Forbidden fruit makes it all the more desirable to attain, right? Whether it’s a married woman who catches the wandering eye of a man or a piece of chocolate to a person wrought with diabetes or perhaps the deep end of a pool for a curious child who was specifically told not to tread there, we all love the thrill of having something that we’re not allowed to obtain.
This exhilaration for the forbidden feeds into the thrill of the chase for the adventurous. People who love courting danger relish in discovering things that are restricted, if only for the purpose of defying the odds and attaining them. This list of the most restricted places on earth would entice readers who love a challenge, simply to satisfy their curiosity and perhaps attempt to visit these specific places--all at their own risk of course!
Some places on the list, obtained from websites The Weather Channel and Kizaz, among others, are completely restricted to humans, while others are only accessible to government officials or royalty or the military or other persons with highfalutin titles.
12 Lascaux Caves, Southwest France
For history buffs, it would be an absolute dream come true to see the way of life of people who lived thousands of years ago. It’s a disappointment to many then, that the Lascaux Caves in Southwest France is on the restricted places list. The cave is said to have some of the most beautiful works of prehistoric art adorning its walls, art that dates back as far as 20,000 years. The caves were once opened to tourists, but closed again a few years later because the carbon dioxide that the crowds breathed out destroyed some of the paintings. Today, only a handful of scientists area allowed into the site.
11 Admax, Florence, Colorado
Maximum security prisons are the most depressing kind because the prisoners are virtually barred from the outside world. Such is the case for Admax (Administrative Maximum Security), located in Florence, Colorado. It’s said to be a prison within a prison, so tight is the security in this three-story building. The most dangerous criminals are within its walls, specifically those who are prone to violence and escaping. The prisoners depressingly spend 23 hours a day within their cells and have practically no human contact.
10 Area 51, Groom Lake, Nevada
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the notorious Area 51 outside Las Vegas in Nevada. This military base has been serving whatever mysterious purposes it has for the US government since the 1950s and to this day, no one is completely sure what exactly it’s used for. And this has caused rumors to swirl incessantly. Some say it’s used to develop and test nuclear weapons. Others claim it houses UFOs that crash landed to earth decades ago. But whether we’ll really get to the bottom of it or not, we’ll never really know.
9 White House Situation Room, Washington DC
The only time we’ll see any action happening in the White House Situation room is in political or military-themed TV shows and movies. Otherwise, it’s closed off to the world. Located 50 feet below the West Wing, the only ones who are allowed into the secluded room are the President and a group of carefully handpicked advisors. Based on what we see in films, it’s in the Situation Room where life-or-death decisions are made regarding the country’s involvement in critical military efforts, hence, the place being off-limits.
8 Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Spitsbergen, Norway
Ever wondered what would happen if, by some natural calamity or earth-shattering warfare, the world runs out of natural resources and a famine ensues? Well, Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway is apparently the solution. The vault allegedly contains thousands upon thousands of seeds of every single type of plant all over the world. These seeds can be used to regrow the plants and provide almost the entire human population (or what’s left of it after the calamity) with decent food.
7 Ise Grand Shrine, Ise Japan
Though Japan is thoroughly modern, it still has a firm grasp of its cultural and religious roots. One testament to this hold is the existence of Ise Grand Shrine, which is said to date back to 4 B.C. The country’s most sacred shrine, no one can enter the complex, save for the priests and priestesses of the imperial family. And the reason the grounds are so revered is because the shrine is supposedly home to the Yata no Kagami, or sacred mirror, one of the most important objects in the country.
6 Metro-2, Moscow, Russia
A place that may or may not actually exist is all the more intriguing. One such example is Metro-2 in Moscow, a rumored subway system in the city’s underground. The line of railways was supposedly built by dictator Joseph Stalin for top government officials and Russian secret service agents. And to add fuel to the fire, there’s also an alleged underground city near the Metro-2 and it can fit 30,000 people in the event of a war.
5 Mount Weather, Virginia
In answer to the Sputnik satellite launched by the Soviet Union in the 1950s, the US built the Mount Weather Operations Center in Virginia, a few miles away from the nation’s capital. To put it bluntly, the center is a “doomsday” shelter, complete with its own radio and TV studio in the event that the president would need to make a broadcast after an attack. It’s said that regular authorities are not permitted into the premises; rather Mount Weather has its own police and fire stations.
4 Coca-Cola’s Recipe Vault, Georgia
It’s but natural that the biggest soda manufacturer in the world would keep its recipe safely under lock and key. And this is why Coca-Cola has its very own recipe vault in Georgia. The recipe has long been fiercely guarded, leaving many to speculate about what magic it has to elicit such loyalty from customers. The vault is never opened and the recipe is not visible to those who tour the exhibit, where the famous vault is located.
3 North Sentinel Island, Andaman Islands, Bay of Bengal
Believe it or not, there are still tribes of people out there who are almost completely cut off from the outside world, preferring to live and breed among themselves and are totally averse to change. Such is the case for the Sentinelese, who hail from the North Sentinel Island along the Bay of Bengal. According to the website Neatorama, the island has no natural harbors and is surrounded by jagged coral reefs, effectively keeping visitors out. The few attempts at contacting the tribe came at a cost, including a National Geographic film director getting shot in the leg with an arrow by a tribesman.
2 Vatican Secret Archives, Vatican, Italy
Those who are familiar with Dan Brown’s novel, Angels and Demons know that the Vatican has a secret archive and that it’s restricted to the public, unless your name is Robert Langdon, the book’s protagonist. In contrast to how the archive is depicted in the movie, the actual Vatican Secret Archives is quite antiquated, with metal lifts to bring you to the different floors that contain the papal documents, according to The Telegraph. The secretary to the archive prefecture admitted that there is a section that is completely off-limits, as it contains details on the personal affairs of the cardinals and documents on annulled marriages.
1 Room 39, Pyongyang, North Korea
North Korea arguably tops the list of most restricted places. And you won’t get any more restricted than Room 39, said to be located in the ruling Workers’ Party building in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. The infamous room is said to be the site of numerous criminal activities, such as illegal drug manufacturing, counterfeiting of US dollar bills, and financial fraud. An article in The Guardian states that North Korea denies any existence of such a room.