With today’s cutting-edge travel technology, it’s certainly not that hard to explore a new mysterious place regardless of the location. But there’s still a ton of other enigmatic places that have either been locked up for good or cannot be legally visited for various reasons. In today’s article, you’d be privileged to take a peep at the world’s most secretive nooks left in complete desolation. Well, you might not be able to feel them physically, but you can at least imagine what it’s like to be in such sterile places, rusting away into the nothingness. Below you’ll find our unique list of abandoned military bases, fragile natural landmarks, forbidden islands and even unusual sites you never knew existed!
Well, you might’ve believed that there’s no greater mystery than what lies beyond outer space, but today you might change your mind for good. And before you get started, let us warn you that most of these places have got security protocols set into place. No wonder they’re now referred to as the world’s most heavily guarded facilities. No amount of money or power could ever guarantee you access to any of these places. Now, without further ado, let’s see what these places are all about, shall we?
26 Vatican Secret Archives
We’ve got a piece of bad news for all the curious travelers out there: Vatican Secret Archives are off-limits to the public; and, from the look of things, there’s no indication that things would change in the future. According to www.atchuup.com, only academics and highly qualified clergy possess the “key” to the mysterious Vatican Secret Archives. But even the few lucky ones with granted entry inside the heavily guarded facility cannot enjoy the view of the rarest items without advanced approval. Since the facility has been virtually cut off from civilization, skeptics have gathered from around the world to mull over possible theories that could explain the secrecy; however, nobody has ever managed to unveil the century-long enigma floating around the place.
25 Fort Knox And Magna Carta
Fort Knox is yet another well-protected place that might hold the actual Magna Carta along with the Declaration of Independence, www.atchuup.com explains.
The building, which is also home to the US Bullion Depository, is virtually the source of wealth – there’s a ton of gold stored inside there, although all these important historical documents there are also thought of as “pure gold”. When it comes to the levels of protection, the facility boasts squadrons of machine-gun wielding guards alongside armed military patrolling the solid granite walls around the clock. Now that you know more about the brutal scale of protection there, would you risk being caught as you try to sneak your way into the facility?
24 The Federal Reserve Bank of New York
So tight is the security of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York that it takes guts only to think about going there. The building is said to have been entrusted with more gold bullion than there is on the famous Fort Knox, www.atchuup.com assures. In fact, even many other foreign governments use the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as their secret place for gold storage.
No men or women have ever been granted access to the bank’s vault, and on top of that, a Jason Bourne-inspired level of security watches and protects the perimeter.
23 Tumen River
Unlike the previous examples, which were either mysterious sites, items or buildings with a pretty high historical value, this one sure is the black sheep on today’s list. Tumen River is not only a forbidden “place”, but it’s totally engulfed in secrecy. Before it snakes down to China, Tumen River makes up part of Russia’s boundary with North Korea. In other words, it takes only a mile to go from North Korea, through Chinese territory and wind up right there at the doorstep of Russia. This unusual area makes such a good place for those with plans to defect as www.atchuup.com reveals, and is therefore well-guarded by soldiers on the North Korean side.
22 The Iranian Gold Reserve
Good luck penetrating Iran’s gold reserve, especially when nobody can find its exact location, www.atchuup.com says.
Although the gold reserve has long fueled all sorts of bizarre assumptions regarding the location, Iran’s Gold Reserve remains shrouded in impenetrable secrecy. Once Iran had to fly gold into the country from Europe only to get away from the financial pressure coming from the UK and the U.S. So even if you had tight connections in the country, you’d still be denied access and details on the history of the gold reserve.
21 Bank of England Gold Vault
Similarly to The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Bank of England is home to over 4,600 tons of gold, as www.atchuup.com reveals, and is justifiably guarded in the kingdom’s largest gold vault. The walls of the Bank of England are 100% bombproof, making the security system so impenetrable and intricate that it involves voice recognition along with 3 foot keys; and that’s only a small part of all of the advanced security measures that the Bank of England has taken into consideration before the official opening of the facility. According to atchuup.com, the bank’s most complicated and cutting-edge security measures have not been disclosed to the public yet.
20 The Swiss Vaults
If you’ve ever been intrigued by action-packed movies with outlaws trying to sneak into the bank’s vault, then you’d certainly want to learn more about the authentic nature of the Swiss Vaults as well. These are among the safest in the world, which easily explains why they’re the most protected vaults as well. Take, for example, the 3-key safety deposit box.
Believe it or not, it has been used by the most affluent individuals in the world for more than hundreds of years. There’s literally no way to break it regardless of the tools, skillfulness or decidedness. Seriously, these original Swiss vaults are stronger and more reliable than anything you’ve seen before.
19 The Mormon Church’s Secret Vaults
The next example certainly shares common ground with the historically significant documents we touched upon earlier in the article. But unlike them, the unique Mormon Church’s mysterious vaults were said to contain remarkable genealogical records, as www.atchuup.com reveals. But wait, these secret vaults are not only unusual and heavily guarded, but they appear to be protected by an intricate temperature control system, including heat and motion sensors as well. Thanks to the innovative protection system, no living soul can get inside without being tracked down. What happens next remains a total mystery to us, but maybe it’s for the better. Who knows what may happen if an intruder gets caught red-handed in a place where they’re not supposed to be.
