For a site that encourages you to get out and explore, this article might seem a bit strange; however, we thought it was quite interesting that there are actual places that you cannot visit. Here’s a list of 21 of such places, listed in no particular order.
21. Lascaux Caves
This location is a setting of complex caves in southwestern France. It’s famous for its Paleolithic cave paintings, which are estimated to be about 17,300 years old, and primarily consists of large animals which lived in the area during the time; although the nearly 2,000 images can be grouped into three main categories: animals, human figures, and abstract signs.
When opened after World War II, the environment of the cave began to change due to the nearly 1,200 visitors per day, presence of light, and variations in air circulation, which cause lichens and crystals to appear on the walls. Therefore, in order to preserve the location, visitation is now prohibited, but there is a replica nearby that tourists can enjoy.
20. North Sentinel Island
This densely forested island is part of the Andaman Islands, located in the Bay of Bengal, is surrounded by coral reefs, lacking any natural harbor. The Sentinelese, a group of indigenous people, populate the island and reject any contact from other people. It is rumored that a couple of fisherman floated near the island and were killed. The Sentinelese are among the last people to remain virtually untouched by modern civilization, and since the population faces threats of infectious disease, of which they have no immunity, as well as violence from intruders, the Indian government has prohibited visitation to the entire island (about the size of Manhattan).
19. Ise Grand Shrine (Ise Jingu), Japan
While not entirely prohibited, you must be a priest or priestess AND a member of the Japanese Imperial Family to enter. The site is dedicated to the goddess Amaterasu, a major deity of the Shinto religion. The only portion in view for the public are the thatched roofs of the structures.
18. Fort Knox
Located north of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, this fort is best known as the site of the United States Bullion Depository, which houses the largest portion of gold reserves. Good luck trying to get and should you be brave enough to break in, you’ll need to consider the solid granite perimeter, as well as a battalion of guards armed with machine guns. Don’t forget you’ll need enough dynamite to blast through the 22-ton vault door.
17. Club 33, Disneyland (Anaheim, California)
Again, while not completely prohibited, and supposing you can even find the entrance, there is a membership fee required in order to enter this private club. If you have a $25,000 to pay the initiation fee, plus $11,000 per year, and have enough patience to be on their waiting list, then you can enjoy one of the many perks of celebrity-spotting. It was original created for dignitaries, investors, and other VIP’s, including Presidents of the United States.
16. Metro 2, Underground Moscow, Russia
A purported secret underground, supposedly built during the time of Joseph Stain, this metro system is rumored to connect the Kremlin with the Federal Security Service Headquarters, among other location of national importance. The local government denies its existence to this day, although the leader of an urban exploration group claims to have found an entrance to this underground system.
15. Mount Weather, Virginia
This is a civilian command facility, used as the center of operations for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Originally an unknown location (except for those who are authorized), it was brought into the public eye when The Washington Post reported the crash of TWA Flight 514 into the facility on December 1, 1974.
14. Vatican Secret Archive, Italy
No ordinary library, some conspiracy theorists believe this location, with more than 50 miles of shelving, houses evidence of extraterrestrial life, while others believe it has in its possession the ancient text that disprove the existence of Jesus. Maybe it houses secret that could discredit or destroy the Church?
Actually, this location is not so secret after all. Previously prohibited to outsiders until 1881, Pope Leo XII opted to open the doors to a select few. Who those select few are remains a mystery, but this sacred vault does contain historical records from the Church, which are technically owned by the Pope.
13. White’s Gentleman Club, England
Located at St. James’ Street, London and founded in 1693, it is the oldest and most exclusive gentleman’s club. Notable members include, Charles (Prince of Wales), Prince William (Duke of Cambridge), and British Prime Minister David Cameron. The club declines to admit women; however, one its most famous chefs was Rose Lewis, and it opened its doors to Queen Elizabeth II for a rare visit in 1991.
Inside the club is an extensive menu, gaming tables, a bar, and more. Prince Charles held his bachelor’s party here before he married Lady Diana Spencer.
12. Room 39, North Korea
Officially known as the Central Committee Bureau 39 or the Korean Workers Party, it is known to be a secretive organization that maintains the “slush fund” for the country’s leader. It is estimated to bring in approximately $500 million to $1 billion per year, and quite possibly involved in illegal activities (not surprised), such as counterfeiting and producing controlled substance, such as heroin.
11. RAF (Royal Air Force) Menwith Hill, England
Located near Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England, this facility provides communications and intelligence reports to the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The site contains a satellite station and a missile warning system.
10. Coca Cola Recipe Vault, Georgia
This is where the secret recipe for the syrup, created in 1886 by Pharmacist John Pemberton, that bottlers combine with carbonated water to make America’s #1 beverage: Coca Cola. You are more than welcome to visit the vault after passing through strict security, but it remains closely guarded, and don’t even think about getting the opportunity to see the recipe. It ain’t gonna happen!
9. Area 51, Nevada
Although the primary purpose of this location is publicly unknown, it is speculated that it supports developmental testing of experimental aircraft and weapons systems, not to mention speculation that it houses alien spacecrafts.
8. Mezhgorye, Russia
This location is home to two Russian military battalions that serve a nuclear missile base. Kinda sorta justifies why you wouldn’t want to visit if you could, which you can’t.
7. Snake Island (Ilha da Queimada Grande), off the coast of Brazil
The name alone would keep me away, but it is said that it is closed off to the public to protect the snake population. It is estimated that there is one snake for every square meter of the environment which has various terrains, ranging from bare rock to rainforest. It sounds beautiful with a temperate climate. Thanks, but no thanks.
6. Surtsey, Iceland
Steer clear. This island was formed by a volcanic eruption that began in 1963 and lasted until 1967. The only people allowed on the island are volcanologists, botanists, and biologists.
5. Google Data Center, Oregon
This place contains all of our data, which is why nobody is allowed to visit, unless you want someone stealing your information. Besides, it’s heavily guarded just like any other secure location should be.
4. Tomb of Qin Shi Huang, China
Qin Shi Huang was known for creating the first unified nation of China before his death in 210 B.C. The eventual opening of the tomb depends on the government and scientists, who are working on how to properly excavate the area. One wrong move can result in loss of irreplaceable information. Never mind the fact that scientists have detected considerable amounts of mercury in the area.
3. Bank of England Vaults, London
This is the central bank of the United Kingdom, and it’s the second oldest in the world. You can get in if you have the key, which is 90cm long! However, if you wanted to get the key, you’d have to know the names of some of the employees, which is kept secret.
2. Bohemian Grove, California
It’s famous for its secrecy and high profile members. Located in Monte Rio, California, it is said that it was responsible for the Manhattan Project.
1. Pine Gap, Australia
This is actually a satellite tracking station used by Australia and the United States. It’s the only prohibited area in Australia. With over 800 employees, it controls satellites hovering over China, Russia, and the Middle East.