In the 21st century many of us are able to travel more frequently than ever before. With cheaper airfares, fewer visa restrictions and tons of ways to plan your trip online, for many of us travelling all over the globe has become, easier than ever. There is a famous saying – ‘the world is your oyster’ – but do you know the fact that, there are still some places which are prohibited and better left off alone. And with today’s travel technology, it’s very hard to even imagine a place you’re not allowed to visit. So, whether it is secret place or secret island, the message is very clear - STAY OUT… OR ELSE!! So, here are these 8 places that you will only hear or read about.
Snake Island, Brazil –
Snake Island, or Ilha da Queimada Grande as it’s officially known, is located off the coast of Brazil, approximately 18 miles from the coast of Sao Paulo. Snake Island is home to over 4,000 of the world’s most deadly species of snake and also a very rare species of pit viper known as the Golden Lancehead Viper. It is said that, the snakes on Snake Island possess venom that can actually decompose human flesh. The inhabitants of Snake Island are so dangerous that the Brazilian government banned anyone from visiting the island, a ban that is enforced by the Brazilian Navy.
Lascaux Caves, France -
Lascaux Caves is a complex of caves in southwestern France that is famous for its Paleolithic cave paintings. These paintings are estimated to be 17,300 years old and it contains 900 of the most perfect surviving examples of Upper Paleolithic art. The cave was opened for public in year 1948, however, soon it was observed that the exhaled CO2 from visitors, visibly damaged the painting thus the tourism was stopped and caves have been closed since 1963. It is declared as a UNESCO world heritage site now and only hand few of scientist are allowed to visit it.
North Sentinel Island, India -
On a secluded island in the Indian Ocean, there’s a tribe of indigenous people that attacks anybody who attempts to visit. The island has been named both the hardest to visit and the most dangerous on the planet. India has banned its citizens from visiting North Sentinel Island or attempting to make contact with the people who live there. Infact, Going within three miles of the island is illegal. The Sentinelese people are known for their violence and unwillingness to communicate with any outsiders. Little is known about the square island where they live, largely because it is covered in forest.
Area 51, Nevada -
Also known as Groom Lake, Area 51 is arguably one of the most secretive places on earth. The United States Air Force base's purpose remains unknown to the public, leading to wild speculations and conspiracy theories. It is commonly thought that top-secret aircraft and weapons technologies have been developed and tested in Area 51 since the facility was established by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1955. Others believe the area houses UFOs and that aliens are being held captive there. Although Area 51 was never declared a secret base, it took until 2005 for the U.S. government to publicly acknowledge its existence. Access to the area around Groom Lake, controlled by surveillance and motion sensors, is off-limits to civilians and the airspace above is a no-fly zone for commercial aircraft.
A small island located between Venice and Lido in Northern Italy, Poveglia is a forbidden place with a dark and twisted past. Once used as a plague quarantine station, the tiny island is said to have hosted over 160,000 infected people living out their final days and hours there. It is actually believed that about 50% of the soil consists of human remains. Later on, a mental hospital was opened on the island where many patients were allegedly tortured and killed. This place is also considered to be haunted with a mental hospital doctor who use to performed strange experiments on the patients here; eventually, the doctor went mad and threw himself from the asylum's tall bell tower. Though the bell in the tower was removed decades ago, locals still claim to hear its chimes echo from the lonely island. No wonder the island is now strictly off-limits to visitors.
Ise Grand Shrine, Japan -
The Ise Grand Shrine in Japan (which is actually a series of over 100 shrines) is the most sacred shrine in Japan. It is dedicated to Amaterasu (the Sun goddess) and has been in existence since 4 BC. The shrine is one of Shinto's holiest and most important sites and it ranks very high on the list of places you will never see in person, because the only allowed humans are either the priest or priestess and that he/she must be a member of the Japanese imperial family. The general public is allowed to see little more than the thatched roofs of the central structures, which are hidden behind four tall wooden fences.
Niihau, Hawaii -
This gorgeous island may be home to some rare and endangered regional species, such as Hawaiian ducks, Hawaiian coots and Hawaiian monk seals, but good luck getting there. Situated just southwest of Kauai, the 180 square kilometre island was first purchased by Elizabeth Sinclair in 1864, who has since passed it along to her descendants: the Robinson family. The island's estimated 130 indigenous residents, however, live there rent-free and without roads or telephone service. But when it comes to tourists, it's been nicknamed The Forbidden Island for a reason, only allowing for visits from government officials or relatives of the island's owner.
Heard Island, Australia -
One of the most remote places in the world, Heard Island lies between Madagascar and Antarctica but politically, it belongs to Australia. Home to two active volcanoes, the island is composed of limestone and debris from volcanic eruptions. In 1996, the Australian government made a management plan, forbidding any entry without permission to preserve the fragile natural environment of the island.
And meanwhile, when you are daydreaming about your next holiday, and if any of these locations cross your mind, we hate to say it, but these 8 - mysterious, abandoned, tropical and top-secret spots, will probably remain forever unchecked on your bucket list.