earth in Xenozoic Tales (briefly adapted in the 90's as Cadillacs and Dinosaurs) is crawling with once-extinct life forms by the time the humans emerge from their bomb shelters. This includes carnivorous dinosaurs and giant man-eating invertebrates. Naturally, this proves to be a challenge to adapt to, which is the main focus of series protagonists Jack Tenrec and Hannah Dundee.
  • In Deep Gravity, the planet Poseidon is technically habitable by humans, but only for short periods (due to toxicity and radiation) and with great care (due to large, dangerous, hostile lifeforms).
    Flores: [D]on't worry about logistics for the time being. Do worry about Poseidon. Never forget — it is not your home. Poseidon doesn't like you. We're not built to live there. [...] Look, I know how it is with scientists, but we can't have any absent-minded-professor shit down there. If you miss the next ship and stay six years, Poseidon will be your last home.
  • In Warhammer 40,000 comic Bloodquest shows in detail what an Daemon World is like: Eidolon is a planet trapped inside the Eye of Terror that is a massive battleground between the Forces of Chaos fighting for dominance. Nearly the entire population is made up of Daemons or insane humans that follow Chaos constantly trying to kill each other. Couple with the fact the corrupting nature of the Warp would drive lesser minds to madness just from being there and even the austere Space Marines aren't immune to it (one of their main protagonists falls to Chaos and the another is being gradually corrupted very visibly).

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes: Plenty of planets that Spaceman Spiff visits. Hostile fauna, scorching suns, and alkaline lakes are common features.
    Spiff: But aside from that, it's not much like Earth.

    Fan Works 
  • The planet of Dandriss in Age Of Strife. The planet is covered in nearly indestructible trees that can consume metal and incorporate it into their bark. The flora of Dandriss has evolved terrifying mechanisms for clearing space for their offspring, ranging from gales of biodiamond leaf blades and grenade fruits to continent wide firestorms and fission detonations. The wildlife of the planet isn't particularly dangerous, but the plant life on it's own is enough to keep humanity hiding in Adamantium cities most of the time.
  • The world of Fallout: Equestria gives us the Equestrian Wasteland. Think of the Wasteland as a typical Fallout Wasteland... on steroids. In Fallout, few creatures have energy-based attacks, Super Mutants don't have the ability to generate extremely sturdy protective shields or fly, and Deathclaws aren't adapted enough to qualify as a faction on their own, with enough wit to reverse-engineer firearms for their own uses, plus being able to dig fast enough for it to be a viable combat tactic. Guess what you can find in the now devastated Equestria. There's more, like the almost permanently cloudy weather due to the Enclave, the incurable Taint along with the "vanilla" magical radiation, and much more. And then there's Canterlot.
    • On the other hand, the deadliness of the Equestrian Wasteland is (at least somewhat) offset by the fact that the heroes have access to magic, healing potions, Flight and such. Also, despite the ruined world Littlepip and her allies never find themselves struggling for basic resources like food or water.
  • Child of the Storm has Asgard as this. It's stunningly beautiful and advanced, but it is infested with giant monsters and Everything Is Trying to Kill You. It's actually because of this that Asgardians evolved into their current state and considering the Asgardian mentality - "Apocalypse? Great! Fun day out for all the family!" - no one's overly bothered about it.
  • Nobody Dies: Australia is mentioned to be this post-Second Impact. Nobody Dies: Six AIs One Continent takes place almost entirely there, and reveals why: the wildlife has severely mutated, so that even the sheep are enormous, carnivorous monsters (don't even ask about the platypi), the spiders and scorpions have become gigantic and sapient, the few humans left are either freakishly mutated or savages (or both). The sky is permanently covered in dark clouds that never rain, but constantly flash lightning. And there's a dormant Angel underneath the continent, which became the source of all this nastiness after Second Impact spread some of ADAM's body to the area. The Reego (AI spawn of Rei Ayanami with a great love of violence) are sent to make the place safe again... namely, by depopulating it.
  • The Pokéverse becomes this in Poké Wars after the Pokémon's power dampeners are removed. Forests, bodies of water, caves and even cities become deathtraps for the practically helpless humans that live there.
  • Mercilessly parodied in XSGCOM. The birthplace of the First Prime of the Tau'ri is a desolate land, where the winds can strip the flesh from a man's bones, where water only falls in the form of snow, and the forests are filled with beasts, consisting of only teeth and claws and anger. This place? Canada.
  • Knight's and Bishop's quips in KOTOR: The Prodigy of Revan imply that the planet Tharsis is very much like this. And on purpose, this is where the Spartan Union sends their Raider recruits to train. Terrain features include "dense forests, frozen tundras and jagged mountains crawling with beasts out of ancient myth, jungles teaming with ferocious predators and torturous diseases. And then there's'food.'"
  • The World of the Creatures takes place in the author/protagonist's mind. Since the author is obssessed with zoology, paleontology, and speculative biology, the world just happens to be filled with more vicious, deadly creatures than you can stick a sonic screwdriver, wooden stake, or batarang at.
  • Sonic X: Dark Chaos pretty much takes place in an entire death galaxy in general, but special mention goes to worlds that lose their Planet Eggs (which lose their power to sustain life and become barren rocks) or get infested with Shroud parasites (which are the very definition of Body Horror and Fate Worse Than Death rolled into one). Combined with the insane robot armies, demons, and Lovecraftian horrors everywhere, its amazing there's life in the Milky Way at all. And by the end, there isn't very much.
    • A more straight example is Hell, the Demon homeworld, which is basically Mustafar on steroids... and the Angel homeworld Heaven, which is basically Jupiter on steroids.
  • In addition to some pre-established death worlds from both canon and Legends, Star Wars: Paranormalities features a few original to it.
    • Unlike most volcanic worlds, Kratzar - which is actually just a planet in its primordial state and not suffering from a cataclysm - is entirely covered in lava, save for a few islands. These islands are used as mining sites by both Mustafarian colonists and Valkoran forces, but are often infested with giant lava snakes that sometimes pop out of the mining siphons.
    • Krantisi was once home to some really large creatures, whose skeletons are now part of the environment. It's still infested with a lot of dangerous creatures, including giant spiky lizards, sentient cacti that drain their prey's body fluids until they're a brittle husk and sand sharks among others.
    • Guaymar is a planet perpetually shrouded in darkness. Its native sentient species are cannibalistic savages that worship a god of death and one of the only forests on the planet is also home to a deceptive, sedentary Planimal that is disguised among the trees. The massive, crashed starship is also haunted with four ghost-like Starfish Aliens (in actuality, the psychic extensions of an Eldritch Abomination) that, if they don't kill you by sucking out your blood, will cause you to die in four days from a death curse triggered from just having their prey seen all four of them. It also goes through a global Zombie Apocalypse every few years (and the summoning of Stythanyx, also the aforementioned Guaymaran god of death, could create a longer lasting one).
    • Krishar has trees that fire Force lightning randomly (and these trees are otherwise like any other) and is home to an insane Eldritch Abomination that has driven its native sentient race into varying degrees of insanity just from being there (with them being Cloud Cuckoolanders at best, or at worst in the case of the same abomination, a barely-functional vicious idiot unable to think). Because of the lightning trees, the Krishari developed the ability to regenerate lost tissue incredibly quickly.
    • Chilades is so cold that humans require devices that artificially raise their own body temperature in addition to heavy clothing just to keep warm, has toxic lakes and is inhabited by mutated animals, either native or immigrated and all carnivorous (and it's suggested that any herbivores have either Ascended to Carnivorism out of necessity or went extinct due to lack of plantlife and carnivore dominance). And the planet was even more dangerous when Facadma was trapped there in the distant past, as she could use the Force to feed on the wildlife's lifeforce with little effort and only didn't kill everything on the planet to keep the ecosystem in check and maintain a steady food supply.
  • The New Adventures Of Invader Zim presents Planet Meekrob as this, being primarily composed of barren wastelands, inhabited by deadly super-predators. Though since the Meekrob themselves are Energy Beings, it doesn't bother them.

    Films — Animation 
  • The world portrayed in The Croods is so dangerous that the Croods only dare to leave their cave once every three days or so to look for food. Gigantic man-eating cats, snakes that could swallow entire families whole, swarms of carnivorous birds that can strip a land-whale to the bone in seconds, and then it gets worse when the fissures start opening into chasms of lava.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Angry Red Planet. Space explorers land on Mars but instead of finding intelligent life, they're constantly attacked by monsters. When the survivors leave, they get a message from actual Martians, telling them never to return (possibly implying that the attacks were foisted on them on purpose).
  • Nearly every world seen in The Chronicles of Riddick, save Helion Prime, is a planetary-scale deathtrap. Perhaps justified, since most of the planets seen were uninhabited, but the protagonists were forced to survive there for various reasons.
    • Pitch Black: The planet is an arid waste bathed in sunlight 24/7, except for one day every 23 years where there is a total eclipse and the surface is covered with light-sensitive predators. The protagonists only came here because mechanical problems with their ship forced an emergency landing.
    • The Chronicles of Riddick: First we see a desolate ice planet, where Riddick had been trying to hide until bounty hunters eventually tracked him down. Later is Crematoria, a volcanic planet with a sun so hot that being on the "day" side more than a few seconds will cause one to burst into flames. In this case, people actually took advantage of this trope to build an inescapable underground prison.
    • Riddick: "Not-Furya" is arid and seemingly only inhabited by large hyena/dog creatures that can apparently be domesticated and giant scorpion creatures that live in mud puddles. And there's a storm coming that will wake all the scorpions from dormancy. Though Riddick does spot a lush valley off in the distance. Riddick only comes to this planet because he was lured by a treacherous underling who wanted to kill him.
  • Quite probably the ultimate example in film is Peter Jackson's version of Skull Island from King Kong (2005). Featuring the Invertebrates of Utterly Horrific Dimensions, prehistoric terrors, and the most grotesque (and dangerous) imaginable evolutionary offshoots — often multiple representatives of them — in virtually every scene. The tie-in book The World of Kong: A Natural History of Skull Island details it further, explaining that Skull Island's geology is literally tearing the island apart, making it smaller and smaller until it will eventually sink back into the sea. Because of the shrinking environment, competition between species has accelerated in a struggle for life and death unprecedented in the modern natural world. Skull Island and its creatures are the result of the brutality of natural selection at its worst.
  • Morganthus in Roger Corman's Galaxy of Terror.
  • The Fire Swamp in the book and film The Princess Bride, featuring spontaneous bursts of fire, Lightning Sand, and the R.O.U.S.
    Westley: It's not that bad.
    Buttercup gives him a look.
    Westley (defensively): Well, I'm not saying I'd like to set up a summer home here, but the trees are actually quite lovely.
  • The jungle inside the board game in Jumanji, down to the plants.
  • Pandora in Avatar. Except for the resident sentient humanoid species (who themselves are half again as tall as humans and Made of Iron to boot), the jungle-covered moon is teeming with megafauna, many of which can withstand automatic weapons fire from the BFGs seen in the film. There's at least two shown elephant-sized species and two Giant Flyer species, but you can still survive by avoiding them. But if the planet itself decides that you've gotta go and the local fauna start evicting you en masse, then you're really in trouble. On top everything else, humans can't even breathe the air — it has too much carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide.
  • Soldier is set on a planet which, while almost a vacation spot in comparison to most examples here, has lots of poisonous snakes and insane winds.
  • Star Wars:
    • Yoda's chosen refuge of Dagobah is nobody's idea of a vacation destination (at least nobody who isn't a Jedi Master), being a desolate swamp world devoid of sentient life, but hosting such delights as predatory dragonsnakes and a very noticeable Dark Side presence.
    • Tatooine is a barren desert home to vicious barbarian aliens, giant desert dragons, and precious little civilization, all of which is run by criminals, although the desert climate is what makes things most difficult. Background information reveals it used to be a jungle world, until the Rakata glassed it from orbit, the vitrified soil gradually breaking down into sand.
    • Hoth is like Tatooine, except cold and worse. If the subarctic temperatures and howling blizzards won't do you in, the wampa ice beasts will.
    • Mustafar is blisteringly hot and covered in many areas by molten lava. But the Separatists managed to build a base there anyway. The reason it's so ludicrously volatile? It used to be a pleasant place, but then it got caught in a gravitational tug-of-war between two gas giants, and the tidal forces have turned Mustafar into a volcanic hellhole as it is very slowly torn apart.
  • Outworld in Mortal Kombat certainly applies.
    Johnny Cage: "I'm in a hostile environment. I'm totally unprepared. And I'm surrounded by a bunch of guys who probably want to kick my ass... it's like being back in high school."
  • Subverted and parodied in the movie version of Tank Girl.
  • The 'game preserve' in Predators is a jungle Death World full of lethal imported flora and fauna. And then, of course, there's the Predators themselves.
  • The asteroid in Armageddon is not only airless, it's covered in big jaggged evil-looking spikes and regularly spews forth masses of gas and rock designed specifically to kill intrepid astronauts.
  • The film Signs features one of the most dangerous death worlds in existence. 60% of the surface is covered by a fatal, skin-dissolving acidic liquid that also permeates the atmosphere, frequently falling from its skies like rain. All the local flora and fauna are suffused with the acid, with the crowning example being a sentient apex predator that bleeds, spits and excretes the substance through the skin through physical activity. For those of you who haven't seen the film, the substance is water and the planet in question is Earth. It's not a death world to us, obviously, but the alien invaders were another matter.
  • The dinosaur-filled islands in the Jurassic Park movies (and books) which are even known to Costa Rican locals as "Las Cinco Muertes" (the five deaths). We only get to see Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna though. From Jurassic Park III:
    Alan Grant: That's just great. Here we are on the most dangerous island on the planet and we're not even getting paid.
  • After Earth has Will and Jaden Smith's characters crash-landing on a "class one quarantine planet" where everything has evolved to kill humans. Which turns out to be Earth.
  • Screamers: The colony world Sirius B has become a wasteland due to an apocalyptic war between two different factions who completely destroyed each other. Near the end they release armies of self-evolving killer robots which kill indiscriminately, making the entire planet uninhabitable. Even venturing outside the few remaining bunkers is viewed as a Suicide Mission.
  • Thor: The Frost Giant world of Jotunheim. A war-ravaged, frozen wasteland with a collapsing civilization inhabited by giant, aggressive beasts and ruled by a race of giants that can create ice weapons and physically strong and tough enough to fight physical gods.
  • ''Everest (2015): Rob explains to his clients that once they climb above 8000 metres on Everest, they will be in the "Death Zone", and their body will begin to shut down. The climbers are constantly reminded during their summit attempt that they must keep moving or risk death.

