HomeSorry, These 20 Places Are Off Limits To You

Sorry, These 20 Places Are Off Limits To You

It’s mostly a free world, and as there have been improvements in transportation and an increase in wanderlust within people, there have been more and more travelers curious about traveling to more secluded areas. However, there are some sites what will remain completely off limits, and most of it is for a good reason. From the vault containing the actual Coca-Cola recipe, to an island that’s inhabited completely by snakes. These locations are temporarily closed off to the public while others will remain closed permanently. Even now, although we have transparency and satellite imagery, we’ve still never seen all the nooks and crannies of some of these places. This means, exploration will have to occur strictly through imagination. The next time you want to visit these fun locations, you might want to check with the government… or at least some local security.

1. Coca-Cola Vault

Coca-Cola was the first of its kind over 120 years ago. The recipe was safeguarded and locked into a vault in Atlanta. Tourists are allowed to tour the facility but they cannot directly access the secret recipe. If you try, you might be killed. Okay, probably not, but you’ll definitely be arrested for trespassing. If you plan on visiting the Atlanta area any time soon, buy a ticket and give it a whirl. They have a stunning 4-D Theater with moving seats, and a 7 foot tall Coca-Cola Polar Bear to give you a friendly hug. Feel free to sample any combination of the 100+ beverages Coca-Cola has to offer you. But don’t count on learning their secret recipe. It is forever under lock and key. Despite the privacy measures of this vault, it’s nothing like our next facility…

2. Area 51

The famous military facility in the Nevada desert has a rich history of secrecy. Missiles, aircraft, and numerous other weapons have been developed and tested there. In the 1950’s it was primarily used for flight testing of the Lockheed U-2 aircraft.

3. Chapel of the Ark of the Covenant, Ethiopia

Any artifact that is biblical is kept under a tight watch. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church claims it to be housed within a treasury near the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion, with a simple fence in the way. It is believed that this Chapel contains the wooden chest clad with gold containing two stone tablets of the Ten Commandments. It is believed that the real Ark of the Covenant was transported to Ethiopia via divine assistance. Recent publications have asserted that the ark spent many years in Egypt before being sent to Ethiopia via the Nile River. In 2009, the patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Ethiopia said he would announce the unveiling of the Ark. The following day he changed his mind, while asserting its existence.

4. Disney Club 33

You’ve heard of exclusive clubs in Los Angeles or New York, but Disneyland? Welcome to Club 33. Located in New Orleans Square within Disneyland, the facility is a full service bar with servers. You’ve heard of exclusive clubs in Los Angeles or New York, but Disneyland? Welcome to Club 33. Located in New Orleans Square within Disneyland, the facility is a full service bar with servers. It is believed that the place opened in order to accommodate the 33 corporate sponsors of Disneyland in the 1960’s. Corporate members have to pay an initiation fee of $40,000. In order to enter the room, you are required to press a buzzer on the intercom which is hidden underneath a panel in the doorway. Sounds pretty stealth right? Or you can tap your membership card over an emblem, which is probably the more 21st century way to enter. Once inside, you are free to explore one of two levels. The second floor houses many pieces of antique furniture that were collected by Lillian Disney, as well as various props from classic Disney movies.

5. Jiangsu National Security Education Museum

Even if you are a museum goer, you’d better be a Chinese citizen to visit this place. It contains classified documents and equipment used for Chinese spying. Yikes! In case you were planning to take a camera inside, photography is not allowed within the facility. Apparently, they house a series of sensitive documents from as far back at 1927. The only bit of information they’ve divulged? Certain exhibits include guns that are disguised as lipstick as well as maps hidden within decks of cards. Talk about sneaky behavior.

6. Google Data Center

The Google Data Centers include rooms filled with CPUs containing trillions of bits of data. Understandably, Google keeps the public out. Only IT whizzes have access, and even then they can’t merely “hang out.” Limited views inside the facility are available via Google maps. While you can’t zoom in very closely, you’ll get an understanding of the massiveness of the facility. It’s plain to see how much data the center houses. Thousands upon thousands of servers allow the company to index over 20 billion web pages each day. Chances are you won’t have enough time in your life to read all of them.

7. Bank of England Vaults

The Bank of England Vaults contain lots of bullion… lots and lots and lots. The second oldest central bank in the world is obviously off limits to the public, as it contains hundreds of thousands of gold bars. The floor space over this vault covers a region about the size of the third-tallest building in London (Tower 42). The keys to open the vault door are a whopping 3 FEET LONG! The gold deposits in the vault are estimated to hold a value of 156 billion pounds, making it one of the largest gold reserves in the world. It’s sort of like its own state, since the person in charge of the Bank of England is referred to as Governor.

8. Lascaux Caves

These caves in the South of France are over 17,500 years old, from the Palaeolithic era. People had drawn paintings of livestock and other local creatures. Sorry public, you can’t soak up this kind of history, legally. The cave contains nearly 2,000 figures, grouped into three main categories: animals, humans, and conceptual signs. More specifically, there are 90 paintings of stags out of approximately 900 total animal drawings. One particularly fascinating section is called The Great Hall of the Bulls where many wild animals are depicted. This cave opened to the public after World War II, but the facility quickly became susceptible to mold and uncleanliness issues. By 1963, the caves had to be closed in order to remain preserved.

9. Moscow Metro-2

The Russian government has neither confirmed nor denied the existence of this underground metro system. It was supposedly constructed during Joseph Stalin’s time, and parallels the current rail system. Allegedly code-named D-6 by the KGB, it is rumored to connect the Kremlin with the Federal Security Service headquarters, the government airport, and an underground town at Ramenki. If it exists, it could still be operated by the Main Directorate of Special Programmes and Ministry of Defence. In 1994, an urban exploration group, the Diggers of the Underground Planet, proclaimed to have discovered the underground entrance to the rail system. Then ten years later, former Soviet adviser Vladimir Shevchenko finally confirmed the facility’s existence.

