Nobody puts up safety signs without reason. Slippery when wet. Sharp turn ahead. High voltage. Keep out. These bits of information are aimed to help you move around places and inform you where you're going. They let you know what you can do and, more often, what's off-limits. Whether by warning or guiding you, they are intended to send clear messages that would make any perplexed citizen feel instantly at ease. Usually.

Because sometimes, the warning turns out to be scarier than the danger itself. Of course, it's better to be safe than sorry, but some signs involve such specific and life-threatening messages that they instill fear, suspicion, and overwhelming worry in anyone who crosses their path. We're talking about oddly terrifying messages that remind us our vast world is filled with unpredictable hazards from which we'd like to stay as far away as possible.

Below, we at Bored Panda have compiled a list featuring some of the most intimidating and scary signs found around the world. So buckle up, pull your seat closer, and behold these sinister signs that are bound to make you a little unsettled. Scroll down and upvote the best ones! And after you’re done, more of the same madness awaits in our previous features on the same topic here and here.

#1

This Sign In My Neighborhood

This Sign In My Neighborhood

Choey33 Report

#2

Legit Sign Post

Legit Sign Post

nofomo2 Report

Lauren S
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh my gosh!! I did not get this right away!!! Men under 30! 🤣🤣🤣 Beware the cougars.

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#3

Applying New Window Sticker

Applying New Window Sticker

xchrysler18 Report

Ember
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I love this actually….what a great sense of humour 😂

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It’s no secret that signs are everywhere we look. Most of them have a function and purpose, mainly to keep us out of harm’s way. We may not often think about it, but these messages play a crucial part in keeping us safe during our day-to-day lives. They inform us when to stop at an intersection, if there are threats ahead or when it’s safe to cross the road. But unfortunately, we get so used to seeing them that we don’t even bat an eye.

While we would never fear a stop sign or a road sign as we’re bombarded with these bits of information every day, you’d think that threatening announcements of dangers hard to imagine would make us stop and run the other way. Or, at the very least, make us consider what actually happened and what was the reason for their placement.

#4

This Corn Maze Sign

This Corn Maze Sign

shidanesayo Report

M Kawai
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The 1/3 that they didn't find were used as fertilizer

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#5

Well, That's Not A Good Sign

Well, That's Not A Good Sign

Millerheighife Report

#6

This Sign Asking People To Wear A Mask. It's On The Wall Outside A Classroom. Saw It On The News This Evening

This Sign Asking People To Wear A Mask. It's On The Wall Outside A Classroom. Saw It On The News This Evening

SusiciousPocket Report

However, even the most terrifying or daunting signs that warn us of potential hazards and uneasy consequences if we refuse to obey sometimes get overlooked. And there are many reasons we ignore or even disregard these messages, whether we believe that we know better, think they don’t apply to us, or simply wish to add a dash of thrill and adrenaline into our daily lives.

Moreover, we humans have exceptional adaptability to tune out most of the awful and disruptive things happening around us. But that skill is downright useless on the road, as only a few milliseconds can mean the difference between life and death when you need to deal with troubles ahead.

#7

An Eerie Underwater Cave Death Warning Sign

An Eerie Underwater Cave Death Warning Sign

gnarledout Report

Buren
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There was real case of fatality here. I can testify that inexperience scuba divers with massive ego are dangerous to themselves and everybody who are unfortunate enough to dive with them. Things could go wrong really, really fast. Respect the sea.

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#8

Nice Sign... Wait

Nice Sign... Wait

PikachooBacca Report

#9

Found This Gem At The Zoo In Miami

Found This Gem At The Zoo In Miami

rhondaanaconda Report

According to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research, drivers react more quickly to road signs with symbols depicting motion. The researchers took a deeper look at whether different sorts of signs — particularly the ones depicting movement — do a better job of forcing drivers to pay attention to the road.