  • The origin of the phrase is probably the science fiction novel (and subsequent trilogy) Deathworld, by Harry Harrison, which predated Dune by more than five years. The planet Pyrrus has very harsh environmental characteristics: twice Earth gravity, very high tectonic activity, a 42° axial tilt, and the occasional 30-meter tides. Life could only survive by cooperating temporarily during crises, so every single living thing (plant, animal, microbe...) is psychic. Not just that, but the high radioactivity causes them to mutate and evolve very rapidly. When humanity settles on the planet, they accidentally piss off the local wildlife during an earthquake, causing every living thing to treat humanity as a continuous "natural disaster," driven by one mutual psychic mandate: "KILL THE ENEMY!". By the start of the story, the escalating war has remade everything into dedicated living war machines (tree roots are now venom fanged Combat Tentacles, etc.). The Pyrran's induction course for new residents is designed to instil in them the fact that everything is out to kill them: even sitting down can get you a "Game Over".
  • Tom Godwin loved this trope to bits. His best-known book, The Survivors (aka Space Prison) features a group of humans marooned on a world with an environment the aliens figure will kill them all in short order (high gravity, poisonous flora, rampaging "unicorns" and other beasts). It doesn't quite work out that way.
    • Another short story has the protagonists land on a paradise world. Unfortunately, shortly after landing their spaceship's engine blows up and other things mysteriously start wearing out very rapidly. It turns out the entire world's geology is based on diamonds, so diamond dust is everywhere.
  • Simon R. Green:
    • His Nightside books have the Nightside, which pretty blatantly follows this trope. John Taylor, private detective, even warns against going there an annoying amount of times in the first book, Something From The Nightside. Considering, though, that the girl he was warning, Joanna Barrett, was an illusion to draw him into the Nightside, his warnings didn't do much good but to inform the reader.
    • In his Deathstalker series the planet Shandrakor fits under this. Everything is trying to eat everything else, even the vegetation. The fact that they're also constantly rutting due to their extremely shortened life expectancies makes it even worse.
  • Warhammer 40,000 novels:
    • In Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000 novel Horus Rising, Space Marines founder on a planet they name "Murder". Inhabited by ferocious and incredibly fast aliens, and trees that summon storms. If a Marine had not been horrified by the way the aliens threw dead Marines on the trees to eat, and blown up some of them, thus discovering that they caused the storms, they would never have managed to escape. Keep in mind that each and every one of those Space Marines is a genetically engineered Super Soldier trained The Spartan Way and wearing Powered Armor. If they can't get off the planet alive, any normal person would probably be lucky to last five seconds.
    • In Gav Thorpe's Warhammer 40,000 novel 13th Legion, several of the worlds they are thrown on are death worlds, including a jungle world and an ice world. (Or is that two gangster worlds and a cowboy planet?)
    • Death World is also the name of an Imperial Guard (Catachan) novel by Steve Lyons. It takes place on a death world with a flavor of Genius Loci .
    • Pythos, in (appropriately enough) The Damnation of Pythos, goes so far as to have a completely impossible ecosystem with no herbivores, only predators, and ones that can threaten the Iron Hands at that. That the eventual settlers who arrive are so blasé about being eaten by the local horrible monsters is one of the most unsubtle hints that they're secretly Chaos-worshippers.
    • The term Death World is actually a classification in-universe, with the classic and first one being Catachan, which is a copy of Harry Harrison's. Usually these worlds serve as recruiting grounds for the toughest Imperial Guard regiments or Space Marine initiates.
  • Neal Asher's The Polity novels feature two prominent Deathworlds: Masada, a low-oxygen world where just being outside without the proper gear is lethal enough, but it's inhabited by an ecology of nightmare creatures such as Hooders (giant millipedes armored like tanks, whose mouthparts literally disassemble you in tiny little pieces) ...and the planet Spatterjay, an aquatic Death World where nobody knows how to swim because if you hit the water, chances are you're never coming back. Most creatures and humans on Spatterjay are infected with a symbiotic virus that gives them superhuman strength and regeneration... so that the local wildlife can eat you for longer.
  • The Culture:
    • The homeworld of the Idirans is described as one of the nastiest places in the galaxy. The Idirans are naturally incredible badasses and biologically immortal without needing genetic engineering or cybernetics, thanks to hefty pressure from the other monstrous species of their homeworld and its unhealthy background radiation.
    • Another featured "death world" is quite literally so. The native civilization wiped themselves out long long ago and it is now left as a memorial of sorts, protected by an Energy Being which is dangerously selective about who can visit the surface. Apparently there are many worlds like this, though most people are smart enough to stay away from them and their protectors.
  • The version of Mars portrayed in the Barsoom books by Edgar Rice Burroughs qualifies. Due to an ecological catastrophe in the distant past, the planet is a near-desert, with an atmosphere that is only breathable because of an eons-old "atmosphere factory" that almost no one knows how to fix if it breaks. Just about every type of fauna is carnivorous, and they're all huge. To make matters worse, in order to keep their populations under control, the various humanoid natives have a culture the causes them to exist in a constant state of perpetual warfare, consider assassination and kidnapping to be respectable and honorable professions, and fight duels at the drop of a hat. And the non-humanoid natives make many Always Chaotic Evil races seem friendly.
    • Among those humanoid natives, one individual in a thousand dies a natural death. 98 percent are killed violently, and the remaining two percent voluntarily go on a last pilgrimage down a sacred river where they are eaten, or sometimes enslaved.
    • Then there's the various hidden enclaves of practically any sort of monster you could imagine, including but not limited to 15-foot tall carnivorous apes with six limbs, giant lions, and hounds with ten limbs and three rows of teeth.
    • To get across just how tough the Green Men are, they like to camp in any old ruins they happen to find. Those same ruins that might be the lair of some bunch you really don't want to have met.
  • Treated as Truth In Fiction by Greg Bear in Moving Mars, where the prelude points out that an unprotected human on the surface of Mars, assuming she survived freezing and the near-vacuum, and had a supply of oxygen, she'd still be at risk from solar and cosmic radiation. And that's on what after Earth is the most hospitable planet in the Solar System.
  • Most plant life on Cyteen, in C. J. Cherryh's Alliance/Union 'verse, is basically a cross between cottonwood and asbestos, and is full of alkaloid poisons and heavy metals to boot. Go outside the precip towers' envelope without protection and you die quick; get a smaller exposure and you die later from lung cancer. The animal life, at least, is slow and stupid. The original colonists started terraforming measures, which they pulled the plug on fast when an anti-aging drug was derived from local biology.
  • David Drake has used this more than once:
    • There are the eponomyous Seas of Venus wherein the plants and animals are all varying degrees of dangerous ranging from "inclement" to "you just got killed so thoroughly, your parents are retroactively dead." (This is based on the novella "Clash by Night" by Henry Kuttner writing as Lawrence O'Donnell.)
    • Redliners. Burned-out, over-wrought veterans with more than a few ill deeds on their consciences are sent along to safeguard a group of purely-civilian colonists on a new world. They were warned that the planet had dangerous wildlife, but it turns out to be an enemy base gone wrong, of sorts — the entire biosphere is a weapons system that evolves itself in response to the defenses (proactive and otherwise) that the protagonists devise. See When Trees Attack for examples.
    • The world of Bellevue in The General series Drake co-wrote with S.M. Stirling is only partially terraformed and the native fauna is highly dangerous.
    • There is a scene in The Jungle where men die in their sleep because fast-growing plants grew into their bodies. The vampire honeysuckle attack is another prime bit.
    • Cross the Stars also has a sleepers killed by fast-growing plants scene, as well as the ocean world Tethys, where practically all the sea life large enough to see is carnivorous, and one species can grow to 40 metres long.
  • Many of the planets in Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth books are Death Worlds.
    • Two notables are Prism in Sentenced to Prism, where near everything is silica based (critters with frickin' lazerbeams), and the lush (and hungry) jungle of Midworld from the eponymous book as well as the Pip and Flinx vehicle Mid-Flinx.
    • Ironically Earth is considered a Death World in his series The Damned, by a coalition of alien races whose worlds all have low gravity, low tectonics, practically no-axial tilt (preventing violent weather) and few true predators. The average unskilled couch-potato human is more than a match for their trained soldiers. Trained Earth military personnel, especially special-operations types, are essentially incarnate demigods of death by alien standards.
  • C. S. Friedman has used this more than once.
    • In the In Conquest Born universe, Azea's fresh water is often contaminated by parasites; its animal life is not tameable and very dangerous; its plant life is poisonous to humans if not prepared carefully; and the atmosphere has occasional poisonous deathwinds. The planet was settled by refugees who had nowhere else to go, and they had to use genetic engineering on themselves to survive since they didn't have the resources for terraforming.
    • The Coldfire Trilogy features Gerald Tarrant spending several human lifetimes to build a Death World ecology in his lands with careful planning and study, as well as at least one example of others trying the same stunt minus the careful planning and study. As the others are mostly adolescents, Hilarity Ensues. And the planet itself in that trilogy is already a Death World (at least for humans). Tarrant just made his bit of it even more extreme.
    • And in The Madness Season, the Tyr homeworld is a paradise — two months out of the year. The rest of the year, its extreme ellipsoidal orbit causes the entire planetary surface to either become a hellacious volcano landscape or an icebound crust of death. Any animal that wants to survive is forced underground, where they eat each other for the rest of the year.
    • Also from The Madness Season, the planet Yuang, which is covered with continual toxic clouds and chemical firestorms, and whose atmosphere is laced with poisons so deadly that any contact with it all causes death or severe neurological damage. It's stated that no human could survive there, without help and continuous supplies from other planets.
  • In David Gerrold's The War Against the Chtorr book series, the Earth itself is turned into a Death World when mankind is forced into a fight to the death with an invading ecosystem brought from another planet. The fact that Chtorran life is naturally more competitive and voracious (coming from such a Death World) doesn't help Earth's chances of successfully resisting the invasion.
  • This is revealed to be the fate of the legendary human homeworld of "Dirt" in The Stainless Steel Rat 'verse, due to changing orbit.
  • Frank Herbert's Dune: Arrakis and Salusa Secundus might be the Trope Maker for many. As of the first novel, only about half of those born on Salusa live past puberty. Salusa Secundus is the home world for the feared Imperial Sardukar. One of the reasons they are so feared and elite is that simply surviving long enough to be recruited makes you a badass by default.
    • And of course Arrakis is one massive desert full of Sand Worms that will probably eat you if dehydration or the Fremen (whose women and children are a match for Sardaukar) don't kill you first. At least until Leto II terraforms it, only to change it back 4000 years later because without the worms there is no natural source of Spice
  • The planet Moros from Douglas Hill's Last Legionary series. The extremely hostile nature of the planet is the reason the Legionaries of Moros are so capable and therefore so in demand as mercenaries.
  • The eponymous planet in the Stephen King short story Beachworld was covered in a sort of living sand that hypnotized people and worked its way into any machinery.
  • In The Wheel of Time, we have both the Blight and the Aiel Waste.
  • George R. R. Martin's Tuf Voyaging:
    • In Guardians, a misunderstanding leads to a war between colonists and an alien planet's ecology, as in Deathworld.
    • The seedship in The Plague Star also qualifies, at least until Tuf gains control of it.
  • Anne McCaffrey:
    • The planet Kolnar from McCaffrey and S.M. Stirling's The City Who Fought. A volcanic, radioactive, heavy gravity nightmare world, in orbit around a sun with a spectral category of blinding. Colonized by a particularly nasty group of prisoners, they evolved into nigh-unkillable superhumans. It's no help that said natives have a nuclear war once every generation — and they get their weapons-grade nuclear material by hunting a creature best described as a jet-propelled submarine with fangs. And that's one of the nice critters on the planet.
    • McCaffrey's Dinosaur Planet is likewise an extremely active ecology, complete with a mix of toxic alien life and adapted prehistoric Earth life. There are even insect swarms which eat Dinosaurs bones and all.
    • The Red Star from McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series is an extreme Death World, and Threadfall temporarily converts whole swathes of Pern itself into a deathtrap.
  • Bas-Lag, the setting used in China Miéville's novels is pretty inhospitable on the whole, but it also contains at least two of its own Death Worlds. The most notable is the Cacotopic Stain where getting eaten by giant caterpillar men is the least of your worries. Death itself probably isn't very high up on the list of bad things that can happen to you. To wit: a large number of people are collectively turned into a giant amoeba, just by coming near to the Stain. This is not the worst place on Bas-Lag. The worst place has giant, nigh invincible, soul sucking moths halfway down the food chain.
  • Pournelle created a bunch for his CoDominium series; most of them were forcibly populated by people the CoDominium wanted to summarily execute without being accused of genocide, and were unpleasantly surprised when they survived anyway.
    • Tanith is an uber-Hungry Jungle with your expected assortment of lethal critters and horrible diseases. People only go there to grow the drugs Earth uses to keep the lower classes stoned.
    • Frystaat is an uber-Thirsty Desert with twice Earth's gravity, blinding ultraviolet sunlight, sandstorms of industrial-grade abrasives half the year, is so hot humans can only live at the poles, and the native life is hunted with anti-tank weapons. All the Afrikaners came here by choice, so they wouldn't have to deal with the CoDominium for a while. The convict-transportees that followed them became a slave caste, and after a few centuries, the population is considered a race of Super Soldiers.
    • Fulson's World is an entire planet of Alaska - precious metals under a permanent snow cap.
    • And the War World series is essentially a thought experiment between him and Larry Niven summed up as, "Under Mundane Dogma, exactly how horrible can we make a planet where humans can breathe the air?":
      • Tidally locked with a deep space gas giant bigger than Jupiter.
      • It rotates like Mercury - "days" can and do last years, in which the Sun rises about halfway, reverses its course, then sets on the same horizon.
      • Tidally-induced earthquakes galore. An entire planet of Southern Nevada canyons with Andes-style rocky peaks.
      • The only temperate area is in the equatorial zone, which is kind of like northern Scotland. Due to the thin atmosphere the only near-comfortable area is a single deep rift valley in the equatorial area.
      • And all the indigenous life is exactly as horrible, as indicated by names such as "shark's fin," "hangman bush," "land gator," "dragon" and "wireweed".
      • If you're wondering exactly why anyone chose to live here? Most didn't - they were deported there by the CoDominium - and as even bureaucrats had enough heart not to send hippies to hell, most of those deportees were violent criminals. The only people who came there with technology was a Path of Inspiration kooky enough to pay to come.
      "It's not precisely a niche for life. More like a loophole."
  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld:
    • XXXX, or Fourecks, the Discworld equivalent of Australia. When Death asked his library for information about dangerous creatures, he got buried in Dangerous Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians, Birds, Fish, Jellyfish, Insects, Spiders, Crustaceans, Grasses, Trees, Mosses and Lichens of Terror Incognita that went at least as far as "Volume 29c Part Three." When he asked about creatures that weren't dangerous, he received a simple slip of paper that read "Some of the sheep."
    • In The Science of Discworld, the UU wizards quickly conclude that Earth is a Death World, as the ridiculously-spherical planet keeps getting hit by rocks, frozen, or otherwise decimated every few million years. One of the wizards proposed something that could survive the various impact-related shenanigans that make planets such a bloody dangerous place to stay: a heavily armoured mile-wide limpet that ate whales.
    • There's places on the Disc where the magic is so strong and so wild that if you go to sleep you probably won't wake up the same shape. Then there's places like the (long-since-destroyed; thank you, Rincewind) Temple of the Sender of Eight, which was within a few days ride of the most populous region on the whole central continent.
  • Marduk, in John Ringo and David Weber's Prince Roger series, where Everything Is Trying to Kill You, and advanced electronics eventually become so much junk even with regular maintenance, the environment is so hostile.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings:
    • The Dead Marshes.
    • The Old Forest and the Barrowlands.
    • The goblin tunnels of the Misty Mountains (giants! goblins!).
    • Mirkwood, full of giant spiders and poisonous squirrels.
    • Most of the parts of Mordor the heroes have to go through to get to Mount Doom.
    • In The First Age there are the Mountains of Terror. Not a lot of detail is given but it seems unpleasant.
  • David Weber's Honor Harrington is full of Death Worlds:
    • Grayson has so much heavy metals the atmosphere can get lethal at times.
    • The prison planet nicknamed Hell, which isn't all THAT bad a place (there are several parts of the temperate regions which are considered excellent places for a beach vacation), except for the subtly different biochemistry of the local flora and fauna. 'All of it is instantly poisonous for humans to eat—besides one native equivalent of the potato. That tuber merely leaves those who eat it with the (treatable) equivalent of brain damage — and then you'll still die of vitamin deficiencies.
    • On one world, originally called Kuan Yin (who is the Chinese goddess of mercy, which later was renamed New Potsdam and became the homeworld of the Andermani Empire, the native bacteria eat chlorophyll, which caused the original colonists to starve by destroying all their crops.
    • On another, San Martin, the gravity is about 2.5 ''g'' and air is so dense that humans could live only on mountaintops, lest they get an oxygen poisoning.
    • Even two of the three habitable planets from the heroine's home system aren't particularly healthy. Gryphon(a local equivalent of Scotland) has a really vicious climate and most of its land is mountainous; while Sphinx, the sort-of-Ireland (Honor's birthplace, that is) is a heavyworld (1.6 g) with a year thirty-six months long, extremely cold (it's actually only habitable due to an extremely active carbon cycle) and lots of pretty nasty wildlife.
  • In the first section of War Against the Rulls by A. E. van Vogt, the protagonist is stranded on the planet Eristan II with an ezwal (a clawed, fanged, six-limbed, three-eyed, three-ton apex predator with a genius-level intellect and telepathy) after the starship carrying them is shot down. The ezwal sneers at the offer of aid made by the protagonist, who knows something about the planet, and goes off on its own. Less than an hour later it comes running back and practically begs for help.
  • The homeworld of the Protectors of the Unborn in James White's Sector General qualifies, as the only sentient species there never sleeps and has evolved so that it needs to be continually attacked in order for vital hormones similar to adrenaline to flow through its body, in a similar way as we need to breathe...if it stops being attacked for more than five minutes or so, it will die. The organism is hermaphroditic, and the young are sentient and telepathic from within the womb, as they lose their intelligence when born, and being born sentient would mean instant death. Any world where a species like that evolves qualifies as a Death World.
  • The Outernet series has the planet Aaaaaaaargh, named after the first and last words said by anyone who visits it.
  • The Underland jungle. Scratch that, the entire Underland may count. Besides the humans have to deal with intelligent races of Rodents of Unusual Size and Big Creepy-Crawlies. There are also earthquakes, volcanoes, eyeless plesiosaurs, giant squid and the occasional plague outbreak. Good thing the humans have the bats on their side — otherwise they probably would have been goners long ago.
  • In Stephen King's novella and movie The Mist, much of New England becomes a Death World of savage alien beasts.
  • Robert Silverberg has multiple examples:
    • Face of the Waters takes place on an aquatic example. The entire planet is water and a few floating "islands" of coral, inhabited by invincible rammerfish, mouths that can swallow islands whole, orifice-invading eels, and worse. The only actual land is the Face of the Waters, a hunk of bare psychic-radioactive rock that possesses whoever comes near it. The humans face all this with Bronze Age level technology, since there's no metal or trade on the planet.
    • This trope could have been very easily instead named Planet Of Death, after his 1960 novel. With such wonderful things upon the 'Let me eat you first' carnivorous flora-covered landscape like quicksand-like pits that are actually incredibly intense forms of acid and razor-toothed, flesh-eating birds, this is a place where literally everything that you see has one thought on its mind: it wants to eat you.. After the heavily-armed explorers are wiped out to all but the last two men, they have the following conversation before they get the hell outta there:
    Man #1: There's just one more thing. The rules say that we have to give the planet a name before we leave. We haven't done that yet.
  • While technically not a Death World per se, Henders Island from Fragment fits this trope so beautifully it just has to be included. The entire island's ecology is a vast biological orgy of violence made up of a mix of killer mantis shrimp on steroids and acid excreting Ediacaran fauna. The average survival time for a non-native creature on the island? Two minutes. The average survival time of a native animal is only slightly longer. Everything eats everything. Even tiger-sized creatures are regularly eaten and killed by swarms of badger, rat, and wasp-like creatures. Cannibalism is rampant. Even the "trees", which mostly turn out to be giant killer mantis shrimps as well, want to suck your blood. And they have vertical biting mouths. This fauna is so good at killing that even single celled organisms not native to the island cannot survive here except deep underground. In fact, there are only two species on the island that won't kill you in horrible, nasty ways the moment they see you. And one of those two can still kill you if you tick them off enough. It's actually explicit that should even one insect-sized organism somehow escape from the island, all life on five continents would be wiped out within the span of forty years.
  • Another case of "Biome the rest of the planet avoids" are the Pelagirs from Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books. Created by the Cataclysm at the end of the Mage Wars, the background mana has been high enough and erratic enough to do what other genres ascribe to radiation for the past two thousand years. It shows, even ignoring the intentionally magebuilt creatures running free from the end of the aformentioned magewars, with some of the most utterly benign areas having plants that try to feel those travelling nearby as if they were blind people or uproot themselves to flee when someone even thinks about setting a campfire. In the places where Red In Tooth And Claw(tm) prevails (the vast majority), it's even worse.
  • In the Lensman novels by E. E. “Doc” Smith, there are more than a few such worlds. The worst of the lot is Trenco. The entire atmosphere liquifies at night and vaporizes again within a minute of dawn. The calmest winds are only about half the speed of sound; the bad ones are much worse. Sheet lightning is constant. The ultra-powerful magnetic field interacts with the magnetic-field-amplifying substances in the atmosphere and the sheet lightning to generate space warps that prevent light from traveling in a straight line for more than a few yards. Every living thing is mobile and carnivorous (one scene has a plant being eaten, the plant eater being eaten by a carnivore, and the carnivore being eaten by the original plant, all at once! Then the whole lot gets swallowed by the planet's largest predator), not to mention spawned from microscopic spores that pervade the gaseous atmosphere so that any foray requires a serious delousing afterwards to prevent internal contamination. And yet everyone wants to come here...because the plants here are the only source of the series' most Fantastic Drug: thionite. Bandits want to harvest the plants, process them into the drug, and sell them to a crazed market. So the Galactic Patrol are here to stop them, and because of the wacko atmosphere, only races with ESP, like Rigellians, can operate effectively here.
    • Valeria, homeworld of the Dutch-descended, vaguely Boer-inspired Valerian Marines, probably also qualifies. In the original novels we don't learn much more about it than it being hot, humid and having roughly thrice-Earth-standard gravity. A much later RPG sourcebook elaborates: it's also heavy on volcanic activity, hence full of noxious fumes and harsh weather, as well as singularly hostile wildlife. The Galactic Patrol has a major hostile environments training camp there.
  • Star Wars has seen just about every variant on the theme in its Expanded Universe and Legends.
    • Haruun Kal may take the cake. The majority of the planet's "surface" is uninhabitable due to hugely toxic clouds, limiting humans to one giant mesa. This mesa is covered in thick jungle and dotted with dozens or hundreds of active volcanoes, which spew more toxic gas. Most of the animals, from the big cats and wolves down to the monkeys, are carnivorous and good at it — the only major herbivores are grassers (easily the size of a minivan and named for their habit of eating clearings in the jungle) and ankkox (gigantic tortoises with armored tail-maces). The locals' equivalent of sheepdogs are giant armored predators with hide thick enough to shrug off a lightsaber, which may kill you. There's the usual mix of incredibly deadly and disgusting parasites and fungi, some of which can eat through any metal circuits, even inside a gun or, say, your aircar. Which will — wait for it — kill you. Even the plants are sturdy and tend to be covered in thorns. If you chew Thyssel Bark, you increase your likelihood of contracting fever wasps which will, if not caught, send you into gibbering madness by literally eating your brain before the eggs they've laid in your head hatch. And even if nothing biological kills you, the volcanic gases, lava, and "death hollows" (low points where toxic gases pool) still might. The Korun, humans native to Haruun Kal, are all Force-sensitive presumably because anyone not Force-sensitive died very quickly. The Haruun Kal equivalent of the death penalty is tan pel'trokal, translating to "jungle justice," where you're left naked and unarmed in the middle of the wild jungle. Of course, because of the nature of the story set there, the humans living there manage to be worse. Haruun Kal's other claim to fame, besides making a good sporting attempt at everyone's life, is that it's Mace Windu's homeworld.
    • Sullust is another Lethal Lava Land, but one that managed to evolve an ecology and native sapient species. The planet used to be okay, but at one point the Sullustan corporate government decided to abandon all environmental regulations and just transfer the entire population to space stations.
      • Duro is a similar case but in this case the conditions were entirely the result of industrialization; the planet was temperate and pretty normal before the Duros went crazy with industrialization and collapsed the ecosystem entirely. Eventually the government gave up and moved everyone to orbital stations or the colonies.
    • Kashyyyk, the Wookiee homeworld, which barely appears in the movies long after it had made many Legends appearances, is one of these: (Quoted from Wookieepedia, the Other Other Wiki) "The prevalent ecology could be politely described as a "layered deathtrap", as the dangers presented by local wildlife increased as one descended toward the forest floor."
    • Kessel is actually more of a really big asteroid instead of a real planet. It's a Penal Colony where people sentenced by Imperials go to serve their term, however long that takes. Huge plants (of the factory type, not the living type) constantly refine rock into gas so you don't need a space suit, but the atmosphere is still very thin and unbreathable, meaning you do need a mask. Inside dwellings, Corran mentions that there's enough atmosphere to breathe, but a reek of burned plastic makes him reach for the mask again. Inside the mines there is mostly working air support, but the crystals that are mined there are extremely reactive to any light, so all convicts/slaves have to work in total darkness. And only the guards are given nightvision devices, so it makes guarding easier. And the stuff they're mining? It's produced by gigantic energy-eating spiders.
    • Korriban, the Sith Homeworld. That alone should be enough to qualify, but then you have to add in the arid landscape, Volcanoes, and Jedi-eating ... things. If that wasn't bad enough, the planet is also basically a necropolis, filled with the tombs of the Dark Lords of the Sith who once ruled the planet. And the spirits of the Dark Lords haven't entirely crossed over...
    • Despayre, a world featuring in Death Star, has an ecology explicitly like this, with there being approximately no lifeforms which don't have thorns or spikes or poison or something. It's made worse by the fact that it's a Penal Colony full of all the convicts that the Empire thinks are worse and less redeemable than the ones they send to Kessel — Kessel crooks can serve their term and get shipped back out. Sometimes that's murderers and pirates. Sometimes it's political prisoners. Despayre's convicts do have a chance to be shipped up to work on the Death Star, but knowing the Empire they're not going to be freed after. And then it's used to test the Death Star's superlaser. Without evacuating the population. Or the guards.
    • The Expanded Universe expands on many film-featured planets, such as Felucia, covered by fungal jungles home to numerous varieties of carnivorous plants, hostile natives, jungle rancors, and a titanic sarlacc. Dagobah gets all sorts of aggressive fauna and flora (giant swamp slugs, horribly poisonous amphibians, perambulating carnivorous spider-like tree saplings...) and in Galaxy of Fear: The Hunger gets the addition of the descendants of a stranded survey team, who had become more resistant to disease and better warned about the animals and Man Eating Plants than their parents, while developing a taste for cannibalism for want of anything else to eat. Yavin IV, becomes populated by such charming native fauna as aquatic gundarks, all-devouring swarms of piranha beetles, highly poisonous crystal snakes... and of course there are the Massassi temples that hold the spirits of evil Sith Lords.
    • Gorse is a tide-locked planet that has one side perpetually baked in sunlight, but is hot enough to melt unshielded durasteel. The dark side of the planet is more habitable (although incredibly dark and damp), but as a result of it playing gravity well tug-of-war with its moon Cynda, suffers from frequent earthquakes that have the potential to make mining thorilide (and refining it, which involves dipping the crystals in acid pools) on the planet unsafe for flesh-and-blood workers. After the night side was completely exhausted of its thorilide reserves, they moved the mining operation to Cynda to the relief of the miners, but to the disappointment of tourists.
  • The underground prison world of Piers Anthony's Chthon and its sequel Phthor is a hellish nightmare world. The animals are all deadly and implacable. All the water sources are inhabited by monsters that will either eat you (if you're lucky), or turn you into a distorted zombie component of itself (if you're considerably less so). Native diseases can cause you to suffocate in gallons of your own mucus. The only way out is to either buy your freedom with a gem—only available inside a scalding, unapproachable geothermal vent—or a weeks-long trek through an even worse part of the world.
  • The Death Gate Cycle:
    • The Labyrinth originally existed as a prison for an entire race, but over time it acquired malevolent sentience and turned into one of these.
    • Abarrach also qualifies, as it is essentially the inside of a volcano with no sunlight to provide energy, combining the worst aspects of sulfuric atmosphere with killing cold and dark. All of the non-magical people died off long ago, and even the demigod Sartan struggle to survive. They have to use all of their godlike powers just to survive, essentially bringing them down to normal.
  • Planet Hell in Joe and Jack Haldeman's There Is No Darkness.
  • Banshee, in John Steakley's Armor. The cold, windy, acidic atmosphere of the planet itself is instant death, even before the Hive Mind alien insects come into play. The main character's survival strategy is to become an utterly nihilistic schizophrenic.
  • H. Beam Piper's Four Day Planet has Fenris, generally considered the second worst place to live in the Milky Way. It has ludicrous temperature extremes, and a vast array of downright unpleasant wildlife (that is also lethally poisonous to eat, although if you were dumb enough to eat a tread-snail, you had it coming). The economy is based around whaling a gargantuan sea monster that has to be hunted using military-grade ammunition, and while the beastie is being cut up, the people doing the cutting have to have support fire from machine-gunners to make sure everything else in the ocean doesn't get itself a meal. (The worst place to live is Flourine-Tainted Niflheim, The Planetary Hell, which has an atmosphere made of inordinately reactive fluorine; it's not an example, since the only thing actively trying to kill you is the air...okay, that is pretty unpleasant).
  • Ket in Animorphs: The Ellimist Chronicles. The surface is covered in lava and poisonous gases. The Ketran death penalty is applied by sending someone to the surface. An alien scouting party that lands on Ket wanders around for hours on the surface in environment suits, before one of their scouts accidentally crashes into a Floating Continent miles above the ground.
  • The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant:
    • The Land has the Sarangrave Flat. It is a seemingly typical swamp, perfectly natural and good like all things in the Land. However it also the home of all deadly and poisonous things.
    • In the Second Chronicles the whole land becomes this under the power of the Sunbane. Every five days randomly the Land gets a years worth of Drought, Rain, Disease, or Fertitily. The people need to use the Sunbane which causes it to survive.
  • Christopher Anvil wrote a novella titled "The Gentle Earth." The invading aliens came from a very moist world that basically lacked weather or tectonic movement. They thought concepts such as "winter" were human superstitions ... until they experienced blizzards. Before that they learned they'd parked their headquarters in an area nicknamed "Tornado Alley".... note 
  • Deathship Earth, the bad future in Norman Spinrad's Anvilicious He Walked Among Us, where global warming has forced the remnants of the human race into domes improvised from shopping malls, recycling their wastes. The rest of the planet is a scorched wilderness, apparently inhabited only by a half-rat, half-cockroach scavenger species.
  • Literal deathworlds exist in the world of the Myst franchise, and play a role in the novels. These are linking books that teleport the user to places utterly inimical to life, such as a planet with a molten crust or the heart of a sun. There is a reason the D'ni make their initial assessment unknown/potentially deteriorated ages in a heat-resistant, airtight, radiation-proof spacesuit with a light-blocking faceplate that automatically pulls the user back after two seconds in the age, returning to a fireproof sealed decontamination cell. All of these safety precautions turn out to be necessary (and effective) the very first time such an assessment is made in The Book of Terahnee.
  • An After the End United States has become this in the Long-Running Book Series Deathlands. Literal acid rain, clouds of radioactive and chemical junk, pyrotoxin smogs, fetid strontium swamps, 200-mph winds, kill-crazed mutant monsters and the general fact that most Humans Are Bastards in this Crapsack World.
  • In Sergey Sukhinov's Chronicles of the 21st Century, Venus is described this way. Besides the Real Life reasons of scorching heat, poisonous gases, acidic rains, and low visibility, there are also strange non-carbon-based plants that form a lush forest on a certain plateau. Some of these plants behave in a very plant-like manner, able to uproot and move on their own. They can also defend themselves if necessary and even hunt for food. Even though humans are inedible to the plants, it's usually too late for the poor saps (no pun intended) who end up a tree's lunch before being spat out. Additionally, due to many atmospheric factors, it's almost impossible to solve murders outside the domed city.
  • The planet in Robert A. Heinlein's Tunnel in the Sky. It doesn't look too bad, at first. Swampy-jungly-foresty place, seems to have largish predators, but nothing TOO obnoxious for a high-school student. This is your pass-fail graded final exam in PLANETARY SURVIVAL. Live to reach the pickup point, and you get a PASS. And to make SURE you can't cheat and read up on specifics of the place, you're going in blind — the only guarantees we'll make is that you won't need a vacuum suit to survive the environment on the other side.
  • Lusitania in the Ender's Game series has exactly six native species thanks to a genetically engineered disease called the descolada by the human settlers ("ungluing" in Portuguese). Humans are not part of the descolada's artificial ecology, so it kills them.
  • As if the Deadly Game the Capital created in The Hunger Games wasn't enough, the designers make sure the arena is just as dangerous as the contestants: traps (deadly gas, forest fires), environmental disasters (volcanoes, tidal waves), horrible beasts (which range from Wolf Man muttations to flesh-eating squirrels)...
  • Earth in Waging Good by Robert Reed has an atmosphere pumped full of microscopic war machines, which enter the blood stream and violently explode in the head, viruses which infect pregnant women and turn the fetus into a living poison factory or Tyke Bomb, good ol' radiation, and chemical warfare agents.
    • The best way for the surviving inhabitants to improve their health? Eat the feces of the small number of people from the Moon sentenced to work on Earth in various reclamation projects, since they shed a certain number of their medical nanites (which remain viable for quite some time) in their feces.
  • The alternate Earth of the Destroyermen series. The series takes place mainly in the islands of southeast Asia (the Phillipines, Borneo, Malaysia, etc.), so you're in the Ring of Fire, meaning there's occasional earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The dinosaurs never went extinct on this Earth, so on land, you've got carnivorous dinosaurs and other reptiles with too many teeth, including an intelligent human-sized lizard species called the Grik that serves as the series' Big Bad. One island has a sapient amphibian race that doesn't take kindly to intruders. Another has a kudzu-like plant that reproduces by sprouting roots inside critters that get scratched by it. At sea, there are any number of voracious predatory fish species (the most prevalent being basically piranhas IN SALTWATER!), "mountain fish" that can eat ships, and hurricanes that can be worse than those on Earth. The alternate Earth isn't so horrible as to prevent organized societies, however.
  • The Russian Shared Universe Death Zone has localized variant of this in the form of the Five Zones, which formed at the sites of cataclysmic explosions (the result of a failed wormhole experiment) that wipe out several major cities, including Moscow and St. Petersburg. The Zones are surrounded by bubble-like gravity barriers. At the center of each Zone is a perpetual vortex that links each Zone with the mysterious extradimensional Node. Rampant nanotechnology (originally designed to terraform Mars) is ubiquitous in the Zones, and anything infected by it turns into a mechanical zombie of different kinds. Any vehicle turns into a dangerous version of itself armed to the teeth (e.g. tractors with plasma guns) and behave largely like animals. Any human that gets infected and doesn't receive treatment soon is turned into a "staltech", a mechanical zombie that lumbers through the Zone with an unknown goal and attacks any human (or sometimes another zombie) it sees. Despite this, a good number of people still come to the Zones in search of fortune and adventure, as finding and selling Artifacts is a lucrative business, even though these artifacts refuse to work outside the Zones' anomalous field. Most do not survive. Those that do are called stalkers. Making it a year in a Zone automatically makes you elite (the Zones have been around for only a few years, but many characters treat it as if they have been there for decades if not centuries). Add to those difficulties various anomalies, such as an anti-gravity field that lifts you up and, after you glide out of it, normal gravity takes over, and you plummet to your death. The world outside the Zone is the same, but inside definitely fits the trope.
    • Also anyone infected with the "scorgs" (rogue nanotech) can be saved, but only by a trained specialist who converts infected areas into usable implants. As with all Zone tech, it stops working a short distance from the Zone, and many of these implants replace vital bodily functions. This means that, for most, leaving the Zone is a death sentence, but then most stalkers can't imagine living in the Big World anymore.
  • Brian Aldiss's novel Hothouse (AKA The Lord Afternoon of Earth) involves a distant future, where Earth has become tidally locked with the Sun (which has also expanded), so that one side constantly faces the scorching heat, while the other remains in perpetual darkness. The sun-facing side has become the titular hothouse, with giant plants constantly vying for supremacy and most of the animal kingdom dying off. Plants are now extremely dangerous to each other and the remaining animals (humans included). Humanity is facing extinction. Humans are now a fifth of normal size and live on the giant trees. They constantly have to be wary of the Man Eating Plants, and the four remaining species of insects, which have become Big Creepy-Crawlies. There are also Flymen, who periodically come and try to take human babies. It's revealed that they are humans mutated by cosmic radiation and rendered sterile; that's why they capture babies. Not much is known about the Nightside, except that it is very cold and that there is a race of baboon-descended people called Sharp-furs living there. Oh, and Earth is destroyed by giant solar flares at the end with life beaming itself to faraway stars.
  • The world created by the release of ice-nine in Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle certainly qualifies.
  • Star Carrier:
    • Haris, the fourth planet out from Eta Boötis, at least for humans. It has 1.85 gravity, seas and rain composed of aqueous sulfuric acid, air composed of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbonyl sulfide, among others; there's also surface temperatures ranging from 30-60°C, and sand dollar-like native critters that think humans in emergency suits are crunchy and good with ketchup (regardless of whether they actually are).
    • Most extraterrestrial bodies are Death Worlds (it's just that Haris is the only one really described in detail). Of all the planets shown, Earth and Osiris are the only ones where humans can survive unprotected, and Osiris' native life is inedible due to Mirror Chemistry.
  • The Myles Mountains in Murderess: the terrain there is almost barren, the rocks are jagged, and the ruthless Dark Ones live in tunnels dug therein. Hallwad, a native of Greywall’d (the world parallel to Earth that the Myles Mountains are in), realises Lu is not, as people native to Greywall’d know they should not come ‘a day’s walking worth of distance’ near them.
  • The aptly-named planet Amnesia in Space Voyages. Not only does its noxious atmosphere cause you to lose your memory and potentially die, there are also Blackrobians lurking at every corner waiting to turn any unsuspecting visitor into one of their own.
  • The islands from "Sixth Of The Dusk", especially the Father island, Patji. Every single animal is lethal, violently defensive of its territory, and most of the times psychic. Even the tiniest insects can kill with just one bite, and the plants are only slightly better. Most of them can't actually kill you, thought there are exceptions, but they tend to hide insects that can.
  • The titular Edge in The Edge Chronicles, hoo boy. This one has several regions, and they all offer different flavors of death. The Deepwoods are crawling with things that can and will kill you horribly, it's telling enough that one of the very first creatures our hero encounters in the first book is a giant worm that floats and whose venom will inflate you like a balloon until you explode. The Mire is a huge toxic wasteland which also crawls with predators and bandits, and where every step puts one at risk of sinking into a cesspool of chemical waste. And the beautiful, beckoning Twilight Woods? They won't kill you outright, no. That's the path to a living death. And what about the Edgelands? A place wreathed in deep mist, where you can barely see an inch in front of you, and a single step can either send you tumbling down off the cliff into nowhere, or wandering off into the Twilight Woods (see above). And most of the cities are not much better, either - Undertown is the very definition of a Wretched Hive, and Sanctaphrax is ridden with plots, conspiracies and power struggles.
  • In David Brin's short novel, Bios, the planet undergoing colonization is completely and entirely toxic to earth-life. While things like the rock the planet is made out of tend to be okay, everything else is going to kill you. This is theorized to be the case that the planet had a naturally higher Arsenic content than Earth and lacked the similar Carbon levels, meaning that all life and life-derivatives are Arsenic-based lifeforms, and thus highly poisonous.
  • In Pat Kelleher's No Man's World trilogy, the 13th Pennine Fusilliers of WWI England are transported to the titular world. The place is so dangerous that the Fusilliers rarely leave the Somme trenches that were teleported with them. Almost all the plant and animal life see the humans as food, there's also a hostile race of hive-insect humanoids to deal with and to top it off there are Eldritch Abominations to contend with too. It's so bad, that even burying your dead in the wrong place can end up getting a lot of people kiilled.
  • The Wood in Uprooted is a small-scale version. Living near it is incredibly dangerous; everything from aggressive wolves to pollen caught on a chance breeze can infect people and animals with The Corruption. Actually wandering into it requires considerable magical protection unless you want a swift death or something far worse.
  • Antarctica in Green Antarctica. The good news: it's no longer covered in two miles of ice! The bad news is that the climate is still very harsh, especially in winter. The animals are a mix of the worst from Eocene Australia and South America. Actual drop bears? Check. Actual killer rabbits that swarm in mating season? Check. Carnivorous kangaroos with blades on their feet? Check. Monstrous gorillas that practice rape? Check. And all of that pales before the nightmare of the human inhabitants, the Tsalal, who practice just about every horrible thing you can imagine. Cannibalism is probably their least horrifying trait.
  • The Zombie Knight has the dead continent of Exoltha. Covered in a Perpetual Storm, prowled by raging feldeaths, and with some imaginary property that makes its natural hazards affect even reapers, it's not a healthy place to visit. And Gohvis lives there.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • The jungle planet Kembel from "The Daleks' Master Plan" is apparently the most dangerous planet in the Universe. We don't see much of this, though it is seen after the Daleks get there and start using Varga plants. Of course, the Daleks could have cleared away a lot of the danger.
    • The Death Zone on Gallifrey, a site where the most dangerous monsters in the universe (the Daleks and Cybermen are banned, but that doesn't stop them from appearing anyway) pit battle with one another in the Game of Rassilon.
    • The planet of Androzani Minor from "The Caves of Androzani" features regular semi-volcanic mud bursts, is inhabited by a (admittedly rather unconvincing) carnivorous creature and is the native environment of a mineral which, in its raw state, will kill you within a few days if you so much as touch it. Not to mention you can get shot for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, as there's a rather brutal war going on.
    • The planet Spiridon in "Planet of the Daleks" is a good example. Plants that spurt quick-hardening glue that can trap you or close off your airways. Plants that shoot spores that, if they touch you, starts growing in your skin and spreads fast. Tons and tons of carnivorous beasts. Hostile, invisible natives. Honestly, when the army of insane alien killing machines is the least of your worries, things are bad.
    • The planet Skaro — a delightful wasteland which experienced a nice long NBC campaign by two opposing sides, leaving it essentially a polluted, radioactive stone quarry and hideous monsters living in the Lakes. Also, there are the surviving inhabitants....
    • The eponymous planet from "Midnight" is seemingly made entirely of precious gems, and as such has a stake as a high-class vacation planet... as long as you stay inside, as the reason the planet's soil has turned to gems is because it's constantly exposed to a form of radiation that would incinerate anything living in two seconds flat. Except for a nasty little body surfer...
    • The planet Marinus from "The Keys of Marinus". Glass beaches lapped by acid seas. Jungles full of hostile plants and deadly mechanical traps. Frozen wastelands patrolled by packs of man-eating wolves. Bodiless, telepathic slavers. Then there's the WAR....
    • Any planet where the Krynoid gets established.
      The Doctor: On a planet where the Krynoid gets established, the plants eat the animals.
    • From the audio drama "Death's Deal", the title planet, a giant reef inhabited by various monsters.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series had a couple of examples:
    • The planet Eden in the episode "The Way To Eden". Looks beautiful, but beware of differing chemistry; the fruit is poisonous and the grass has acid for blood.
    • The planet Gamma Trianguli VI in "The Apple", including plants that throw poisonous thorns, rocks that act like anti-personnel mines and directed lightning strikes.
    • Vulcan itself is pretty harsh by human standards, being extremely hot, dry and rugged, subject to intense electrically-charged sandstorms, and home to man-eating plants and giant, venomous cat-like carnivores (which are freaking adorable and the vulcans keep them as pets!).
  • Star Trek: Voyager's "Demon" (Y-class) of planet probably qualifies, although the Federation has armored space suits sufficient to let humanoids brave the crushing gravity, poisonous atmosphere, and intense heat. The shapeshifting "silver blood" native to it was a bit more problematic.
  • Several worlds in Firefly are Death Worlds, due to toxic interaction between Terraforming and the local environment to try to make them Earth-like. These worlds are generally referred to as "black rocks."
  • "If you go to Z'Ha'Dum you will die."
  • In Defiance earth has become a Death World. Fragments of the Votan Arks in orbit periodically fall to the surface, raining razor-sharp metal fragments and big pieces that leave craters, or malfunctioning Terraforming equipment that spawns hybrid monstrosities such as Hellbugs.
  • JAG: A non-science fiction example; several episodes in the later half of the 7th season depicts Afghanistan as one.
  • The plateau on which the explorers are trapped in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World. A Lost World filled with dinosaurs, Cannibal Tribes, Lizard Folk, giant bees...
  • On The 100 the Ark station is surprised that Earth seemingly isn't a Death World, since the radiation from the nuclear wars was supposed to take another hundred years to subside. In the second season, it's revealed that the Earth's surface actually is lethally radioactive; Ark people and Grounders have just adapted to high radiation levels over the last century. The Mountain Men, who have not gone through this adaptation, become covered in radiation burns after just a few seconds spent outside their bunker.