10. RAF Menwith Hill

This facility in North Yorkshire, England contains intelligence and communications data for the UK and United States. Sorry, you can’t enter. Menwith Hill Station opened on 545 acres of land in 1954 and leased to the United States. The U.S. Army Security Agency established a high frequency radio monitoring capability which could receive communications from the Soviet Union. The facility continues to be used, with some individuals in an uproar that it might aid in drone attacks. Needless to say, you aren’t allowed inside. Now let’s move on to a military facility in the desert…

11. Dulce Base

The Dulce Base in New Mexico is rumored to be home to extraterrestrials. It is an underground facility underneath the Archuleta Mesa in Dulce, New Mexico. Allegedly, this is a joint human and alien underground facility. Beginning in 1979, Albuquerque businessman Paul Bennewitz was positive he was intercepting electronic communications from alien spacecraft and he let the entire community know. The site was featured on the History Channel show UFO Hunters and an episode of Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura. Some experts label is as “the real Area 51.” Political scientist Michael Barkun chronicled how the Cold War underground missile installations in the region gave a fake sense of plausability to UFO rumors.

12. Pine Gap

This secret facility in the middle of Australia consists of a large computer complex with nearly 1,000 employees. It attempts to locate radio signals in the world’s Eastern Hemisphere, via information fed into the U.S. drone program. No surprise… you can’t go there! The facility commenced operations in 1970 after 400 American families moved to Central Australia. By 1999, the place expanded from two antennas to eighteen. The facility is essentially a ground control station for satellites that ascertain signals intelligence data. On July 11th, 2013, Edward Snowden revealed information about Pine Gap’s surveillance practices. It is part of the PRISM surveillance program conducted by various United States intelligence agencies.

13. Mezghorye, Russia

14. Room 39

Sounds like a bad horror movie, but ‘Room 39’ is just a secretive organization in North Korea. Supposedly, the organization contains over a dozen bank accounts in China and Switzerland. Room 39 was established by Kim Il-Sung in the late 1970’s, but the origin of its name remains unknown. Some experts believe that Room 38 was merged into Room 39. But in 2010, the two were split again because of issues with foreign currency. The organization is estimated to rake in between $500 million and $1 billion each year. Not surprisingly, it may be involved in illegal activities.

15. Vatican Secret Archives

Housed in the middle of Vatican City, these documents contain state papers, papal account books, and correspondence. Qualified individuals from scholarly institutions may apply for an entry card, but there has to be a legitimate reason to be entering. The use of the word “secret” in this case is more akin to the word ‘private’ rather than ‘hidden.’ Still, good luck trying to enter these premises. There are 53 miles of shelving which contain around 35,000 volumes. Only qualified scholars can apply for an entry card into the site. They still need an introductory letter from a recognized institute of research.

16. Snake Island

This unvisited island off the coast of Brazil might be small in size, but it houses many rare and native snakes. Because they are so endangered, the island is off limits to the general public. It is located 18 nautical miles off the coast of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and is approximately 110 acres in area. There is a lot of beauty and diversity on the landmass with hills, and cliffs overlooking the open ocean. Since there are so many snakes on the island, studies show there could be as many as one snake to every square meter. Competition for resources is always at a premium.

17. White Gentlemen’s Club

Known as the White’s Club, it is the most famous and historic gentlemen’s club in England. Created in 1693, it only accepts male members who must be personally invited by a current member and then be approved by another two members. Of course, there are exceptions. If your name is Prince Harry, staff refer to you as a regular. The club was originally situated in Mayfair, in 1693. Yes, that was a while ago. White’s also became a gambling house in the 18th century, with frequenters being called “the gamesters of White’s.” Facilities include a private dining room and billiards hall, with a menu including some spectacular delicacies like wild salmon, partridge, gull’s eggs, potted shrimps, smoked trout, and smoked eel.

18. Bohemian Grove

Located on nearly 3,000 acres of land in Monte Rio, California, Bohemian Grove hosts a two week encampment with some of the most prominent men in the world. Among the constituents include artists, musicians, and businessmen. The gathering includes an all-male membership, and guests have to undergo a screening process. After 40 years of membership, the men earn “Old Guard” status, providing them reserved seating at the daily talks. Prestigious members who have served in the group include Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, and Edwin W. Pauley. Even earlier, members included author Jack London and George Sterling. Membership was strictly limited because of the small size of facilities on the grounds.

19. Surtsey

Ever heard of a four year eruption? Icelandic volcano Surtsey blew up over the course of a four year period from 1963 to 1967, prompting major ecological changes. To this day, scientists are the only humans allowed access to the remote location so that the island can undergo natural ecological succession. Scientists have found that since the end of the eruption, the island has been steadily losing height. If it continues at this rate, the island will be mostly below sea level by 2100. In 1965, it was declared a nature reserve while the eruption was still ongoing. Fast forward to 2008, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in order to acknowledge its scientific value.

20. North Sentinel Island

This portion of the Andaman Islands is home to an indigenous group of Sentinelese. If any foreigners even attempt to sneak a peak, they are met with spears at the coastline. One of the last remaining tribes on earth that is completely untouched by modern civilization, the Sentinelese want to keep it that way. India had administered the island as part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Union Territory in 1947. But no treaties were signed, so the island remains in limbo. In 2005, the Andaman and Nicobar Administration stated they had no intention to interfere with the lifestyle of the Sentinelese. Populations are estimated to be in the few dozens.


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