45 Locations Across The Globe Where Humans Are Forbidden To Go
We are used to hearing about a lot of interesting places around the world that we can visit. And when we find these locations interesting to us, we get excited to place our next trip there. But what about those places we can’t add to our travel list? What about those locations we are forbidden to enter? It is hard to imagine such locations existing in the world, yet some of these places include historical sites that are so fragile and unsafe for human presence. Others are military camps that want only their staff to access. And others are locations that none of us would wish to visit.
However, just like the forbidden fruit, these places attract curious travelers like magnets, as many wish to explore these banned lands. For the sake of your own life, it’s definitely better to stay away from these locations. Let’s look at some of the most interesting places people are forbidden to visit unless they are researchers, military personnel, or scientists.
1. Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway
This vault, famously known as the doomsday vault, is one of the most significant places for all of us. The vault stores over 102 million seed plants that exist in the world. But why is it under high security? Well, if something tragic changed our green planet into a desert, these seeds could help restore our natural green vegetation.
The vault is built to withstand any disaster and is high above sea level. As a result, even when the sea level rises, the seeds are still safe. One of the most interesting facts about this vault is that it does not discriminate against anyone based on their politics or any other factors, because even Russia and North Korea have contributed seeds.
2. Morgan Island in South Carolina
When most of us see monkeys, we usually think of a tropical land miles away, but surprisingly, they are here in the USA. Appropriately, 4500 rhesus monkeys call Morgan Island home. Of course, they are not native to those lands; they were relocated from Puerto Rico. This was meant to protect this species from the outbreak of herpes virus B infection.
Before the monkeys arrived here, the island was uninhabited. Today, it is prohibited for people to visit this island for the safety of the monkeys. Although they look cute in pictures, they are not friendly to humankind. Only a small number of researchers are allowed to set foot on this island.
3. Lascaux Caves in France
Although the caves are a UNESCO patrimony site, these caves are not open to the public. In 1963, France banned the public from visiting these caves because of a fungal invasion destroying the cave preservation. Why are caves so important? It is because the caves are famously known to give insight into the history of mankind.
These caves are home to over 600 examples of prehistoric art. All this prehistoric art dates back to 20,000 years ago. Although you can’t enter the caves, you can still enjoy the same experience in the museum. The government of France built a replica next to the current caves.
4. Vatican Secret Archives in Vatican City
If you want to know the secrets surrounding the Catholic church, you will have to keep waiting. This is because the Vatican’s secret archives are kept under high security. It is believed that the archive contains biblical scrolls dating back to the 8th century. These scrolls include papal account books, the letter of Mary Queen of Scots written before she was executed, and a letter from Michelangelo to Pope Julius II, among others.
This mysterious vault in the Vatican is located underground. Rumors say that the vault contains over 55 miles worth of shelves. No one is allowed to access the vault except the selected few researchers with permission. But even these researchers are limited in the documents they can research. It seems like we will never know some secrets.
5. Pluto’s Gate in Turkey
Turkey has some of the best places to visit globally, but there are some off-limit areas. Some of these areas include Pluto’s Gate, dating back to ancient times. Even during those ancient times, nobody dared to go near it.
Legendary stories say that nothing can survive there. Historians tested this myth by throwing sparrows inside, and they instantly died. In 1965, scientists confirmed this legendary story. Their research found out that high levels of CO2 formed a lake at the gate, especially at night when the temperatures are cold enough.
6. North Brother Island in New York
For sure, it sounds like a fascinating and welcoming place. But this place has a horrible history. The first people to become refugees from this island were 1,000 passengers whose ship sank, killing hundreds. Later, this island became a hospital for people with communicable viral diseases like Mary Mallon or Typhoid Mary.
Today, the island remains an abandoned ghost town, and it has become a sanctuary for birds. It is not clear if Mary or Mary Mallon haunts the island. If this is true, it will make sense why we are forbidden to visit this island.
7. North Sentinel Island in India
This island is famous for its beautiful turquoise blue waters and white sandy beaches. You may think this is a perfect destination to tour, but you will not be allowed by the natives of this island known as the Sentinelese.
In 2004, a huge tsunami affected a huge area of the Indian coast. The country sent a coast guard over to the island to assess the damage, and he reported men emerging to shoot arrows at the helicopter.