    Tabletop Games 
  • The monster-infested main setting of Mortasheen is this, with the creator even mentioning that "[the setting] has enough deadly exponentially replicating organisms that they just cancel each other out. "
  • This is the official term used by the Imperium of Man in Warhammer 40,000 to designate Single Biome Planets of this description. They're depressingly common, but any native populations are automatically prime recruiting stock for the Imperial Guard or Space Marines - indeed, several such planets were colonized specifically to provide badass soldiers for the Imperium's armiesnote  . Rogue Trader characters who hail from a Death World get some serious stat bonuses, because even the biggest wimp from that planet still survived to adulthood on a world seemingly crafted to kill them. Some examples are:
    • Catachan, a jungle world where nearly every animal there is said to be a carnivore, and so are the plants, the majority of the microbes, fungi, and viruses. Wildlife includes the Catachan Barking Toad, a "jumpy" critter that detonates into a cloud of toxins that kills everything within a kilometer radius if you startle it, and the Catachan Devil, a cross between a scorpion and centipede the size of a train, and is thought to be related to the Tyranids. Also note the needle-shooting plants that turn any of their victims into more such plants. Every settlement fights a daily battle to keep its structures from being reclaimed by the vegetation, feral Orks breed in the deepest parts of the jungle, and on top of everything else the planet's gravity is slightly higher than normal. Living past the age of ten on such a planet is considered an achievement akin to graduating from boot camp, making the Catachan Jungle Fighters legendary among the regiments of the Imperial Guard (that each of them is equal parts Rambo and the cast of Predator doesn't hurt). And finally, it's possible the planet is sentient, and hates humanity.
    • Fenris, a world that is exclusively Grim Up North. Its elliptical orbit takes twice as long as Terran standard and means that its long winters freeze almost the entire planet, while its summers bring lava flows and tidal waves as the world passes close to its sun. The land is constantly changing, making permanent settlement impossible, and its resources are so meager that its population must war amongst itself to survive. Other claims to fame include kraken, dragons, and wolves the size of tanks. The Space Wolves wouldn't have their homeworld any other way.
    • The Blood Angels hail from Baal, an irradiated, mutant-infested, post-apocalyptic hellhole. They seek out similar worlds for training and recruitment purposes, such as an asteroid field orbiting a black hole where quakes can send mountains falling into the void, all sorts of evil nightmares lurk about, and it's a thousand miles to the nearest neighboring asteroid. This make the recruits' transformations into the most angelic of Space Marines all the more miraculous, and may help explain the chapter's preference for shock assaults.
    • Nocturne, homeworld of the Salamanders. Already a rugged place of volcanoes, ash deserts and earthquakes, its climate is driven to extremes every 15 years during the Time of Trials, when its moon Prometheus swings extremely close. The gravity shifts ramp the planet's tectonic activity to insane levels, followed by a long and bitter winter that covers the world in a frozen tundra. The good thing is that once things calm down, the upheavals usually expose veins of minerals and metals that the population can mine, making Prometheus a very wealthy planet and giving the Salamanders the respect for preservation of human life they are known for.
    • The world of Urisarach was a storm-wracked planet covered in dense, hair-like forests, home to a nigh-extinct race of huge, armored arachnids dumped there because the monsters were just that unpleasant. It earned its nickname (Murder) after a failed incursion that nearly wiped out an entire expeditionary fleet of Space Marines who managed to send this transmission: "This. World. Is. Murder."
    • Cadia and Armageddon are not the bad per se, but right now both planets are a constant warzone with the 13th Black Crusade and remnants of Third War for Armageddon. Cadia is generally famous for its conscription rate and birth rate being the same thing and that Cadian toddlers learn to wield a lasgun before they learn to walk. As of now, roughly 7% of Imperium military note  is attempting to stop Abaddon's latest and largest incursion so it's kind of crowded there.
    • Krieg and Tallarn are both post-nuclear wastelands. Tallarns are great at mechanized wafare, because the only way to get anywhere on the surface is by using an armored vehicle and Krieg supplies Imperium with brainwashed clones that are overly zealous and really good at siege warfare.
    • Craftworld Ulthwe is known as "Ulthwe the Damned" for the exact same reason as the above Cadia. It was one of the last craftworlds to leave the doomed Eldar empire, and managed to avoid being caught during the Fall, but it's now trapped within the gravity well of the Eye of Terror. The wraithbone arches and eldritch architecture are described as broken and defiled by countless numbers of raids from Chaos forces. Luckily, Ulthwe's Eldar tend to have greater-than-usual psyker powers, as well as a Magnificent Bastard streak.
    • Altansar, a craftworld that is often named the sister of Ulthwe, spent 10 thousand years trapped in the Eye of Terrornote , but its remnants escaped during 13th Black Crusade. The information about them is very scarce.
    • These are relatively mundane locales compared to Daemon Worlds, planets utterly corrupted by the warping influence of Chaos, where reality is reforged on the whims of daemons and the laws of physics are guidelines at best, the results looking something like a collaboration between H. R. Giger, Heironymous Bosch, and M.C. Escher. Despite being the home turf of the Legions of Hell and the fact that some planets may be literally trying to kill you, a few foolhardy explorers brave the Eye of Terror and search these worlds for ancient relics, for many are former Eldar homeworlds lost in the warpstorms of the race's calamitous Fall. The ones that survive probably wish they hadn't.
    • There's a tale told about a batallion of soldiers who landed on a daemon world. Every day they're forced to fight to the death against opponents they can never beat, only to be revived the next day to repeat the process. Those guys happen to be Orks. They'd basically found Ork Valhalla.note 
      • That's a not a daemon "world" per se - that's Khorne's personal realm in the Warp, which makes all the aforementioned (literal) worlds look like Disneyfied resort planets by comparison. In fact, the reason they're there to begin with, as well as why they're constantly revived each day, is because Khorne was so impressed with their initial incursion into the Eye of Terror that he brought them to his domain, specifically so they could fight for all eternity at his (and their) pleasure.
    • Also, Valhalla. The planet was really nice place until a comet hit the surface and changed its orbit making it an ice world. note  Same comet also brought an Ork incursion. As a result, Valhallans are WW2 soviet soldiers expies that are great at holding defense in face of unbeatable odds, drowning opponents in bodies and being unsurpassed combatants in arctic environment.
    • Mordia is unique being classified as both Death World and Hive World. Its generally not as bad as most examples, the only thing they have are violent gangs, whole planet population being conscripted, regular chaos incursions and half the planet living in perpetual freezing night, while the other half is uninhabitable desert.
    • The Necrontyr homeworld lacked an ozone capable of protecting the Necrontyr from the worst of the radiation emitted by its sun. Radiation sickness, cancer, and brief lifespans plagued the Necrontyr. This led to the birth of a culture obsessed with death, an obsession that lingered even after they achieved immortality of a sort as the robotic Necrons. One major reason the Necrontyr waged war against the Old Ones (and eventually all life) was because they envied the Old Ones' power and immortality and resented them for not sharing their secrets.
  • The jungles of Lustria in Warhammer are everything nasty about the Amazon with the added benefit of Lizardmen whose Mayincatec culture is fine with human sacrifice. The Dark Elves' homeland of Naggaroth is a shadowy, bleak continent whose native wildlife includes hydras and cold ones (flesh eating dinosaur-like creatures), and with sparse resources that force its cruel inhabitants to turn to piracy to survive. And worst of all, of course, are the Chaos Wastes, the polar regions around a gaping hole in reality that leads straight to hell.
    • As of the Storm of Magic, the entire Warhammer has become this due to the huge infusion of raw arcane energy. Now it's anyone's guess whether that forest consists of normal trees or EVIL DEATH-TENTACLE TREES OF HORRIBLE TOXIC DOOM. You don't want to know what some of the other terrain pieces are like.
    • Northern regions of the Old World also, the Northern Waste are where the Chaos Hordes reside where you'd most likely get killed by the Chaos worshipping tribes or by Chaos Daemons. Then there's the Troll Country which not only has tons of trolls but predatory animals such as wolves and bears that are thrice larger than the regular beasts, due in part they are so close to the chaos wastes that causes mutations.
  • Dungeons & Dragons settings:
    • The Forgotten Realms has one of these in the form of the Underdark, a massive underground realm full of all sorts of things that want to kill you. If it's nasty and it's murderous, it probably lives here—indeed, half the reason Drow are so tough is because they spend half their time fighting some of the nastiest things D&D has to offer, and the other half fighting the other inhabitants of the Underdark.
    • Eberron has a lot. First there's Khyber, its underdark stand-in. Then there are certain planes of existence (Xoriat, the plane of madness, Shavarrath the Battlefield, Mabar, the plane of death, etc...) and some evocatively named regions of the mortal world: the Shadow Marshes, the Mournland, Frostfell, the jungle continent of Xen'drik & the Demon Wastes.
    • Dark Sun's Athas, a world rendered barren by overuse of magic, which in D&D 2nd Ed. has you starting at level 3 so you weren't killed the first time you stepped outside. As Yamara put it
      Our scans show that Hard Fun has only about five weeks left.
      Before its biosphere collapses?
      No, before its entire planetary mass is eaten by inhabitants.
    • In basic D&D cosmology, there's the various Elemental, Quasi-Elemental, Para-Elemental and Energy Planes. Most blatantly, there's the Negative Energy plane, which starts draining your life energy the minute you step in. Then there's the Positive Energy plane, which fills you with so much life energy ''you soon explode''. The elemental plane of Fire is made of fire and the Elemental Plane of Earth which is solid earth, with only a very few habitable air pockets. This trope is actually part of the reason why the controversial 4th edition cosmology got rid of the old Elemental Planes setup, citing the resulting Planes were absurdly lethal and, even if you could survive there, tended to be boring, since they consisted of nothing but their specific element in all directions, with some token aspects of other elements mixed in. For this reason, they instead created the Feywild & Shadowfell and the Elemental Chaos... which aren't much less lethal. The Feywild is a place where even the darkest fairy tales come to life and hideously powerful, evil fey run rampant, like hags and formorions. The Shadowfell is the land of the dead, meaning it crawls with undead monsters, can literally steal the emotions from anyone who lives there too long, has to deal with problems like patches of pure entropy, and even the non-undead inhabitants tend to be insane, evil or both. The Elemental Chaos, meanwhile, is an incredibly bizarre, chaotic environment, home to things like floating islands of razor-sharp metal, seas of liquid flame or ice, and storms of pure chaotic energy, all of it swarming with beings of living elemental energy or matter that do not like having squishy flesh creatures running around their homes. It says something when one of the safest races to deal with in the Elemental Chaos are the efreeti, a race of incredibly arrogant fiery genies who want to enslave all other races.
    • The Lower Planes. Besides the infestation of devils, demons, and other nasty things, 3.5 makes them quite literal death worlds. In several senses. The Abyss' colloquial description is "Too horrible for conventional wisdom to comprehend" (one of the random things you can encounter on its infinite layers is an ocean of insects, for example), and the Nine Hells of Baator are all actively trying to kill you in some way shape or form:
      Avernus: Giant fireballs from the sky. Dodge them and you just have to avoid the endless Blood War campaigns that'd love to have some cannon fodder.
      Dis: Superheated environment meets government that makes 1984 look like happy flower hippies.
      Minauros: Acid swamp perpetually absorbing the structures built on it, largely a wilderness in which giant things lurk which the devils are afraid of.
      Phlegethos: Fire-dominant environment. The landscape is made of volcanoes and magma. The entire landscape.
      Stygia: Cold-dominant environment. The entire landscape is glaciers and stop-your-heart-in-seconds water. That also rips out your memories.
      Malbolge: Before Glasya, a land made entirely of hills suffering perpetual landslides from mountain-sized boulders. Now, the entire landscape is alive, and guess what it wants to do to you?
      Maladomini: A morass of sludge and filth that makes anyone who visits lose all motivation. And the air is acidic.
      Cania: Major cold-dominant. Breathing kills you, or you freeze to death first.
      Nessus: One big flat plane, with some canyons. You have nowhere to hide from all the forces of the heart of Hell. No, the canyons are worse.
    • As of fourth edition, Baator is now a planet. The one thing that won't kill you? Falling from the upper atmosphere, which is where most people who come here arrive. Why? Because the place isn't merciful enough to kill you that quickly.
    • In 1st & 2nd Ed and Planescape, there's still the various elemental planes (such as Fire, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin) along with deadly variants such as Vacuum, Ooze, Dust and Ash, as well as the seven lower planes. The settings were at least 2/3s Death World and 3/2 Crapsack World.
    • In Planescape, no layer of the Abyss was considered "safe". However, the Fraternity of Order tried to catalogue the layers, and if they labeled one of them "interdicted", it meant "avoid at all costs if you value your life". Layers that got this label tend to have environmental hazards that are lethal to humans, and the descriptions of each such layer often come from the sole survivor of the expedition team that discovered it.
    • Of the domains of Ravenloft, Necropolis is the most extreme Death World, draining the lifeforce from any living creature. Bluetspur, Saragoss, Timor, the Wildlands and Keening are likewise hostile to human life, and the Shadow Rift can make you vanish from existence if you enter it the wrong way. The Mists themselves can be a Death World too, depending on what you encounter there.
    • Limbo, the dimension of utter chaos. While most of it is just boiling "nothing specific" that only takes form when subjected to conscious will, there is a large island of stable land floating there too. It is a jungle and an extremely deadly one — since chaos-infused creatures acquire Healing Factor by default, any predator living there has to be all the more deadly. And the constant mutation gives evolution more chances to get the "ultimate predator" right than seems believable. Not that the local plants are any better...
    • And, putting all the rest of the examples to pitiful shame, you have the Far Realm. Try to imagine a place where Lovecraft's monsters would not only originate from, but would be the most basic form of life. Now remove everything even remotely resembling the laws of physics, in any possible way. Now make it a billion times worse than that. You're not there yet, but you're starting to get the basic concept.
    • For that matter, your average D&D world, including nearly all settings published to date is a horrible death world, crawling with extremely dangerous creatures even at the bottom of its ecosystem (things like three meter-long centipedes that spit acid are treated with as much seriousness as we treat something like raccoons), with sapient kaiju, physical gods, evil uberwizards, reality-warping artifacts and other apocalyptic threats pretty much at every corner. The places described above are notable for giving pause even to superhuman heroes who keep "normal" D&D worlds anywhere near habitable for normal humanoids.
  • Pathfinder's Golarion setting has settlements on almost all of the planets. Including the surface of the Sun and the airless balls of rock.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Phyrexia is a techno-organic hell, complete with nine spheres, each with its own charmingly bloodthirsty hazards. The Other Wiki has a pretty detailed description.
    • New Phyrexia may not be mono-black like old Phyrexia, but that just means it now has five different flavors of horrible death.
    • Grixis and Jund, from Shards of Alara are death worlds. Grixis is similar to Phyrexia: cut off from green and white mana, the sources of life, it's a dying world infested with armies of the living dead, which fight furiously over the limited (and dwindling) supplies of life force, and even that apparently tastes like stale water or air. Jund is a world cut off from blue and white mana, the sources of order, and is a wild, volcanically active jungle filled with canyons, dragons and similar beasties on the top, and everything trying to kill you on the way up or down. On the bright side, the life magic is strong enough and the food chain is so horrifyingly efficient that there are no undead.
      • Naya, the green-centred shard, also qualifies. At first glance it may seem less threatening than Grixis or Jund, assuming your first glance happened to miss the 50 foot tall monsters walking around the place. Fortunately, they're prone to missing you too—just don't get stepped on. And don't offend the natives, who worship them. And also watch out for the plants, who have to fend off the herbivorous behemoths. And...
    • The plane Zendikar is this. Zendikar is a world where D&D-style adventuring isn't the path to wealth and glory, but survival. Full of ancient ruins filled with booby traps, with variable gravity, the land itself alive and cranky, and a chaotic force called the Roil ripping through and randomizing the landscape...well, let's put it this way— the largest center of civilization on the whole plane is a city of vampires.
      "Granted, the world of Zendikar itself has done its best to kill you. A geopede bit clean through your leather climbing harness two miles up a sheer face of Mount Valakut, plunging you into a ravine—which fortunately bore water, but unfortunately also bore some rapids-loving breed of piranha. The same second you managed to get your hands on one of those strange stone hedrons in Turntimber, you crashed headlong into a crude earthen pit, facing a baloth who looked like it had just heard the dinner bell. You had almost arrived at the misty Jwar Isle, with your maps and guides intact, when the sea decided to take your journey personally, coalescing into an enormous, briny maw and swallowing your galleon whole, washing away all of your cargo and most of your've seen more than your fair share of trail guides perish under rolling balls of lava, snatched up by hungry-tentacled gomazoa, or shriveled up skin-to-bone by a fierce case of mire blight, but that's the open trail for you."
    • The plane of Rath, an artificial plane created by Yawgmoth (yes, that's the same guy who runs Phyrexia) as a forward base for attacking the plane of Dominaria. The entire plane is made of "flowstone", a semi-intelligent rocklike material that can be commanded to take any shape or form. It contains such lovely locations as the Death Pits of Rath, the Furnace of Rath, and the City of Traitors. It is also (probably) the original home of the slivers, a species of vicious, predatory, vaguely insectoid creatures with a hive mind that not only allows them to share thoughts, but also physical traits. Any sliver born with a new mutation quickly passes that trait onto the rest of the hive, and this rapid adaptability makes them a deadly menace to most other forms of life. When the invasion came, the plane of Rath "overlaid" itself on the central plane of Dominaria, ceasing to be a distinct plane and unleashing its myriad horrors on Dominaria. (The stronghold, however, overlaid on a volacno; the slivers, in the bowels of the fortress, were cooked alive. As it turned out, though, extinction only delayed their threat.)
    • Dominaria itself spent some time as a Death World during the Time Spiral block. The multiple disasters and near-apocalypses the plane had experienced (including, among other things, the Rathi overlay) had destabilized the fabric of reality itself in this plane. Numerous "rifts" appeared, creating highly unpredictable magical phenomena, bringing in strange creatures from other times (and even other timelines), and draining mana from the plane, ultimately threatening to destroy it—and, since Dominaria is the central plane of the Multiverse, all other planes as well.
    • Things really went to pot for humanity in Innistrad — a plane that embodies Hammer Horror — when their guardian angel Avacyn went missing. The werewolves, vampires, demons, zombies, and other supernatural nasties pushed humans to the brink of extinction. Things got better once Avacyn returned. As in humans actually have a fighting chance of not going extinct in a generation or two. Then it got worse when Avacyn decided humans needed to die.
    • Sarpadia from the Fallen Empires set became a Death Continent for anything that wasn't a Thrull or a Thallid after those two races turned against their masters and conquered the whole damn continent. Even the Phyrexians couldn't handle the place. They fled the continent after the Thrulls curbstomped them and dreaded the possibility of Thrulls somehow invading the greater Multiverse.
  • Banshee, the planet where most of the action is in Deadlands: Lost Colony, is a place where evolution got dialed to 11 a long time ago; even the tamest places on Banshee occasionally have to deal with a humongous lizard-like creature called a "Rex" by the locals. There are worse places. Banshee doesn't like it that way, either.
  • Legend of the Five Rings gives us the Shadowlands, which are a bit of Hell on Earth... literally. Not only is it home to such jovial creatures as tribes of murderous goblins, gigantic man-eating Oni (i.e. demons), and not only is the landscape full of every devious trap regular Nature can devise (tar pits, deserts, poisoned rivers...), but the geography itself changes dynamically so that the traveller will get hopelessly lost. Oh, and the longer you stay there, the more you'll catch the Taint, an uncurable and disfiguring disease that eventually turns you into a zombie or Oni. All in all, not a very tourist-friendly place.
  • This trope is partially averted in the Star Drive campaign setting. Though there are a number of death worlds throughout known space, human technology is generally capable of overcoming the worst effects. For instance, one former death world is now the capital planet of a major stellar nation.
  • Niflheim, the moon of the planet Mjolnir in Traveller. It is covered by a vast slimy blanket of creatures that are either microbes or nanobots left by Precursors. No one is sure as no probe has even lasted long enough to say; every one gets devoured in a few hours. Not only that, observers aren't even sure the whatevers will be polite enough not to leave the world.
    • The detailed world and creature generation rules make it very easy to make your very own Death World, with all kinds of possibilities.
  • Even the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game has this, in the form of the Field Spell card, "Venom Swamp," which slowly kills everything except the native Venom monsters. There's also "Zombie World," (a world where everything is a zombie!)
  • The tabletop miniature game War Zone has a supplement describing the flora and fauna of the colonized Venus as basically consisting of giant carnivorous plants, dinosaur-like lizards, deadly bacteria infesting the waterways and quicksand pits every inch you dare to tread. And that doesn't even include the Dark Legion's nightmarish troops lurking in the jungles.
  • Earth itself in Eclipse Phase, which could be loosely described as a burned-out, ecologically wasted hell zone occupied almost exclusively by carnivorous nanobots, death traps, Exsurgent strains, and killing machines that exist solely to rip off heads and upload the ego contained therein for unknown reasons. A few others have been found through the Pandora gates, not counting the many with unbreatheable atmospheres they include:
    • Droplet: Has enough six-meter alien crabs that the colonists carry weapons at all times.
    • Echo IV: Known for its aggressive megafauna.
    • Nott: Frozen ice ball, in addition there is something out there killing people, possibly living possibly not.
    • Solemn: has a bacteria that eats metal, major problem considering how many transhumans are partially or fully synthetic.
    • Tanaka: inhabited by ambulatory pseudo-fungi that attack anyone who comes through the gate.
  • Strike Legion features the possibility of this trope with planets created for missions, with the options leaving it only limited by the player's imagination.
  • Dragonstar has Arangorn, homeworld of the red dragons (and therefore one of the most important worlds in the setting) and a tectonically active hellscape way too hot to support most lifeforms even briefly.
  • Of the terrestrial planets in Rocket Age Venus and Io stand out. Venus is a hot jungle planet full of dinosaurs and giant insects. Only the highlands are accessible; The valleys are full of fog so thick a diving bell is needed to penetrate them. Io is a blasted wasteland full of mutagens, radiation and disease. The gas giants are even worse but thankfully less frequented by humans.
  • One of the cards in Star Realms is called this. It certainly looks the part - a scarred world breaking up. And it is the base of hostile aliens.

