Did you ever wonder whether there still exist off-limits places? After all, we are living in the 21st century. Humankind has even reached the moon, right?
Even if we travel and travel, there’s a chance we never get to visit all the places around the world. And it’s not just because of time or money. As a matter of fact, there are some places that are forbidden and we can’t actually visit, even if we want to! It is illegal to go there, or even worse, so dangerous you could die.
Let’s take a virtual tour of the 10 forbidden places in the world. But before we do, I have to warn you, seriously, we can’t go there, so let’s agree we will explore them right here together. Because to be honest I don’t feel like paying your bail.
10. Snake Island – Brazil
Also known as Ilha da Queimada Grande, Snake Island as you might be imagining is an island overpopulated by snakes. To be more exact, by highly venomous and endemic golden lancehead vipers. Its access is forbidden by the Brazilian government because -and pay attention to this- till 1920 people actually lived on this island. It was the lighthouse keeper and his family. Unfortunately, one day a group of snakes slithered through a window and killed them all, for their poison is one of the most potent in the world, able to melt human flesh under an hour.
9. North Sentinel Island – India
Situated in the Bay of Bengal, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are completely isolated from the rest of the world. The Indian government prohibits getting nearer than 3 miles (5 km). Why? Well, in 2006 a boat with two fishermen drifted too close to the shore so the indigenous people living there killed them. Even when helicopters fly too close, they are threatened with arrows. This behavior gave this indigenous tribe the title of one of the most dangerous tribes in the world.
8. Tomb Of The Qin Shi Huang – China
Okay, imagine you are a Chinese farmer herding your sheep on a regular day and suddenly trip on a huge tomb full of real-sized clay soldiers. Well, that’s how the tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, was discovered in 1974. It is estimated to guard 2,000 clay soldiers unearthed and other 8,000 still uncovered. Visiting this place is strictly forbidden by the Chinese government since they truly respect the emperor’s death and because they fear current technology might damage the ancient irreplaceable relics.
7. Chernobyl – Ukraine
Of course you’ve heard of Chernobyl, the worst nuclear accident in our History. The explosion occurred on April 26, 1986, killing around 28 people. The problem is the radiation leakage which is the reason for this place to be inhabitable for at least 20,000 years. So, yeah, don’t go close to this place for the next years.
6. Vatican Secret Archives – Vatican City
A 52 miles (85 km) area protecting around 53 miles of documents, the Vatican Secret Archives guards confident and priceless information regarding the Catholic Church. The archive granted access to researchers since 1881. And some have had the satisfaction of entering it, but it isn’t easy to get a pass inside.
5. Svalbard Seed Vault – Norway
You might be thinking well, what’s so fascinating about a bunch of seeds? The Svalbard Seed Vault contains 890,000 seeds from around the world so if anything ever happens to our planet, this would be the only survival of humanity. Interested now? The vault is buried around 320 ft (100 meters) into a mountain between Norway and the North Pole. Limited people are granted access to this place, just to deliver more seed samples. In 2017, there was a major alarm since melted permafrost seeped inside but fortunately, it didn’t reach the shelves neither it damaged the seeds.
4. U.N. Buffer Zone – Cyprus
In 1974, Turkish troops invaded Cyprus under Operation Atilla. The U.N. had to interfere to cease fire and declared the island as a “buffer zone”, ergo a neutral area that separates these two hostile nations. The island remains untouched since then, businesses, houses, and even an airport are evidence of a ghost town abandoned for decades.
3. Surtsey Island – Iceland
Surtsey Island is the youngest island ever. It formed in the Atlantic ocean 55 years ago in a volcanic eruption. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. This island presents a unique opportunity for scientists to study the emergence of land and the evolution of an ecosystem, which is exactly the same reason why it is restricted to visitors. In fact, when researchers go there, they have to erase all traces of their presence before leaving the island.
2. North Brother Island – New York
Central Park, the Empire State Building, Times Square, and of course the beloved Statue of Liberty, but did you know that very close to all these attractions there’s one of our list of forbidden places? Well, there is, floating in the East River. Between the Bronx and Rikers Island, the North Brother Island is an uninhabited abandoned place, now functioning as a bird sanctuary. It once was a quarantine hospital for highly contagious illnesses till 1951 when it started to function as a rehabilitation center for drug addicts. Nowadays, access is prohibited, due to the deteriorated buildings which are dangerous for any visitor.
1. Area 51 – Nevada
Did you really believe I was going to leave Area 51 outside of our list? Home of countless conspiracy theories, Area 51 is a secret guardian military base. It wasn’t till 1992 when the U.S. government finally admitted the existence of this place. Yet it hasn’t been revealed what type of research -or experiments- are held inside. Security here is harsh, supposedly there are not only cameras guarding the deserted perimeter but movement sensors too.