Even in a free country with all the freedoms an ordinary citizen can hope to have, there are places that are for some reason off-limits to ordinary public. These places are highly secured and can get you in real trouble if you ever decide to storm in. Take a look at the 10 places that are off-limits to ordinary public:
- 10. Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Norway
- 9. Metro-2, Russia
- 8. The Jiangsu National Security Education Museum, China
- 7. Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center, U.S.
- 6. Ise Grand Shrine, Japan
- 5. Poveglia, Italy
- 4. Vatican Secret Archives, Vatican City
- 3. Lascaux Caves, France
- 2. Snake Island, Brazil
- 1. The Sentinelese People, Andaman Island
10. Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Norway
In number 10 position of places that are off-limits to ordinary public is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It’s a secure seed bank located in the remote Norwegian island of Spitsbergen. Conservationist Cary Fowler and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) together built this bank to preserve seeds on occasion of a global crisis. It all began in 1984 when frozen seeds were being stored in an abandoned coal mine. Over the year there accumulated 300 different species of seed in the place. Construction of the vault was funded by the Norwegian government. Now it is managed by the joint efforts of Norwegian government, the Nordic Genetic Resource Center (NordGen) and the Global Crop Diversity Trust (GCDT).
9. Metro-2, Russia
In number 9 position of 10 places that are off-limits to ordinary public is the Metro-2. It’s a secret underground metro system located in Moscow. Under the codename D-6, the system was supposedly built and functional during the time of Joseph Stalin. It is believed to run parallel with the public Moscow Metro but its length exceeds that of the public Metro. According to rumours the metro connects to all the significant government places. Though several people have suggested its existence no one has said for sure that its there. Attempts to look for it is not allowed however in 2004 an urban explorer’s group claimed to have found its entrance.
8. The Jiangsu National Security Education Museum, China
In number 8 position of 10 places that are off-limits to ordinary public is the Jiangsu National Security Education Museum. It’s a spy museum located in the eastern city of Nanjing states. It’s off-limit to everyone who is not a Chinese citizen. From guns disguised as lipstick to maps disguised as a deck of cards, there a number of intriguing stuffs in that museum including Chinese security equipments dating back from 1927. Whoever doesn’t look Chinese is turned back from the door.
7. Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center, U.S.
Also known as the High Point Special Facility (HPSF), the facility is made for protecting the most important people in the country in case of a sudden disaster like a nuclear attack or something. Naturally the place is equipped with the highest level of security and standard of living condition. According to The Washington Post, after the 9/11 attacks many leaders were evacuated to Mount Weather. The success of the programme largely depends on how far in advance the warning of the attack is received. Having this mysterious air around a place has caught the imagination of several people. Mount Weather has been extensively depicted in novel, television series etc.
6. Ise Grand Shrine, Japan
In number 6 position of 10 places that are off-limits to ordinary public is the Ise Grand Shrine. Located in the city of Ise, there is a shrine so sacred that people are not allowed to go inside to offer prayers. The Ise Shrine actually consists of over 123 Shinto shrines. The shrine is taken care of a chief priest or priestess who comes from the Japanese imperial family. Believed to be established in 4 B.C.E, the Ise Shrine is one of Shinto’s holiest and most important sites. The shrine is literally hidden behind fences and anyone standing outside can only see the thatched roofs of the central structures.
5. Poveglia, Italy
It’s a small island located in northern Italy between Venice and Lido. The island has long been inhabited by people and therefore has a long history of human suffering. However around 1379 in fear of an attack, Poneglians left the place and the island was practically uninhabited for centuries after. Around 1776, ports were built on the island as checking point for ship and from 1793 ships infected by plagues were docked in that port while the sick were being taken care of in the island. In the 20th century the island was transformed into an asylum for the mentally ill but years later it was completely abandoned. Due to a number of deaths, the island is said to be haunted and kept off-limits to citizens.
4. Vatican Secret Archives, Vatican City
In number 4 position of 10 places that are off-limits to ordinary public is the Vatican Secret Archives. Located in the Vatican City, The Vatican Secret Archives is said to hold some of the darkest secrets in the world. Over the years, correspondence, papal account books, the state papers and several other documents of worth have accumulated in the Archives. Very few people have access to the place which is practically owned by the Pope. On occasion of his death or resignation, the ownership is passed down to the next successor. It was only since 1881, that few researchers are allowed inside each year to examine the old documents. In 2012, an exhibition showcasing 100 original documents dating from the 8th to the 20th century was organised.
3. Lascaux Caves, France
The Lascaux caves are famous for its Paleolithic cave paintings. Estimated to be 17,300 years old, they are part of the Upper Paleolithic art. The caves were discovered in 1940 by an 18-year-old boy named Marcel Ravidat. The painting primarily depict large animal whose fossils have been found around the area. The caves were not always off-limit to public. In 1955, it was opened to outsiders but contaminations caused it to shut down in 1963. Today listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Lascaux caves are facing many problems due to the uncontrollable microbial and fungal growths.
2. Snake Island, Brazil
In number 2 position of 10 places that are off-limits to ordinary public is the Snake Island. Originally known as Ilha da Queimada Grande, the island is located off the coast of the state of São Paulo. Its home to one of the most deadly snake on the planet, the Golden Lancehead Viper or Bothrops. The vipers’ existence was at risk and it was the only snake species on the island. Therefore the island was made off-limit to ordinary citizens. Only scientist and researchers are allowed into the area. In 1909 a lighthouse was constructed and for a long time the lighthouse keeper was the only inhabitant of the island. In 2015 a documentary on the Discovery Channel stated presently the population is stable with around 4000 Golden vipers living on the island.
1. The Sentinelese People, Andaman Island
Located in a tiny island in the Bay of Bengal is a group of indigenous last known isolated tribe. The Sentinelese has reportedly lived on that island for over 60,000 years resisting any approach from the outside world. Repeatedly researchers have tried to established contact with this tribe but they have reacted with sheer violence. Ranging in population between 50 to 400, in 2006 they murdered 2 fishermen who had lost their ways and landed on the island. During the 2004 tsunami, observation data revealed that the group had moved to high ground before disaster struck as if they knew what was coming. Agriculture is unknown to them, they are largely hunter-gatherers.