  • Les Luthiers: in Añoralgias, a nostalgic zamba about the composer's hometown. The final verses translate to "Hungry wolves howl in anguish while they're bitten by fierce mosquitos, you can't sleep from the cries of thousands of vultures that blacken the sky, there's always an occasional earthquake, and at dusk it rains meteorites". And that's not taking into account stuff like the yearly 10-month droughts (which are interrupted by catastrophic floods), unbearable heat, and the near-constant eruptions of the local volcano.

    Video Games 
  • In Marathon 2: Durandal and Marathon Infinity: Blood Tides of Lh'owon, the player visits the eponymous planet of Lh'owon under the command of the eponymous AI Durandal. The planet was covered mostly in vast marshes. However, the alien race known as the S'pht had turned nearly the entire surface into a city. After that, sometime around the 1800's, another alien race known as the Pfhor enslaved the S'pht, leaving behind only a few marshes and volcanoes (both full of hostile wildlife), along with crumbling ruins and the immense deserts void of life where these great cities once stood proud.
  • The world of Fallout features giant ants, murderous mutants with mini-guns, scarce food and radioactive water.
    • Fallout 3's Capital Wasteland is, illogically, the worst version shown so far. The ruins of DC are filled with homicidal super mutants. The sewers are home to feral ghouls (zombie-like mutants). The outskirts are held by Raider tribes. On top of this, the entire region is a desert, even the Potomac River is both dry and irradiated. Not to mention that all food is 200 (yes, two hundred) years old, and what water there is is radioactive, unless it's put through time-consuming purification. The one source of clean water can be used as a delivery device for a bioweapon.
    • Even worse is The Pitt, from the expansion pack of the same name, where the industrial pollution combined with the heavy radiation has resulted in a mutagen that (in this order) disfigures its victims, drives them insane, or transforms them into the subhuman beasts known as Trogs. The progression of which is unpredictable. Not to mention that the whole place is a Raider/Slaver city, and this is better then the just under two hundred years of anarchic chaos, as it at least ended the gang rapes and cannibalism.
    • Fallout: New Vegas has the expansion packs Dead Money and Lonesome Road, which, respectively, takes place at the Sierra Madre and the Divide, both of which are veritable hellholes. The former is blanketed in a corrosive red fog and inhabited by holographic "ghosts" and mutated workers in extra creepy hazmat suits, while the latter is scoured by earthquakes and blistering, irradiated sandstorms. Not to mention the horrific tunneling mutants.
    • As it turns out, both were contributed to by the Mad Scientists of the Big Empty (from the expandable content Old World Blues), and the Courier was inadvertently responsible for sealing the fate of the latter.
    • Fallout 4 has the Glowing Sea, which was Ground Zero of the nuke that hit Boston. Like the Courier's Mile, it is irradiated as hell and filled with incredibly dangerous critters. The rest of the Commonwealth is about as dangerous as the Capital Wasteland.
  • Chiron, a.k.a. Planet of Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, has an environment highly toxic to humans and animals, predators (including aquatic and aerial forms) with Psychic Powers and Body Horror modes of reproduction and, incidentally, is semi-sentient and not very fond of humans or other unassimilated sentient thought. And then there's that whole "accidentally killing off all life on its surface every few million years" thing. It's actually a pretty nice place while it's asleep. Too bad you show up when it's starting to come out, as it were, of REM. Despite this, it's still better than Earth in its current state, considering those left behind nuked themselves to extinction shortly after the Unity left orbit. One of the endings has the Chiron colonists go back to Earth and clean up the radiation to make it livable again.
  • The planet Malta in Freelancer has Cardamine floating in the air; breathing that stuff is the in-game equivalent of breathing heroin. (It even gets into your genes, making the addiction permanent for you and all of your descendants.) In the same system, the planet Carinae seems idyllic, but its local biology is extremely poisonous to humans. Leeds, meanwhile, is so goddamn polluted their people lose their senses of smell and taste within 6 months, Pittsburgh is an inhospitable ball of sand and stone, while winters in New Berlin last an entire year and reach temperature similar to the ones in the Antarctica.

    Still, these places are a walk in the park compared to one of the unlandable earth-like planets. Said planet is hidden in a radioactive nebula cloud, but the planet itself is almost ridiculously Earth-like, right down to having massive biodiversity. It's even described as a Paradise. It just has only one tiny problem regarding human settlement. All the life—both the animals and plants—have a chemical that's quickly and 100% fatal to humans. Humans wisely decided not to attempt colonization.
  • In the Command & Conquer: Tiberium series, Earth itself has been turned into a Death World due to the transformation caused by the ludicrously lethal yet economically valuable Tiberium—which in C&C3 was revealed to be a Gray Goo Depopulation Bomb to weaken/xenoform Earth for the extraterrestrial Scrin's harvest. Unfortunately for them, Kane had other plans.
    • The average threats in the Tiberium-infested earth include the air, which is laced with Tiberium and breathing it in translates to infection, and mutation if you're lucky, if you're not you end up meaning consumed by Tiberium, crsytals that cover the floor and slowly either mutate or consume all organic material on it, and happens to be spreading, and the countless mutants already turned into tiberium-based monstrosities by the stuff. Oh, and it's already assimilated enough of the planet for stuff like this. For scale, the big two-gunned tank on the top is about the size of a house. Large masses of Tiberium also generate enough energy to create Ion storms, which are basically giant EMP lightning storms, with far, far, more energy. Oh and it's a naturally valuable resources, so people end up fighting for it and even planting more of it on purpose to gather it.
  • The Unreal Tournament 2004 Onslaught map simply called Red Planet is a weird hybrid. It's a planet without a sun, but the entire planet somehow radiates its own red light constantly. According to the map description, the effect drives a man insane within 18 hours. Thankfully (or not), you won't live that long...
  • The planet Kaduna 3 in the hybrid IF game Gateway is one of these. It has spiky plants whose spikes shoot at you if you as much as breathe at them, worm-like creatures that cling to you the moment you depart your ship and will gnaw your space suit off if given enough time, and other plants that grow so quickly that you'll die if you stay in one place more than a few turns. And then there are the spiders and snakes...
  • The game Elite II: Frontier came with the booklet Stories of Life on the Frontier, short novels set in the game universe. One depicted a group of game hunters visiting Bigg's World, a jungle planet where everything was vicious, deadly and/or poisonous. In an interesting twist, human proteins were even more poisonous to the native wildlife...
  • Mass Effect:
    • The krogan homeworld, Tuchanka, is one of these. The most common cause of death before the invention of gunpowder weapons was "eaten by predator". The krogan themselves evolved into one of the toughest, meanest, and most temperamental sapient species in the galaxy as a result. And managed to make their homeworld even worse. It's so bad that the aforementioned "toughest, meanest, and most temperamental sapient species in the galaxy" is actually, judging by their eye placement, evolved from a prey species. After the invention of gunpowder, their most common cause of death became "death by gunshot", and it stayed that way once they got off their homeworld. Furthermore, when they were discovered by the salarians, they were in the grips of a nuclear winter with the last remnants of their race struggling to survive. Finally, once they were taken off their planet and placed in a safer environment, their population exploded, since without Tuchunka's many natural dangers to balance out their birth rates, they were impossible to contain. Let's put it this way: one of the planet's native life forms kills a Reaper in single combat.
    • A world in the same system as Tuchanka is even worse—a Venusiform planet. Most ships will get crushed if they don't have enough protection, and stepping out into the open is certain death - even for krogan. Regardless, it's something of a suicidal ritual to attempt to prove their manliness. Many krogan went out of their spaceships to the surface of the planet, deciding that if one of them survived, that'll be the sign of a real man. The number of survivors? 1!
    • Several of the planets visited in the game will kill you over time unless you're wearing a protection suit or stay in the Mako, and even a protection suit won't help in the worst places. Furthermore, some planets are inhabited by massive Thresher Maws easily able to chew through a shielded armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle in one bite. The same vehicle that can absorb quite a few shots from even the worst Geth energy weapons. Also subverted in a couple of examples: the planets have oxygen and are teeming with life, but the native microbes or pollen provoke deadly anaphylactic shock to humans.
    • Javik reveals in Citadel that the Protheans controlled a planet called Atespa that made Tuchanka look hospitable. It was so bad that the Reapers couldn't even harvest it because the local predators would just eat the husks and then spit out the metal. They eventually gave up on utilizing the planet's inhabitants and bombed the whole thing from orbit.
    • The vorcha homeworld Heshtok is described by one human as "hell, plus vorcha". It's why the vorcha are so unbelievably adaptable as a lifeform. The Codex indicates that the Reapers are having a tough time exterminating the vorcha, because they aren't really able to come up with any weapons or strategies deadlier than what the planet has already thrown at the species.
    • Ilos has a particularly charming feature that the player, fortunately, doesn't have to experience: because of its high amount of plant life, but almost total lack of animals (the Reapers shot them all), it has a lot higher oxygen concentration than Earth — so much so that random lightning strikes cause enormous explosions and firestorms.
  • The Dark World in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past illustrates this trope considering that if Link goes there without a particular artifact, he's transformed into a helpless pink bunny.
  • The world of Balaho from Halo has an atmosphere of methane, suffers from two winters, and is subject to random geysers of fire popping out of the ground. Disease is also rampant, forcing the inhabitants to burn the bodies of their relatives as basically an everyday chore. Considering that this is the Grunt homeworld, you'd think they'd be a bit tougher for all this. That said, it's implied that most of Balaho's troubles are the result of a relatively recent environmental collapse caused by over-industrialization, and the Grunts themselves are actually pretty strong and tough compared to regular humans; it's just that they're overshadowed by other Covenant species who are even stronger and tougher than them, not to mention that they have to wear heavy and fragile environmental suits just to survive outside of their homeworld.
  • Metroid:
    • SR388 Before Samus wiped out the Metroids (practically indestructible floating beings which can shoot destructive energy blasts and drain the life from any being they come across), they were the dominant lifeform on the planet (despite there apparently being only a few dozen of them) and any other creature had to be very strong in order to survive in such an ecosystem. After Samus wiped them out, the planet is taken over by a kind of shapeshifting bacteria (which the Metroids were the primary predator of) which most likely wiped out all other life on the planet, and prove a severe threat to human researchers (and eventually, the whole galaxy). Its very telling that Samus ultimately has to vapourise the whole planet.

