There are many wonderful places to visit in the world. But there are also forbidden destinations that are too dangerous, too fragile, or too mysterious to explore. It’s hard to believe that such places exist, but they do. For example, there are military bases that only allow staff members to enter. There are historical sites that can be easily damaged by human presence.
And there are also scary travel destinations that nobody would ever want to visit. Yet these places can be very intriguing, like a forbidden fruit that becomes so desirable. They may attract curious travelers who want to explore unknown lands. But it’s better not to even try to visit these places, for the sake of your own safety.
Here are 10 forbidden destinations around the world that are off-limits to tourists.
10) 10. Area 51, USA
Area 51 is a top-secret military base that is shrouded in mystery and conspiracy theories. It is located in the Southern Nevada desert and is known as the testing ground for new weapons and aircraft. However, there are wider speculation and rumors about what goes on at Area 51. Many believe that evidence of aliens and extraterrestrial activity is hidden at the base, kept away from the public eye. Area 51 is totally off-limits to civilians and even the United States government barely acknowledges its existence. The true nature of Area 51 may never be revealed.
If you’re hoping to find evidence of extraterrestrial life when you visit Area 51, you’re going to be disappointed. The remote location in Nevada is heavily guarded by government officials, so there’s no way to get close enough to see any flying saucers or aliens that may be present.
“Any attempt to access a federal installation illegally is highly discouraged,” a spokesperson for the Nellis Air Force Base that runs Area 51 told Vox. “Those who trespass on a federal installation without proper authority will be apprehended until they can be turned over to the appropriate law enforcement authorities and are subject to local and federal penalties and prosecution.”
It’s no surprise that the secrets of Area 51 are so well hidden. The lack of information about what goes on at this forbidden destination has allowed all sorts of rumors and myths to spring up. These have led many Americans to believe that they have a right to know what’s going on there.
9) Tomb of Qin Shi Huang, China
In 1974, a group of farmers in China’s Shaanxi province made an incredible discovery while digging a well – they found fragments of a life-size clay figure in the shape of a battle-ready soldier. Further excavations revealed an entire army of these “terracotta warriors”, each with unique features, dating back some 2,000 years.
This amazing discovery was made in the mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, who ruled from 221 to 210 BC. It is estimated that there are around 7,000 warriors buried alongside the emperor, with over 2,000 having been excavated so far. Recently, the state-run Xinhua news agency announced the discovery of an additional 200 soldiers and a large number of weapons in the emperor’s tomb.
This incredible archaeological find provides a fascinating insight into ancient Chinese culture and history.
The Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, is a forbidden destination that has baffled historians and archaeologists for more than 2,000 years. Deep underneath a pyramid, the tomb has remained chiefly sealed and unexplored. It contains various items that Qin Shi Huang will need in the afterlife. To pay respect to the ancient site, the Chinese government has prohibited the excavation of the tomb. As a result, it is one of the most forbidden destinations in the world.
8) Snake Island, Brazil
Ilha da Queimada Grande, better known as Snake Island, is located around 150 kilometers (93 mi) south of downtown Sao Paulo. The island sits about 40 kilometers (25 mi) off the coast of Brazil and is home to a large number of snakes. Researchers believe that there is about one deadly snake for every 0.09 square meters (1 ft2) on the island. Human beings are forbidden from entering the island due to the dangers posed by the snakes.
The island is home to the golden lancehead, which is a unique species of pit viper. It is known to be one of the deadliest serpents in the world, capable of growing up to 0.5 meters (1.5 ft) long.
Lanceheads are some of the most venomous snakes in the world. A single bite from one of these snakes could kill a human within an hour. In North and South America, these snakes are responsible for more deaths than any other type of snake. It may be best to keep this island a forbidden destination for visitors to avoid any accidents.
7) Svalbard Global Seed Vault
Svalbard Global Seed Vault is located on a remote island in Svalbard, halfway between Norway and the North Pole. It is the world’s largest seed storage facility, with tens of thousands of varieties of essential food crops and more than 4,000 plant species stored in its cold and dry rock vaults. The vault is designed to provide long-term storage for these seeds in case of catastrophic events that could destroy global food supplies.
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a long-term seed storage facility that was purpose-built to withstand the effects of man-made and natural disasters. It stores duplicates of seeds from the world’s crop collections, in order to safeguard against the loss of genetic diversity in the event of a catastrophic event. In 2018, the Norwegian government proposed to allocate 100 million NOK (roughly $12.7 million) to upgrade the seed vault, in order to further protect the valuable contents within. The vault is only open to special guests on specific days and continues to be a forbidden destination for most people.
6) North Brother Island, USA
New York City is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, but there is one place that even most New Yorkers have never seen. North Brother Island is a forbidden destination to the public, as all of its buildings are in a state of disrepair and pose a safety hazard. Nature has also reclaimed much of the island, with overgrown vegetation and ruins of what was once a quarantine hospital.