8. Chichen Itza Pyramid in Mexico
Curious why this one is on the list? Although a lot of tourists come to visit the Pyramids of Chichen Itza every year, the area is forbidden to enter. People are only allowed to visit this area; you cannot climb to the pyramid’s top. This wasn’t the case until 2006. Unfortunately, a tragic accident occurred here, and it caused them to ban people from climbing to the top of the pyramid.
The pyramid has steps on both sides, but they have eroded with time, posing a great danger. Although it is not as fascinating as it was centuries ago, it is still breathtaking.
9. Area 51 in Nevada
We all know the famous Area 51 in the United States. It is believed that this mysterious location is used to harbor alien spaceships and other mysterious objects Also, there are rumors that authorities are using this area to examine a spacecraft that crashed in Roswell, New Mexico, which is another mysterious location.
On official records, 51 is used by the US air force and CIA as an experiment and trial space due to its remote location. If this is true, it will make sense why this area is so secretive.
10. Poveglia, Italy
I bet you have never heard a terrifying history more than that of Poveglia, Italy, and you would never dare go there even if you were allowed. Poveglia is located between Venice and Lido. It was used in the early 1700s as a quarantine facility for people with Bubonic plague. Most of those people who had this plague came here to die.
In the last century, Poveglia became a sanctuary for the mentally ill. There are rumors that doctors conduct terrible experiments on patients. Today, the island is left abandoned for a good reason, because it is considered to be the most haunted place in Italy.
11. Mezhgorye in Russia
Russia is one of the largest countries, with hundreds of ghost towns and mysterious sites, and special places you can visit. Mezhgorye is one of the small hidden cities in the southern Ural mountains forbidden to visitors.
Two battalions patrol the town, and it is believed to be home to nuclear missiles, but that isn’t confirmed. However, it would make sense why this area is secret and under tight security, if this is true. The Kremlin claimed that the area is used as a bunker for Russian leaders and a vault for the country’s treasures.
12. Surtsey in Iceland
Surtsey, Iceland is the world’s youngest island after a volcanic eruption from 1963 to 1967. The area was closed to the public simply because researchers wanted to learn how the ecosystem forms without human interference.
Researchers have observed fungi, birds, invertebrates, and molds. However, researchers cannot bring anything with them from the mainland since it will disrupt their research.
13. Niihau Island in Hawaii
Hawaii is among the world’s top destinations, but there exists a Hawaiian island where no visitor is allowed. You cannot visit Niihau Island because Elizabeth Sinclair purchased the land back in 1864. Since then, it has been privately owned by her family.
In 1952, there was an outbreak of polio, and to stop it from spreading, no one was allowed to enter or leave this island. The good news is that no one got sick on this island. To date, people need permission to visit the secluded island, but this is not easy even for the rich.
14. Heard Island Volcano in Australia
Heard Island Volcano is located between Antarctica and Madagascar, but it is within Australian territory. Although it looks like a good place to tour in this image, it is dangerous for the public to visit as it has an active volcano. In 2000, scientists noticed a huge lava flow from the volcano.
Furthermore, the island is known to have poor weather conditions, and the boat trip to get there takes two weeks even from the closest landmass. Only the National Geographic team and researchers are allowed to enter this island.
15. Fort Knox in Kentucky
Most of us have heard about Fort Knox, but only a few have managed to go inside. This place is one of the most heavily guarded locations in the world since it stores. the largest portion of US gold reserves. This place is famous for its insane security measures, and none of the staff members are allowed to access the vault.
The building is made of concrete, lined granite, and reinforced steel. To access the vault, you will need a combination of security checks. Staff members only know one variety, so there would have to be a group effort to access the vault.
16. Bhangarh Fort in Rajasthan, India
Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan, is not 100 percent forbidden. Visitors are not allowed to enter this place from sunset to sunrise. During the day, tourists can take photos of the beautiful Rajasthani architecture, but as the sun sets, you will need to clear as fast as possible, especially if you are scared of ghosts.
The Indian government has deemed the fort haunted by ghosts since the 17th century. The legendary ghost stories and curses of this fort will chill down your spine. Those daredevils who broke this rule disappeared mysteriously, so we wouldn’t recommend setting foot in this place after sunset.
17. Grand Shrine of Ise in Japan
There are over 80,000 shrines in Japan, but none of them are as important as the Grand Shrine of Ise. This shrine is the most expensive because of its architecture. Interestingly, the architect did not use any nails.