18 The Demilitarized Zone Between South And North Korea
This specific strip of land, known as the Korean Demilitarized Zone, stretches about 150 miles in length and 2,5 miles in width, atchuup.com says. This bizarre place is not only a dangerous zone – it divides North and South Korea – but it’s characterized by high defense surrounding the border from end to end. Even the most courageous travelers don’t dare to come near it, let alone cross it, so you can only imagine what a peculiar place this zone might actually be. Strangely, though, the same area is also considered a nature preserve although it's pretty hazardous. But either way, the legendary reputation of this strip of land still manages to give us the chills.
17 DX Florence Prison
Aside from all of these forgotten zones and forbidden areas, there’s one other place in particular that also deserves a tiny portion of the world’s attention – the DX Florence Prison. Before you think that jails have got nothing to compel your mind with, let us tell you that this place is still a supermax prison for Colorado’s bad guys. The prison, officially known as The Administrative Maximum Facility, houses the most dangerous criminals in the US state of Colorado, atchuup.com notes. The ADX even earned the nickname “Alcatraz of the Rockies” due to the extremely tight security measures, including attack dogs, motion-detecting laser beams, 12 ft high razor-wire fences, and all the like.
No way in, no way out – that’s what ADX is all about.
16 Bold Lane Car Park
Another well-protected place is Bold Lane Car Park, located in Derbyshire, England. But unlike the prison - ironically dubbed “The Cleaner Version of Hell” - the Bold Lane Car Park is actually one of the safest places on the planet, atchuup.com says. There’s no way to get your car stolen due to the great diversity of motion detectors and other cutting-edge security technology. Once the vehicle is parked, it falls under the protection of all these modern systems. But these contemporary gadgets don't go off unless they've sensed something unusual. If that’s not the case, though, everything should be fine.
15 Cheyenne Mountain Complex
The Cheyenne Mountain Complex used to be the command center for the North American Aerospace Defense Command until NORAD has decided to relocate its operations and Space Command missions, atchuup.com reveals. Overall, the complex remains heavily guarded regardless of the changes. Its tunnel has been reinforced and is now enclosed by solid granite. What’s quite interesting about this place is that it was also home to the Stargate Command (on the once-famous TV show Stargate SG1). So whatever the use of it, Cheyenne Mountain Complex will hardly ever lose its mysteriousness; and, as you can see in the picture, it's definitely a well-protected facility as well.
14 Air Force One
Best known as one of the most well-built planes, Air Force One features quite an impressive flight avoidance and air-to-air defense, as shown on atchuup.com. Another surprising fact about Air Force One is an excellent package of electronics technology that comes with it. Each was designed with the higher purpose of protecting the Commander-in-Chief, and his entourage, in the event of some unpleasant situations. Thanks to the super-tight security measures, Air Force One didn’t exactly need much time to become one of the world’s most secure places that could also be a “moving location” at times.
13 Haven Co
If you’ve never heard of Haven Co, allow us to tell you that it’s a data-protection company, and it’s super serious about everything it does. The facility is situated somewhere in the North Sea, most likely off the coast of Britain, atchuup.com says, and hardly ever allows people to come and visit it. The few lucky ones ever allowed in Haven Co were authorized personnel, such as employees, employers, investors, or even members of the British crown. In 2008, the mysterious company got shut down without any explanation as to the events leading up to this unexpected scenario.
12 The Greenbrier
Generally, The Greenbrier is mostly known as an exclusive, lavish resort spreading out across 6,500 acres; however few are aware that the resort lies deep within the thick forests of West Virginia, atchuup.com notes. As if that’s not enough, the Greenbrier sits right atop a 25-ton nuclear blast door that comes with tunnels creating a nuclear path for a bunker well supplied for all members of the U.S. Congress. Now, if you wonder why the Greenbrier needed such an unattractive “improvement”, the answer lies in the demand of a bunker in the event of a nuclear attack.
11 Iron Mountain
Iron Mountain used to be a land mine with over 2 million square feet worth of vaults, buried 200 feet below the ground. Today, Iron Mountain no longer functions, so the US government quickly became its current and biggest tenant. According to atchuup.com, the identity of all the vault owners there cannot be disclosed to the world due to the nature of confidentiality. But it’s common knowledge that gigantic companies, such as Corbis, Warner Brothers and even the Smithsonian Institution, have got vaults there as well. Besides that, Iron Mountain is also known to provide a data center backing-up to some of America’s largest companies. No wonder there are waves of heavily armed guards protecting each entrance all day long.
10 The 1960’s Bar
Located about 100 feet below the ground, the once-famous 1960’s Bar is somehow associated with Britain’s mysterious and well-hidden Burlington bunker complex in Wiltshire, England, atchuup.com reveals. Once popular with British Government officials, the bar is now remembered as a bunker complex, a refuge that had to serve as a shelter in the event of a nuclear attack. Today the 1960’s bar is neither an attraction, nor is it a charming facility, but a forbidden area buried about 100 feet underground. Initially, the bar was constructed during the Cold War but it hardly ever accomplished its purpose.