      SR388 hadn't even been given a proper planet name simply because it was so desolate, dangerous and just plain remote that nobody wanted to acknowledge it further. It's noted after the first game that Samus goes extremely out of her way just to get to the planet, nevermind the fact it hosts not one but two forms of life that, if left unchecked, could destroy the galaxy.
    • It's later revealed that the Chozo engineered the Metroids as the perfect predator to keep the X parasite under control and prevent it from from completely screwing up the ecology of SR388. The Metroids are so damn indestructible because they had to be the top of the food chain on the deadliest planet the Chozo had encountered
    • You spend about half your time in Metroid Prime 2 running around Dark Aether. Not only does the resident Hive Mind and its troops want to kill you, but the toxic atmosphere constantly drains your health unless you find a spot to rest in. Even worse the phaazon meteor that crashed into Aether creating Dark Aether royally screwed up the original too with the records left by the Luminoth lamenting that their once beautiful planet is now inhospitable: the plains are a desert filled with sand worms, the forest is a sunken bog filled with the mot out of control wildlife and the robots used to defend their fortress have been possessed and reprogrammed by the Ing to kill them.
    • Zebes is a rather nasty place too. It's been described to be uninhabitable for normal humans (Samus was able to live there only because of being infused with Chozo blood, and even then she was only able to survive in the least deadly areas) and filled with miles of underground caverns crawling with all kinds of dangerous creatures. It got nastier when the Space Pirates conquered it, too (now the rain's acidic).
    • The planetarium in Prime features some data on other planets the Space Pirates are interested in, including one with radioactive dust storms and another inhabited by a Hive Mind created by a sentient and deadly virus. And as pretty as Tallon IV is, consider that Samus is exploring it in a special suit and is still in danger of dying from its fauna (aggressive Beetles, spiky Zoomers and Geemers, and explosive Blastcaps) and flora (Sap Sacs, which explode, and Bloodflowers, which have a projectile attack). And this is while you're still in the Overworld. It didn't need a Phazon-infused meteor to be deadly to insufficiently-protected humans, and that only made things worse.
      • More on that sentient and deadly virus: when you scan the hologram of the planet Bilium, it tells you, very matter-of-factly, that that the "atmosphere is rife with Miteralis, a sentient gaseous Global Exterminator virus". Not only will the very atmosphere kill you, it wants to.
    • Bryyo from Corruption. The planet is tidally locked, with one half burned to a wasteland by the sun and the other frozen over, and only a tiny sliver of the equatorial area is inhabitable. This area is filled with hordes of nasty creatures (including two species that can teleport), lakes of explosive and corrosive Fuel Gel (many of the creatures have adapted to live off or weaponize Fuel Gel), ancient but still functional war machines, and treacherous landscapes, and that's all before the Leviathan hit and corrupted the planet. Now it also includes pools of Phazon and Space Pirate bases, and most of the fauna are Phazon-powered.
    • The Pirate Homeworld. It is plagued by constant acid rain powerful enough to eat through the strongest of metal, and even energy shielding. All rock formations seem to have been melted away, and the only structures are very well shielded, making the planet appear to be completely metal. At the time Samus visits, it's also being transformed into another Phaaze by a Leviathan, and features giant pools of phazon and tentacles reaching up from the surface. It's clear from the beginning that this place is bad news.
    • When Samus goes to Phaaze, her path to Dark Samus is not only covered with hordes of super tough baddies and nightmarish monsters, but the atmosphere itself is slowly corrupting her because the planet is almost entirely made of Phazon. And the planet itself is a sentient, living creature.
  • Fable II has Wraithmarsh, a swampy region that's over run with Banshees and Undead. Ironically, Wraithmarsh used to be one of the villages of the first Fable, one of the nicer ones, and the one where the Hero was born.
  • In Final Fantasy XIII the people who might have come into contact with the fal'Cie are deported down to the main planet Pulse, which is supposedly a Death World. Though it turns out they were just put on trains to the next death camp. Late-game, you travel to Pulse, and learn that while it's covered in very tough creatures, it's not as hellish and horrific as Cocoon claimed it was.
  • Gears of War's Sera seems like a fairly nice place....until you realize that underground it is coursing with explosive, mutagenic chemicals that cause terrible sickness in humans, and aboveground during the wintertime, it is quite common to encounter "razorhail," which are shards of glass-sharp ice pouring down from the sky and able to rip human beings apart and even damage tanks. And that's before you get to the Locust Horde and all the other assorted monsters roaming underground... On top of that, there's the Kryll. It's not known whether they are part of the the Locust Horde or if the Locust just control them. What is known is that they'll eat anything that comes into the darkness at night in seconds. Nighttime will kill you on Sera.
    • By the time of Gears of War 3, It's got worse. While the Kryll have been wiped out, it is now entirely possible for Lambent Stalks to erupt anywhere, spewing bioluminescent, homocidal mutants without warning (even over the ocean!). The surface-dwelling Locust have gone feral, killing anything they see. And to top it all off, Imulsion, the miracle energy source all the human tech runs on, is a parasite that is consuming Locust and humans alike.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Outland, the shards of a destroyed planet where the fact that it exists partially in the endless darkness of the Twisting Nether that gives demons their powers is the only thing sustaining gravity and an atmosphere. What with the Hellfire Penninsula, Netherstorm, Shadowmoon Valley, and Blade's Edge Mountains (where black dragon carcasses decorate the landscape, killed by the mountain-sized gronn), every zone here falls under this trope except the verdant Nagrand, creepy Terokkar Forest, and just-plain-weird Zangarmarsh (which is still full of fungus and predators).
    • There are parts of Azeroth that could probably qualify as well—Northrend is certainly one. Sithilus is dead, infested by silithids and qiraji. Felwood, and the Plaguelands (especially the east) are blighted, with the latter slowly recovering. The Burning Steppes, Searing Gorge, and Badlands are as pleasent as their names would indicate. Desolace and the Blasted Lands used to be nothing but wastelands, but are slowly recovering post-Cataclysm.
    • Draenor (aka Outland before it blew up) tends to be a rather nasty place. Frostfire Ridge is half frozen and the other half is on fire. Gorgrond is half wasteland filled with murderous giants and half lush jungle populated by Plant People who want to wipe out all non-plant life. A good deal of why the Laughing Skull clan is so feared is because they're both tough enough and crazy enough to live in Gorgrond.
  • Killzone 2 reveals the Helghast world of Helghan to be a death world, with giant killer dust storms, air that goes from "nastily polluted" to "downright freaking acidic", lightning bolts with enough juice to destroy ISA armored vehicles...and then there's the Helghast themselves, who had to evolve into hulking, bald, glowy-eyed Neanderthals in order to survive in Helghan's environment. This was briefly discussed in the manual and cutscenes of the first game, but this is the first time we get to see first-hand just how bad it is.

    Prior to Killzone 2 being made, this was a case of All There in the Manual as the Helghast world and the Helghast's struggle to adapt to it conditions was explored in more detail in an historical timeline on the official Killzone website.
  • The premise of Heavy Metal F.A.K.K.2 is that the planet is defended from invasion with a universally recognized beacon declaring it to be a Death World. And if you wander outside of civilization, that's exactly what it proves to be.
  • The setting of the Avernum series. An enormous cave system similar to the Underdark (see above). By the start of the series, several large caves are civilized enough to support cities. The First Exploration, however, found an underworld full of slithzerikai (savage lizard-people), undead, demons, and giant bugs. Part of the fun in the first game is to find the remains of the first explorers, all without fail dead in some corner of Avernum.
  • The planet your mild-mannered scientist character is teleported to in Another World (Out of This World in the US) is like this. The very first screen of the game features a sea monster that will pull you down to your death if you don't start swimming to the surface. The next creatures you encounter are tiny slug-like things which will slash you with deadly poisonous barbs if you get too close. And this is in the first minute of gameplay; it only gets worse from here.
  • Zoness from Star Fox 64 is a planet comprised entirely of machines and structures built on a toxic, acidic ocean that corrodes your Arwing. Also Solar from the same game, though that's justified in that it's a star. It's suggested that Zoness used to be a paradise before Andross' forces started messing with it.
    • Also from Star Fox is the appropriately named planet Venom. It's completely covered in yellow dust clouds, the oceans are acidic enough to melt a spaceship, the gravity is twice as strong as the other planets in the Lylat System, and plant life can't be found anywhere. Sending Andross here in exile was thought to be the Cornarian equivalent of a death sentence.
  • Wild ARMs has the numerous incarnations of the planet Filgaia. While its level of Death World-ness is variable, it is always a steadily degrading world that's mostly unfriendly, if not downright hostile to human life, usually thanks to environmental catastrophes or wars. Wild Arms 3's Filgaia is especially bad, as all the oceans actually dried up (there's nothing but endless sand formations left, which strangely behave a lot like water), water is awfully rare, nasty flora and fauna are everywhere, there are titanic monsters running around some locations (including one that systematically attacks anything that goes faster than a horse in its territory and wrecked many trains already) and several ingame sources hint that the environment is too far gone for anything to help: even nanotechnology is useless by now.
  • The Wasteland from Billy Vs SNAKEMAN is an expanse of Death World made of ninja villages blown up by the sheer awesomeness of their leaders. The safest parts of even the outskirts of The Wasteland can be described as "Like the Sahara but the sand is poisonous". Near the center, sunlight occasionally spontaneously focuses into a laser, homicidal unicorns are perpetually searching for new victims, and the corn will eat you if you're too slow.
  • While most of the Ages of the Myst game-series are liveable, Age 233 (where Gehn's office is) is a rather nasty place, with caustic oceans that have deeply eaten away the mountains up to high tide level. Selenitic is geologically unstable and has suffered some nasty meteor strikes in the past, and one false step in Spire will send you plummeting to your death in the fires of a green star. Riven becomes one at the end of the eponymous game. The Expanded Universe of the novels describes how Ages which haven't been visited in centuries have been known to turn into Death Worlds in the interim, forcing one of the Guilds to send scouts to check out such places in full-body protective armor.
  • Starcraft
    • Char is a Single-Biome Planet of volcanoes, which the Zerg have come to call a de facto homeworld, because it is a practice for them to settle in harsh environments to force natural selection upon themselves. One soldier reports that "the planet itself joins in the killing". There is a part of Char that isn't a lava-blasted plain covered in ash. It's an acid swamp full of zerg eggs.
    • Redstone is a molten planet, much like Char but even more so. The vast bulk of its lava is not contained, but floats freely in a massive sea, which naturally has tides.
    • Kaldir is an ice planet so cold that it gets "flash freezes" which freeze all units other than the native ursadons (and Zerg that have consumed them) solid. The Protoss had a research colony there that was attempting to terraform it for colonization, and a Zerg Broodmother was sent there to use the environment to toughen up her brood (but she was killed by the Protoss).
    • Zerus, the real Zerg homeworld, was very similar to Char when the Xel'naga first got there, but by the time we see it, it's a lush jungle world. Filled with deadly Primal Zerg organisms that have spent the intervening millennia fighting each other in a dog-eat-dog existence and evolving. And unlike the Zerg under the Overmind, they don't have a Hive Mind—each and every Primal Zerg is a sentient, sapient predator dedicated to killing you and each other.
  • Borderlands brings us the wonderful planet of Pandora, which resembles many people's idea of Hell. To the point that one minor character, Corporal Reiss, accepted his death with grace because it meant he wouldn't be on the planet anymore.
    • Days that are 90 hours long, seasons that are 7 years long. The planet was first discovered and settled in the winter, and everything seemed to be going fine for the first couple years. Then spring rolled around, and all the hibernating animals started waking up.
    • The multiple wholly unique species of extremely omnivorous creatures perfectly willing, and capable, of bagging humans. Included are the skags, which are dog-like creatures that live everywhere on the planet and can eat nearly anything. There's the rakk, which are predatory avian/bat-like creatures that swarm prey on the ground in massive numbers. Spiderants, which live in massive colonies and have armored exoskeletons capable of repelling gunfire. Plus the stalkers, a species of predator who can turn invisible, fling spikes at ranges comparable to sniper rifles, and have organic shields. There's also the varkids, which are insects that can rapidly mature from small, easily-killed larvae to massive flying tank-like horrors. Or how about the drifters, enormous arachnids that are several stories tall? And worst of all, there's the threshers, a species of massive, subterranean serpents with long tentacles that move with terrifying speed and can attack from any direction and they're actually an introduced species. This is not counting the presence of the Vaults, whose ancient alien technology gives the local wildlife elemental properties, so any of the above could be covered in electricity, breathe fire, or shoot acid. The only creatures that weren't immediately hostile were the crystalisks, which were implied to be sentient lifeforms, but they turned on humanity with a vengeance when the Dahl corporation tried to "mine" them.
    • There's also intense heat and horrendous weather, along with schizophrenic climate that includes a completely frozen area with active volcanoes. The opening of the first Vault made this even more violent and chaotic, to the point that hydroelectric dams literally froze overnight.
    • And humanity made it worse, with a population of untold numbers of angry, mutant, or simply insane criminals and bandits, all armed to the teeth. Not counting tremendous environmental damage even before the first Vault was opened, causing the rampant growth of Eridium across the surface. It doesn't help that it's all but confirmed that Pandora's Eridium can and will drive people insane.
    • And worst of all, midgets.
    • The local plants get in on the act as well. One inhabitant experimented with rolling herbal cigars from the local flora. The result? Death from massive internal bleeding. The obviously lethal plants include electric cacti and firemelons.
    • The continent of Aegrus, first seen in the DLC "Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt" for the second game, has its own host of deadly inhabitants. The region appears to be mostly swamps, with its own variety of the aforementioned drifters, large beetle-like quadrupeds the size of farm animals, scorpions the size of a person, giant floating spores that shoot out smaller, explosive variants of themselves, and a bunch of cultists that worship Hyperion and Handsome Jack.
    • As bad as Pandora is, characters will often allude to life on the unseen planet Promethea being even worse. Think on that one for a second.
    • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! introduces us to Pandora's moon, Elpis. While we don't know much about what things were like before the Crackening, by the time the game starts, it's about as welcoming as Pandora itself. In fact, in some ways it's even worse; at least Pandora had a breathable atmosphere. Oh, and most of the inhabitants have Australian accents.
  • The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series (which Death Zone above spun off of) features the real life Chernobyl exclusion zone... which, thanks to Soviet Superscience (more specifically, an attempt by a group of Soviet scientists to use all of humanity's mental energy to be formed into one, to end all suffering and conflict and Alternate History (the experiment came in the 90s, using the abandoned Chernobyl area to conduct research in peace), has been morphed into a highly radioactive wasteland, where psychic storms that fry your mind occur on a daily basis, powerful mutants (some who can kill you with their brains) rip the inhabitants to shreds, The Mafiya and various thugs crawling everywhere to rob and murder anyone in sight, the Military, who are essentially bandits with superior tech, rips and tears in space-time called "anomalies" that defy physics - ranging from raging infernos, moving bursts of lethal electricity, being tossed several feet into the air, being trapped for all eternity in a localized bubble of one moment, extremely acidic goop (some of which hides in the ground and doesn't pop up until it's too late) that chews through metal like nothing, and gravity itself picking unwary men up and tearing them apart mid-air. On top of that, well-armed militant fanatics who worship the Zone shoot up and kidnap what the Bandits and Military don't get to - and if they don't kill you, the chance of being caught in the crossfire between two armies, one who want the Zone to be open to all to improve human technology, and one who want it destroyed and sealed, will. Welcome to hell, Stalker!
  • The various Pokémon regions, where bugs the size of car tires are the norm. People in the Pokeverse say that traveling without a Pokemon companion of your own is dangerous. They are not joking.

    Even in a Lighter and Softer Death World like the Pokeverse, Pokémon Colosseum's Orre stands out in particular. First, it's based on real-world Arizona, which neighbors hellish California and Nevada. So, natural desert is the majority of the landscape. Second, if you think humans have it bad, wild Pokémon in Orre are said to be rarer than water, and that's saying something given that the only flowing water in the Eclo Wastes is in Phenac City and Agate Village. Third, the place is a Wretched Hive with the criminals in charge, and Cipher is top dog. Isn't it fitting, then, that the most badass protagonist in the history of the series happens to come from this very hellhole?
    • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon has the titular mystery dungeons which have caused the local Pokémon to go wild and feral and the layout constantly changes (so the same place never has the same dungeon) and are filled with traps that can be lethal.
      • Taken Up to Eleven in the Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky games with the bad future where time is stopped and crazed ghost Pokémon roam the dark world ruled by the insane Primal Dialga.
      • Super Mystery Dungeon brings us the Voidlands, a dark hell where the spirits of Pokémon that were turned to stone end up. A bunch of old murals explain that enemy Pokémon in the Voidlands dungeons are apparitions made of hate and there are monsters called Void Shadows that eat trapped Pokémon alive. They get a few party members and even almost the player.
  • Discussed in Ultima Underworld II. When speaking to Iolo about the worlds beyond the blackrock gem, he expresses concern that one of the gem's facets could lead to an ocean floor or a planet of poisonous gases. (It doesn't.)
  • Total Annihilation has a few: Barathrum (named after a Latin word for Hell) is Lethal Lava Land, Kral is covered in seas of acid, and Core Prime is a sterile metal-covered world inhabited solely by thinking machines.
  • The Deep Roads in Dragon Age: Origins are pretty awful thanks to the literal Demonic Spiders, the Deepstalkers that erupt from the ground en masse without any warning, the hostile ghosts and out of control Golems in the lost thaigs, and Darkspawn. Lots and lots and lots of Darkspawn. Everywhere. Even if you somehow evade all of those, the only way to avoid starving to death is to eat Darkspawn flesh since nothing else is readily available. Assuming the Taint doesn't kill you outright, this will turn you into a Ghoul. Then you'll die in a few years anyway thanks to the Taint. In the Dwarven Noble Origin, the death penalty applied to you is being sent into the Deep Roads with nothing but a sword.
  • Earth in Darksiders is a perfect example. Humanity has been wiped out by the Legions of Hell, who have settled in and attack everything they see outside of each other.
  • Elemental - War of Magic - An arid barren waste, filled with giant spiders, trolls and golems? Sounds good.
  • Parts of RuneScape, and a few dimensions that can be gotten to with portals from RuneScape, are Death Worlds:
    • The Wilderness, with all its volcanoes, dragons, haunted graveyards, evil spirits, and absolutely everything trying to kill you. To make matters worse, it's a player-versus-player area, and player-killers can be even more deadly than the monsters.
    • The Gorak's Plane that was visited very shortly during the "Fairy Tale, Pt. II" quest, which is a Pocket Dimension populated entirely by powerful, vicious monsters.
    • The God Wars Dungeon. Imagine a huge open space with dozens of deadly monsters running around, protecting insanely powerful bosses with powerful bodyguards. Even some of the most experienced players tend to avoid that place.
    • Not so much in terms of gameplay, but Yu'buisk is considered one. Once, the place was an idyllic plane. Then Bandos showed up. Nowadays, it's the water is toxic, the land itself is a burned husk, and literally nothing can survive on that plane. The Player can stay there as long as he/she wants though, with on ill effects. It's just that there's nothing to do there.
    • The ultimate example of this is Freneskae, the homeworld of the Mahjarrat, a race of powerful beings who have shaped many of the game's major plots. The world is filled with poisonous gas, volcanic eruptions, and random surges of magical energy which makes just standing there deadly. Also, it is home of a possibly comatose creator god who spawns legions of Muspah horrors if she falls asleep.
    • Many of the other worlds in the Universe, possibly even the majority, are also this.
    • Morytania, once known as Hallowvale, is a country ruled by tyrannical vampyres who wrecked the region's environment long ago. Most of the country is covered in swamp land infested with very nasty wildlife, such as acid spitting giant snails, and ghasts, which are the undead forms of people who died of starvation in the swamp and are unable to be harmed without a special item. Even outside of the swamp, people who die there have a high chance of become some form of undead. The forests to the north are also infested with dangerous animals as well as feral vampyres, corpse eating ghouls, and also a hive of gigantic spiders that are some of the worst boss enemies in the game. The largest city is a huge slum where humans are treated like cattle, the capital is populated by vampyres who kill humans on sight. Another city was wrecked by a plague that turned living humans into zombie like beings and the dead into undead shades. The only other remaining human city is falling apart and the inhabitants starving likely due to the lack of farmable land.
  • City of Heroes has the Shadow Shard, four zones of floating rocks, populated by a conglomeration of minor Eldritch Abominations and spirit-replicas of all the baddies that you already hate to fight, all in the service of a demigod who eats universes. The main means of travel are "Gravity Geysers" that launch you from rock to rock, and should you happen to miss your landing site, you will fall to you death and have to start again at the beginning of the zone.

