December 20, 2023 | Allison Robertson

10 Forbidden Places You're Not Allowed To Visit


Forbidden Places on Earth

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As humans, we have a natural tendency to explore the unknown. It’s deep within us to push boundaries and go where we haven’t gone before.

And, even with the vast landscapes Earth has to offer, there are still many places on our planet that remain a mystery—not because they’re undiscovered, but because we’re explicitly forbidden from exploring them.

Whether these places are off-limits for safety reasons, secrecy, or preservation, these destinations are full of untold stories.

Here are 10 intriguing places that most of us will never get the chance to explore.

Area 51, Nevada, USA

Iron Man factsWikimedia Commons

This one may not be a secret to all, but for those who don’t know—Area 51 is a top-secret military base in the U.S. It is located in the Nevada desert.

Its restriction is said to be due to classified military testing that is conducted there. However, this site remains one of the world’s most theorized mysteries, with countless conspiracy theories dominating the topic—particularly relating to UFO sightings and extraterrestrial research.

Unfortunately, only authorized personnel can make it past the highly guarded gates.

North Sentinel Island, India

North Sentinel Island, IndiaSurvival International

North Sentinel Island is home to the Sentinelese tribe—which is one of the last uncontacted tribes in the world.

The Indian government has completely banned all visitors from the island to protect the tribe from outside diseases and to respect their isolated way of life.

Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Norway

Secluded Civilizations FactsWikipedia, Frode Ramone

The Global Seed Vault is a secure seed bank located on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen. The purpose of this seed bank is to store and safeguard as much of the world’s crops as possible, to ensure food security.

The seed bank is completely off-limits to the public in an effort to protect and maintain the seeds.

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Vatican Secret Archives, Vatican City

Inside the forbidden vaticanCollective, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Vatican Secret Archives is a central source for the Vatican’s most sensitive documents.

Access to the archives is completely restricted to protect the documents. It is only accessible to qualified clergy and scholars who must undergo severe screening to even be considered limited access.

Poveglia Island, Italy

Hospital on Poveglia Island, ItalyChris 73, Wikimedia Commons

Poveglia Island is located between Venice and Lido. It is known as one of the most haunted places on earth due to its dark history as a plague quarantine station.

The Italian government has completely restricted access for public safety reasons.

Ni’ihau Island, Hawaii, USA

Niihau Island, HawaiiNiihau Super Tour

Ni’ihau Island is the seventh largest inhabited island in Hawaii.

It’s off-limits because the entire island is privately owned by the Robinson family. The family has owned the island since the 1800s.

The family has limited visitors to the U.S. Navy, the U.S. government, and personally invited guests.

Mezhgorye, Russia

Restricted town of Mezhgorye, Republic Of BashkortostanPesotsky, Wikimedia Commons

Mezhgorye is a town in Russia that has been completely closed down. Some believe that the town is still inhabited by people working on a highly secret project called Mount Yamantau.

It remains completely closed off to the public due to its secretive activities that may, or may not, be conducted there.

Ilha da Queimada Grande (Snake Island), Brazil

Ilha da Queimada GrandeAtlas Obscura

Snake Island is completely off-limits to the public for their own personal safety. The island is populated by a high concentration of venomous snakes—hence the name.

The only people allowed to visit the island are authorized personnel for scientific research only.

Room 39, North Korea

North Korea Government BuildingMark Fahey, Wikimedia Commons

Room 39 isn’t a specific room, it’s a secretive North Korean party organization that is believed to be involved in unlawful financial activities to benefit the country’s leaders.

Only the highest levels of the North Korean government are allowed in the building.

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Dulce Base, New Mexico, USA

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

Dulce Base is allegedly an underground facility where sinister experiments take place—including alien collaborations.

It’s off-limits for obvious reasons—mainly, secrecy. In fact, its existence has not even been confirmed. Much like Area 51, rumors and conspiracy theories make it an interesting forbidden spot.

Final Thoughts

Tales From The Graveyard ShiftUnsplash, Collin Armstrong

The world is full of secrets. Far more than we will ever know. These destinations are just a handful of mysterious places for our thoughts to explore.

For a lot of people, the allure of the unknown is irresistible. And although we may never get the answers we’re looking for, there’s no harm in daydreaming.