This type of shrine is built every 20 years to symbolize death and rebirth. No one is allowed inside as the place is so holy. Unless you are a priest or from the Japanese imperial family, you will probably only see it from the other side of the fence.
18. Mausoleum Of Qin Shi Huang in China
The tomb of the emperor Qin Shi Huang was discovered by luck when they found the terracotta army in 1974. To date, the tomb remains unexcavated. This was the most significant discovery of all time, but the Chinese are afraid to excavate it since modern technology could ruin the tomb. As a result, the Chinese government forbids people from accessing it.
All people know for now is that the tomb consists of complex networks, and it is filled with items that the emperor may need in the afterlife. There are also rumors that the tomb is full of booby traps to ward off invaders.
19. Pravcicka Brana in The Czech Republic
Pravcicka Brana was the most famous attraction in the Czech Republic until 1982. After that, it was forbidden to the public.
Pravcicka Brana was closed because of its accelerated erosion, which would cause the beauty of the park to collapse. Although banning people from the area will not completely stop the erosion, it has helped to slow down the process.
20. Bohemian Grove in The United States
If you want to enter the 2,700 acre camping ground in Monte Rio, California, you will have to be a member of the Bohemian groove club. This club is an exclusive all-gentleman’s club. Every year in July, the Bohemian grove hosts some of the world’s most prominent men for a two-week retreat.
Some of the Bohemian club members include presidents, government officials, artists, and business leaders. Whatever happens in this club remains top secret, and you cannot talk about business while you are on these camping grounds. Because of these rules, most people wouldn’t want to be part of this club anyway.
21. The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem
The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, Israel, is one of the holiest places in the world for a few religions, dating back to the first century. The Temple Mount, which is located in the golden-topped shrine, is a significant feature in the Jerusalem skyline.
However, there are too many rules surrounding this place, like if you are not a Muslim, you cannot enter the building, but you can get a closer look at it during the visiting hours.
22. The Coca-Cola Recipe Vault in The US
Since the 1800s, the iconic Coca-Cola soda has been a beloved soft drink. The beverage is known all around the world with many flavors unique to particular countries, but the United States is the one that has the secret Coke formula.
The incredibly secretive and secure vault is not only armed by guards, but also requires a hand scan and secret combination as well. With all the security, the secret Coca-Cola recipe would be impossible to access. However, it definitely makes us wonder whose hands open the vault.
23. The Queen's Bedroom in The UK
You may find it weird to think about someone’s bedroom being a tourist attraction to visit. But when you are the Queen of England, people are curious about every aspect of your life. People are allowed to take tours to the Queen’s primary Buckingham residence, but her bedroom is off-limits.
This residence has been England’s monarchy since 1837, and only one person has tried to break into the Queen’s room. Michael Fagan scaled a 20-foot wall and wiggled through a sewage pipe to break into the Queen’s room to win a bet with his friends.
24. Disney Club 33 in California
If you are a Disney fan, this might bother you a little bit. Disney’s Club 33 is the most exclusive club in the Disney empire, and Walt Disney created it to entertain his business associates. Sadly, Walt never got a chance to use the club since he passed away before the project was completed.
Despite Walt’s death, the club opened anyway, and it used to be the only place in the park that served liquor. The only way to join the club is through an invitation and a $100,000 check to solidify your membership. On top of that, there are $30,000 annual fees.
25. Royal Air Force Menwith Hill in The UK
Although there is no clear information on what the Royal Air Force facility is used for today, we know it was once used as an intelligence-gathering facility and for espionage during the Cold War.
This secret facility opened in 1954, and it has driven many conspiracy theorists crazy for years. What goes on behind that barbed wire? And what is with those golf-ball shaped structures? We may never know.
26. U.N. Buffer Zone in Cyprus
The U.N. created the “Buffer Zone” during the rise of the civil war between the Turkish and the Greeks. This zone in the capital was meant to separate the two communities after they agreed to the ceasefire.
The area became no man’s land, and everything was frozen in time. People abandoned whatever was inside those walls. Note that this area is not yet a historical site.
27. Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion in Ethiopia
Many rumors surround the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion, like the ten commandments are hidden here within the Ark of the Covenant. Another rumor is that only one person was allowed to see the Ark of the Covenant. For this reason, most of us will never know if this is true.
