Certain destinations are restricted from public access due to various factors, including security concerns, environmental preservation, or ongoing research. So, there are some places around the globe that you cannot add to your travel bucket list. The following article delves into eight of these locations and explains why they are closed to visitors.
8. Mezhgorye, Russia
Settled deep in Russia’s Ural Mountains, Mezhgorye remains cloaked in secrecy. Rumors swirl that beneath this town lies an underground complex, possibly a remotely-controlled nuclear missile site. Although information about the place is unconfirmed, outsiders are not allowed in the area surrounded by two battalions.
7. Surtsey, Iceland
Born from a volcanic eruption in 1963, Surtsey is one of the world’s youngest islands. It serves as a natural laboratory for scientists to study the way life colonizes new land. To maintain its untouched condition and allow uninterrupted research, the island is off-limits to tourists.
6. Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Norway
Buried deep within an Arctic mountain, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is often dubbed the ‘Doomsday Vault.’ It holds the world’s largest collection of seeds, with 100 million samples from all over the world, for a possible future crisis. The Vault remains inaccessible to the general public to ensure its contents’ safety and security.
5. Tomb of Qin Shi Huang, China
The first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, rests in an underground city surrounded by the Terracotta Army. While the terracotta soldiers draw thousands of visitors, the main tomb remains unexcavated and closed off by the Chinese government to show the historical figure respect and prevent its destruction. Researchers believe it contains invaluable artifacts but is also said to have deadly traps and rivers of mercury.
4. Pluto’s Gate, Turkey
In ancient times, this site in Denizli Province was believed to be a gateway to the underworld. It’s a geothermal gap that gives off toxic gases, once used in pagan rituals. According to scientists, CO2 concentration in there poses a danger to anyone who enters, especially when it reaches its peak at dawn. That’s why Pluto’s Gate is strictly guarded and not open for casual visits.
3. Chichen Itza Pyramid, Mexico
The El Castillo pyramid at Chichen Itza welcomes many tourists each year. But, in an effort to protect its state and avoid accidents like the one in 2006, when a woman fell to her death from there, climbing this structure is no longer allowed. Tourists can see it from a distance but cannot experience the view from the top.
2. Fort Knox, Kentucky, USA
Home to a big portion of the US gold reserves, Fort Knox holds up a lot of security measures. This facility supports concrete-lined granite and steel walls and requires different combinations from each staff member to access inside. It isn’t open for public tours.
1. Lascaux Caves, France
These caves are decorated with prehistoric paintings over 17,000 years old. Since a large number of visitors posed a threat of fungal invasions to them in the past, public access to the location is forbidden to protect the artwork. Instead, a replica nearby is open to display for tourists to see without damaging the originals.