North Brother Island was once home to Typhoid Mary. She was the first American to be diagnosed with typhoid fever and was later quarantined on the island. North Brother Island then became a rehabilitation center for drug addicts before becoming a bird sanctuary. The island is now a permanently forbidden destination to the public.
In 1963, North Brother Island was abandoned, becoming the property of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, which now manages the site as a bird sanctuary.
5) North Sentinel Island
Even though it may be hard to believe, there are still indigenous groups who have had no contact with modern civilization. The Sentinelese people of North Sentinel Island are one such group. In 1991, an expedition from India floated coconuts in the water toward the island inhabited by the Sentinelese, who are known to be hostile to foreigners. On two such trips, the Indian team made contact. The Sentinelese wanted the unfamiliar coconuts, but they did not really welcome the outsiders.
The little-known Sentinelese tribe has been living on their remote island for centuries, completely cut off from the outside world. It is estimated that there are only around 80-150 people living on the island, and they have their own unique language which is not understood by anyone outside of the group. Not much is known about the tribe, as they keep to themselves and don’t interact with outsiders, but we do know that they don’t welcome visitors.
In 2018, a US missionary attempted to contact the Sentinelese people but was quickly killed by a bow and arrow. And a man convicted of a crime escaped from the Great Andaman Island Penal Colony in 1896. He floated on a raft made of sticks and leaves until he eventually washed ashore on North Sentinel Island. The man’s throat had been cut, and he had several arrow wounds when his remains were found days later. Clearly, the Sentinelese people do not want any contact with outsiders, and it is best to leave them alone, so we classify this location as a forbidden destination.
4) Dulce Base, USA
Deep in the heart of the New Mexico desert lies a small town called Dulce. This secluded settlement is home to a population of just 2,600 Native Americans. But what this town lacks in size, it makes up for in a mystery. Dulce is said to be home to an underground laboratory where unbelievable experiments take place.
According to some, the Dulce Base is a massive hidden compound housing advanced technologies and human-animal hybrids. This base is said to have very tight security, making it one of the most forbidden destinations in the world.
In the 1930s, rumors began to circulate about a secret base hidden deep in the desert. The rumors gained traction in the 1970s when Gabe Valdez, a former New Mexico State Police trooper, documented unexplained cattle mutilations in the area. In a radio interview, Valdez said, “The evidence that was left there, you know, predators don’t leave gas masks, glow sticks, radar chaff. They don’t leave that stuff.”
In the late 1990s, former police officer Tim Anderson saw something that he still can’t quite explain. He was in Dulce, New Mexico at the time and claims that a UFO lit up the whole valley before disappearing into the rocks. “I just rubbed my eyes,” he told the Santa Fe New Mexican. “Did I really see that?
3) Bhangarh Fort, India
Deep in the heart of Rajasthan lies a forgotten kingdom, lost to time and nature. Once a thriving fort city, it is now nothing more than ruins. Local legend says the city was cursed, and it’s easy to see why. The fort was built by the ruler of Amber Kachwaha for his youngest son in 1573. But gradually, over time, its population dwindled until 1783 when a strong famine forced the villagers still living there to flee.
As the only “legally recognized” haunted forbidden destination in India, according to the Times of India, a government permit is required to be able to enter the Bhangarh Fort.
The fort is said to be haunted by the ghost of a woman who cursed it after she was killed by a prince. It’s said that anyone who enters the fort after sunset will never be seen again.
2) Lascaux Caves, France
The Lascaux Cave is an amazing discovery for archaeologists around the globe. The cave complex contains pre-historic paintings that are an incredible 17,300 years old. The series of Paleolithic paintings are so realistic and vivid, that it’s as if they were just painted yesterday. They show animals like cattle, stags, bison, and many more in great detail. Sadly, the cave is closed to the general public since 1963. Archaeologists believe that human presence might destroy the ancient work of art so they have made this a forbidden destination.
The cave contains a stunning array of over 2,000 figures. These can be broadly grouped into three categories: animals, human figures, and abstract signs. Most images were created using mineral pigments applied to the walls, though some designs were also carved into the stone.
1) Surtsey Iceland
Surtsey is a small volcanic island located off the southern coast of Iceland. The island was named after the Norse fire god, Surtur, and emerged from the Atlantic Ocean in 1963 following a fiery eruption. For nearly four years after the initial eruption, lava and ash continued to build up the island’s elevation (to around 500 ft.). Today, Surtsey is uninhabited but remains a popular tourist destination due to its unique geology.
Surtsey is a small island off the coast of Iceland that is home to a long-term biological research program. The island was declared a nature reserve in 1965 and a World Heritage Site in 2008 by UNESCO. Surtsey is still only open to a handful of scientists who study the island and its colonization process by plant and animal life but is a forbidden destination for common people.
If you’re looking for a truly spine-tingling experience, then look no further than these eerie forbidden destinations around the world.
Thank you for reading!