The person who is allowed to see the Ark must be an appointed guardian monk who a predecessor can only choose. The church dates back to the 4th century, and the church grounds have the remains of the Emperor of Ethiopia. We hope the monk will write a book to tell the secrets hidden within those walls to the rest of the world.
28. Chernobyl's Exclusion Zone in Ukraine
Unless you want to suffer from cancer or radiation burns, we wouldn’t say Chernobyl’s Exclusion Zone is a great place to visit. In 1986, after Chernobyl’s nuclear disaster, evacuations began, but it was too late. The damage had already spread to an 18 mile radius, turning the area into a ghost town.
Even 36 years after the disaster, Chernobyl is still off-limits due to high levels of radiation. Some people get special permission to visit this ghost town, but it is not easy even for those who have money.
29. Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center in The United States
Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center is the safest place in the world for any event. It would be the first place government officials would choose to hide in case of an apocalypse.
These bunkers were built during the Cold War, and they were designed to protect government officials and national treasures. Today, the building is entirely off-limits to the public. Only those who help run it are allowed on the inside.
30. White Gentlemen's Club in The UK
If you’ve watched the show, The Crown on Netflix, this location may be familiar to you. This spot began as a chocolate shop then turned into a gentleman’s club for gambling. This club is incredibly exclusive and only for society’s most elite.
White’s is considered to be the most executive and private club in the world. If you are not a member, you’ll never know the secrets that occur behind those walls. The annual membership dues are $112,000 and members are only selected among those who have attended Eton then either Oxford or Cambridge. Very prestigious indeed.
31. Ilha da Queimada Grande in Brazil
Famously known as snake island, it is home to a huge population of snakes. It is estimated that there is a snake every single square meter of the island. These snakes are not just some harmless grass snakes, but among them is the world’s most dangerous species known as the golden lancehead, whose venom is known to melt flesh around the bite.
It is logical why the Brazilian government forbids visitors from entering the island. However, researchers who deal with snakes can enter under one condition: they must have a doctor on their team.
32. Pine Gap in Australia
Australia has numerous beautiful places you can visit, but there is one hidden place you are not allowed to enter in Australia. Pine Gap is a top-secret military base run by the US government
The base is used to control satellites that collect all information about airstrikes around the world. The facility was opened during the Cold War, and most people thought it was a space exploration facility. Unless you have special access, you won’t be allowed to enter the area.
33. Mormon Church Secret Vault in Utah
Even the Mormon Church has a hidden vault of secrets and records. This vault is located in Little Cottonwood Canyon in Utah and is hidden on the side of the Granite Mountains. Built in 1965, the vault is of military-grade quality making it very secure.
Recent reports indicate that over 3.6 billion images and digital files are held within the vault. Obviously no one without special permission can access the secure Mormon files. We definitely wonder what records are inside and why they have to be so secretive.
34. Mariana Trench in The Pacific Ocean
Situated off the coast of the Philippines, Mariana Trench is one of the deepest trenches in the ocean. The trench stretches 7 miles deep, and only bubbles of sulfur and carbon dioxide are seen making their way above the ocean surface. This is the reason why this pace is off-limit.
Although 80% of the ocean remains unexplored, this is the deepest part of the ocean scientists have ever found.
35. Moscow Metro-2 in Russia
Did you know underneath the city of Moscow is a second hidden city? Yes, there are secret underground tunnels, informally known as Metro-2 that are 600-feet below the ground. They were built in preparation for future nuclear disasters.
The underground system was built during the first few years of Stalin’s reign. The lines depicted in the map above connect important destinations together such as government buildings, secret service HQ, and the airport. While no one truly knows what Metro-2 looks like, we don’t really want to find out as that means a nuclear disaster has occurred.
36. Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean
Once a territory of the United Kingdom, Diego Garcia was utilized to settle a $14 million debt with America. The secluded island was transformed into a US military base, and they are now the only people permitted to enter.
Though it may look like a tropical paradise, Diego Garcia is loaded with national secrets. There are 654 structures on this small island, and 4,000 military staff members who work there. It is thought to be utilized as a mysterious military jail; however, no outsider has managed to get near it enough to be able to say for sure.