9 Doomsday Seed Vault
Best known as the Svalbard Seed Vault, this unusual facility was first designed as a storage for a wide assortment of seeds. Back in the day, this seed vault was seen as an excellent place to preserve crop diversity and assure the population that there would be no shortage of food regardless of what life brings to the table. This doomsday seed vault, situated in a pretty remote place – resembles a large rock island, with the vault carefully positioned inside the copper mine, atchuup.com notes.
Besides being quite an isolated place, Svalbard is well-guarded with motion sensors, airlocks, and reinforced concrete walls.
8 The Bohemian Grove
When compared to the Svalbard Seed Vault, The Bohemian Grove is rather odd and at least twice as mysterious. Yet, there’s still something about the area that makes the two look quite identical – the high levels of security. The Bohemian Grove is also a well-protected land spreading across 2,700 acres and is believed to be owned by an art club, known as the Bohemian Club. Every summer, this unique club hosts a two-week camp in the woods where the most affluent and influential people in the world gather. But as you can imagine, the area is 100% off-limits to the public, www.ancient-code.com explains.
7 RAF Menwith Hill, UK
RAF Menwith Hill in the UK has long been known as the largest electronic monitoring station on the planet, www.ancient-code.com says, as it also serves as a ground station for a great number of satellites belonging to the US National Reconnaissance Office. On top of that, RAF Menwith Hill is also referred to as one of the most secretive places in Europe and beyond. Thanks to its fascinating and unusual structures providing intelligence and communication support, RAF Menwith Hill became quite an important place where lots of data is held. Well, it sure explains why it’s off-limits to the public as well.
6 Woomera Prohibited Area
Situated outside of Adelaide Australia, this unique facility spreads across a staggering 127,000 square kilometers. Woomera Prohibited Area is primarily known as a massive weapon testing range, and according to www.ancient-code.com, the Royal Australian Air Force now operates it. But besides being quite a fascinating place, it sure is a bit restricted as well. The building is also known as the secret place where British Nuclear Weapons testing and space probes take place. Interestingly, Woomera Prohibited Area sits on a strip of land that’s filthy rich in mineral elements and is therefore worth millions of dollars.
5 Queen’s Bedroom, UK
There was a man who actually broke into it back in the 90s, ancient-code.com reveals. Frankly, we’re not really sure why anyone would want to access it anyway, but the Queen’s Bedroom is now heavily guarded and protected from intruders. The man who broke into it somehow managed to sneak his way past the high walls “adorned” with revolving spikes and barbed wire. Then he climbed up a drainpipe and got inside the Queen’s bedroom in the early hours of the day. As a result of the incident, the general security at the Palace now includes motion sensors, more sophisticated alarms, and guard presence.
4 North Sentinel Island, India
The beautiful North Sentinel Island in India is part of the Andaman Islands, best known for its pristine beaches, beautiful sunsets, and stunning landscapes. Politically, though, the land belongs to India and its extremely hostile native tribes, list25.com details. Interestingly, these tribes are considered really aggressive and violent. Death cases were reported on several occasions there, all of which involved Indian tribes. Unlike most of the previous examples, the risk of experiencing similar things is real; therefore, the access to the North Sentinel Islands and the Andaman Islands, is explicitly forbidden, list25.com further explains.
3 Lascaux Caves, France
Situated somewhere in the southwestern parts of France, these unique Lascaux Caves are home to over 900 of the best-preserved examples of prehistoric art. Strangely, though, the caves have been banned to the public since 1963. The prohibition came into play after an unexplained wave of fungal invasions damaged the area, list25.com says.
As a natural consequence, any human presence in the Lascaux Caves is considered both dangerous and potentially destructive. Typically, the caves are rarely accessed by anyone other than the security guards. Even they are allowed to spend only a few minutes inside the Lascaux Caves.
2 Surtsey, Iceland
Nestled in the Vestmannaeyjar Archipelago, Surtsey is a rather small volcanic island off the southern coast of Iceland. It’s also a pretty young one that was formed in the volcanic eruption that lasted for a few years (from 1963 to 1967). This Icelandic island is not open to the public, except for scientists, list25 notes, but even this doesn’t happen that often. Thanks to these characteristics, the island may preserve its ecological succession without any outside interference, list25 further explains. Last but not least, the volcanic profile of the island certainly makes it less appealing for visitors, and if you ask us, it should be just like this.
1 Metro 2, Russia
The only Russian example on today’s unique list happens to be this Metro 2, known by the codename D-6, list25.com notes. This curious place, located in Moscow, Russia, used to be a fairly new secret underground system, constructed parallel to the official one in Russia’s beautiful capital. Initially, Metro 2 connected a whole lot of administrative and governmental facilities and institutions, starting from Vnukovo-2 airport, through the General Staff Academy and all the way to the Zheltovky’s house and Kremlin. Today this metro line looks just as spooky and deserted as most of the other long-abandoned facilities.
References: www.list25.com, www.atchuup.com, www.ancient-code.com