These places have been completely cut off and restricted from the outside world.
If you're dreaming of touring Fort Knox, you can add that to your bucket list of "things that will never happen." During WWII, it safeguarded the U.S. Declaration of Independence as well as the U.S. constitution.
There are many conspiracy theorists who have made claims about what lies inside. What we do actually know about Fort Knox is that it protects America's gold.
Inside the Fortress
Underneath the fortress-like building lies the gold vault, which is lined with granite walls and further protected by a blast-proof 20-ton door.
If you are crazy enough to try and break-in, you will be met with a dozen different security measures. Tough luck trying to get past even just one of them!
The Mormon Church Secret Vault
Excavated 600 feet into the north side of Little Cottonwood Canyon is the Granite Mountains Record Vault, which the Mormon Church has ownership of.
The vault serves multiple purposes, such as storage for records, a center for administrative offices, shipping and receiving docks, and a laboratory for restoring microfilm.
Granite Mountain Vault
Records stored in the Mormon Church's Granite Mountain Record Vault include 2.4 million rolls of microfilm with around 3.5 billion images of family history and genealogical records.
Now you know that when the Mormon Church says they’re a family-centered faith, they are by no means joking.
The Yanomami Village
This photo of a Yanomami village was captured by a helicopter. The villagers had probably never seen an aircraft before, as they are one of the most remote groups of people in the world.
The village can be found on the Brazil-Venezuela border, on the Brazilian side.
The Yanomami people have most likely never made contact with the outside world. Their village is believed to include around 100 members who live under this circular hut-like structure.
There are an estimated 22,000 Yanomami in Brazil, many of whom live in remote villages with little contact with the outside modern world. We can imagine that the sight of a helicopter was probably very unsettling.
The Zone Rouge, which means “The Red Zone,” is a group of off-limits areas located in France's northeastern part. The French government blocked off these areas following WWI.
The areas were deemed as too damaged by the war to be appropriate for human use.
Return to Nature
Instead of trying to revive the land, the French government decided to just block it off to humans and return it to nature.
The Zone Rouge is rumored to have had a considerable amount of human and animal remains on the land. Its danger lies in the fact that millions of pieces of ammunition are still scattered about.
Svalbard Seed Vault
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a seed bank located on Spitsbergen, an island that belongs to Norway. It is located in the middle of the Arctic and situated close to the North Pole.
The vault stores multitudes of seeds in the chance that a global catastrophe wipes out most of the earth’s crops.
The vault is built 390 feet deep into a sandstone mountain. These seeds will be kept safe for an estimated couple hundred years.
It’s fully computerized and is monitored remotely. The vault opens only to special visitors and for the few days a year when it receives new seeds.
Ise Grand Shrine
Over 100 shrines dedicated to the goddess Amaterasu-Omikami are placed in this sacred space in Japan. It was built around 4BC. Legends claim that the goddess chose this site due to its peacefulness and isolation.
The shrine holds several spiritual and sacred objects that are of great importance like the Sacred Mirror of Yata no Kagami.
Only for Royals
The only people granted admission are priests and priestesses of the royal family. Plus, you’d be up against the Japanese military and an intense-looking fence.
The public can see the thatched roofs of the shrine. The structure is destroyed and rebuilt every 20 years, following the Shinto belief of death and rebirth.
Just off the coast of Iceland lies a volcanic island called Surtsey. It has been the subject of scientific research for years, as the island has evolved from a volcanic landscape that was barren of life, to a place where plants and animals are now thriving.
Due to its significance to scientific research, people are prohibited from visiting the island.
Not Open to Humans
Visitors would pose a risk to the natural processes happening which currently remain unaffected by outsiders. Other than various scientists who come to do research, the island is not visited by humans.
There are approximately 12 species of birds, grey seals, orcas, and some types of plant living on this volcanic island.
North Sentinal Island
On this island, you will find the Sentinelese people, one of the last groups of remote humans who remain completely disconnected from the outside world.
Travel to the island is strictly forbidden. You won't want to visit the island for several reasons. First of all, the Sentinelese people are known to act violently when outsiders approach.
In 1991, there was successful contact made with the help of gifts and offerings. However, the Indian government decided that there was no benefit to the interactions that would jeopardize their health.
So, in 1996 visitation to the island was officially prohibited. In the last 12 years, there have been two fatal incidences taking place on the island.
White Gentleman's Club
The White Gentleman's Club is the oldest gentleman's club in London and is widely regarded as the most exclusive club in the city. The club was founded in 1693.
