There are plenty of unusual tourism spots that people are allowed to visit everywhere around the world. Today, I’m taking a different approach and found the top five places that, while incredible, don’t permit anybody to see.
On Snake Island (Ilha da Queimada Grande), about 25 miles off the coast of Brazil, you will find quite a few snakes. The island is only 110 acres (430,000 square meters) and is home to approximately 4,000 of them.
Not only that, but the snakes are incredible dangerous. The golden lancehead snake (Bothrops insularis) is one of the most dangerous in the world.
They are a species of pit viper, with a venom so strong it can kill a human within an hour. Effects from being bit include swelling, local pain, nausea and vomiting, blood blisters, bruising, blood in the vomit and urine, intestinal bleeding, kidney failure, hemorrhage in the brain and severe necrosis of muscular tissue.
There are so many of these snakes that estimates say there is one on almost every square meter of the island. In case you didn’t get this already, stay very far away from snake island.
Vatican Secret Archives
Under Vatican City, Italy, there are 52 miles of shelves containing over 35,000 secret documents.
These archives include the history of the acts of the Holy See, historical documents, state papers, papal account books, and official correspondence papers.
The earliest records they hold come from the eighth century. They have letters from Michelangelo, Mary Queen of Scots, King Henry VIII, and everything is considered the property of the current pope.
A select few academic scholars are permitted access after a rigorous screening, but the rest of us will never know what secrets lie in these archives.
North Brother Island
Located in New York City, North Brother Island contains about 8 acres of land. Riversides hospital inhabited the previously vacant island in the 1850s to treat smallpox and Tuberculosis.
It served as a place to isolate victims of the diseases and hopefully cure them. One of the occupants was infamous “Typhoid Mary“. After vaccines eliminated the need for the hospital, it was abandoned until a center opened to treat young drug addicts.
Many if not most of the people kept on the island were held against their will. The staff locked these young adults into a room until they were forcibly clean from drugs such as heroine.
Staff corruption and debt caused the facility to close in 1963, and it has been abandoned and falling apart ever since. Additionally, nobody is allowed to visit the island. The official reason? It is a protected site for various birds. Who knows what secrets may really hide on this island…
U.N. Buffer Zone in Cyprus
On the island of Cyprus there is a demilitarized zone about 180 kilometers long.
Since 1974, nobody is allowed to enter this zone in an attempt to keep the peace between Greece and Turkey. The countries were at war following Turkish invasion of Cyprus, and the demilitarized zone was set up to prevent further fighting from happening. After all, you can’t fight very well if you can’t even reach each other.
Even the inhabitants of the zone were not allowed back in. Many had to leave immediately, and left their belongings and houses to never set foot inside again.
There are several different zones and as of 2003, regulations have relaxed. Many areas previously off limits are now allowing limited entry, though still strictly prohibit anyone where the U.N. soldiers are stationed.
Located in France, the Lascaux caves contain over 600 wall paintings
The paintings are an estimated 17,000-20,000 years old, and cover the walls and ceilings. They are hauntingly vivid and include depictions of nearly 6,000 figures including cattle, bison, birds, bears, and even humans. The paintings were made using mineral pigments and are made of red, yellow and black compounds.
The caves used to be open to the public, however were closed permanently in the 1960s. The site is a UNESCO world heritage site since 1979, legally and internationally protected for historical significance. Not only did humans begin to destroy parts of the caves and art, but black mold and fungi began to grow which is potentially harmful to humans.
So there you have it, five places that you and I will unfortunately never be able to go. If you could, which one would you want to visit the most?