Written by Mithra Srini.
You wanna travel? You might want to take these off your list before leaving home.
To pack my bags and walk through nature is my lifelong dream. I am not alone, pretty sure most of you have dreams of travelling. Well, that’s easy if you are choosing a famous tourist destination… But there are places on our planet which you are never going to see with your own eyes. Well, if you are not ready to give up your freedom, your health, or even your life. From guarded governmental buildings to the wild forest, the reasons for off-limits range from unimaginable to understandable. With the unending curiosity of human nature, it is difficult to fathom that there are places on this planet where you won’t regret not going.
Without further ado, here are 15 places you will never ever be allowed to visit.
Note: All images are from Google Images.
15. North Sentinel Island, India
It is one of the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal officially under the Indian Government. This is actually inhabited by tribal Sentinel people. These dangerous Aborigines avoid any contact with civilization and furiously resist any interference. Scientists believe that these tribes have been isolated for more than 60,000 years from civilization!!! Scathingly severe when defending their territory, they don’t shy away from killing intruders. Some of their last victims were fishermen who got lost and ended up on the island. After that Indian authorities urged citizens to keep away from these people and so do we.
14. Surtsey Island, Iceland
This island is nature’s newest creation. Located at 32 kilometres south of Iceland, the volcanic eruption in the year 1963 heaved up a mass of Earth from underwater. Through 1963 to 1967, vast areas of this island have been continuously eroded and evolved. It is named Surtr, from Norse mythology. Currently, this place is available only to scientists who study the birth and evolution of life. The island was initially a barren land, but throughout the years all sorts of life forms are evolving here. Biologists and botanists are continually conducting experiments here to understand the process of evolution.
13. Gruinard Island, Great Britain
Biological weapons. Yes, you heard it right. Used for development of bacterial weapons for mass destruction during the World Wars, this is one place you would not want to set foot on. British scientists were using a bacteria called anthrax to infest livestock and animals that were being exported to their allied nations. They knew that using anthrax would require an isolated place as spreading of bacteria to immediate surroundings was unavoidable. Hence, Gruinard Island. The area was decontaminated after the world war was over, but even today there are traces of anthrax found on the island. Inhaling even mild traces of anthrax could result in death. I don’t know you, but please don’t go!
12. Poveglia Island, Italy
How do you feel about an abandoned and ghost island located in a beautiful country? Situated in northern Italy, this island is separated into 2 landmasses by a small canal. Over the centuries it has been used for multiple purposes. Initially a residential area it was later used as a trade checkpoint. When the plague struck the country of Italy, this island was immediately transformed as a quarantine point for everyone affected by it. After that, it was converted and made as an asylum for the mentally ill. There are various stories on how people were tortured and murdered here, some even seem to have seen souls departing from dead bodies. With this twisted history of being a place for the unwanted, this island still manages to keep brawny at bay.
11. Room 39, North Korea
Though the name may be a suggestion for a horror movie, the purpose of existence comes as no surprise. Room 39 is located in Pyongyang belonging to a reticent government group. This is a very happening place for a lot of illegal activities. There are proofs of many counterfeiting processes and drug production in business here, making it an extremely dangerous place to visit or reside. All normal people are banned from here. Prying noses never saw the daylight. You might have watched enough movies to know that.
10. Area 51, The USA
Though some portions of land have been opened for the public (like satellite images), this place still holds many secrets. Northwest of Las Vegas, the place spreads notorious rumours regarding its purpose. These include nuclear testing, arms testing, UFO research etc. The area was developed to be used as a testing base during the cold war between the USA and the Soviet Union. Till date, nobody knows what’s happening inside the buildings. I guess it’s going to remain so.
9. Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Spitsbergen, Norway
This is an interesting one. Did you know that if this world was damaged by any natural calamity or famine, we could still rebuild every plant species again and revive nature? Well, that’s what this Vault does. This is a storage facility located in Norway with boxes and boxes of all possible seeds available. In fact, you can submit any unique seed you hold, but only through your government because that’s the extent of you nearing this vault. This facility maintains and safeguards all seeds. Well we all thought the world was gonna end in 2012, didn’t we??
8. Joint Defence Facility, Pine Gap, Australia
In similar lines to Area 51, this government restricted area is jointly managed by the USA and Australia. Very little is known of this place and what exactly is going on behind the doors, but with limited air and land space, the guesses aren’t too many. In fact, the information is so little that I really don’t know what else to say other than, you are not welcome here !!
7. Queimada Grande Island, Brazil
This place is definitely going to change your mind on exploring. The culprit here is snakes. Not just one or two, lakhs and lakhs of them !!! With its tranquil beaches and pristine waters, it might feel like a perfect vacation spot. Don’t get fooled by it. These snake bites are so dangerous, that it might result in instantaneous death. Hence, Banned!
6. Mount Weather, Virginia, The USA
I don’t know about you and me, but most of the big shots in The USA know where to go when struck with war or calamity. Yup! It’s Mt Weather. When The World Trade Centre was hit, many of the leaders and important people were moved here for safety. This place opens with a labyrinth of passwords and keys. Each person has one piece of password and the entire building facility cannot be opened up until everyone enters their code. Well, that’s something everyone in the Congress is going to agree to. The point is, we don’t have any passwords, so we are not welcome.
5. Mezhgorye, Russia
Well, If the USA has something like area 51, how can Russia be far behind?? A place at the foothills of Ural Mountains, this is a closed town for all normal people. Even many of the top government officials do not know what happens here. As per the government official, this is just a research facility, but we are never gonna know!
4. Chernobyl’s Exclusion Zone, Ukraine
This is a radioactive zone. One of the nuclear reactors in Chernobyl struck disaster and sent radioactive fumes all over the place. After investigation, Russia realized this area needs to be completely blocked. Such is the extent of radiation. You can still visit the place, but it is advisable to not do so. Not worth the risk!
3. Ise Grand Shrine, Japan
Next in line is Japan, the land of shrines. In a total of 80,000 shrines, this one is unique. It is the grandest and most guarded place in Japan. Unless you are in any way related to the Japanese Empire, the inner sanctum is out of bounds for you. The outer sanctum can only be viewed from outside. Renovated and budgeted for every 20 years, this could easily be your forbidden fruit.
2. Heard Island Volcano, Australia
Technically Australian, but he finds himself somewhere between Antarctica and Madagascar. While you can access all the islands surrounding, this one is forbidden. Covered in snow throughout the most time of the year, 2 active volcanoes make it a very sensitive place. For now, all possible birds and insects have made it their home.
1. Lascaux Caves, France
If you are a person who loves paintings, then I am really sorry to disappoint you. Inside these caves, you can find some of the most marvellous of paintings, from stags to bison to deer, all from about 20,000 years ago. Though initially accessible to the public, it was closed sometime in the 1960s. Attacked by moths, it was dangerous to both humans and paintings equally. Luckily for you, all the work has been replicated through technology in a museum right next to it.
Have you heard anyone say they don’t have any problems in life? Did you complete every project or assignment you took on without any hiccups??? Then why should this article stop you doing something you love? Live, love, laugh, travel…keep doing things that make this life beautiful and worthwhile despite its hiccups !!! Happy travelling 🙂
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Mithra Srini is an engineer with a penchant for curiosity for creating contents. She believes in enjoying every day to the fullest while seeking adventurous activities and reading books which definitely her regular go-to thing. Currently, she is on an earnest mission on becoming a better person through travel, writing and learning.