37. Woomera Test Range in Australia
The Woomera Test Range in Australia is so massive that the whole nation of Portugal could fit within its bounds. The enormous plot of land is used to test bombs and rockets, which is why they don’t allow civilians to enter the region.
Who would want to go to a rocket test site anyway? It wouldn’t be the most secure excursion, so it’s anything but a spot you would want to visit. We are certain they are trying some classified weapons there too, so if you’re not on the list, it’s not worth trying to get in!
38. Mecca in Saudi Arabia
Mecca is at the heart of the Islamic faith and is considered the holiest spot for Muslims. Many people would cherish the opportunity to see this old city; however, it is only open to those who follow Islam. The city is loaded with history and religious significance, yet those attempting to enter it who aren’t Muslim can be hit with a fine or worse.
Many individuals accept that these destinations are for worship only, not tourism. While foreigners won’t ever know what it feels like to explore this city, there are plenty of other beautiful religious monuments to discover around the world.
39. Room 39 in North Korea
Visiting North Korea at all is difficult, and we don’t know many individuals who would need to gain entry. If you do gain entry, the places you can visit as a tourist are restricted, but one, in particular, is off-limits for all but a select few. Room 39 is within the government structure and is considered the country’s most mysterious location.
Rumors abound as to what goes on in this mysterious room, including document forgery, the creation and managing of narcotics, and other criminal operations. However, nobody on the outside knows the reality. Few people know what goes on in North Korea at all, so Room 39 will probably stay a secret for eternity.
40. Heart Reef in Australia
Heart Reef, part of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, is a strong contender for “the world’s most captivating place.” As the name suggests, the reef is naturally formed like a heart, and it’s been the subject of incalculable Instagram posts and tourism ads. It might very well be iconic, but you can’t visit the famous spot up close.
Divers and swimmers have been restricted from the spot to shield it from harm. If you want to snap that perfect holiday photo without harming a sensitive environment, you’ll need to pay for a helicopter ride.
41. The Korean Demilitarized Zone in Korea
Nobody would want to visit this spot for a holiday. As the name implies, the Korean Demilitarized Zone is not a place civilians can visit. This portion of land separates North and South Korea and acts as a connecting point between the two nations where they meet for important matters.
The site is surrounded by armed military officers and is one of the most heavily guarded and fortified borders on Earth. You can get within sight of the borders, but you cannot get too close, and going inside would be impossible.
42. Uluru (Formerly Ayers Rock) in Australia
One of the world’s most popular prohibited spots hasn’t been off-limits for that long. In October of 2019, Uluru (once known as Ayers Rock), shut down to the public. People had been traveling to the outback for quite a long time just to climb the iconic rock. Before it was a vacation spot, Uluru was hallowed ground to the local indigenous people.
Following petitions from the Anangu people, the elders of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park at long last reported plans in 2017 to restrict climbers from the site permanently. You can still visit this beautiful sacred place, but climbing the rock formation is prohibited.
43. Montserrat’s Designated Exclusion Zone in the Caribbean
Fortunately, nobody was around when Mawson Peak became active, but that wasn’t the case on the Caribbean island of Montserrat during the 1990s. When the Soufrière Hills stratovolcano awoke in 1995, the neighboring town of Plymouth was deserted as eruptions rolled out.
While the volcano currently isn’t as ferocious as it was a few decades ago, there’s a possibility it could erupt once more, which is why the island has been declared an exclusion zone.
44. Maya Bay in Thailand
Maya Bay in Thailand was closed down to protect its ecosystem from human activity. Though it is forbidden at the moment, this rule is temporary. Following the release of the Leonardo DiCaprio film The Beach, the stunning bay turned into a famous holiday location.
The beach was drawing in millions of individuals a year at its pinnacle, which cleared out a ton of the coral local to the place. As a result, Thailand closed Maya Bay in June of 2018 to allow the environment an opportunity to recuperate. The irony is, The Beach warned of the damage done when special places like this are revealed to hordes of tourists.
45. Dulce Base in the USA
Dulce is a small town in northern New Mexico, along the state’s border to Colorado. The town’s population consists of 2,600 Native Americans. What is most mysterious about this location is what allegedly occurs underground here.
Many conspiracy theories spawn around Dulce Base. It is believed that aliens and human-animal crossbreeds are being tested and created in underground labs in this area. However, we will probably never know what actually goes on here as the base has intense security measures, making it one of the most forbidden locations in the world.