Forbidden places on earth are mysterious places no one is allowed to visit ever. We hear a lot of interesting stuff about the locations we could visit. And when we find the place that amuses us, we feel, “Wow, that’s cool! I should add that location to my Travel list and visit it one day!” But what about the locations that we can definitely leave off our Wish lists? What about those places where we are not allowed to enter?
It’s hard to imagine there are places like that on our planet, well there are a lot of them. There are military bases, to name a few, who want entry only to their staff members. There are historical sites that are so fragile that the human presence could seriously damage them. And there are also dangerous places no one would ever want to visit. Yet many of these locations attract us, like a forbidden fruit that becomes so enticing unexpectedly. They attract some adventurous tourists like magnets to explore the unknown lands. And yet, it’s best not even to try to visit those destinations, for your own life’s sake.
So let’s take a look at some of the world’s most fascinating places that people can’t visit (legally) unless they’re explorers, scientists, military men or daredevils.
15 VATICAN SECRET ARCHIVES
Vatican Secret Archieves is number 15 on Forbidden places on earth list. Secret Vatican Archives serve as a storage space for a large number of Catholic Church related documents. Certain of these records date back to the 8th century. There were said to be papal account records, a letter from Michelangelo to Pope Julius II, a letter from Mary Queen of Scots written before her execution, and a declaration of excommunication from Martin Luther, among others.
Most of the collection is underground, and it has 85 kilometers of shelves (53 miles). It’s illegal for anyone to enter it except researchers with special access permits. But there are many limitations to what documents they can see, even for them.
14 NORTH BROTHER ISLAND, NEW YORK
Located on the East River of New York City, North Brother Island is a 13-acre piece of land that has become the last refuge for more than 1,000 people, whose passenger ship sank in its waters. This later became the home for people with communicable diseases. Mary Mallon, aka Typhoid Mary, was its most well known resident. She was the country’s first documented person to have typhoid fever and it is estimated she had infected more than 50 people with it, 3 of whom passed.
Now the island is empty, and it is home to a bird sanctuary with no people’s access.
13 HEARD ISLAND VOLCANO, AUSTRALIA
Heard Island, one of the world’s most isolated islands, is considered an Australian territory although it is situated between Madagascar and Antarctica. It is home to a wide variety of animals including whales, penguins, and marine birds, as well as over 40 glaciers.
There were a few reasons to have the island closed to the public. Firstly, researchers noticed a huge lava flow from the island’s largest volcano called Mawson’s Peak in the year 2000. Secondly, Heard Island has a reputation for its poor weather. And last, to be secure, this is too distant. Measure it by yourself, to the nearest great landmass in a minimum two-week sail.
12 LASCAUX CAVES, FRANCE (Forbidden places on Earth)
Not every UNESCO World Heritage site is open to the general public. The Lascaux Caves in France, for example, have been banned from entering since 1963, as they were threatened by a series of fungal invasions due to a large number of visitors. This occasion showed that the caves are detrimental to every human presence. So to conserve 900 pieces of prehistoric art from the Paleolithic era, visitors can no longer come in there.
The caves are only accessible by security guards these days, but even they face some limitations on visiting. Once a week, they will reach the caves and just spend a few minutes there.
11 ILHA DA QUEIMADA GRANDE, BRAZIL
Better known as Snake Island, Ilha da Queimada Grande is home to a large snake population. There is one snake in every square meter of the island according to some reports. And they’re not just some harmless grass snakes that just scare you with their look but can’t do you any harm. The snakes which live on this island are the most dangerous species in the world. The golden lancehead viper, whose venom melts flesh around the bite, is amongst them. Yikes… Yikes!
So the reason why the Brazilian government closed the island to tourists is rational. Scientists who know how to handle snakes can only join on the condition of having a doctor on their team.
10 AREA 51, NEVADA, USA (Forbidden places on Earth)
Area 51 isn’t just one of the most well-known forbidden areas in the U.S. It’s one of the most mysterious places in the United States too. According to many, there was a crash of an alien spaceship, while according to other authorities, this place was used to examine the spaceship that allegedly collapsed in Roswell, New Mexico (another super-mysterious place).
The official version states that the U.S. uses Area 51 as its location. Because of its remote location, the Air Force and CIA are a research area. If it is valid (and possibly it is), then it is understandable why the place is banned from entering for the public.
9 SVALBARD GLOBAL SEED VAULT, NORWAY
The Global Seed Vault in Norway is actually a very important location for us all, often referred to as the “Doomsday Vault” It stores 100 million seeds from around the globe to restore the plant kingdom in case something really, really bad happens to the vegetation of our planet. The vault was designed to last about 200 years and was opened in 2008, and can withstand explosions and earthquakes. Besides, as it was placed on the side of a mountain, it will still be above sea level, even if all of the planet’s ice is melting.
