With today’s travel technology, it’s hard to imagine a place you’re not allowed to visit. Yet, there are still places that cannot be (legally) visited as they are cut off for various reasons. Places such as secret military bases, forbidden islands, fragile natural landmarks, and even sites closed due to paranormal activities are off limits to regular people. Take a virtual tour with us on these 25 Forbidden Places You’re Not Allowed To Visit.
Vatican Secret Archives, Vatican
Containing important state papers, correspondence, papal account books, and many other significant documents which the church has accumulated over the centuries, the Vatican Secret Archives are among the most forbidden places in the world. In fact, it was not until 1881 when Pope Leo XIII finally allowed at least some researchers to view some of the contents. These days, only highly qualified scholars may apply for entry. Even then, there are very strict limitations to what accepted scholars can actually view.
North Sentinel Island, India
The North Sentinel Island is one of the Andaman Islands that politically belong to India. The island is known for picturesque pristine beaches and stunning nature. However, the native tribes are extremely hostile and violent toward any outsiders. They reject any contact with other people and have been even known to kill several intruders. No wonder the access to the island is strictly forbidden.
Lascaux Caves, France
Located in Southwestern France, the Lascaux Caves contain 900 of the best preserved examples of prehistoric art. The caves have been banned to the public since 1963 as they have been menaced by a series of unexplained fungal invasions. Any human presence in the caves is regarded as potentially destructive. Normally, the caves are entered only once a week by a security guard for a few minutes at a time.
Area 51, Nevada, US
Hidden in the middle of the barren Nevada desert, Area 51 is a secret American military base whose purpose has always been unknown to the public. What goes on inside the base has led to decades of wild speculations, including the famous alien conspiracies. However, it likely serves as a site for development and testing of experimental aircrafts and weapons. One thing is for sure though – whatever happens in Area 51 is not meant to be seen by the public as the access is strictly forbidden.
A small volcanic island located in the Vestmannaeyjar Archipelago off the southern coast of Iceland, Surtsey is one of the youngest islands in the world – it was formed in a volcanic eruption that lasted from 1963 to 1967. The island cannot be accessed by anyone except for a small group of scientists. This serves to allow for natural ecological succession to take place without outside interference.
Photos: Feature image: Fcb981, El Castillo Stitch 2008 Edit 1, CC BY-SA 3.0 (text added), 25. de:User:Maus-Trauden, Sistinehall, CC BY-SA 3.0, 24. Dr. K. Vedhagiri, Havelock, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, CC BY-SA 3.0, 23. Prof saxx, Lascaux painting, CC BY-SA 3.0, 22. Tim1337, Area51 gate, CC BY-SA 3.0, 21. CanonS2, Surtsey Island1, CC BY-SA 2.0, 20. Mark Scott Johnson from Sydney, Australia, Kumsusan Memorial Palace, Pyongyang, CC BY 2.0, 19. Bjoertvedt, Svalbard seed vault IMG 8751, CC BY-SA 3.0, 18. Kr.afol at the English language Wikipedia, Woomera-warning-sign, CC BY-SA 3.0, 17. Anakin, Moscow metro D6 station platform, CC BY 3.0, 16-15. wikimedia commons (public domain), 14. PAUL FARMER, White’s Club St James’s Street – geograph.org.uk – 1375768, CC BY-SA 2.0, 13. reivax from Washington, DC, USA, Riverside Hospital North Brother Island, CC BY-SA 2.0, 12. wikimedia commons (public domain), 11. Diliff, Bank of England Building, London, UK – Diliff, CC BY-SA 3.0, 10. pixabay (public domain) (not actual base), 9. Pesotsky, Mezhgorye, Republic of Bashkortostan, CC BY 3.0, 8. Fcb981, El Castillo Stitch 2008 Edit 1, CC BY-SA 3.0, 7-6. wikimedia commons (public domain), 5. Pudelek, Pravčická brána (Prebischtor) – by Pudelek, CC BY-SA 4.0, 4. Chris 73 / Wikimedia Commons, Poveglia Closeup of Hospital, CC BY-SA 3.0, 3. see source, Terracotta Army-China2, CC BY-SA 3.0, 2. wikimedia commons (public domain), 1. Navjot Singh, Bhangarh Fort Entrance, CC BY-SA 3.0