    And now, in the backstory of Going Rogue, we have Praetoria, an alternate Earth where the majority of the planet has been taken over by the Devouring Earth, led by the Hamidon. By part-scientific, part-magical means, Hamidon caused The End of the World as We Know It, by causing the Earth itself to literally rise against humanity. The player can't actually leave the safety of the city of Praetoria, but apparently, should you leave, the rocks, trees, and fungi around you will literally come alive and kill you.
  • The eponymous planet of Kalevala in Legend Of Kalevala is brimming with biomechanical creatures that are all trying to kill the protagonist, pits of lava and acid, and all sorts of spikes, bombs, and other hazards. Turns out it's only a Death World for the protagonist; he is inhabiting the body of a Kuririi, which everything on the planet has been programmed to destroy.
  • Don't let the colorful, 2D graphics deceive you—the randomly-created worlds of 'Terraria'' are Death Worlds, one and all. Killer slime can be found in the safest environments. Vultures, sharks, hornets bigger than you are, killer bats, and even piranhas await you above ground. Razor-sharp feather-slinging harpies inhabit the upper atmosphere. The underground is filled with skeletons, killer roots, vampire bats, and far enough down, demons. The hills and caverns are steep enough that you can die from fall damage just by traversing the terrain, plus the risks of drowning or falling into pits of lava. Meteors and Hellstone will burn to the touch unless you've built a charm to ward them off. Legions of zombies and enormous, disembodied eyes will pound at your door all night, every night. Eventually, an army of goblins will descend upon you with little warning. And every night has a chance for the Blood Moon to rise, increasing the number and might of the zombies, and turning even the harmless bunnies of the wilderness into walking horrors.
    • The first instructions you get upon starting the game are on "surviving your first night."
  • Similarly, Minecraft can easily be regarded as a Death World. Sure it's pixelated and only domesticated farm animals seem to be the most of your troubles at first, but once the Sun sets or you start exploring you realize this seemingly serene world is trying to kill you in every way possible. The terrain is littered with random cliffs, deep drops and pits of lava one could easily kill themselves in and random forest fires happen a lot. At night armies of undead zombies and skeleton archers along with kamikaze creepers and gigantic spiders will track you like heat-seeking missiles if they see you while the almost 3 metre tall Endermen will wipe the floor with any unprepared player does as much as glance at them. Meanwhile booby trapped ruins experiment with different ways to creatively end you; from housing nests of huge poisonous spiders to being able to blow you and all the treasure to bits or having tripwires primed to shoot any trespassers. Even seemingly "safe" mobs like the wolf will descend upon you in packs if you hurt any even by accident. It even has the Nether; it's version of Hell, home to it's own collection of death-toting enemies from huge fire-shooting Eldritch Horrors to 2.5 metre tall sword-welding skeletons that will cause you to literally wither away. At least with a Hell you'd think there would be a Heaven right? WRONG. It's just another Hell, where bottom void surrounds the one tiny island and Endermen are everywhere; if that's not enough there's also an almighty dragon that kills anyone on the island.
    • And if you are playing on a server, sometimes other players will be yet another thing you have to avoid if people are after you for your blood and gear.
  • The various planets in Starbound are like this. In addition to the ravenous beasts populating the landscape (which only get worse at night or underground), the planets have other hazards, such as acid rain or lakes of poison. Just visiting a snow biome planet without the right equipment can kill you in seconds. Some of the intelligent life you may encounter will also be hostile towards you, especially around prisons and dungeons.
  • Dwarf Fortress, where just about every moving object tries to murder your dwarves. This is especially true in evil biomes, where lasting more than a few in-game years against the undead hordes and disease-spreading weather is an accomplishment.
  • Planet Ortega in Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon requires wearing special underwear to survive the intense heat.
    • There are only three planets in Space Quest V that require you to beam down onto the surface as part of the storyline. Of those three, one of the planets has a toxic atmosphere requiring the use of a rebreather. All of the other planets in the game have conditions so hostile that you will die immediately upon beaming down to them.
  • In the Jedi Academy, Jaden Korr is assigned a rather nasty mission to the planet Blenjeel, a Desert World swarming with sand burrowers (which bear a suspicious resemblance to the Graboids from Tremors). Oh, and there's a fierce lightning storm going on in the upper atmosphere, which forces Jaden's ship into a not-so-happy landing on the planet's sandy surface. By the looks of things, this is a common occurrence. After Jaden escapes from the planet (being the first person to ever do so alive), Kyle Katarn wisely decides to list the planet in public databanks as one to avoid at all costs.
    • Vjun gets a little of expansion beyond being the home of Darth Vader's castle. The planet is incredibly barren, devoid of plantlife and has acid rain.
  • Escape Velocity Nova has Cunjo, named for its top predator. Auroran warriors sometimes hunt them for bragging rights, and rendered a minor Federation world unsuitable for colonization by introducing cunjos to it.
    • The Auroran capital worlds also qualify: ridiculous levels of pollution from extreme overpopulation makes them uninhabitable outside of arcologies.
  • Really, most Role Playing Games qualify. Need to go to another city or town? Or just need to visit the countryside? Better be ready to fight off ambushes by bands of monsters and human marauders. No wonder every village, town, and city has weapons and armor shops!
  • The dying world of Eltria in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable : The Gears of Destiny, where the lands are desert-like, the waters are contaminated, and giant, rampaging monsters roam everywhere.
  • Naev's backstory has Sorom, which kept killing off its inhabitants by progressively worse plagues that eventually culminated in the Empire quarantining it. The Soromid only survived because of a breakthrough in LEGO Genetics that allowed them to augment their immune systems. Then Sorom was caught in the blast from Sol blowing up.
  • Tau Volantis from Dead Space 3. Its an Ice World full of treacherous terrain, populated entirely by mutated, reanimated corpses. In addition to these threats, our heroes have to travel through unstable centuries-old (sometimes malevolent) architecture, hounded by Unitologist soldiers and deal with cranky teammates.
  • Played with in Monster Girl Quest. The Monster Lord's continent of Hellgondo is this to any human (even the absurdly powerful Luka) since it's dark, eerie, and crawling with rather dangerous monsters. Alice and the other monsters, however, see it as a very pleasant and nice place to live.
  • Silence in the F-Zero series is an unusual example, in that there's simply nothing on the planet to sustain life. The entire place is a plain white ball or rock, and utterly sterile with no native flora, fauna or microbiology at all. The planet gets its name from the fact the entire planet is dead silent because of it. Also Death Wind, a greenish desert planet constantly ravaged by winds capable of shoving a 1.5-ton hovercar around.
  • The Desert Moon, where the player's ship of engineers crashes. It's filled with tons of vicious aliens- Runners are fast and lethal, Bursters are even faster and explode when killed, and Hunters are heavily armored and burrow underground to evade attacks. Then there's also the engineers from the other half of the crashed ship who didn't exactly survive and can convert living engineers into more of them.
  • The Alternate Timelines of Blasted and Infernal Tokyo in Shin Megami Tensei IV; in Blasted Tokyo, God has successfully wiped out most of Humanity with a global cluster of nukes - everything is a burning desert. Pluto is spewing a 100% lethality poison into the atmosphere; either you use full body protection or you die - amputation doesn't work. Demons are struggling with all they have to eradicate the few survivors, who can only live in underground shelters. In Infernal Tokyo, God's plan was stopped - by introducing demon fusion technology to humans. This led to everyone either choosing to fuse with a demon to become a Demonoid or remaining human and serving as their food as a Neurisher. Society rotted away as new power lines were drawn; this happened globally. Demons also reached this world en masse, though they are not as openly aggressive as in Blasted Tokyo. Main Timeline Tokyo is no exception, either - demons are also massed there and one of the two organizations dedicated to dealing with them is guilty of horrifying atrocities, there are abundant poison swamps, growing food is dificult without an actual sun, and with no natural game, demon flesh is left as one of the few actual options.
  • While not an entire world the Four Islands of the Dark Sea from Sky Odyssey count. These isolated islands have the worst and most unpredictable weather in the world, on top of frequent geological activity. Frequent hazards include windstorms, hurricanes, blizzards, earthquakes, rockslides, and active volcanos. In fact the main challenge in the game is trying to fly you aircraft through these islands without getting killed.
  • The land beneath the Taintclouds in Baten Kaitos (the surface) is a deadly poisonous wasteland filled with all manner of deadly and vicious beasts. At least according to legend. When you actually go down there you find it's not poisonous at all (anymore), people live a quite peaceful and comfortable life there, the monsters aren't even that powerful, and other than being a bit gloomy thanks to the cloud cover it's not a bad place at all.
  • The Baldur's Gate games made by Bioware may not always look deadly, but eveything seems to be out to kill everybody, whether you're an adventurer seeking a rapidly shortened lifespan in Durlag's Tower, or a halfling messenger half-an-hours' saunter from Beregost.
  • Dunwall, from Dishonored, is a subtle example of this. The local rats will attack humans and can devour a whole corpse in a matter of a minute or so. The local barnacles are capable of killing humans. Fish in the river will attack humans and try to rip out chunks of their flesh for food, like movie-style piranha. Even the local houseflies pack a venomous sting and lay their eggs parasitically in human flesh! And this is the urban wildlife; gods only know what sorts of monsters are lurking in the wilderness beyond the city...
    • Oh, and the continental landmass, Pandyssia? Just enough is known about it that even with all the other vicious pests in Dunwall, even at the height of a deadly plague, nobody even tries to flee and settle there. Enough said.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon of Knights of the Old Republic II is Malachor V, the planet destroyed by Revan during the Mandalorian Wars. Prior to the Mandalorian Wars it was a lush, agricultural world. After the Mass Shadow Generator devastated the planet, however, it became an inhospitable world covered in jagged mountains and cliffs, with constant seismic activity and extreme lightning storms. Poisonous gas vents became active, and the only living beings on the planet were Storm Beasts — giant lizards that are corrupted by the dark side aura that plagued the planet since its devastation. The planet is also the site of a number of gravitational anomalies, making it suicide for even the most skilled of pilots to try and land there. In addition, the planet's devastation caused a wound in The Force that became the Eldritch Abomination Darth Nihilus. Said Force wound has the charming side effect of causing great mental anguish to anyone who sets foot on the planet. For non Force-sensitives. Those who are Force-sensitive (and not protected by the negating power of the Exile) are instantly driven into Dark-Side-fueled insanity. It is theorized this is where Darth Revan... 'made' most of his army.
  • Mira, the setting of Xenoblade Chronicles X. While the air is breathable and most of the flora edible or harmless, save the dandelions that shoot parasitic seeds into your skin and the explosive papayas, it's filled to the brim with hordes of house-sized megafauna that want you dead. The five continents are all nasty: Primordia is covered in steep cliffs, Noctilum is a huge jungle with poisonous rivers and home to a madness-inducing virus that makes the infected wildlife attack all living creatures, Oblivia is an arid wasteland where dust storms and electromagnetic storms are common, Sylvalum is choked with spores and patrolled by mysterious giant robots, and Cauldros is a war-torn volcanic landscape patrolled by hostile forces. And that's not factoring in the hostile alien invaders and dormant machines that can lay waste to an entire army. Death is a constant fact of life for anyone that works outside New Los Angeles, as BLADE members die in droves to the megafauna, even with the aid of Skells. And the water is contaminated with foreign, dangerous bacteria. Oh, and all these notes on human survivability? Every human in the place is using a robotic body capable of taking a 10-storey fall without consequence. Biological humans wouldn't have a hope.
  • Todd's Adventures in Slime World is set on an alien planet whose environment is blatantly hostile to human life.
  • Evolve takes place on Shear, which manages to be extremely dangerous despite being one of the most Earth-like worlds in the galaxy. It has entire lakes of acid and enough active volcanos that building structures nearby them was considered reasonable. For wildlife you get such friendly creatures as giant aggressive beetles, huge carnivores that can accurately mimic boulders, massive crocodile-like creatures, aquatic animals best described as sea monsters, and various types of vicious scavengers that are found nearly everywhere and won't hesitate to attack passerby. And all that was before the monsters came...
  • The entire world in Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles is completely uninhabitable to live in unless you're under the protection of a crystal. The whole world is covered in miasma, which is an extremely toxic gas that is harmful to living beings and will kill anyone who breathes it in and only crystals can repel the miasma; this also carries into the gameplay where if you leave the protective zone of your chalice's crystal, you'll take rapid damage from the miasma. Most towns and cities are under the protection of a large crystal and said crystals have to be recharged every year with myrrh, which is a rare and sacred water that only grows from myrrh trees that are buried deep within dungeons filled with monsters. Myrrh trees need time to replenish its myrrh, which means people will have to venture farther out and make longer journeys just to find more myrrh elsewhere. It's also implied that monsters get stronger every few years so that the next journey in the same dungeon will be even more dangerous and the caravanners tasked with bringing back myrrh have to be in top form to survive the stronger encounters or they'll be killed. One of the dungeons is actually a town whose crystal died because its caravanners never returned, causing the place to be overrun with miasma and monsters. The road between towns and dungeons aren't always safe either since they can be filled with bandits and con men looking for gullible and weak caravanners to take advantage of.
  • Bayonetta:
    • The lovely world of Inferno, as depicted in Bayonetta 2. Naturally, as a Fire and Brimstone Hell, it is far from hospitable. The easiest ways for a mortal to get there are to venture to the top of the sacred mountain Fimbulvetr, or venture through an obstacle course of floating ruins under a subterranean ocean. If you get there, you'll be witness to hordes of incredibly powerful demons that even the strongest Umbra Witches in the world have trouble against. Attractions include a constantly-shifting living forest inhabited by soul-eating nagas capable of turning you into a helpless child, fire-breathing spiders, demons forced to eat their siblings to survive, and colossal dragon-like demons; giant rivers of boiling blood home to mile-long centipedes; an enormous tornado wrapped in thorny tentacles; and even the ground can turn out to be a giant manta ray that can hold you in its guts for all eternity. Bayonetta sure doesn't stick around here for long.
    • Paradiso can be just as deadly, even if it is a Fluffy Cloud Heaven. Solid ground is at a premium, and the only way forward is typically through an angel-filled death course. And these angels are tough. To the average human, even the weakest are quite resistant to conventional weaponry. They only get tougher from there. If you really piss them off, you may have to deal with high-ranking angels like Grace and Glory, a pair of especially obnoxious Lightning Bruisers; Glamor, which can cleave a jet fighter in two with a swipe of its claw and summon waterspouts and tsunamis; or even the Auditio, which are basically forces of nature personified and can cause widespread destruction with their presence alone.

    Web Comics 
  • Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger: Near the galactic core lies the homeworld of the Kvrk-Chrk. In addition to having extremes of temperature, gravity, pressure, radioactivity, etc. that would be immediately lethal for most other lifeforms, it has a biosphere so aggressive that the natives have to eat their food still alive and kicking in order to ingest it before necrotic parasites do. Then there are the Kvrk-Chrk themselves, who consider awake and screaming a FLAVOR, have carapaces that would put a tank to shame, and can rip any other species to shreds effortlessly. The aforementioned extremes on their planet makes them essentially immune to all but the most extreme forms of weaponry (and even the most extreme might only annoy them briefly). Among their other quaint customs is, when visiting a neighbor, ripping off one of their own limbs to offer as a snack. They also consider all other intelligent lifeforms "chatty food". They once declared war by taking a defenseless colony ship and brutally butchering the crew, then broadcasting recordings of the slaughter on all channels, promising that this would be the fate of every other species in the galaxy. The only reason they didn't wipe out the competing empires is because they found out the hard way that being unparalleled engines of annihilation on the ground doesn't help too well when the guys you're fighting against can annihilate entire systems with a single shot from a stellar lance several lightyears away.
  • Almost entire Earth turned into Death World in Stand Still, Stay Silent. Lands that were not Cleansed are full of trolls, beasts and giants. Seas are full of transformed whales, aptly called leviathans. For somebody not immune contact with any of those means transforming into a troll, and all monsters attack humans on sight. Moreover, after 90 years of isolation, nobody from the Known World know what's really out there.
  • Although it practically qualifies as a literature example, "A Christmas Eve in the Future" has a Shell Shocked Spess Mehren visit a brothel, and the prostitute he hires asks him "What's up?" He proceeds to tell her a confessional story of his experiences in a psychic Death World which will Mind Rape you in your sleep. Enjoy!
  • Homestuck:
  • Invoked and/or Downplayed in TwoKinds. One character's homeland is an (presumably volcanic) island chain so brimming with toxins that his people are immune to most known poisons and diseases.
  • In The Silver Eye, the continent is split down the middle by the Deadlands, which are Exactly What It Says on the Tin. They are inhabited by dragons known as weavers that kill all who choose to enter (or who are thrown into them as an execution, as they do in the eastern half of the continent.) The surrounding ocean is inhabited by sea-dwelling weavers who destroy any ships that sail past the continental shelf, and is known as the Deadwaters.
  • The Girl Genius version of Europa. There's a reason anything outside of a town is referred to simply as "Wastelands." Wild monsters and abandoned experiments roam the countryside, with massive clanks still seeking to follow the orders of long-dead empires. Mad science has run rampant for so long that Baron Wulfenbach requires his officers carry "phenomenon logs" to document any time the laws of physics seem to have broken. And that's all not counting the Sparks who are still alive, sending new creations of mad science at each other for no other reason than they can.
  • The habitat of Eina-Afa in Schlock Mercenary could be considered this to some degree - a large dragon-like creature gets eaten by a whale, of all things, but the enormous technological advantage and available firepower of the visitors makes it a non-issue. Until the local Warden AI takes notice.
  • Freefall: Earth, by Sam Starfall's standards. Given his people have not experienced any extinction events, they are particularly simple lifeforms and as such can be easily digested even by creatures not normally considered predators. Sam himself is terrified of horses, cows and ducks, and only vaguely knows that there are more frightening animals. Earlier, he commented ants would be a greater apocalyptic threat to his race than nukes.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: Earth, for SUPERMAN's species. They sent overpowered babies to worlds in order to take over those worlds, but later they had a culture shift. In each and each world they went to get superpowered beings back, they had all been tyrants of that world... except Earth. Earth have so many supervillians that Superman was just too busy keeping Earth intact.

    Web Original 
  • By the time the events of AK47's ISOT Mapgame gets in motion, Europe and Australia become total hellholes.
  • Tech Infantry has both Fieras VI, a fairly unpleasant world in terms of climate, terrain, and biosphere. But then there's the aptly-named Soul Eaters, alien life forms that possess humans, grant them Body Horror-based supernatural powers, and eventually totally take over their minds and convert them into new Soul Eaters. On top of that, the planet has a screwy magnetic field that interferes with electronics, especially targeting systems, so you can't even nuke the planet from orbit. There's also the prison planet in the R45 system, whose landmasses are mostly swamps overrun with poisonous plants, nasty predators, carnivorous plants, and stranded alien bugs driven insane by the planet's natural anti-magic field. A planet that drives BUGS insane is not a nice place to serve out a life sentence, however brief that may be.
  • The Orion's Arm Hazard Scale has four full levels of this. 7) Planetary warzone; 8) Everything Trying to Kill You; 9) Unavoidable death in ~10 seconds; 10) Unavoidable death within nanoseconds.
  • Felarya (NSFW), except everything is trying to eat you. Or just kill you. Or, you know, both. The writer specializes in vore, so, as expected, most of the flora and fauna in his magnum opus are based on one question: "How many ways are there for a creature to eat someone?" There's a creature for every possible method. How about gassing you and growing roots into you to suck out the juices? Or portals out of that hell being created by creatures who live between dimensions and will snatch you while you're in Subspace or Hyperspace for dinner? The ones on the low end of his hazard scale aren't safe, they just need to be near you to kill you as opposed to, say, creating a wind tunnel to suck you up from over a hundred yards away. It's amazingly creative. However, if you're not a voreaphile, the sheer number and creativity of ways you can suddenly find yourself in something's gut make it scary, not sexy.
    • It gets better. He has most of his critters forgo the whole 'chewing' bit even when they've got big teeth. When - not if, when - something in Felarya makes a meal of you, you don't get to die quickly when the jaws close, no. You get a nice acid bath that can take days to finish burning your flesh and bones down to nothing. When the only mercy a world has is that if you're lucky, you run out of oxygen before you can suffer too terribly, you know you're in a Death World.
  • That Guy with the Glasses' version of General Zod plays up Krypton's canonical deathworldiness. Apparently, apart from anything else, the acid rain melts heads. And the beverage of choice is uranium slurry.
  • Little Lenny Penguin And The Great Red Flood's land of the eldritches, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, a land chock full of Eldritch Abominations. As an added perk, they can turn you into one of them. (And the experience is quite unpleasant.)
  • The native life of Green Antarctica is just plain nasty. There are the Gugs, murderous, raping gorillas, there are ants that shoot fire, giant platypus that have evolved convergently similar to crocodilians, a kind of small mammal who's bite sends humans into comas, and then eats them alive, and countless other disturbing animals.
  • Spec World, an alternate Earth where giant killer dinosaurs still live.
    • To give more information there are many dinosaurs that are almost overly dangerous with Names to Run Away from Really Fast like the Ninja (black raptor that often rips peoples' heads off for no reason), the imperial sabre Tyrant (tyrannosaur with sabre-teeth), or the black beast (Africa's largest and meanest predator).
    • Also there are a lot of dangerous not-dinosaurs like the Terrorsaurs (no points for whoever guesses those evolved from), the large variety of crocodilians (cruncher-crocs, croclions, croc-tigers, jagators, cuttercrocs etc.), the mosasaurs (carnivorous aquatic-lizards such as the leviathans, the mosarks and the lizardwhales), ultravipers or featherboas (both incredibly venomous large snakes), or gobblers (it's version of terror birds) that really want to kill people.
    • Even the soft and fuzzy mammals of the Mesozoic have been abandoned for vicious and dangerous new ones such as the baskerville (glowing canine-like member of the possum-hounds), Digga-dumdums (large burrowing animals that can use their claws to rip up the face of even tyrannosaurs), the powerpus (large bulky platypus with fangs), Moby Duck (multi-ton marine platypus relative), the unrats (primitive mammals with venom so potent not even the hungriest gobbler would eat them), or the tree foxes (primates with sharp fangs and retractable-claws).
  • Earth, if the SCP Foundation is to be believed.
  • Ktrit in Junction Point. Its surface gravity is five times that of Earth, and it's a tidally locked planet, meaning that one side is wracked by a perpetual storm that often affects the other depending on the season. Temperatures run from tropical to water-boiling.
  • Excerpt of the Journal of Archibald Hannity from The Wanderer's Library
  • The Sporewiki Fiction Universe has quite a few: Nova Thei, the Zi-Jittoram Homeworld, Mahanaya, Vollix, Macronormus and Forda are the kind of planets where the local lifeforms easily have the means ot crush you and swallow you up. Paclernos and Mahanaya are planets where the planet itself may as well be a death wish (Mahanaya has been twisted by relics of the Ayrai'Shikua and Paclernos' environemnt is toxic to anything that's mostly water and doesn't have a natural pH of 2). Aside from Macronormus and Nova Thei all of them happen to be the homeworlds of the most fearsome Proud Warrior Race Guy species in the First Gigaquadrant. Then we have Occasus, an abandoned City Planet that is primarily used as the site for the final exam for the Agency of the Kicath Empire; essentially The Hunger Games only using 14,000 3-3/4 tall cyborg'd up reptillian supersoldiers, no publicity and passing involves surviving for an entire year. To put its lethality into perspective, city blocks have been known to be destroyed during the exams and almost every qualified agent would rather forget about their time there. Let that sink in...
  • In The Jenkinsverse, planets are given a habitability rating. Anything higher than class ten is a death world, and the deadliest known planet in the Milky Way is also the only class thirteen in the Milky Way. The planet Earth is class twelve, only missing out on being Class 13 by dint of its acceptably small orbital eccentricity.
  • In Super Mario Bros. Z, Sonic's home of Mobius becomes one after Mecha Sonic plunges the Death Egg into the planet. The impact causes the planet's atmosphere to be shrouded in thick black clouds, where Mecha Sonic goes on a genocidal rampage.
  • The world of Remnant in RWBY qualifies, even if it's an idyllic beach resort compared to many examples here, since most of the flora and fauna won't try to kill everyone they encounter. However, the world is infested with Grimm, soulless monsters who attack humans on sight. The landscape is dotted with fortified cities (some inhabited, some lie in ruin) where the majority of people live, and according to Blake, the few humans who live outside these protected settlements live rather hard lives and have to learn how to fight very quickly or they will die - Ruby and Yang's superior combat skills compared to other Beacon Academy freshmen supports this assertion, although that may also be due to them having good teachers.
    • What makes the Grimm an especially dangerous threat is that they're attracted to negative emotions. A couple of Grimm attacking a town might not do much, but a serious problem like a bandit attack or famine will bring quite a few more. The resulting fear and panic from that attack will bring more Grimm, and this rapidly becomes a series of Disaster Dominoes as each attack brings more Grimm until the defenders are overwhelmed. A prolonged period of dread and worry, followed by a horrific disaster, can end up summoning enough Grimm that even the massive defenses of the Kingdoms can be overwhelmed.
    • Bandits aren't the only issue. Terrorist and criminal organizations such as the White Fang and Cinder's (actually, Salem's) group are also a big problem, especially given that the latter's sole purpose seems to be attracting Grimm so that the Kingdoms can fall. Even with the powers of the Maidens protecting mankind, they can just as easily end up in the wrong hands...