"Warning signs are static visuals, yet they can vary in their ability to evoke a sense of movement. For example, the children depicted in a school crossing sign can be drawn as if they were running or walking. We discovered that more dynamic warning signs lead to quicker responses and changes in behavior," study authors, marketing experts Luca Cian, Aradhna Krishna, and Ryan S. Elder, wrote.

#10

Sign On A Cemetery Gate

Sign On A Cemetery Gate

Poey221 Report

#11

An Actual Road Sign My Sister Found In Alaska

An Actual Road Sign My Sister Found In Alaska

Karmas-Camera Report

#12

This Restaurant Sign That Is Half Shadows

This Restaurant Sign That Is Half Shadows

Cortinian Report

It turns out that to truly make roads feel safe, they must feel dangerous. The researchers came up with five studies that examined how drivers reacted to movement on road signs. They used eye-tracking technology, surveys, and driving simulations and found that "higher dynamism" signs — think a running stick-figure pedestrian — did a better job of attracting driver attention and heightening risk perception.

In each study, the participants reacted more quickly and stopped sooner when signs had more dynamic symbols. This may, in turn, translate to more vigilance and attention from behind the wheel.

"While we have chosen to focus on traffic icons, our findings extend well beyond this domain. Since more dynamic symbols can impact behavior, increasing dynamism in recycling icons, packaging for health foods, and other contexts where behavioral changes are desirable should prove valuable for public policy and consumer welfare," the authors noted.

#13

This Should Not Be Hanging In My Soon-To-Be-Kindergartener’s Classroom

This Should Not Be Hanging In My Soon-To-Be-Kindergartener’s Classroom

radiofreegeorgy Report

Ange Marsden
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's horrifying and heartbreaking children have to learn that at an age where they don't even understand what death is😪 they deserve their innocence for longer

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#14

I Live In A Very Classy Area

I Live In A Very Classy Area

Dizzazzter Report

Lisa Edwardsen
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I can imagine they've got a high rate of last minute cancellations!

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#15

Genuinely The Scariest Sign I've Seen In A While Among A Pretty Spooky Looking Forest

Genuinely The Scariest Sign I've Seen In A While Among A Pretty Spooky Looking Forest

kj_gamer2614 Report

tara
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

When I Was at the asylum they took us swimming at the beach! Then another beach...then the pool...i guess they really didn't know what to do with a bunch of loony teens other then swimming. Still made it out alive!

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"From evolutionary psychology, we know that humans have developed systems to maximize the chances of detecting potential predators and other dangers. Thus, our attention system has evolved to detect actual movement automatically and quickly," co-author Cian explained to the Atlantic. "Perception of movement within a traffic sign prepares the driver for actual movement."

"We would advocate that more dynamic traffic signs be used in contexts where faster attention and reaction times are needed,” added Krishna.

#16

The Drowning Machine

The Drowning Machine

heterosis Report

The Idaho Potato
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Kyle Hill did a great video on this. The water will effectively entrap you over and over again, preventing your escape and leading to an inevitable death even worse than being killed with pineapples.

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#17

This Warning Sign On A Venomous Snake Enclosure

This Warning Sign On A Venomous Snake Enclosure

zthphotography Report

Buren
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I hope this is temporary and not the snake's home

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#18

Recently Took A Trip To Australia. I Found This Sign On A Bathroom Door At Our Hotel

Recently Took A Trip To Australia. I Found This Sign On A Bathroom Door At Our Hotel

Randolph_v Report

But this does beg the question, do signs with threatening auras convey the message? Marc Green, Ph.D., a human factor expert with extensive experience in perception, attention, and human factors, explained that warning signs, in general, often fail to change people's behavior.

"For many years, designers focused their concern on sensory aspects of warnings: color, shape, location, pictures vs. text, size, and so on. However, recent research suggests that effective warning design depends as much on the contents of the viewer's head as on the contents of the warning's message," he explained.