Interestingly the vault knows no politics: even North Korea gave its seeds there for storage.
8 MEZHGORYE, RUSSIA (Forbidden places on Earth)
Being the world’s largest country Russia is surely full of surprises. It has many mysterious places, ghost towns and other areas of special interest. As for instance Mezhgorya. It is a closed town hidden somewhere in the mountains of the Southern Urals. It is encircled by two battalions to keep away anyone who tries to infiltrate into the city or even come close to it.
The fact that this region is and why it is surrounded by this kind of secrecy is not 100 per cent clear. According to the most credible reports, it is a nuclear missile site allegedly having automatic missiles which can be remotely controlled. But, since government officials don’t comment on it, we’re still not sure what Mezhgorya is about.
7 GRAND SHRINE OF ISE, JAPAN
Ise’s Grand Shrine is a very important place for the Shinto religion, because it was built to honor the sun and universe goddess Amaterasu. It’s interesting that the shrine was built without a single nail. Even more importantly, according to the Shinto idea of death and rebirth, this temple is reconstructed every 20 years (most recently, it took place in 2013). So they keep on using the wood joining technique every time they rebuild the shrine anew and never use nails.
Only priests and members of the imperial family can go there to keep that place holy. From the outside everybody else can look at the temple, through wooden fences.
6 SURTSEY, ICELAND
Surtsey, one of the world’s youngest islands, emerged as a result of a volcanic eruption that lasted from 1963 through 1967. It is used just for scientific purposes these days. Visitors are prohibited to visit this island except for research groups, as scientists want to understand how ecosystems are created without any human influence on its instance.
One of the scientists ‘ core rules was not to bring any seeds to the island. Some of them disregarded it, however, and put tomato seeds in their own colon (in other words, someone pooped over there and a tomato plant sprouted up). Once scientists realized the root of this plant, they removed it to continue its spotless regeneration
5 CHICHEN ITZA PYRAMID, MEXICO
You might be shocked to see Chichen Itza on this list, since it is considered one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions. And you’re right about it – every year millions of tourists come to this site to marvel at the amazing Mayan pyramid. Even though you may come there, it’s strictly forbidden to climb it since recently.
The ban was issued in 2006 after a woman tumbled off the pyramid as she descended. This event had a tragic ending and, in order to avoid anything similar happening in the future, it was closed to the disappointment of multiple tourists to reach the top of Chichen Itza.
4 NIIHAU ISLAND, HAWAII, USA
Sometimes known as the Forbidden Island, Niihau was bought back in 1864 by Elizabeth Sinclair, a Scottish farmer and plantation owner, and is now private owned by her descendants.
The Hawaiian islands experienced a polio epidemic in 1952 and, in an attempt to prevent the disease from spreading, a ban was imposed on leaving or entering the island. Thankfully, no one on Niihau got sick and it now houses a population of only around 170 people. To enter it, a special permission must be obtained which is quite difficult not only for us, the average people, but also for the rich and the popular.
3 POVEGLIA, ITALY
Poveglia is a small island in between Lido and Venice. It used to be a plague quarantine station in the past, and housed more than 160 thousand infected people staying there their last days and hours. 50 per cent of the island’s soil consists of human remains, according to some reports. And, as if this tragedy were not enough, the island later became the home of a very sinister reputation mental hospital. It was locked after some time and now Poveglia is strictly forbidden for anyone to enter.
As if someone in their right mind would want to come to this creepy place…
2 PLUTO’S GATE, TURKEY
Back in the ancient times, people in Hierapolis, Turkey, did not dare to reach Pluto’s Door, because they thought it was a very dangerous place. No-one could survive there, according to the ancient historian Strabo. He wrote after visiting this place that he “drew in sparrows, and they immediately breathed their last and fell.” How cruel it was for him to experiment on poor sparrows like that…
Nonetheless, to everyone’s shock, scientists affirmed the prestige of Pluto Gate in 1965. They found out after calculating the CO2 concentration that at night, when the temperature drops and CO2 is heavier than air, it forms some kind of lake at the bottom of the Window. The concentration reaches its peak at dawn and by getting there any living being risks their life. The site becomes safer at daytime though, because the sun dissipates the gas.
1 FORT KNOX, KENTUCKY, USA
Fort Knox is placed on first place of Forbidden places on earth because of its security. Being home to the larger half of U.S. gold reserves, the Fort Knox is often referred to as the world’s most heavily guarded spot. It has quite a few security measures which can blow the mind of anybody.
The most interesting thing about that is that even none of the staff members can enter the safe. We need to know many combinations to gain access to it, but each member of staff knows only one of them, so that they can only reach the vault with the aid of their colleagues. In addition, since the building is made of concrete-lined granite and reinforced with steel, it can withstand any external attack.