Currently, the list of members includes such men as Prince Charles of Wales, Conrad Black, and Prince William the Duke of Cambridge. The only woman who has been in the club was Queen Elizabeth II.
The building has three stories, including a basement, an attack, a private dining room, and a billiard room.
To be a member, you need to dish out $85,000 a year. Plus, you have to be invited to get in. However, the elite rotating menu probably has the men forgetting how much they’re spending.
Area 51 is the apparent location of secret military aircraft, high security, and UFO sightings. The area is an outpost of the Edwards Air Force Base, however, the main purpose is unknown.
It is thought that the area is where the army tries out their black projects, testing out secret weapons and aircraft which haven’t yet been completed.
The site is also known as the “Groom Box” due to its close location to Groom Lake. The area measures 6- by 10-miles, an area where the airspace is also restricted. Unauthorized military planes caught flying over the area may face punishment.
The government is very secretive about the area which has led conspiracy theorists to formulate different theories. The area is monitored by cameras and underground motion sensors 24/7.
The Coca-cola recipe is so sacred and secretive that it stores it in a big closed vault where entering is most definitely off limits.
The drink was first created in 1886 and was one of many “cola” drinks on the market that claim to have health benefits.
The Top-Secret Recipe
The recipe for the drink was protected in the Guaranty Bank in New York from 1919 to 1925 and then transferred to the Trust Company Bank where it was held until 2011.
Nowadays, it is on exhibit for visitors to come close to, but they won't be able to make out what the recipe says as there are thousands of pounds of metal preventing onlookers from seeing it.
Chapel of the Ark of the Covenant
According to the Book of Exodus, the Ark of the Covenant is a gold-covered wooden chest that contains the two stone tablets of the Ten Commandments. It is rumored that this Ethiopian chapel is the final resting place of the Ark of the Covenant.
Due to the righteousness of the area, nobody is allowed to see the Ark, including even the Ethiopian president.
There is a single monk who watches over the ark and never leaves the chapel grounds. You may have heard of the Ark of the Covenant, even if you haven’t read the bible. Are you a fan of Indiana Jones?
Well, the professor-archaeologist-adventurer in the Indiana Jones movies "Raiders of the Lost Ark," goes searching for the Ark of the Covenant.
Google Data Centers
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the billion-dollar technology company Google, takes some pretty heavy measures to protect its data, both physical and digital ones.
If you try to step foot near the data center, you will face fences, checkpoints, badges, and biometric iris scans, just to name a few.
On top of that, there are other security measures in place to keep out unwanted guests, with less than 1 percent of Google's 60,000 employees allowed to enter any of the company's data centers.
All existing data centers use about 2 percent of the world’s electricity, so Google set out to protect their data in a greener and more environmentally friendly way. They use wind turbines in addition to energy-efficient facilities.
Jiangsu National Museum
Have you ever heard of a museum where only the country's citizens are allowed in? At the Jiangsu National Security Education Museum, only Chinese have the right to enter. Foreigners are strictly prohibited.
The museum stores sensitive spy information, with several of its halls display the history of Chinese security devices and practices throughout time all the way back to 1927.
An employee of the museum who spoke on the condition of anonymity confirmed that the museum houses things like classified documents, guns disguised as everyday objects, weapons, and uniforms.
People who appear to be Westerners are turned away from the museum, however, those who have Chinese features can usually enter without being probed.
On April 26th, 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear destruction was the deadliest and biggest nuclear power plant accident in history. Eventually, an explosion occurred during a routine test.
The power plant exploded after the reactor's tests were done incorrectly, and the operators lost control. The city of Chernobyl was evacuated shortly after the disaster.
Due to the health risk imposed by traveling to the radiation affected zone, travel to Chernobyl is highly restricted. The Exclusion Zone includes a 19-mile circle around the accident site, which is virtually a ghost town.
Ukrainian officials estimate that the Exclusion Zone won't be safe for human residency for another 20,000 years.
Bank of England Vaults
The Bank of England is one of the most powerful institutions in the UK due to its sheer size, responsibilities, and holdings.
They hold 5,134 tonnes of gold which is estimated to have a market value of £200 billion. The value suggests that the vault could hold as much as 3% of the world's gold mined throughout human history.
Visiting the vaults is strictly off-limits unless you’re a member of the security team or an employee. Or if you’re Queen Elizabeth who recently got the honors of visiting the facility.
If you ever were to find the comically large keys, you would still need a password to enter the facility.
RAF Menwith Hill
The Royal Air Force Menwith Hill is an air force station in England that contains an extensive satellite ground station. It has been referred to as the largest electronic monitoring station on Earth.