#19

A Friend Spotted This Sign In Their Neighborhood. So Many Questions

A Friend Spotted This Sign In Their Neighborhood. So Many Questions

JonnyPerl Report

#20

My Hometown Really Wanted To Put Up A Historical Plaque But Struggled To Find A Noteworthy Event To Celebrate

My Hometown Really Wanted To Put Up A Historical Plaque But Struggled To Find A Noteworthy Event To Celebrate

dr_aureole Report

Loretta
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Well I would definitely argue this was a noteworthy event.

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#21

This Is How Our Tigers See You

This Is How Our Tigers See You

mattjstyles Report

tara
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I don't care! *holds up a picture of a kitten* ...THIS is how I see your tigers...lemme in

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When people stumble upon alarming messages, they have to decide whether or not to comply. "First, the viewer has general knowledge about the world and how it works. Second, s/he has a set of beliefs and expectations based on experience with the same or similar environment, product or technology."

"Lastly, the viewer enters the situation with a goal and strategy for achieving that goal," Green continued. "The goal can be specific ('I want to arrive at my destination as soon as possible') or more diffuse ('I want to feel good about myself')." So an effective warning sign requires the designer to understand what the observer "brings to the table".

#23

This Sign In Finland

This Sign In Finland

TheIhminen Report

In a previous Bored Panda interview, Frank T. McAndrew, Ph.D., the Cornelia H. Dudley Professor of Psychology at Knox College, mentioned that cursed and threatening messages we encounter in our daily lives make us take notice, whether we like it or not.

"We are programmed by evolution to intently focus on unexpected or unusual things in our environment. It is essential to determine if such things pose some sort of threat to us or not, and cursed images hijack the part of our brain that is responsible for protecting us," McAndrew noted. 

The same goes for unusual things in our environment. "Novelty in our environment (i.e., new or mysterious things) automatically grab our attention," he said. In an evolutionary sense, "people who paid attention to new things did a lot better over time than people who ignored them, and we are the descendants of the people who were curious."

#25

Thanks For The Warning

Thanks For The Warning

LittleDank Report

tara
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My great uncle was in the military and was about to have his photo taken while standing in front of a plane, the propeller was still turning. He hadn't been feeling well, and fainted into the moving propeller. He never came home.

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#26

This Warning Sign For Ghosts At An Old Castle In Poland

This Warning Sign For Ghosts At An Old Castle In Poland

Solvargen Report

Mr. P.
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's in Bobolice, PL - https://goo.gl/maps/BkyTssrMionxAJfq9 Using Street View on one of the spots near the castle: https://tinyurl.com/ghost-sign

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#27

This Sign At My Job

This Sign At My Job

Khaiju Report

Ray Ceeya (RayCeeYa)
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

NOT WRONG. Not at all. You see someone doing something unsafe in an industrial space, say something. A few years back I had to say "SHAWN! What you just did is the most dangerous thing you can possibly do with those chemicals." He's now married with a kid. I like to think I saved him.

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According to the professor, when we can’t determine if something is good, bad, or neutral, we feel uncomfortable. "Our inability to categorize it will eat at us because we do not know how to deal with it, and this can be paralyzing if it is something that we cannot easily avoid," he explained. 

"Being uncomfortable with uncertainty is a very adaptive thing, and it helps us remain vigilant in situations where we need to do so," the professor said. "People differ from each other in how comfortable they are with uncertainty, and someone who is not at all tolerant of uncertainty will be more stressed out than they should be over even moderate levels of uncertainty. I am not sure that there is too much that can be done about this, as it is a personality thing and personalities are very hard to change."

