How does it feel when someone comes up to you and says “excuse me, sir/madam, you are not supposed to be here”? Do you feel angry or insulted, or do you try and understand why you cannot exercise your God given freedom to go anywhere on this beautiful planet that you please? At times we get angry because the people telling us that we “can’t be somewhere” have made a judgement that is totally uncalled for, or we get angry because we do not fully understand why a particular place is only reserved for a few people who are not that much better than we are. All of us always want to be treated equally, but what we want is not always relevant to the situations we are in.
Regardless of how important or how rich you think you are, there are some places where you will find hard getting through the door, simply because you do not have the membership, the security clearance, or the skills to make it through to the other side. Some restrictions are there for a very good reason, whereas others are just there for no reason at all. Regardless, there is little you can do to gain access through the doors that we so curiously crave to enter. Although there are countless places that you are not allowed to visit on this planet, here are 15 places that most of us wish we could get an opportunity to visit but can’t:
15. The Coca-Cola Recipe Vault – Georgia, USA
The Coca-Cola Company has for over 100 years been recognized as the world’s leading soft drink company, a title that it is likely to retain for another century or so. This company has guarded its secret recipe for 125 years, a recipe with a secret ingredient that is so hidden that your guess of what it could be is as good as ours. This secret recipe is apparently hidden in the Coca-Cola recipe vault in Atlanta, and some people claim that it is one of the most secure vaults in the world. Although the Coca-Cola company has placed the vault as an exhibit where people can actually get close to the secret recipe, most people believe that the company just wants to make money from curious people, and that the real recipe and vault are very far from the public eye.
14. Svalbard Global Seed Vault – Norway
Svalbard Global Seed Vault is what we would refer to as a modern day Noah’s Ark, only with regard to seeds. This seed vault is a facility that was built to survive the worst catastrophes that would threaten the crops we have on earth, because it would supply the earth with seeds of every crop that is in existence today. This facility gives us the hope that we could always restore the green aspect of the earth should anything happen. As interesting as a tour of the facility might be, it would be next to impossible for you to go there, owing to the tight and round the clock security. Though, you could do a virtual visit of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault if you must.
13. Mount Weather – Virginia, USA
Mount Weather is one of the most secure places on the planet, since it acts as an emergency operations center that can be used in the event of a catastrophic phenomenon that could risk the lives of some high-level officials. On September 11, Dick Cheney was flown to this facility to ensure his safety during the catastrophic events that unfolded on that day, a role that the facility is ready to play anytime in the future. This facility was built during the period of the cold war, and it is just a few minutes’ flight from Washington D.C. The facility has an above the ground and an underground facility, with its dedicated emergency fire and police services, and its own laws and leaders, but you cannot get anywhere near this facility because it is heavily guarded and you are not welcome here.
12. Woomera Prohibited Area – Australia
As the name suggests, Woomera Prohibited Area is a prohibited area owing to the activities that take place inside. This area is a military testing range and the biggest of its kind on the planet. If you would successfully gain entry into this facility without approval from the relevant authorities, you would be risking your life because the equipment being tested is meant to eliminate the enemy. This testing range is a very important defence facility for Australia and Australia’s national security, because here is where the armed forces get to understand the extent and the capabilities of their weapons. Furthermore, the area has a wealth of resources yet to be tapped, resources that will one day make a lot of money for Australia.
11. Javari Reserve – Brazil
Javari reserve is a section of the Brazilian rainforest playing host to some communities that have survived in isolation from the developing world for a very long time. The section of the rainforest that these communities live in is so remote and deep in the forest, that they were discovered only after high-resolution satellite images of the rainforest reserve showed human activity. The authorities flew over the section of the rainforest that they believed to have picked up human activities and discovered thatched structures and crops growing around them. In order to protect these and other communities that we do not know of living in the rainforest and in the Amazon wilderness, the authorities here are protecting over 30,000 square miles of the rainforest and setting it aside for these people. This means that regardless of how awesome it would be to visit these communities, you are not allowed to go there.
10. Area 51 – Nevada, USA
The debate of whether aliens exist or not is not likely to end anytime soon, especially owing to the existence of places such as Area 51. For years, the government has tried to deny the existence of Area 51, though in recent times it has acknowledged its presence but still denies handling alien and UFO-related activities there. Whatever goes on in Area 51 must be very sensitive and top secret, because people are not allowed anywhere near it. Along the way, you will meet several signs warning you to turn back and these are the type of warnings you would be very wise to obey.
9. North Sentinel Island – Andaman Islands, Bay of Bengal
The Sentinel Island is one of the most beautiful islands in the Indian Ocean, but the bad news is that you cannot go there. Most of this island is covered by a dense forest and it has amazing beaches, but the only problem is the people who inhabit it. If outsiders get too close to the island, the people who live there will attack and attempt to kill them. The people living here have totally rejected any form of contact with outsiders, and they have also rejected modern civilization. The locals are so harsh that they even fling rocks and fire arrows on helicopters and low-flying aircraft that fly anywhere close to the island. The Indian government protects the North Sentinel Island, but the hostility of the locals is enough to keep everyone away.