Menwith Hill houses many satellites owned and operated by the US National Reconnaissance Office.
Global Spy Network?
Activists have spoken out against the activities taking place at the station, because of such programs as the ECHELON Interception System – a system that leaks into private and commercial communications.
In 1999, the BBC released a report that the Australian Government confirmed a global spying network that can intercept any communication on Earth, with the USA and Britain being the chief protagonists.
Metro-2 is the informal name for the apparent secret underground metro system which runs in parallel to the public Moscow Metro. The system was purportedly started during the time of Joseph Stalin’s ruling and was given the code name D-6 by the KGB.
The Russian government is unwilling to comment on the existence of Metro-2.
Rumor has it that Joseph Stalin ordered the secretive metro to be built for Russian secret services and heads of state to use. There are reportedly four lines connecting a central location to KGB outposts.
Whether it really exists is still a mystery. Recently, demolition of the supposed spot of the Metro-2 uncovered a tunnel that could be part of a larger system.
The Australian Earth station, also known as Pine Gap, is located about 18 kilometers southwest of Alice Springs' town. Both Australia and the United States run the station.
The facility contains a large computer complex with 14 radomes protecting antennas and employs over 800 people. The facility's chief at the time of his service was a CIA officer.
The strategically significant location of Central Australia is able to control United States spy satellites as they pass over one-third of the globe. Due to the area’s very remote location, spy ships passing in international waters are unable to intercept the signal.
The facility is a critical component of the local economy with most operations being overseen by the CIA. The location is critical as it controls satellites that pass over countries that America has a vested interest in like China, Russia, and the Middle East.
A conspiracy theory claims that a jointly-operated human and alien underground facility exists under Archuleta Mesa on the Colorado-New Mexico border.
Dulce Base is supposedly an underground facility operated by aliens and humans together- one big happy working family.
Paul Bennewitz, a businessman from Albuquerque, New Mexico believed that he was receiving alien communications in the 1970s and 1980s, and became convinced that there was an underground base.
UFO conspirators of course believed the reports. However, while an underground base may actually exist, it probably isn’t the alien-human joint operation that Bennewitz reported.
Room 39 is a secretive North Korean party organization that tries to find ways to maintain the foreign currency fund for the country's leaders, first Kim II-sung, then, Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un.
The organization allegedly is involved in illegal activities like counterfeiting $100 bills, producing controlled substances, and international insurance fraud.
North Korea's Seclusion
From these activities, they make between $500 million and $1 billion per year or more. Because of North Korea’s seclusion, it is difficult to assess the information.
Room 39 is the largest of three impactful “Third Floor offices” along with Office 35 tasked with intelligence and Office 38 which handles legal financial activities. Room 39 is thought to be situated inside a ruling Workers' Party building in Pyongyang.
Mezhgorye is a secluded town in the Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia. It is not certain what purpose the complex serves, but it's assumed that a huge underground bunker exists in the chance of a nuclear disaster.
The American government discovered the structure's existence in 1992. Still, the Russian government has kept quiet about its real purpose and the operations carried out there.
The Russian military chose this middle-of-nowhere location to store its nuclear weapons following the Cold War. The nuclear warheads stored there were SS-23s, which are about 365 times the power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.
Many believe that construction of the site began in the 1970s and was used as a receptacle for Russian treasures, as a food storage area, and as a nuclear bunker for the military.
Snake Island is located off the coast of Brazil. Its varied rocky and rainforest terrains are home to many critically endangered snakes- hence its name.
The name of the snakes that live on the island is golden lanceheads. Due to there being only one species on the island, the snakes are at high risk for inbreeding.
Because of the high number of snakes on the island, the Brazilian Navy decided to restrict public entry to the island, the intention being both to protect visitors from the venomous species while also protecting the snakes against human presence.
Brazil is amazing, but you should probably skip this destination on your trip.
Vatican Secret Archive
The Vatican Secret Archive stores many important documents, some of which hold great historical significance. Some believe that it also hides important pieces of history.
We do know what some of the contents are: Galileo’s trial transcript, letters from Abraham Lincoln, and King Henry VIII letters.
The Hidden Archives
The archives were created by Pope Paul V in 1612 and 400 years later, some of those documents are finally on display. However, it is uncertain as to whether the church is hiding documents that shine an unfavorable light on the Church.
Tourists, journalists, students, and armchair historians are never granted admission. Only scholars and even their access expire after six months.
Every year, in mid-July, Bohemian Grove opens its gates for a three-weekend camp inviting the most important men in the world to partake.