#28

New Signs At School For Safety Against Shooters

New Signs At School For Safety Against Shooters

Plastic-Ramen Report

#29

Sign In The Front Of The Elementary School Down The Road

Sign In The Front Of The Elementary School Down The Road

highloveyou Report

#30

Deep Underground Humming Intensifies

Deep Underground Humming Intensifies

KLobstar Report

Lucy Worthen
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Dark Wendy. I live in New Mexico and there was a Wendy's in Gallup and the sign looked like this sadly, they fixed it

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#31

At An Army Training Area

At An Army Training Area

gatestomysoul Report

#32

You Know When You’re In The Australian Outback When You See A Sign Like This

You Know When You’re In The Australian Outback When You See A Sign Like This

Ozdriver Report

Summer Mason
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

We have those signs here in the USA too. Also ones that warn you when highways are closed do to extreme weather.

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#33

Positive

Positive

dchavez595 Report

BlueBree️‍️‍
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Looks like someone has gotten trapped before, maybe they found a body in there because they starved to death. No thanks!

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#34

My Mom Saw This Sign Driving Through Georgia

My Mom Saw This Sign Driving Through Georgia

thuglyfebitchesaints Report

#35

This Is Not A Slope Of Honour

This Is Not A Slope Of Honour

sergeyager Report

Regal Kitten
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The fact that there are so tracks on the other side of the rope is slightly worrying

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#36

The World's Most Dangerous Plant

The World's Most Dangerous Plant

folowthewhiterarebit Report

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#37

This Sign Is So Unsettling

This Sign Is So Unsettling

WetMayor Report

phil blanque
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Wait ...was that eight blasts...or seven...or nine? Any blasts, I am running.

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#38

Found This Sign On The Edge Of Our Family Property

Found This Sign On The Edge Of Our Family Property

crow144 Report

Ray Ceeya (RayCeeYa)
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Do Not Hunt, Trap, or Come into Contact with Wildlife", is good advice in general. That racoon may look cute at 50ft away BUT DO NOT HUG!

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#39

On A Trail In Bald Eagle State Forest, PA

On A Trail In Bald Eagle State Forest, PA

trailnotfound Report

Piper Panda
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Interesting… verrry interesting. Come! To the Salon…

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#40

Sign At Work

Sign At Work

TMD_989 Report

Slim 864 GVG
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Maybe a meatpacking plant? Funeral home? Serial killer's house?

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#41

I Must Have Walked Past This Sign 100 Times And Never Noticed It

I Must Have Walked Past This Sign 100 Times And Never Noticed It

Maleficent-Jelly2287 Report

#43

The Trail At My School With A Warning Sign

The Trail At My School With A Warning Sign

PurpleZeppelin Report

Zodiac
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It seems like the person who took this photo is a bit ofa rulebreaker...

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#44

Restroom Sign At A Croatian Restaurant

Restroom Sign At A Croatian Restaurant

blendender Report

#45

Found This Sign While Walking In A Local Cemetery Last Year

Found This Sign While Walking In A Local Cemetery Last Year

Junoisdivine Report

The boredest panda
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Perhaps they need to ban seances and oujia boards here too

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#46

This Creepy Sign I Found In The Woods Depicts A Man Jumping Over Some Scary Looking Hands

This Creepy Sign I Found In The Woods Depicts A Man Jumping Over Some Scary Looking Hands

quadriplegicswimteam Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#47

Odd Sign Found In The Johnson Shut-Ins, Missouri

Odd Sign Found In The Johnson Shut-Ins, Missouri

gundymetre Report

Celia McReynolds Tinsley
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's due to the flooding that occurred in December 2005. A dike broke causing a 15 foot of water to race toward the campground.

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#48

On A Hiking Trail That Leads To Christ The Redeemer, Rio De Janeiro

On A Hiking Trail That Leads To Christ The Redeemer, Rio De Janeiro

GodGermany Report

#49

Have You Been Having Strange Dreams? A Real Sign Found In Portland

Have You Been Having Strange Dreams? A Real Sign Found In Portland

Marcus_Yallow Report

#50

This Sign At Auckland Zoo

This Sign At Auckland Zoo

Zealousideal_Talk479 Report

Note: this post originally had 118 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.