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Malaysia says naked tourists are responsible for earthquake, bars them from leaving

Published Jun 8th, 2015 6:50AM EDT
Malaysia Mount Kinabalu Earthquake Naked Tourists
Image: Wikipedia

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You’d better think twice about taking naked photos and videos of yourself on a mountain in a foreign country, because you might end up being detained for starting a natural disaster by “disrespecting” it in such a manner, depending on what locals believe. This isn’t a joke either, as new from Malaysia reveals that several tourists are being barred from leaving the country, after making the “mountain spirits mad” and causing an earthquake.

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According to Digital Journal, a group of western tourists stripped at the peak of Mount Kinabalu last month, and they’re now prohibited from leaving Malaysia. The country apparently believes they’re responsible for the 5.9 Richter earthquake that hit Sabah’ west coast on Friday, killing 13 people on the mountain.

Deputy Sabah Chief Minister Joseph Pairin said that the tourists “showed disrespect to the sacred mountain.”

“Whether other people believe this or not, it’s what we Sabahans believe. When the earthquake happened, it’s like a confirmation of our beliefs,” leader of the Kadazan-Dusun Murut people Tan Sri Pairin Kitingan told the Borneo Post. “There is almost certainly a connection. We have to take this as a reminder that local beliefs and customs are not to be disrespected.”

The mountain is sacred for the local indigenous people, who believe it to be the resting place of spirits of those people who passed away.

The Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the Canadian High Commission in Malaysia is prepared to provide consular services as needed to the two Canadians part of the 10-person group who stripped on the 8km mark of Mount Kinabalu on May 30th.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.