Forbidden Locations Around The World That We’ll Never See In Person

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By: Lisa Lee | Published: Nov 19, 2022

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.

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.

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Source: Time

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.

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.

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Source: Mieciu K2/Wikimedia Commons

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.

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.

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Source: thelibrarycardmuseum

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.

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.

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Source: Arkeonews

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.

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.

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Source: Jen Kirby/New York Magazine

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.

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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.

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

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.

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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 since 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.

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Source: Shutterstock

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.

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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.

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Source: Hulton Archive

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.

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Poveglia In 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.

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Source: Marco Secchi/Getty Images

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.

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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.

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Source: Wikipedia

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.

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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.

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Source: The Surtsey Research Society

Researchers have observed fungi, birds, invertebrates, and molds. However, researchers cannot bring anything with them from the mainland since it will disrupt their research.

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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.

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Source: ​​Pinterest

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.

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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.

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Source: Antarctica.gov.au

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.

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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. It is also famous for its insane security measures, and none of the staff members are allowed to access the vault.

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Source: Wikipedia

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.

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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.

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Source: Wikipedia

The Indian government has deemed the fort haunted by ghosts since the 17th century. The legendary ghost stories and curses of this fort will send chills down your spine. Those daredevils who broke this rule disappeared mysteriously, so we wouldn’t recommend setting foot in this place after sunset.

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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.

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

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.

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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.

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Source: Wikipedia

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.

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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.

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

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.

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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.

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

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.

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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.

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Source: Wikipedia

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.

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The Queen's Bedroom In The UK

You may find it weird to think about someone’s bedroom being a tourist attraction to visit. However, 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.

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Source: Pinterest

This residence has been in 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.

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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.

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Source: Disney Tourist Blog

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.

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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.

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

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.

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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.

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

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.

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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.

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

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.

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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.

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

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.

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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.

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

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.

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