Our spectacular planet has so many wonders to explore. However, there are some places that are just too dangerous, too protected, or maybe too special to visit—even for the most seasoned voyager. These places have been completely cut off from the outside world.
1. Room 39, (Office 39)
A visit to North Korea is something many of us will never think about much less do in our lifetimes. According to an article by Business Insider, there’s a secretive building within this distant country that even locals will never gain access to.
Room 39 is committed to securing foreign currency for the nation’s leaders. The office was created by Kim Jong Il in the 1970s, and is thought to be a center characterized by illicit economic activities such as slush fund scandals and counterfeiting
2. Snake Island
Ilha da Queimada Grande, or Snake Island, as it is more affectionately known, is a 43-hectare island located of the Brazilian coastline, approximately 20 miles from the Sao Paulo shore. The island is home one of the globe’s most deadly species of snake, the Golden Lancehead Viper, who’s venom can eat through flesh. There are more than 4,000 of them on the island, but local lore suggests that there is one snake for every five square meters of the land. Whatever the case, the Brazilian government has prohibited any visitors from setting foot there with one exception: Every few years the government grants a handful of scientists a permit to study the snakes.
3. Disney Club 33 Exclusive Club
Located at Disneyland, Florida, this fairly unobtrusive looking front door is actually the entrance to a highly exclusive members only club. How do I get in ? I hear you cry. Well firstly, you need to locate it. Without giving too much away, head to New Orleans Square and look for the Blue Bayou. Getting in won’t be as easy – the club is not open to the public. However, members, which include Presidents of the United States, business leaders and actors – can bring friends and associates along, so you better start networking!
4. Vault of the Secret Formula
Pharmacist John S. Pemberton’s Coca-Cola formula, created in 1886, is regarded as one of the world’s most highly regarded trade secrets. In 2011, the Coca-Cola company moved its then 125-year-old recipe from its original vault at SunTrust Bank in downtown Atlanta to the World of Coca-Cola.
5. Pine Gap
Pine Gap is a satellite tracking system station located near Alice Springs in Central Australia. The secretive station, dubbed a joint defense facility run by both Australia and the United States, is often associated with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Edward Snowden named it as one of the key facilities in US surveillance
6. Vatican Secret Archives
The Vatican Secret Archives, more accurately the private archives, stores the pope’s personal documents which date back to the 8th century. Among these documents is a copy of Pope Leo X’s papal bull that excommunicated Luther, which he later burned in protest.
Though the archives have been closed off to the public in the past, Pope Leo XIII granted access to expert researchers in the late nineteenth century
7. Ise Jingu (Ise Grand Shrine)
Ise Jingu, which ranks among Shinto’s most sacred structures, actually consists of 125 shrines (jinja) and two main ones dedicated to different gods. The Outer Shrine (Geku) and the Inner Shrine (Naiku). Geku is said honor Toyouke, the deity for clothing, food, and housing while Naiku was made for the sun goddess Amaterasu. These two main structures are rebuilt every twenty years. Though you can visit the shrine, you cannot enter or photograph the innermost parts
8. Area 51
Area 51 has risen in popularity for its association with government secrecy and supposed holdings of alien spacecrafts. A few years ago, the CIA released documents officially acknowledging the Nevada-based area – about 125 miles northwest of Las Vegas – and its purpose as a testing site for government’s U-2 and OXCART aerial surveillance programs.
Pop culture enthusiasts may be disappointed, but the reports are said to be only the beginning of public access to the top secret work behind this legendary site.
9. White’s Gentleman Club
White’s is a highly exclusive and historic gentleman’s club located in St. James’s Street in London. Despite its men-only rule, the refined club (although some believe it to be outdated) opened its doors to Queen Elizabeth II for a rare visit in 1991. Inside the club is an extensive menu, bar, gaming tables, and more. Prince Charles held his stag night, or bachelor’s party, at the club before marrying Lady Diana Spencer.
10. Svalbard Global Seed Vault
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a vast subterranean seed bank and storage facility on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, around 800 miles from the North Pole, built 400 feet into a mountainside. Officially opened in February 2008, the facility now stores around 840,000 samples of 4000 different species of seeds, from all over the world. The idea behind the seed bank is to provide a safety net against accidental loss diversity in the case of a major global or regional event. It functions much like a safety deposit box at the bank, allowing organizations or governments to ‘deposit’ seed variations in the vault for safe keeping, and only they have access to their deposits. The 11,000-square-foot facility is protected by highly advanced security systems and access is strictly limited to a handful of employees.