August 27, 2023 | Sammy Tran

10 Forbidden Places You're Not Allowed To Visit

From the highest mountain peaks to the deepest ocean trenches, human beings have a natural tendency to explore the unknown. It's in our DNA to push boundaries and venture where few have gone before. Yet, amid our globe's vast landscapes and hidden corners, there exist places that remain shrouded in mystery—not because they're undiscovered, but because we're explicitly forbidden from entering them. 

Whether guarded for our safety, reasons of secrecy, or preservation of the pristine environment, these destinations beckon with their untold stories. Here are ten intriguing places that most of us will never get the chance to explore:

1. Area 51, Nevada, USA

Forbidden Places Split Gallery

What It Is: A top-secret U.S. military base situated in the Nevada desert. The subject of countless conspiracy theories, particularly relating to UFO sightings and extraterrestrial technology.

Why It’s Off-Limits: It’s a restricted area where classified military testing is conducted.

2. North Sentinel Island, India

North Sentinel Island, IndiaContains modified Copernicus Sentinel data 2022, Attribution, via Wikimedia Commons

What It Is: Home to the Sentinelese tribe, which has had little contact with the outside world.

Why It’s Off-Limits: The Indian government has banned visitors to protect the tribe from outside diseases and to respect their isolated way of life.

3. Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Norway

Seed vault in NorwayEinar Jørgen Haraldseid, Wikimedia Commons

What It Is: A secure seed bank on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen aimed at preserving plant seeds and ensuring food security.

Why It’s Off-Limits: Strictly reserved for conservation purposes, and only a few scientists have access to its interiors.

4. Vatican Secret Archives, Vatican City

Inside the forbidden vaticanCollective, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

What It Is: The central repository for the Vatican's most sensitive documents.

Why It’s Off-Limits: Access is strictly limited to qualified clergy and scholars who undergo rigorous vetting.


5. Poveglia Island, Italy

Hospital on Poveglia Island, ItalyChris 73, Wikimedia Commons

What It Is: An island located between Venice and Lido known as one of the most haunted places on Earth.

Why It’s Off-Limits: The Italian government has prohibited access due to its dark history as a plague quarantine station.

6. Niihau Island, Hawaii, USA

A Privately Owned Island in hawaiiPolihale at English Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons

What It Is: The seventh-largest inhabited island in Hawaii.

Why It’s Off-Limits: Privately owned by the Robinson family, visits are limited to the U.S. Navy, U.S. government, and invited guests.

7. Mezhgorye, Russia

Restricted town of Mezhgorye, Republic Of BashkortostanPesotsky, Wikimedia Commons

What It Is: A closed town in Russia believed to house people working on the highly secret Mount Yamantau project.

Why It’s Off-Limits: Due to the secretive nature of the activities believed to be conducted there.

8. Ilha da Queimada Grande (Snake Island), Brazil

Snake Island, Ilha da Queimada Grande, BrazilPrefeitura Municipal de Itanhaém, Wikimedia Commons

What It Is: An island populated by a high concentration of venomous snakes.

Why It’s Off-Limits: For safety reasons, the Brazilian government has prohibited visitors.

9. Room 39, North Korea

North Korea Government BuildingMark Fahey, Wikimedia Commons

What It Is: A secretive North Korean government facility believed to be involved in illegal activities like counterfeiting.

Why It’s Off-Limits: The nature of its operations makes it inaccessible to anyone but the highest echelons of the North Korean government.

10. Dulce Base, New Mexico, USA

Dulce Lake, Jacarilla Apache Nation, New Mexico, UsaChristopher Nicol, Wikimedia Commons

What It Is: Allegedly an underground facility where sinister experiments, including human-alien collaborations, take place.

Why It’s Off-Limits: Its existence is not confirmed, but rumors and conspiracy theories make it an intriguing forbidden spot.

For most of us, the allure of the unknown is irresistible. While these places might be off-limits, there's no harm in daydreaming about the mysteries they hold. 

The world is full of secrets, and these are just a handful of destinations that feed our curiosity and imagination.