    Western Animation 
  • Transformers:
    • Unicron would be an example of the Genius Loci variant. His outside is mainly devoted to consuming other worlds, and most of his inside is devoted to killing anything that made it in alive with tentacle, spikes, vats of acid, et cetera.
    • There are even some continuities where Cybertron is depicted as being hazardous enough in itself. The IDW comics make a point that their war had caused the planet to become completely uninhabitable for centuries (And when we say "uninhabitable", we're talking for a race of Humongous Mecha). When they finally are able to make a temporary base there, the planet is overrun by monstrous Insecticons that tear apart and devour any Cybertronians they come across.
      • In some continuities, Cybertron's pre-apocalyptic war environment was pretty damn lethal as well. The exact features are never covered in detail and vary between continuities, but include nameless seas of mercury, acid and liquid helium, the Rust Sea (a sea-like area of "unstable planetary matter and molecular flux" that emits corrosive gasses), the Toxic Sludge Swamps, the Acid Wastes (an area so inundated with neutronic fallout that the frequent earthquakes, acid rain storms and other freak weather conditions are the least of your worries), the Devastator Winds (equatorial windstorms so fierce they can rip Cybertronians apart), and the Rust Spot (an area laced with every kind of hazard Cybertronians can imagine; nuclear winds, toxic sludge swamps, a hyper-corrosive hallucinogenic mist, vicious native predators, deranged cannibalistic tribal Cybertronians, etc)
    • There's there's one comic (based on an alternate future to the live-action movies) where Unicron makes Cybertron itself his new body.
    • In Transformers Prime, Cybertron has officially become inhospitable to Cybertronian life, forcing the Autobots to stay on Earth. And then its untold millions of fallen Cybertronians get animated as cybernetic zombies by Dark Energon. And to further complicate things - it turns out Earth itself is basically Unicron's body. This leads to a complicated issue: Does this make Earth a Deathworld? It has a highly corrosive atmosphere and is full of dangerous beings, including poisonous plants, ravenous animals and parasitic fungi, plus deadly microbes, and an intelligent species which somehow dominates all of them.
  • Invader Zim makes an offhand reference to such a place:
    Almighty Purple: Zim again. We really should have sent him on a mission to a sun, or a planet of broken glass.
    Almighty Red: Or one of those exploding head planets.
    • There's also Hobo 13, the military training planet. It's a barren wasteland inhabited by deadly predators and covered all sorts of other hazards. The Tallest send Zim there to get rid of him and immediately open a betting pool on how long he'll survive.
  • Parodied in Futurama; there's a sector of inhabited space called the "Death Zone", but it's just a name, like the Forbidden Zone, or the Zone of No Return. All the zones have names like that in the Galaxy of Terror.
  • The planet Karn on Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. It's a nature preserve and Single-Biome Planet — the biome in question is a vicious jungle in which everything can and will eat you.
    • The original movie-length pilot episode opened on an unnamed planetoid. The atmosphere isn't thick enough for humans to breathe. It's also infested with Crater Vipers.
  • Third Earth, on ThunderCats (1985), has such charming locales as the Phosphorus Desert (where the sand can burn the flesh from your bones with a mere touch), the Crumbling Cliffs of Vertigo, the Field of Daggers, and the Cave of Time (a deadly place with a curse that causes Rapid Aging to anyone who enters). There's theories it may be humanity's Earth in the far future — if so, no wonder there don't seem to be many humans left. And there's the wildlife, from the black widow shark to earthquake-causing caterpillars. The resident races are interesting, as well: giant stone golems, crab-clawed men, giantors... and those are the low-risk ones. More dangerous ones include giant robots without any real explained origin that do nothing but rampage around. There are a few friendly races around, and they seem to have adapted and toughened themselves pretty well; Panthro commented that the Berbels helped them build the entire Cat's Lair in the time it would have normally taken them to just finish the foundation.
  • In one episode of the nineties Fantastic Four animated series, Terrax tricked Galactus into devouring a world so awful that it poisoned Galactus.
  • Rainbow Land is this before Wisp saves it. Giant monsters are everywhere including the rivers. There are constant earthquakes resulting in rock slides and lava flows. Oh and if you try to get close to the Evil One's castle? Lightning strikes you and turns you into an ice/crystal statue.
  • The Realm in the old Dungeons & Dragons tv series. Not EVERYTHING was trying to kill the heroes, but most things were, including at least two beings operating on the deity level (one would attack them incidentally, the other was actively seeking to harm them). Most people with significant power were hostile or so totally preoccupied with their own problems that they couldn't help.
  • In the Season 5 finale of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, the various Bad Futures triggered by Starlight's interruption of the Sonic Rainboom see Equestria become this, including conquest by the Crystal Empire or Changelings, The Night That Never Ends courtesy of Nightmare Moon, Discord ruling a World of Chaos with the Princesses as his clowns, and finally a completely lifeless wasteland with no explanation.
    • Even before that, the show is littered with examples of dangerous locations. The series premiere had the characters go into a forest that utterly terrified them, where they encountered two mythical monsters and a collapsing cliff. We later get to see a hydra and dragons on two seperate occasions, which the ponies just run from, a house-sized baby starbear, a race of goblin-like canines who attempt to enslave a main character, a cockatrice that petrifies a heroine and is implied to be fully willing to do so to children, and an Explosive Breeder Extreme Omnivore that literally destroyed the town. This is all in season one. Later seasons sport regular encounters with strange monsters outside civilized borders, establish that the Big Good of the series personally fought and imprisoned four separate villains that the heroes later had to deal with, reveal the existence of a hive of g-rated succubi, and explain their christmas equivalent is based on the fact that the country was founded when the ponies were driven out of their original home by hate-eating ice spirits causing an eternal winter. Basically, the only reason Equestria isn't a death world now is, quite literally, because of the Power of Friendship.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
    • The Rishi moon, home to a Republic listening post, in "Rookies" faces threats from meteor showers and is inhabited by giant man-eating eels living in the cliffs. The staff is told not to go outside the installation for a very good reason.
    • Geonosis is expanded upon in the second season. In addition to sandstorms, Geonosis is also home to brain parasites that ca reanimate dead Geonosians in addition to mind-controlling members of other species.
    • Thanks to centuries of senseless warfare, Mandalore has been turned into a barren desert outside of several artificial bio-domes. This also resulted in the Mandalorians temporarily turning into a pacifistic culture (aside from a cult of violent fanatics of the old ways).
    • Lola Sayu from the Citadel arc is a Shattered World that went through an unknown cataclysm yet is still habitable enough to maintain a well-fortified prison. Outside the titular Citadel, there are lots of jagged rocks, strong winds unsuited for jetpacks and sulfur-stenched lava.
    • Umbara is perpetually shrouded in darkness, which can lower visibility. The known fauna on the planet includes giant airborne carrion feeders that aren't above preying on the living and tentacled passive predators that can blend into the scenery (they also happen to be in the same family of animals as the sarlacc). The native sapient species is also one of the most technologically-advanced in the galaxy, both in utility and military use.
    • Quarzite has a high-pressure atmosphere that would crush most starships upon entering and is only habitable underground. This necessitates the use of a Space Elevator for off-worlders.
    • Lotho Minor is mostly a Landfill Beyond the Stars, but is inhabited by savage cyborg scavengers, giant fire-breathing furnace droids that don't acknowledge the existence of smaller beings and has acid rain. Darth Maul also made residence here after being cut in half in The Phantom Menace, having gone insane and killing (and implicitly eating) almost anyone Morley tries to bring to him.
    • Abafar is an even more remote desert world than Tatooine whose only attractive feature is a reserve of an otherwise rare fuel. The majority of the planet is a featureless expanse called The Void, and due to the atmosphere's unusual light-bending properties, it is impossible to track the sun, for shadows to be cast and for tracks to be left in the sand. This makes it easy to get lost and die of dehydration, which is more likely if you came to the planet by accident. And one of the few settlements on the planet is a Wretched Hive.
  • Star Wars Rebels:
    • Aside from the various spires and cliff faces, Shantipole from "Wings of the Master" is mostly survivable on the surface. However, it's a one-way trip for most starship pilots, as the planet's atmosphere shorts out all of the ship's systems upon entry, causing it to crash into one of the aforementioned cliffs (and there are a lot of ships there). This planet was also where the B-Wing prototype was developed, as not only did the planet make it easier for Quarrie to operate under the Empire's radar, he reasoned that if a ship could fly on Shantipole, it could fly anywhere.
    • Bahryn, one of Geonosis's moons, can reach temperatures below freezing, the exact opposite of the world it orbits. One creature that has adapted to the moon's climate is a giant, carnivorous lizard called a bonzami.

    Real Life — Australia 
Yes, Australia has so much dangerous stuff we had to give it its own section. This quote is quite typical of most people's opinions on the place.
"Every creature [in Australia] is bigger and angrier than anywhere else in the world... spiders and snakes and the like normally hide under rocks. The Earth is one big rock, Australia is at the bottom of the big rock, and so they're trying to hide under it."
Karl Pilkington - Happyslapped by a Jellyfish.
  • Even the geological chemistry of Oz is trying to kill you. Proof. Midnight Oil sang about the workers who had to suffer for it.
  • About the only things that aren't dangerous or poisonous are some of the sheep (which aren't native to Australia). And maybe wallabies. The following things will kill you: common spiders, the most common snakes, ticks, crocodiles, sharks, jellyfish, stonefish; we have a seashell that will go for you and deliver a very painful, fast death. Even (male) platypus are poisonous.
    • Platypodes aren't merely venomous, they have probably the most terrifying venom in nature. The other animals on this list will just kill you, the Platypus isn't that humane. Its venom attacks the victim's pain receptors, cranking them Up to Eleven and ripping off the knob. It causes pain so horrible that even the highest non-lethal dose of morphine isn't enough. To stop the pain, doctors actually have to physically sever the nerve from the affected area to the brain because that's the only thing powerful enough.
    • If a spider spins a web (as in a traditional, picturebook cobweb), it won't kill you normally, just make you wish it had.
    • A wallaby could still probably break a few of your ribs by kicking you, and that's pretty bad as broken ribs can lead to punctured lungs or a punctured heart.
  • Then there's the most humiliating thing of all - mauled by Wombat. No joke.
    • Maybe Long Weekend was just Truth in Television.
    • It's not quite as silly as it sounds - wombats are regularly preyed upon by dingos, and escape by letting the dingos chase them to their burrows, waiting for the dingo to force its snout over the wombat's back, and then kicking upward with enough force to crack the dingo's skull. And, as burrowing animals, they have huge, sharp claws.
  • We all know kangaroos hop around on their hind legs — well, those hind legs are strong enough to disembowel a person with a single kick. Breaking the old stereotype that island faunas are wimpy, kangaroos have proven themselves quite able to compete with other animals on the mainland. So don't diss the 'roo, mate!
  • The Australian fierce snake (named for its home, the Fierce Desert, not for its temperament, which is actually non-aggressive) is considered the most poisonous snake in the world.
    • In fact, the top nine poisonous land snakes in the world are all from Australia. And almost all of the sea snakes, which are several times more venomous, are also from Australia, the sea snake capital of the world.
  • According to the Made of Explodium page, eucalyptus trees have a rather amusing tendency to, well, explode, given the proper stressors. Truly a gamer's continent.
    • Eucalypts also produce dry, waxy leaves and loose bark that fuel the frequent and highly dangerous bushfires, and have a tendency to lose branches in high winds, or just after said fires. Add in the fact that eucalypt branches are often 1-2 metres in length, and all grow from the top foot or so of trunk, and you can see that even the trees are trying to kill you.
      • And why, pray tell, have they evolved this trait? Because the resulting fire regime burns out nearly any plant that even thinks about making a serious go at competing with the eucalypts for light, water, and soil nutrients. The trees aren't trying to kill you, particularly; they're trying to kill everything in the general vicinity that isn't them.
    • Also, falling gum tree limbs (known as widowmakers) have caused serious property damage and deaths. And they fall with no warning. Feel like taking a nap under a gum tree during a hot day? It might be the last thing you do...
      • The good news is that Drop Bears are just scare stories for the tourists. The bad news is that the trees the bears putatively live in do, in fact, drop lethal objects on you anyway. (The drop bear may have originated for this very reason; as a way to keep greenhorns and children from dawdling around under a tree, "deadly predator" is a lot more viscerally convincing than "shed limbs.")
      • It's worth noting that the oils in these branches is highly flammable and has fungicide properties, meaning that they break down very slowly and present a lingering fire hazard even after trying to crush you.
  • And that's just the stuff on land, they also have - apart from the sharks and saltwater crocodiles - blue ringed octopus, box jellyfish, cone snails, stingrays, etc.
    • You know your country is scary when even the snails can kill. The aptly named Triton (not the car) is one of the few predators that will kill and eat "crown of thorns" starfish.
  • That is one of the reasons why Steve Irwin was considered one of the best Real Life badasses. "Now watch as I approach the kangaroo's babies, if I'm not careful the mama will rip off my arm and start beating me with it!!" Nothing he says is worth anything less then two exclamation points.
    • If Australia killed Steve Irwin, what chance do you have?
    • In other countries, Steve Irwin is remembered as a great man, one of the most out-spoken animal rights activists of all time. Australians on the other hand view him as a crazy person... since they actually understand how dangerous the things he did to educate the rest of the world were.
      • There's also the fact that in Australia everyone has an uncle who can do those things (although they almost invariably are smart enough to refrain from doing them). Steve Irwin happened to be able to build an international television career out of doing things that are, in any objective sense, completely idiotic.
    • The odd thing is, Steve Irwin was killed by an animal which is normally non-lethal: the stingray. The only reason he died was because he had the sheer misfortune to be stabbed directly in the heart.
  • Emus are basically really big Velociraptor with a beak. Be glad that you do not meet their dietary needs. Cassowaries, too — which are like emus but actively aggressive towards humans. They were actually used as the models for the Velociraptor in Jurassic Park.
    • Adding to the horror - a cassowary is basically an emu with warpaint and an axe attached to its head.
  • If you think that's bad, Australia was even more of a Death World back in the Pleistocene, when humans first arrived. Carnivorous buzz-saw toothed kangaroos? Check. Giant intelligent fast-running highly venomous monitor lizard the size of a one-ton truck? Check. Climbing, fast-running, warm-blooded saw-toothed, intelligent crocodiles? Check. Gigantic killer pseudo-python? Check. Marsupial lion with sickle thumbs and guillotines for teeth? Check. The Demon Duck of Doom! Oh yeah, it's there. Ninjemys, a gigantic horned turtle built like a panzer tank (and yes, the name means exactly what you think it means and it was named after that), check. Wombat the size of a rhinoceros with incisors built specifically for goring that can charge at 35 mile per hour? Check. Giant koala-ground sloth-tapir mixes the size of bison? Check. Everything that can kill you in Australia today (everything else on this page)? Check.
    • This also highlights the fact that, by a huge margin, the most lethal animal in Australia is... US. Humans wiped out all the above creatures with nothing more sophisticated than precisely shaped pieces of stone and wood, and fire. We first starved them to extinction by burning them out of house and home, at which point hunting could finish them off. We even changed the climate a bit, making it a bit harsher than it already was.
  • This Cracked article feels appropriate. No, it isn't all in Australia, but half of it is.
  • Any child growing up in Australia learns (unless the parents are trying to kill the kid) a long list of things that can kill you, practically by heart. It's a long list, and just to make sure at least one state teaches it in primary schools.
  • Koalas. If you try to hug a wild one, they will be happy to "hug" you back with razor sharp claws that are designed to be habitats for nasty shit, making them natural experts of biological warfare. Have you ever heard one growl at you? The cute little bears marsupials sound like giant ogres!
    • On top of that, most of them have chlamydia,note  so, in a way, they kill your future children, too.
  • Out of all these critters, the only ones that really cramp your style are the jellyfish. Sharks? Pfft, there's like three left. Spiders? Don't go picking up random bits of rusty iron. Snakes? Make a lot of noise whilst walking through undergrowth, wear tough shoes, etc. Stonefish/cone shells? Don't walk barefoot on reefs. Drop bears? Don't hang around underneath gum trees. But jellyfish? "Oh, I'm sorry if you wanted to go for a swim at that otherwise harmless sandy beach when it's 42 degrees. We'll just be floating around by our thousands, invisible and potentially fatal."
    • Not to mention the Irukandji. The worst of the box jellyfish (an infamous class of jellyfish), they will actively seek out prey rather than drift along in the current, are the size of a fingernail, are transparent, can swim through anti-jellyfish safety nets on beaches and pack a horrifically painful sting which has 'a sense of impending doom' listed as a symptom on That Other Wiki.
    • Sure the little guys are scary, but on the other side of the scale, Australia is also home to a southern-hemisphere relative of the Lion's Mane jellyfish. Yes, that is a jellyfish that can grow up to 120 feet long, 8 feet across, and whose stingers remain dangerous even after detached. While there hasn't really been a recorded case of a person being eaten by one of these, isn't it nice to know that there are species of jellyfish actually capable of devouring you whole? Oh yea, and sometimes they swarm. Sleep well!
    • Let's not also forget the Chironex Fleckeri, another specie of box jellyfish unique to Australia. Their venom is often said to be the most deadly in the world, and if The Other Wiki is to be believed, a single specimen holds enough of it to kill 60 adult humans.
  • They may not be dangerous to humans, but the only known variety of sea squirt that snares prey like a Venus fly-trap rather than passively filtering water lives just off Australia.
    • Look at the rest of the list. Not dangerous to humans? Don't count on it.
  • And because this list isn't long enough, the Blue-Ringed Octopus. The venom causes total paralysis of everything, including involuntary muscle movement - like say, breathing. Or your heart beating. And you're conscious every second of it - assuming you are going to live much longer, which is debatable because you're paralyzed, look dead and, well... just pray your buddy (you DO have one with you, right...?) can recognize the effects of blue ringed octopus venom, otherwise say hi to a very unpleasant death!
    • There is no antidote for the blue-ringed octopus's venom — in no small part because the horrifying concoction is hard to formulate an antivenom for, being a mix of several different horrifically lethal chemical substances, tetradotoxin in primis. The treatment is to start CPR immediately and keep going, no matter what, until medical help arrives; the victim is then placed on life support until their body can flush out the venom naturally.
    • And you know what the big Irony is? While it may or may not be the only venomous octopus species in the world, blue-rings are definitely the only ones that are lethal to humans. That's right folks, there is only one type of octopus that can kill you, and it lives in Australia.
    • And if the venom isn't scary enough, keep in mind that the blue-ringed octopus, like the rest of its order, is super intelligent; just imagine the cephalopod version of the Zodiac Killer armed with a powerful neurotoxin and a body of pure nerves and muscle that can fit through any crack or crevasse. Fortunately, once more like other octopuses, they're of the "will only attack when provoked" variety, but obviously it's still not something you want to mess with.
  • And let's not forget the Great Australian Bight. For non-locals, that's a region of South Australia where the ground beneath your feet is brittle and conceals deep abysses leading to underground caverns filled with seawater, which will happily drown you if the fall doesn't splat you first. That's right: in Australia, even the ground wants to kill you.
  • Slightly more north is the Nullarbor Plain. Imagine the biggest desert you can think of. Now imagine it bigger. Now imagine red. Now add the typical Australian NT climate heat of 48-50 degrees Celsius.note  Now imagine having gone out there looking for gold which is relatively easy to find beneath the sand. Not only does the ground want to kill you, it tempts you into a trap to make it easier on itself.
  • To elucidate a little further, it's not just NT ground that can kill you (although honestly, living in Alice Springs is almost a death wish, and you only live in Darwin if you have a love affair with bipolar weather and cyclones), but nearly all ground everywhere that can kill you. Apart from some of the most perilous mountain ranges anywhere (with sharp drops, deceptive rock formations, crumbling earth, nexus of underground caves which you won't find your way out of without a very experienced guide, and narrow winding paths that you only can travel with immense preparation (and these are mountain ranges with absolutely tiny mountains compared to the rest of the world, just look up the Flinder's Ranges)), you have wide vast expanses of ridiculously dry desert in Western Australia that you will die in if you don't have someone who knows how to find the water hidden deep beneath the ground, a coastline with so many abrupt cliffs that if you're not careful you can drive right off, and marsh land and estuaries in NSW and Queensland that will either suck you into their swampy extremes, or leave you wandering lost for days in sand dunes. Even the bushes will try to poison you and paralyse you! ... Why do I live here again?
  • Continuing on from even the ground trying to kill you, everyone growing up in Darwin knows not to dig during the wet season with any cuts or injuries. The bacteria, Melioidosis, more commonly known as Nightcliff Gardener's Disease, lives deep in the soil, but comes to the surface when it rains. It has a nearly 90% mortality rate when untreated, and there's no known vaccine.
    • Here's a fun fact: remember that patient in season five of House who was willing to take hostages to get a diagnosis? This was the stuff that was killing him. Even on House, Melioidosis is extreme.
  • Even the things that aren't native are happy to join the party. Just give them a little evolving time. This article, about felines that take Cats Are Mean Up to Eleven, takes place in, you guessed it, Brisbane.
    • Yes, even things only introduced to the Australian environment 100 years ago can now kick the ass of its counterparts in Europe and America. And they tend to be more sadistic too.
    • You also have to remember that pretty much any time Cracked mentions Australia, it must, and absolutely must, be restated that dingoes eat human babies.
  • The plants can also kill you. The Stinging Tree is aptly named; all shrubs and trees of this genus have very fine hairs which will end up in your body if you walk too close (also, said hairs SHED, so too close is probably within a 5km radius). These stingers are poisonous, and they have been known to kill horses, dogs and, yes, people. With great efficiency. Even if it doesn't kill you, the hairs - and subsequently the pain, because it's the Stinging Tree for a reason - tend to last several years; the hairs are too fine to remove, and they don't break down in your body.
  • If trees killing you weren't bad enough, the grass trying to kill you would be. Triodia (aka Spinifex) is a grass tipped with hard silicate arrowheads that break off in your skin.
  • An equally unpleasant mention goes to the 'tiger pear' cactus, Opuntia aurantiaca, a South American species. They're invasive, fast-spreading, and have long, sharp spines that can punch straight through truck tires, shoe leather, and anything less tough than those. The pods are made to detach, so simply backing away from the plant after contact doesn't do anything to relieve the stab wound you just got; on the contrary, you're likely to tear out a chunk of skin trying to pull out an attached pod thanks to the spines being barbed on top of everything else. They're also surprisingly stealthy since they're not huge, cartoonish attention-getters like the stereotypical saguaro or beavertail cactus, so it's possible to brush against one by accident and pay dearly for your carelessness. Imagine falling into a bin full of rusty fishhooks and you have a rough idea of what stumbling into a tiger pear patch is like. Worst of all, they're absurdly difficult to kill. One or two isolated plants can be destroyed by burying it with dirt to smother it or judicious amounts of gasoline and a match, but when it's a whole field of them, well, good luck. Spraying becomes a precision and accuracy problem due to the need to kill the extremely tough root of the plant, fire is no longer as effective for the same reason, and while using insects for biological control can work, they tend to be alternately unreliable or slow. The only solution is to constantly plow over any area infested with tiger pears, since few plants are made to handle being constantly dug up and unable to reproduce.
  • It is ironic when one considers that despite the high number of dangers Australia actually has a very low death rate from bites and stings, due to a combination of its people being well-educated about the dangers, advanced medical care being accessible to a majority of the population, and many of its potentially dangerous animals being unaggressive and/or restricted to remote areas where they rarely encounter people.
    • The stats speak for themselves. The take-home lesson - no worries.
  • In the surrounding areas of the A.C.T (Australian Capital Territory), there is a road to a lovely beach town in NSW (Batemans Bay) called the Clyde. Along this road, there is a tourist attraction known as Pooh Bear's corner. Back in WWII, this fun little visiting spot (now filled with plush toys of its namesake) was filled with explosives. Back then, the Clyde was the only route in or out of Canberra and was meant to halt invading Japanese soldiers by either blowing them up or cutting off the road at an important point. So in Australia, even the most innocent of places could've killed you.
  • Australia is not just an active killer, it's also passive-aggressive as all hell. There's been no crustal overturn in most of the continent since around the time of the first dinosaurs, so the soils tend overwhelmingly to be thin and nutrient-poor, and in many places — especially in the southwest — tens of millions of years of accumulated salt spray make the ground inhospitable to vegetation not evolved to cope with it. Europeans moved to this place and set about establishing European-style agriculture. Australia blinked and chuckled grimly at that, though it's true those rabbit things are annoying.
    • When Australia was discovered in 1622 by English sailors (about 20 years after the Dutch found it and left it well enough alone) they made the fatal mistake of believing Australia was more hospitable than it was- they landed in the middle of the wet season but because it was so hot, arid and barren they thought that it was the peak of the dry season and that the climate would become more bearable after a few months. After colonizing they found out that this wasn't the case.
      • Ah yes, and how did they find out? Well: The Europeans drove out the Aboriginal population, who actually did know how to live in Australia and whose firestick farming methods had kept the fuel regime nicely in check for thousands of years. After a year or two of that, one day practically the whole colonised area went up in flames in one fell swoop now known as Black Thursday. It's still believed to be the worst wildfire in recorded Australian history, and that is a phrase truly pregnant with meaning.
      • Bushfires are such a concern that to this day, planned burns are an important part of making sure entire rural towns don't get reduced to ash. Given that the goal is to set flammable scrub on fire amidst chaos factors like the wind, these sometimes jump containment and become emergencies in and of themselves. This is still considered an accepted risk compared to letting the overgrowth remain - the bushfire situation is one of perpetual Godzilla Threshold.
  • Just to prove the government has a sense of humour - snakes are protected species in most areas, it's illegal to kill them. Snakes do not reciprocate this policy. Fortunately for gardeners, the natural enemy of the snake, the shovel, is often close by.
    • Of course most snake species even in Australia (the only place where a majority of snake species are venomous) have never killed a human, either due to not being aggressive and/or having venom too weak to do so.
  • But, there is one inversion. Most native Australian bees either have no stingers or stingers too small to penetrate human skin. Australia has a most ironic sense of humor.
  • It gets even crazier in that all of this is pretty much scientifically JUSTIFIED. Because Australia is so isolated from other landmasses, all the organisms living here are basically in an extreme evolutionary lensman arms race to be more deadly and poisonous and venomous than their competitors. Particularly due to the aforementioned poor soil - not enough food growing, and no way to go elsewhere for more? KILL EVERYTHING THAT COMPETES.
    • Please note that this technically means that Australia is the only place in the world where the animals view humans as "competition" as opposed to "predators"
  • Don't forget the most dangerous species in Australia; humans. Australia has one of the best armies on the planet. Yes, humans from Australia are trying to kill you. The ANZACs especially aren't to be mocked.
    • Check out Aussies with Artillery for more info about the Australian Army and what they did/could do. Fortunately, Australians have only ever gone to war for three reasons: 1. the British called them; 2. the Japanese landed a battalion a little too close to home (in Indonesia); or 3. The USA let them tag along. So don't do any of those and the Army won't do a thing. Most of the time they're running around dealing with disasters at home.
  • Ok, Australia, now you're just showing off. (Video of a fire whirl.)
  • Summed up nicely here. (Song: Scared Weird Little Guys - "Come To Australia".)
  • A bit of Fridge Horror for at least one invading species in Australia: The Cane Toad. These toads not only thrive in Australia, they're actively taking over due to the poison they secrete which can kill the native predators with ease. The horror comes in on how the Toad, if it can survive Australia's extremes... HASN'T taken over the rest of the world yet?!
  • So basically. (Diane Duane comic.)
  • Oh, and Australia used to own half of New Guinea. 8,000-foot razorback mountains, lush malarial jungles and so many rivers and ravines that the smallest tribes are cut off from each other (half the languages spoken on the entire planet are in New Guinea) and often used to be cannibalistic to survive. The area is so trackless that some highland tribes weren't discovered until planes flew over them in the 1930s. Next to, maybe, Afghanistan, it is the worst place in the world to fight a war — and the Japanese, Australians and Americans spent three years trying. During the Kokoda campaign alone, the Japanese starved on their way over the Owen-Stanley mountains, the Americans who marched over Ghost Mountain cut out the seat of their pants because of the diarrhea, and the Australian 18th Brigade took 96% casualties, mostly from exhaustion and disease.
  • And now, on top of everything else, Australia has become the home of the world's only species of crustacean that is poisonous.