Access is granted by invitation only to artists, musicians, heads of state, media execs, and other people in power. Definitely not your average club.
The rituals and symbols surrounding this secretive society are quite shady. Those who have managed to infiltrate the secret encampment have not said the best things about the sights, sounds, and activities taking place there.
Some suggest that there is something cult-like taking place or that the influential figures take control over the world from their camp.
Disney Club 33
While this club doesn’t have a secretive or shady reputation, it requires one to be filthy rich to get in. It’s located at 33 Royal Street in Disneyland.
Those with membership to the club and their guests can enjoy exclusive access to resort experiences, which vary depending on the type of membership one has.
14 Year Waiting List
The Club first opened in 1967. As of 2011, there was a 14-year waiting list for new members. In order to join, you need to pay a $25,000 initiation fee as well as an additional $10,000 annual fee.
In recent times, the Club made headlines after it sent out 100 exclusive invitations to potential members to join the Club.
There is historical record of the island from 421 of being populated until its residents fled warfare in 1379. In 1776, the island became a quarantine station for people suffering from diseases for the next 100 years and later as a mental hospital.
The mental hospital closed in 1968, and nowadays, the island isn't used for anything except for being featured on paranormal shows.
Come the 20th century, and the island was again used as a quarantine station, this time for the mentally ill. The existing buildings were transformed into a mental hospital. The mental hospital was in operation until its closing in 1968.
There are various legends concerning the haunting of the island, given the victims of plague and war who died here as well as the rumored mental patients who died on behalf of a crazy doctor who purportedly butchered and tortured them.
Niihau is the westernmost and seventh largest inhabited island in Hawaii. According to a 2010 census, 170 people were living on the island. There are no telephone services, paved roads, stores, or restaurants. People travel mainly by horses and bicycles.
The island was purchased in 1864 by Elizabeth Sinclair, a plantation owner in New Zealand and Hawaii. She bought Niihau for a mere $10,000 from the Kingdom of Hawaii. The island later passed on to her descendants, the Robinsons.
The Forbidden Isle
Nowadays, the island is off-limits to most visitors with the exception of the island's owners, U.S. Navy personnel, the Robinson family, government officials, and invited guests. The island for this reason has garnered the nickname "The Forbidden Isle."
Starting in 1987, a small number of very supervised activity tours and hunting safaris began for tourists. Tourists may be able to get up close and personal with the island's greenery, but interacting with the locals is strictly off-limits.
The Negev Research Center
The Negev Nuclear Research Center is an Israeli nuclear installation located in the Negev desert. The construction of the facility began in 1958, with French assistance according to the secret Protocol of Sevres agreement between Israel, France, and the UK.
Information about the facility is highly classified. Israel declares that the nuclear reactor and research facility is intended for research purposes into atomic science.
Israel Atomic Energy
In January 2012, the media reported that the Israel Atomic Energy Commission decided to shut down the reactor temporarily due to the center's vulnerability to attack from Iran.
The airspace over the facility is closed to all aircraft. The area around the center is heavily guarded and fenced off and necessary measures will be implemented to prevent unauthorized entry.
Tomb of Qin Shi Huang
The Terracotta Army is a set of terracotta sculptures illustrating the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a type of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE with the purpose of keeping the emperor safe in his afterlife.
The figures date from around the late third century BCE and were discovered in 1974 by local farmers in Lintong District, Xi'an, People's Republic of China, Shaanxi province.
Estimates from 2007 claimed that the three pits containing the Terracotta Army held more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses, and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which remained buried in the pits near Qin Shi Huang's mausoleum.
The historian Sima Qian (145–90 BCE) described the construction of the tomb in his most noted work Shiji which was written a century after the mausoleum's completion. The construction of the mausoleum began in 246 BCE soon after Emperor Qin took to the throne, and there were eventually 700,000 workers involved in the construction.
Woomera Prohibited Area
The WRC is a major Australian military and civil aerospace facility and operation run by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) which is a sect of the Australian Defense Force (ADF).
The word "woomera" is an Australian indigenous word that comes from the Dharug language of the Eora people of the Sydney basin; a woomera is a wooden spear-throwing device.
The facility was reconfigured and renamed the RAAF Woomera Range Complex. The ground area of the WRC is defined by the Woomera Prohibited Area and contains the Nurrungar Test Area, which has a land area of 122,188 square kilometers.
The Woomera Prohibited Area Advisory Board watches over the operations of the WPA and the WPACO. The airspace above the WPA which is controlled by the RAAF is referred to as the Woomera Restricted Airspace.
