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Number 8 Trollstigen
Trollstigen, which in English translates as Troll’s Path, is a serpentine mountain road in Norway that offers some of the most breathtaking views in the world. According to Norwegian folk tales, trolls roam the mountains alongside the road during the nighttime only to change into stone when the sunlight hits them in the morning. At the height of the tourist season, around 2,500 vehicles pass Trollstigen every day. As they move up the single-lane road, deep fjords and lush valleys unfold below. Trollstigen has an incline of 10% and 11 vertigo-inducing hairpin turns that snake up the steep mountainside.
Number 7 Guoliang Tunnel Road
When the Chinese government decided that building a tunnel to only be used by a couple hundred villagers wasn’t worth the cost, the people of Guoliang village took matters into their own hands. Over the course of five years, a group of thirteen villagers mainly used hammers and chisels to carve a 0.75-mile-long tunnel into the side of the mountain. The process was long and arduous. It even claimed the life of one of the builders.
Number 6 Lena River Ice Road
Navigating a road in the frozen Siberian wasteland is no easy feat. The Lena River ice road connects the urban settlement of Nizhny Bestyakh, on the river’s east bank, to the port city of Yakutsk on the west side of the river. It’s open from late December to the middle of April and it represents a vital route for bringing supplies from Yakustk to remote settlements in the area. Winter roads like these are the lifeblood of outlying Siberian communities, but driving on them can be extremely dangerous. Each year, dozens perish when their vehicles fall through cracking or melting ice.
Number 5 Zoji La
On the Zoji La the roads are narrow, the drops are steep and there’s no rail to protect drivers from plummeting several thousand feet. This western Himalayan passage is basically a one-lane dirt road hugging some of the world’s tallest mountains. Located at an elevation of around 11,500 feet, the Zoji La connects the towns of Srinagar and Leh in the Indian Kashmir. Even though it’s only roughly 5.5 miles in length, driving through it requires experience, a reliable vehicle and nerves of steel.
Number 4 North Yungas Road
This 43 mile long gravel dirt track connects the town of Coroico to the Bolivian capital city of La Paz, the highest administrative capital in the world. However, in its heyday, the road would claim anywhere from 200 to 300 lives each year. Cars, trucks, buses, motorbikes and bicycles all fell victim to it.
Number 3 Fairy Meadows Road
Located in Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region, the Fairy Meadows road is as beautiful as it is deadly. Starting on the Karakoram Highway, the world’s highest paved international road, which connects China and Pakistan, the Karakoram has a total length of around 800 miles and traces a route of the ancient Silk Road. The lives of 892 workers were lost, mostly in landslides and rock falls, while building this highway. It’s one of the world’s highest alpine climbs and Fairy Meadows is arguably the deadliest portion to splinter from it. The road’s 10-mile length is completely unmaintained and mainly consists of gravel.
Number 2 Babyburt Of Yolu-D915
Located in Turkey’s Trabzon province, the D915 is currently one of the most dangerous roads on the planet. It measures around 65 miles and connects the town to Babyburt, a city in northeast Turkey. The D915 doesn’t have any safety rails to protect from steep vertical drops of several hundred feet and, because of the altitude, the weather is unpredictable. Even though it starts and ends with asphalt, the bulk of the road consists of loose gravel. As the D915 snakes its way down the mountain, revealing its 29 steep hairpins, drivers have to face twists, and turns so narrow that it’s almost impossible to turn the first time.
Number 1 Mumbai Railways
Even though it’s not actually a road, India’s railway system has to take the number one spot on our list as it claims more lives each year than all of the previous entries combined. Mumbai, the country’s most populous city, is particularly affected by train-related accidents. According to Mumbai Railway Police data, these incidents have claimed the lives of over 38,000 people since 2007.