    Real Life — The Rest 
  • Scientists determined the color of a distant exoplanet orbiting HD 189733 A. It was blue. From that spectral analysis, they determined that the planet has 4,500 mph winds in a 2,000 degree Fahrenheit atmosphere full of silicates. In other words, on this planet it rains molten glass sideways. Enter the two (and perhaps three) planets orbiting Kepler-70, a small but bright and hot star. Earth-like in mass and diameter — and, thus, density —, but with surface temperatures around 7,000 degree Celsius.
  • In the Amazon Rainforest, damn near everything from the plants to the bugs to the water is actively trying to kill you.
  • The Central U.S., AKA Tornado Alley and it's smaller cousin up in Canada. Thanks to a perfect storm of ingredients for Tornadoes meeting up there, Tornado Alley gets more of said Tornadoes than anywhere else on the planet. Something to the level of a Tornado every one and a half months for each 10,000 square miles with some places just out and out getting them monthly.
  • In Soviet Russia, the environment destroys you, as Napoleon and Hitler learned the hard way. Certain regions of it are surprisingly mild as Death Worlds go, and Russians themselves find these spots rather nice to live in. However, most of it (Siberia, the taiga, the tundra, the swamps) is a bona fide Death World featuring deadly frosts (Oimyakon, the Northern Hemisphere's coldest place, is here), literally man-eating swarms of vampiric gnats and huge bears (the Siberian brown ones are the size of American grizzlies, Kamchatkan ones are the size of kodiaks, and we don't even get started on polar bears) that do not fear man at all. And swamps, lots of them. Food comes from hunting and fishing, because this is permafrost country and no agriculture is possible. If that wasn't enough fun, the blistering summers are still there. It's called severely continental climate, and it's all about extremes. It's either hot as hell or cold as hell a thousand years before the Devil started the fire there. There's a reason why the gulags there will suck to live in. The North Caucasus region of Russia is a place that has long been affected by widespread violence (both criminal and political), corruption, terrorism, kidnappings, lawlessness, and poverty. Currently considered a ongoing war zone most governments have placed this area high on the do not travel list.
  • The highlands of Papua New Guinea. It's not TOO bad if you know what you're doing (like the locals) or have their help. However, the Japanese tried going through it to capture Port Moresby after their invasion fleet turned back after the Battle of the Coral Sea. An estimated 75% of their forward fighting troops were killed, wounded, or became ill, and over 60% of the total force didn't make it back to their starting point.
  • Ilha da Queimada Grande, a small island off the coast of Brazil, and crawling with very deadly Golden Lancehead vipers—as many as 1-per-square-meter if averaged out.
  • South America's Atacama Desert is so arid that not even bacteria can live there.
  • Antarctica. Whereas Australia has a permanent human population, the interior of Antarctica doesn't permanently support any life. Emperor penguins live there part of the year to breed and raise their chicks, and the males (who stay there the longest) lose half their body weight doing it.
    • It should be noted that this can count as subversion. Because of the circumstances the chicks of the penguins are raised in, emperor penguins manage to rise the highest percent of their chicks to adulthood compared to all other bird species, because there are nearly no natural enemies in Antarctica.
  • Mount Everest. If you're a strong-lunged mountain climber, you'll need an oxygen mask to avoid losing your mind in the thin air and walking off a cliff; if you're a regular person, you'll suffocate before you can get the mask on. It's also got unpredictable snowstorms, and if the cold doesn't kill you, it'll freeze your toes off—literally. Have fun!
  • K2. Part of this is due to geographical conditions: whereas Mount Everest has routes that properly acclimated and equipped amateurs can use to ascend, climbing K2 is very technically difficult. In general, any altitude above 8000 meters on Earth would qualify as a Death World, as the atmosphere is so thin that there is not enough oxygen in the air to permanently support human life. That's the reason why its called the "Death Zone".
  • There's a reason why the end-Permian extinction is called "The Great Dying". 90% of all life on earth went extinct, including the top predators, Gorgonopsids.
    • Even more impressively-it's the only mass extinction of insects. This means that not even the roaches got out of that one unscathed.
  • For any humans it's likely the Mesozoic era. Obviously there would be dinosaurs everywhere but there are also many more dangerous wildlife like terrestrial crocodiles, giant pterosaurs, large venomous lizards, fresh and saltwater aggressive fish, toothy birds and large dinosaur-eating amphibians to name a few potential threats found during the age of reptiles.
    • Scientists believe that it became even more of a death world after the KT Extinction Event. The meteorite impact froze all the plants, causing herbivorous dinosaurs to slowly starve to death. The death of all the plant eaters led to the meat eaters starving to death. Scavengers would be sustained for a short while, but eventually they too would vanish. According to some sources, anything bigger than a cat was doomed to suffer a horrible demise. Tellingly, the only dinosaurs that managed to survive were the birds, and even some of them died out.
    • The Earth for all of its history has been like this, really. Before the dinosaurs, you had aquatic arthropods the size of mid-sized trucks, salamanders the size of crocodiles, dragonflies the size of eagles, spiders the size of housecats. At times, the oxygen content of the atmosphere was so high, the sky itself could have become a raging inferno in a thunderstorm. After the dinosaurs, there were more recognizable animals to the modern day observer, but the vast majority were huge. Some were as many as twice the size of their modern day ancestors. The environment was also just as hostile. For instance, towards the tail end of what we consider prehistory, most of the northern hemisphere of the planet was covered in a gigantic spread of ice. And lets not forget all of the other mass extinctions the planet has faced.
  • New Mexico has a stretch of desert called "the Jornada Del Muerto," i.e., The Dead Man's Trail. This is a chillingly lifeless hundred-mile desert trail completely devoid of life and water. Before the rise of the automobile crossing the Jornada was frequently deadly; when conquistadors from New Spain discovered it they named the first pueblo they found on the other side "Socorro" - Spanish for "help." In 1945 its lifelessness was confirmed when it was used as the test site for the world's first atomic bomb.
  • Africa. It's the only place where a menagerie of large mammals still remain, both carnivores and herbivores are dangerous, the heat is very intense, there's an outbreak of all kinds of diseases, and it's home to the most dangerous snakes on Earth, and one of the most aggressive and dangerous animal - the Hippopotamus.
  • Somalia, and especially the cities, a rare urbanised version. It is a landscape of gutted buildings, a government that only controls small parts of the country, a war that has been going on for decades, to the point it has become the norm. Life for anyone not able to afford protection, medication or simple infrastructure, clean water or food is nasty, brutish and short.
  • This holds true for most long-lasting civil wars, especially in the 20th century and especially in Africa. One example would be Sierra Leone with it's marauding, drug-crazed, limb-amputating bands of RUF rebels, and the governement troops relying on "tactics" that are sometimes just as gruesome. Things supposedly have become better till the late 90s, though. Then you watch the news and see what's going on in Ciudad de Juarez/Mexico, it becomes more evident.
  • Most planets in the galaxy are either barren rock worlds, or barren icy worlds, with some combination of extremely cold, or in a few cases, extremely hot temperatures. The Gas Giants have no surface, and mostly hydrogen atmospheres, with only cloud decks to supply moisture. However, a few standouts exist:
    • Venus is the most extreme death world in the system. Surface pressure is about that several miles under the ocean, and the temperature, due to a super strong greenhouse effect, is several hundred degrees celsius. The atmosphere is almost all carbon dioxide, about 90x as thick as earth. The only space probes to reach the surface typically survived only a few minutes or hours. The surfuric acid clouds add icing onto the cake (these actually in some ways make the planet less extreme, reflecting most of the sunlight that would otherwise heat the planet at the surface.) (Oddly, the upper atmosphere is actually much more habitable, with earth like temperatures and pressures, and the acid clouds at this level protect against radiation, and may supply some moisture.)
      • Things are much worse than just that. The preferred way to explain why the Venusian surface is young in astronomical terms (a few hundred million years) is that periodically Venus' mantle gets so hot that lava flows from there cover most if not all the planet, until it cools down enough to re-start the cyclenote . Oh, and remember that volcanic eruptions mean more carbon dioxide and (for some time) water in the atmosphere and that the Sun gets more luminous as it ages, thus things can only become nastier there. But Wait, There's More!: in the early days of the Solar System, assuming Venus was as water-rich as Earth, when the greenhouse effect started all that water would have gone to the atmosphere and, before being destroyed by the Sun's ultraviolet radiation, would have strengthened so much the greenhouse effect than the planet's surface would have been an ocean of lava, with surface temperatures on the order of more than one thousand degrees. This short of an atmospheric pressure several times the one currently there.
    "Venus is a terrible place."
    Randall Munroe, What If? #30
    • Io, Jupiter's innermost large moon, is a literal Hailfire Peaks, it is the most volcanically active solar system body, with huge plumes of sulfur compounds, lava lakes, and other geologic activity to interfere with possible settlement, and much of the surface covered by frozen sulfur based chemicals. Most dangerous, possibly, are the extreme amounts of radiation from Jupiter's radiation belts. At Io, this radiation would kill a person in a hours.
    • The worlds most likely to be exceptions are probably Mars, and some of the outer planets' icy moons. Mars has temperatures resembling those of Antarctica, less extreme than some other worlds, and has some atmosphere (although still a very thin one; it used to be thicker), and does have ready sources of water and energy if settlement were to occur there. Many of the outer solar system moons (Europa the most sure example, with Ganymede, Callisto, Titan, Triton, and Enceladus also have varying levels of evidence) are expected to have a layer of liquid water under the surface, forming enormous oceans. These are considered some of the more likely locations for life. However, the surfaces of these moons still resemble the "freezing ice ball" death worlds at the surface.
    • Ceres might be the most feasible colonization target in the solar system. While further from the Sun than Mars, and therefore colder, it's still close enough for efficient solar panels and for photosynthesis (in a greenhouse) to be possible. Its size (it's much smaller than the Moon, but large enough for gravity to make it roughly spherical), very shallow gravity well, and lack of atmosphere make landing on it much less tricky than landing on either the Moon or Mars. Water (in the form of ice) is also believed to be much more readily available on Ceres than it is on either the Moon or Mars. The launch windows for a Earth-Ceres Hohmann transfer orbit also occur more frequently than they do for an Earth-Mars Hohmann transfer orbit.
  • Africa. The largest collection of large predators on a single continent, poisonous snakes like the Black Mamba? Even prey animals like the Cape Buffalo will seek out and kill you. Rhinos are known for charging without provocation and despite being an herbivore the hippopotamus bites so many people into pieces the Egyptians associated them with the evil god Set. It has the only species of driver ant regularly known to eat human beings but going smaller, the continent is really known for its parasites and diseases, though some of them are close to being wiped out as people have been smartening up to them over the centuries.
    • That said, every continent had a lot of giant predators, before we killed all of them off. It was long ago and our species forgot about it, which is why this misconception of Africa being unusual pops up. Or, in other words, every continent was a death world until we wrecked them.
    • Ha. Ha. Ha. If the parasites and bacteria start dwindling, don't worry: the virus brigade will take up the slack. With more people putting pressure on the natural environment, Africa is one of the key places that enterprising viruses can learn to jump the species barrier as they get more chance to practice. Africa: only slightly less deadly than Australia. Because we grew up there and killed some of it earlier: what isn't already dead is just that bit cannier at dealing with us. And, considering we, in all our extinction-making splendour, came from there in the first place...
  • Cracked: Alex Levinton - The 5 Most Horrifying Bugs in the World. But especially the Japanese giant hornets and Africanized bees.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You is a way of life for any Explosive Breeder found in nature.
  • A disturbingly wide range of the plant life on Earth will kill or maim you if you touch or attempt to eat it. We eat things like shallots, onions, and garlic, but most of their relatives are dangerously toxic even to us (and we've got tough livers from our nearly-completely herbivorous ancestors). Every part of the tomato and potato plants except the parts we eat are dangerously toxic. Many people enjoy the leaf stalks of the rhubarb plant, but the leaves themselves can be lethal, and they have relatives that are dangerous to even touch. An Asian relative of the wild carrot, giant hogweed, is spreading across North America, and it has sap that, if it touches your skin, makes sunlight cause second- and third-degree burns. Have fun mowing the lawn.
  • Fuel-air bombs. When one goes off, it spreads a fine aerosol of fuel droplets into the air, this mixture then leaks into every crevice and confined space (incl bunkers, caves etc). Then it is ignited into a consuming, blazing inferno. Thus the air itself kills you (and when it fails to ignite, the fuel used can be so toxic that you die a horrible, slower death by chemical weapon instead)
    • If explosives are eligible for this trope, then land mines also qualify. Put a foot wrong, and the freakin' ground will kill you.
  • Utah. Want some water from our largest lake? Yeah, it's four times saltier than the ocean. Located right next to a desert where the ground is made of salt. Have fun getting to California!
    • The Mormons didn't choose to settle there, either. They had been trying to get to California, but Utah has one more little surprise: The slope out of the valley the above lake is in turns out to be just slightly too steep for the wagons the Mormons had to be gotten back out of it.
  • Arizona. At first glance, it doesn't look nearly as bad as Australia; its desert areas has an abundance of vegetation (as opposed to the stereotype of deserts being barren) while its forested areas look outright inviting. Not bad at all right? Wrong. Let's start with the desert. Okay, you can easily die of sunstroke or frostbite (you heard right), as the desert is either really hot or really cold depending on the season. However, that's just for starters. Beside the climate, the desert is home to an abundance of species that could keep with Australian types; the obvious ones are the rattlesnakes, coyotes (which can travel in packs of dozens by the way), cougars, jaguars (yes, really), and spiders (anything from tarantulas to black widows to brown recluses), but there's also the likes of the peccary (think the Sonoran's take on a wild boar), tarantula hawk (talk about Names to Run Away from Really Fast) and gila monster (one of two known venomous lizards, so named for their temperament) to name a few. Alongside, the combination of abundant vegetation and dry air can easily cause massive wild fires that are near impossible to put out (no thanks to the limited water supply); even a blown out match is enough to ignite one (which has happened more than once). And that's not discounting the vegetation itself; while the plantsnote  aren't venomous like in Australia, they're lethal in their own myriad of ways. First, they can easily catch hold of loose clothing and effectively trap anyone against them (which means if you don't have a knife or easy-to-rip-or-takeoff clothing, then you're stuck, period); even a slight brush can often lead to ensnarement. Alongside that, said plants may or may not be home to one of the local animals listed above, as snakes, spiders and insects like to use them for shelter.
    • Large patches of a devious little cactus called the teddy-bear cholla litter the Sonoran Desert. From a distance, they look as cute and fuzzy as the name implies, but get too near and you'll find that those fuzzy looking spines mean business. Entire segments of the plant will break away so it can cling to your leg like a gigantic cocklebur, making large areas completely impassable.
    • And then there's the forest areas in northern Arizona, which nearly takes the trope Up to Eleven. You read about the climate above, right? Well, it can be just as hot or cold in the north, and water is just as limited; unless you're near a (man-made) lake, death by dehydration is just as likely to occur as in the Sonoran. And just like the aforementioned, the air tends to be very dry, which can easily cause forest fires (from so much as an excessively hot day). And finally, there's always the local wildlife, which pretty much includes everything listed above, only now with addition of bears alongside additional types of wildcats and arthropods. In short, if you want to go on a nature hike, best pack heavy firepower (preferably something in the rifle range) and lots and lots and lots of water.
  • South Florida. When your home is near by one of the biggest swamps/marshes in the world where many kinds of deadly reptiles live either naturally or not, you kind of have a problem. Also, we have our very own Venom One team.
    • Also, on occasion, the ground tries to eat you, with one particularly unlucky man having a sinkhole open up in his own bedroom while staying with his brother. There's a section referred to as "Sinkhole Alley" due to the prevalence of this event there. Only in Florida...
      • This problem is exacerbated by the fact that most of the Florida peninsula is composed of a large, deep bed of limestone which is riddled with water-filled caves, and the limestone and the caves extend well into the ocean. Tides mix fresh and saltwater in the caves, which tends to dissolve limestone into the consistency of soft cheese before washing it away entirely. This can quickly convert an apparently stable region into a maze of sinkholes of unpredictable size and depth. (Places where this occurred during the last ice age, when sea level was much lower, can be seen in otherwise shallow water as the famous Blue Holes.)
    • Southern Florida is home to the machineel tree. This tree's sap is so toxic and acidic, simply standing under it after rains causes second- or third-degree burns. Native Arowaks were believed to execute people by tying them to the tree and letting the tree kill them - they were also known to use its sap on arrowheads. If someone parks their car under one of the trees, runoff from the tree will melt paint off of cars. Famous explorer Ponce de Leon, by the way, is believed to have died from its poison. And did I mention there's no antidote to its poisonous sap or fruit?
  • The Rest of Florida. Besides the concerns mentioned above: Bears, Alligators, serious Feral Python problem resulting from the pet trade, Coyotes, Sharks, Rattlesnakes, Killer Bees, Brain Eating Amoebas, Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Forest Fires, Floods and occasionally deadly High temperatures make up some of the natural threats. And then there's the people....The Florida Zombies , Serial Killers, really it's no wonder half the entries on the Only in Florida page involved someone in mortal peril.
  • Oceans. Especially the cool, clear, tropical oceans. Scientists have found that a horrendous 89% of all life on pristine coral reefs—in other words those safe from us—are apex predators, most of which are large sharks. The open ocean is probably even more dangerous, as the lack of food means everything is a top predator and constantly starving, and therefore willing to do anything to make a kill. Just look up bait balls on YouTube and you can see that this is a literal Death World.
  • Living near note  Lake Nyos is quite hazardous given its nasty, if occasional, habit of belching 1.6 million tonnes CO2. Scarily, Lake Kivu has the same problem, is 2,000 times larger, and sits right next to a rather densely-populated area, including the major cities of Goma and Bukavu (with populations of about 1 million and 750,000 respectively) right on its shores. Considering that the Kivu area has a habit of revolting, one rather wonders if the leaders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo morbidly half-wish that the lake would just blow up tomorrow.
  • The Vile Vortices, a group of places in the sea with an unusually high rate of ship and plane disappearances.
  • Ramree Island in Burma is home to thousands of saltwater crocodiles, malaria-carrying mosquitoes, and venomous scorpions. During one battle of WWII, 1000 Japanese soldiers entered, and only 20 made it through alive.
  • The North Yungas Road (and South Yungas Road to a lesser extent) in Bolivia. Collectively they're nicknamed "el Camino de la Muerte" which in English means "the Road of Death". Two-way traffic on a road that for most of its length is only one-and-a-half lanes wide, with no guard rails, and shear-cliff drops in excess of 1800 feet down one side.
  • Averted with Death Valley, which despite being the hottest, driest place in North America, with a temperature of 134 degrees F observed in 1913, only sees two tourist and hiker deaths a year, which is actually a lower rate than some other US national parks. There are also plenty of plants and animals about, though they mostly tend to come out at night or after one of the area's very rare rainfalls.
  • The ocean. More than half the life on the planet lives in the water that covers over half of its surface, and most of it is predatory. Coral reefs full of venomous creatures, where octopus and moray eels lurk within crevices, where the coral itself can kill, and where a staggering 89% of all life is composed of apex predators facing constant starvation and desperate for prey.. The open ocean is a realm where almost every animal is both a predator and a prey item, where they have to keep constantly moving, because staying still for even a moment can get someone eaten or starved to death. Tidal pools, where stranded creatures eke out a living in an environment where the water they need to survive can drain out overnight, temperatures roast them alive, and where oxygen is in short supply. Estuaries, where the flux of fresh water can rupture the cells of organisms, turning them to mush. The deep oceans, utterly devoid of sunlight, as cold or colder than the coldest temperatures on the surface, exuding enough pressure to crush a human body several times over. Where animals have evolved to eat whatever they bump into, and traveling more than a few feet up or down could mean instant death. For a good illustration of just how hostile the ocean can be, just look to what happens when there is a bloom in the krill population in a specific area of the ocean.
  • The Earth itself, in the future, will likely be that again before things get even worse. And it was already this trope during many prehistoric periods. At various points in history there were ferocious theropod dinosaurs (the group that includes T.rex and Velociraptor), azhdarchid pterosaurs (basically giant furry storks from Hell), giant dinosaur-eating crocodiles, mosasaurs (flesh-eating sea lizards), pliosaurs (picture a gigantic crocodile with flippers), 40-foot-long sharks, gigantic aggressive swamp-dwelling arthropods, eurypterids (colossal sea-going scorpions), saber-toothed cats, entelodonts (hideous pig-like omnivores), shark-sized ratfish with chainsaw mouths, huge wolf-hyena-whale hybrids with hooves, and giant carnivorous armoured fish.
    • The environments were often extreme as well: widespread volcanic activity and rapid climate changes toward the end of the Cretaceous are possibly part of the reason dinosaurs started to go into decline. Droughts and massive volcanic eruptions during the last few million years of the Permian carried warnings of the most devastating mass extinction in the history of our planet (over 90% of all animal and plant species were wiped out). The ridiculously high oxygen levels of the Carboniferous swamps meant that any lightning would cause the air to ignite. Take a moment to let that sink in: there was was a very real threat of the sky exploding whenever storm clouds formed.
    • You know how the bit above said jungles are death worlds where everything wants to kill you? Now imagine one of those where it's dark six months of the year. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Eocene rainforest of northern Canada.
  • Japan, thanks to the luck of being in the middle of not two, nor three, but four separate continental plates mashing into each other, causing constant earthquakes and tsunamis.
  • Outside of the coastal regions, Canada's climate is especially nasty, with its famously harsh winters, and summers that are usually hot and dry, leading to massive wildfires. By mid July, usually half of the country is burning, with the rest of it covered in smoke. And while everything's freezing or burning, the wildlife is generally out to get the locals too. Canadian Geese are extremely aggressive birds, and fully capable of killing full grown humans (in theory at least, as its never actually happened). If a moose, deer, elk, bear or other large animal ends up on the road that's being used, only one side's walking away from it, and it's not the humans. Not to mention if you happen to annoy any of those animals, they'll happily kill you there and then.
  • Industrial age cities in general were these before the advent of refrigeration and the sanitary movement. Poor food, filth covered streets, contaminated water, and cramped conditions, smoke-belching factories, combined with nonexistant or downright backwards knowledge of nutrition and medicine made a death from one of the various epidemics that came by every few years. The average death rates in the cities outpaced the birth rate, which was counterbalanced by a constant flow of immigration from the surrounding countryside.
  • Inverted with this poem.