8. Disneyland’s Club 33 – New Orleans, USA
Club 33 is supposed to be a secret Club in Disneyland that only its members should know exists. Opened in 1967 by Walt Disney, this secret club was meant to be the place for entertaining investors, politicians, and celebrities who came to Disneyland. It will be hard finding where the club is since there are no signs giving you directions. Despite the fact that some members of staff will point you towards the entrance of Club 33 while others will deny that it even exists, you can never get in unless you have a personal invitation from a member of the club. Another way the club is keeping people away is with its extremely high membership fee of $25,000, its annual subscription fee of $10,000, and a 14-year waiting list. As fun as it might sound to visit this place, sadly it is almost impossible to get in.
7. White’s Gentleman Club – England
The White’s Gentleman Club is one of the most secretive clubs in England, but it is well known owing to its over 320-year existence. This club is open only to elite men in society, meaning that women and ordinary folk are not allowed anywhere near its entrance. The only member to resign from the club out of his own free will was Prime Minister David Cameron, who felt that the nature of the club was not in line with his modern conservatism views. Despite being a gentleman’s club, finding the members gambling or engaging in heavy drinking is not a surprising thing. Gaining membership to this club is as hard as getting the queen to Knight you, meaning that it is next to impossible.
6. Room 39 – Pyongyang, North Korea
Almost every government in the world has dirty dealings that it would not want its citizens to know about, and secret organizations undertake those dealings in the shadows. North Korea’s secret organization goes by the name Room 39, which can also be referred to as Office 39, Division 39, or Bureau 39. Numerous sources claim that Room 39 is a secret facility in Pyongyang where the government encourages counterfeiting, the production and dealing in drug, and international insurance fraud, among other illegal activities. Since the money that results from the illegal activities that take place in Room 39 goes toward funding the country’s leadership and supporting its nuclear weapon program, you are not in any way welcome to visit the facility.
5. Mezhgorye – Bashkortostan, Russia
This town in Russia is one of the most unique towns in all of Europe and Asia, since Russia is the only country in the world existing in two continents. Mezhgorye was closed down by the government but the people living there were not evicted, they continue to live in the town and do some secret work for the government. NATO believes that the residents living in the town are predominantly employees working in Mount Yamantaw, a suspected nuclear facility that Russia does not want the world to know about. This facility came up during the Cold War, and people are still working there regardless of the end of that period full of espionage and its other related activities. You cannot visit this town because it is still a restricted area, and regardless of how interesting it must be to know what goes on inside, you just have to keep guessing.
4. Surtsey – Iceland
Surtsey is an island that was birthed out of volcanic eruptions at sea near Iceland with the molten and fast cooling lava reaching the surface of the sea in Feb 14, 1963. The volcano underneath continued to erupt for three-and-a-half years and it is now an island 1.4 square kilometres wide, though erosion is reducing its size with every wave. Surtsey seems like a great place to go for an expedition, but that is not going to happen because it is a nature reserve set aside for the study of ecological succession. Since very few scientists have even been allowed to visit Surtsey and conduct various studies related to how plants and animals establish themselves in a new territory, chances of visiting this new land are slimmer than they’ve ever been.
3. Pine Gap – Australia
Pine Gap is a top secret research facility in Australia, that is run by the Australian and US governments. Although the public does not know much about what goes on in Pine Gap, there is reason to believe that the facility has a direct or indirect relationship with US military drones. This secret facility was established in 1970, and the Australian government does not like talking about its existence or anything that takes place there. This facility is built to be a satellite tracking station and is located far from civilization so that other countries do not intercept its signals. This facility might be the location from where the US controls its numerous spy satellites and listens in on Asia. The area is prohibited and no unauthorized persons can set foot in this facility.
2. Pripyat – Ukraine
Ukraine was one of those countries where the harnessing of nuclear energy for development and other peaceful activities was taking place, but the Chernobyl disaster led to huge losses. Pripyat was a modern city that was flourishing before its abandonment within two days of the Chernobyl disaster, leaving it as the shell of what was once a wonderful place to live and work. Today Pripyat is inaccessible because the level of radioactivity that is still present is too high, and even accessing the exclusion zones require escort from armed guards. Going to the heart of the city and even getting close to the Chernobyl plant might sound like a great idea, but in doing so you would land yourself in a lot of trouble.
1. Snake Island – Brazil
Since man’s exile from the Garden of Eden, his relationship with the snake has never been that good. Despite some people trying to tame snakes and make them their friends, surely your first emotion when you see a snake will be fear and the impulse to either run away or kill it. Since snakes are not fond of human beings either, the snake island in Brazil is therefore a place that you should not even attempt to go. Living up to its name, this island is host to over 4,000 snakes that snatch birds from the sky and whose venom can melt human flesh and kill you within hours if not minutes. Except for adrenalin junkies who would attempt to stare death in the face just for fun, you should not even desire to visit this island. Snake Island is off limits to any visitors, a restriction that is enforced by the Brazilian government.