In today’s world, we have the opportunity to embark on journeys that were not too long ago unthinkable. The opportunities to explore the world are so vastly different and certainly more than even just a generation or two ago. As modern transportation has placed us within a day or two of most of the world’s destinations, we stand at a moment in the history where travel has remarkable a privilege – one that we sometimes take for granted.
Still, while there is freedom and easy accessibility to travel places across the planet, there are some places that are still unexplored and covered in mysteries. They are forbidden and aren’t for public viewing. Let’s look at nine such places:
1. Ise Grand Shrine, Japan
Considered as Japan’s most sacred Shinto shrine, Ise Grand dates back to the third century. It is the spiritual home of the Japanese people and its national religion Shinto, and as such receives heavy influx of pilgrims and tourists every year.
Ise Grand Shrine also known as Ise Jingu, is a complex of over 125 shrines located in Ise City, Mie Prefecture. The grand and marvel place of worship is centered around the main shrines of Naiku (inner shrine) and Geku (outer shrine). The main shrine buildings are located stunningly at the foot of densely wooded hills, which makes it one of the beautiful architectural sites in Japan. But not everyone can enter the most sacred block. You can only see part of the main shrine buildings as they are almost completely hidden from view behind wooden fences. The inner sanctum can only be entered by members of the imperial family and a few select shrine priests. It is such a holy site that the head priest or priestess must come from the imperial family. You are also not allowed to take pictures of the main shrine buildings. This only adds to the mystery and mystic of the place.
2. Doomsday Vault, Norway
If you didn’t know that something like a Doomsday Vault existed, you should definitely remember this one, because it’s related to our future. The Doomsday Vault is a seed bank located in the middle of the Arctic Svalbard archipelago, in Norway. This is a protected vault that conserves a diversity of plant seeds.
It is an effort to keep safe the seeds in an event of an apocalypse or worldwide emergency. From every little corner all around the world, big boxes of seeds are delivered to the Doomsday Vault for storing them long term. It is essentially a huge safety deposit box, holding the world’s largest collection of agricultural biodiversity. The vault isn’t open to any public but it allows entry to special guests only on certain days. Opened in 2008, the vault was built to last about 200 years and it can withstand explosions and earthquakes. It’s location was well though out, as it is set at the side of a mountain, it will still be above sea level, even if all ice on the planet melts.
3. North Sentinel Island, India
North Sentinel Island is located in the Andaman, and is one of the most forbidden places on the planet. Its indigenous population, known as the Sentinelese, rejects any contact with the outside world and remains one of the few peoples that remain untouched by our civilization.
The people inhabiting the island often get violent to safeguard their isolation. The Sentinelese tribe have lived on the island for over 50,000 years under the protection of the Indian Government. In 2004, when researchers were assessing the damage after the Indian Ocean tsunami, their helicopters were attacked by the Sentinelese for approaching the island. None of them were hurt, of course, but this example shows how fiercely the island’s population is protecting their territory.
4. Lascaux Caves, France
The Lascaux Cave in France is regarded as one of the important archaeological sites the world. It is being said that the cave holds pre-historic paintings that date way back to at least 17,300 years ago.
The set of Paleolithic paintings that seems hauntingly striking hangs over the wall. These paintings have animals such as cattle, stags, bison and much more on it. Unfortunately, the cave is sealed to the common public following 1963. Because archaeologists concluded that human proximity might ruin the ancient work of art. The critically acclaimed German director and independent filmmaker Werner Herzog was allowed by a special permission from the French Minister of Culture to enter the cave and shoot his 2010 documentary, Cave of Forgotten Dreams. He and his crew were only allowed shooting entry for 6 days of 4 hours each.
5. Bhangarh Fort, India
The once majestic fort located in Rajasthan lies in the ruins. Having played host to a splendid kingdom, it is now regarded as the most haunted fort in India.
The fort was built by the ruler of Amber Kachwaha for his youngest son in 1573 and gradually its population dwindled until in 1783 when a strong famine forced the villagers still living there to flee. Local legends state that the reason for the kingdom falling into ruin was that the fort was cursed.
In fact, Bhangarh Fort is the only “legally recognised” haunted place in India according to the Times of India, and a government permit is required to be able to enter before dawn or after sundown.Although it’s said that the reason is down to wild, nocturnal animals such as tigers and the lack of artificial lighting in the area, no one knows what else could be lurking in the ruins.
6. Tomb of Qin Shi Huang, China
The tomb of China’s first Emperor and the founder of the Qin Dynasty Qin Shi Huang is one of the most inaccessible in the world. The builders of the tomb created a complicated network of caverns filled with things that the emperor would need in the afterlife.
To give respect to the old site, the Chinese Government decided to ban any excavation of the Tomb of Qin Shi Huang. Hence, it is one of the most forbidden places in the world to hold respect for the late king.
7. Poveglia, Italy
Poveglia is a small island located between Venice and Lido. The place is often called unlucky for many reasons, not more so than the fact that it used to be a plague quarantine station and hosted more than 160 thousands infected people, who were living out their last days there.
According to some reports, 50% of the island’s soil consists of human remains. And, as if this tragedy wasn’t enough, the island later became home to a mental hospital that had a very sinister reputation. After some time it was closed and now Poveglia is strictly forbidden to enter for anyone.
8. Fort Knox, USA
Located in Kentucky, Fort Knox is home to the bigger half of the gold reserves in the United States. It is frequently referred to as the most heavily guarded place in the world. It has quite a few security measures that can blow anyone’s mind.
The most interesting thing is that even none of the staff members can have an access to the vault. To gain access to it, they need to know several combinations, but each staff member knows only one of them, so they can only enter the vault with the help of their colleagues. Besides, since the building is made of concrete-lined granite and reinforced by steel, it can withstand any attack from the outside world.