The Marianas Trench
This place holds the record as the deepest known place in the ocean and only three people have succeeded in making it to the bottom. It has the deepest natural point in the world.
Its depth is 10,994 meters at the southern end of a small slot-shaped valley in its floor known as the Challenger Deep. However, there are some measures that estimate the deepest part to be 11,034 meters (36,201 feet).
Closest to the Earth
The trench is not the part of the seafloor closest to the center of the Earth. This is due to the fact that the Earth is not a perfect sphere.
In 2009, the Marianas Trench was established as a United States National Monument.
The Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center is a civilian command facility in the U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia. It functions as the center of operations for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The facility is a major relocation site for the highest level of civilian and military officials in the case of a national disaster. It plays an important role in the continuity of government.
Emergency Alert System
FNARS gives access to the president to the Emergency Alert System. The site was brought to public attention in The Washington Post, when the government facility was mentioned while reporting on the December 1, 1974, crash into Mount Weather of a Boeing 727 jetliner.
On September 11, Dick Cheney and members of Congress were taken here. Armed guards surround the complex as well as the president's Emergency Alert System. So, it's majorly off limits and inaccessible to most people.
Red Castle Museum
The Red Castle Museum, also known as Assaraya Alhamra Museum or the Archaeological Museum of Tripoli, is a national museum in Libya. It can be found in the historic building called the Red Castle, also known as Red Saraya.
The museum was designed in conjunction with UNESCO, and it covers 5,000 years from prehistory to the independence revolution (1953) era.
The museum was constructed in 1919 when the colonial Italians in Libya turned a section of the castle into a museum to store many of the archaeological artifacts dispersed across the country since prehistoric times.
The square surrounding the castle was created by architect Florestano Di Fausto in the thirties. After the British occupation of Libya during World War II, the museum took over the entire complex of the castle and was renamed The Libyan Museum in 1948.
There are some pretty uncanny pictures showing the abandoned $400 million luxury tourist resort in North Korea. The Mount Kumgang resort was constructed in 1998 by the South Korean company Hyundai. They also paid $1 billion for 50 years of exclusivity.
Unfortunately for their spending, a South Korean tourist named Park Wang-ja, 53 was shot there in July 2008. So, South Korea decided to stop all tours there and North Korea took hold of the resort.
Now, the immaculate 500-square kilometer complex is a complete ghost town - which is a shame because it has hotels, a spa, a fire station, a supermarket, a clinic, and tours of the beautiful mountains which encompass it.
Many of the things in North Korea are questionable like North Korea's nuclear weapons development program. This is one of several reasons why governments like the U.S. and Canada have strict travel restrictions on North Korea.
Air Force One
Air Force One is the official call sign for a U.S. Air Force aircraft carrying the President of the United States. The call sign was created after an incident in 1953 when a Lockheed Constellation named Columbine II, carrying President D. Eisenhower, entered the same airspace as a commercial flight using the same flight number.
It uses an electromagnetic pulse shield to withstand the electromagnetic pulse of a nuclear explosion and as protection from heat-seeking missiles and jam radars. In addition, it doesn't need to land to refuel.
At the time of the events of 9/11, then-president George Bush flew around in Air Force One and was able to identify threats from other passing aircraft which later proved to be miscommunication.
Officials of the U.S. Army Air Forces (the predecessor to the U.S. Air Force) were doubtful of commercial airlines' ability to safely and securely transport the president.
Have you ever seen 17,300-year-old paintings? The Lascaux Caves are home to some. The caves were first found by an 18-year-old boy named Marcel Ravidat. 8 years after the discovery, the public was allowed entry.
However, as a result of the 1,200 visitors coming to the cave daily, the Paleolithic paintings were exposed to carbon dioxide, heat, humidity, and other contaminants. They experienced severe damage. As a result of the destruction, entry to the caves was closed to the public in 1963.
Restricted to Only a Few Experts
As of 2008, the cave contained black mold, and access to the cave was restricted for three months, even to scientists and preservationists. Nowadays, only a few scientific experts can work in the cave for a few days a month.
Lascaux II was built in 1983 near the cave in order to present to visitors copies of the paintings from the Hall of the Bulls and the Painted Gallery without harming the original ones which are at risk for evaporation from environmental contaminants.
The official British Queen's bedroom can be found in Buckingham Palace. The Queen's London resident was first established in 1705. In 1982, Michael Fagan broke in and entered Queen Elizabeth II's bedroom, despite the entire residence being heavily guarded.
To this day, Michael remains one of the only men to see the inside of the room without an official invitation or building permit. For most of us, there is little hope of us ever seeing the room in the near and far off future.