Summer in Asia is hot. Like, really, really hot. Seeing mirages hot. Cooking whole English breakfasts on the sidewalk hot. But no matter how hellish the summer heat gets, we will never, ever, ever set foot in this Chinese lake.

The above is the Hieronymus Bosch-esque hellscape of what is quite possibly the world’s most crowded summertime attraction: a lake in Suining City, China.

The lake is known as China’s Dead Sea, but the summer day these photos were taken this year, the lake was very much alive with as many as 15,000 desperate Chinese bathers. So crowded is the lake in these photos, we suppose the only way to actually enter the lake is to crowd-surf to an open spot.

The sheer volume of other sweaty, stinky human bodies is enough to convince us to never go anywhere near this body of water. But in light of science recently proving that every person’s belly button sports a one-of-a-kind cocktail of thousands of different types of bacteria, the thought of the – by our calculation – approximately five metric butt-tons of unique germs swimming around in that lake is enough to make us swear off all exposure to water outside of scalding hot showers. And then there’s that awful fear: what if you slipped under…?

[ Read in Japanese ]