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The Worlds Most Amazing and Mysterious Places You Can't Visit.

Updated on February 4, 2017

1. The Most Famous Area 51, Nevada U.S.A

The United States Air Force facility commonly known as Area 51 is a remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base, within the Nevada Test and Training Range. According to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the correct names for the facility are Homey Airport (ICAO: KXTA) and Groom Lake, though the name Area 51 was used in a CIA document from the Vietnam War. Other names used for the facility include Dreamland, and nicknames Paradise Ranch, Home Base and Watertown.The Special use airspace around the field is referred to as a Restricted Area.

The area surrounding the lake is permanently off-limits both to civilian and normal military air traffic. Security clearances are checked regularly; cameras and weaponry are not allowed. Even military pilots training in the NAFR risk disciplinary action if they stray into the exclusionary "box" surrounding Groom's airspace. Surveillance is supplemented using buried motion sensors. Area 51 is a common destination for Janet, " the de facto" name of a small fleet of passenger aircraft operated on behalf of the United States Air Force to transport military personnel, primarily from McCarran International Air port.

2. RAF Menwith Hill

RAF Menwith Hill is situated off the A59 Skipton Road, approximately nine miles west of Harrogate in North Yorkshire and occupies about one square mile of moorland. The base is owned by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and made available to the US Department of Defense (DoD).

It is a British military base with connections to the global ECHELON spy network. The site contains an extensive satellite ground station and is a communications intercept and missile warning site and has been described as the largest electronic monitoring station in the world. The site acts as a ground station for a number of satellites operated by the US National Reconnaissance Office, on behalf of the US National Security Agency, with antennae contained in a large number of highly distinctive white radomes, and is alleged to be an element of the ECHELON system.

It has also been involved in reports of commercial espionage and is believed to filter all telephone and radio communications in the nations which host it – an extreme violation of privacy.

3. Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, access to the operations center is available via State Route 601(also called Blueridge Mountain Road) in Bluemont, Virginia. The facility is located near Berryville, 48 miles (77 km) from Washington, D.C.

The site was originally opened as a weather station in the late 1800s. It was used as a Civilian Public Service facility (Camp #114) during World War II. The underground facility within Mount Weather, designated "Area B", was completed in 1959. FEMA established training facilities on the mountain's surface ("Area A") in 1979.

The above-ground portion of the FEMA complex (Area A) is at least 434 acres (176 ha). This measurement includes a training area of unspecified size. Area B, the underground component, contains 600,000 square feet (56,000 m2).

This is a place that is not only closed to the public, but it is a place that the public hope to never have to enter! In most “end of the world” films we see these days, there is always a highly classified area where US government officials and a chosen few get to go in the hopes that they can escape the impending doom. The Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center is the real thing.

It is a “last hope” area. For obvious reasons its operations are highly classified.

The Mount Weather Special Facility
The Mount Weather Special Facility

4. Tomb of Qin Shi Huang, China

The Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor (Qin Shi Huang) is located in Lintong District, Xi'an, Shaanxi province of China. This mausoleum was constructed over 38 years, from 246 to 208 BC, and is situated underneath a 76-meter-tall tomb mound. The layout of the mausoleum is modeled on the Qin capital Xianyang, divided into inner and outer cities. The circumference of the inner city is 2.5 km and the outer is 6.3 km. The tomb is located in the southwest of the inner city and faces east. The main tomb chamber housing the coffin and burial artifacts is the core of the architectural complex of the mausoleum.

The tomb itself has not yet been excavated. Archaeological explorations currently concentrate on various sites of the extensive necropolis surrounding the tomb, including the Terracotta Army to the east of the tomb mound. The Terracotta Army served as a garrison to the mausoleum and has yet to be completely excavated.


The Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses are world famous, attracting a large number of tourists from home and abroad to visit each year. However, they are only a part of the yet unexcavated mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang located to its west. Inside it, greater things are yet to come.

Hopefully one day, the entire mausoleum will be unearthed and displayed to the public.

5. Ise Grand Shrine, Japan

Ise Grand Shrine, located in the city of Ise in Mie prefecture, Japan, is a Shinto shrine dedicated to the goddess Amaterasu-ōmikami.

Purportedly the home of the " Sacred Mirror ", the shrine is one of Shinto's holiest and most important sites. Access to both sites is strictly limited, with the common public allowed to see little more than the thatched roofs of the central structures, hidden behind four tall wooden fences. The chief priest or priestess of Ise Shrine must come from the Japanese imperial family and is responsible for watching over the Shrine.

The two main shrines of Ise are joined by a pilgrimage road that passes through the old entertainment district of Furuichi. The region around the shrines consists of the and numerous other holy and historic sites including the "wedded rocks" (Meoto Iwa), and the Saiku (the site of the Heian period imperial residence).

Ise Shrine, The shrine consists of two sites separated by 4.8km of road. Access to the inner sanctum of these sites is strictly limited, with the general public allowed to see little more than the thatched roofs of the central structures, hidden behind three tall wooden fences. (Guards are on hand to make sure nobody gives in to temptation.) Visitors can, however, enjoy the ancient forest, and those with an eye for architecture will enjoy the many wooden buildings along the path.

Modern entrance to the Lascaux cave
Modern entrance to the Lascaux cave

6. Lascaux Caves, France

Lascaux (Lascaux Caves) is the setting of a complex of caves in southwestern France famous for its Paleolithic Cave Paintings . The original caves are located near the village of Montignac, in the department of Dordogne. They contain some of the best-known Upper Palaeolithic art. These paintings are estimated to be 17,300 years old.They primarily consist of images of large animals, most of which are known from Fossil evidence to have lived in the area at the time.

On 12 September 1940, the entrance to Lascaux Cave was discovered by 18-year-old Marcel Ravidat. Ravidat returned to the scene with three friends, Jacques Marsal, Georges Agnel, and Simon Coencas, and entered the cave via a long shaft.

Megaloceros with line of dots
Megaloceros with line of dots

The teenagers discovered that the cave walls were covered with depictions of animals. The cave complex was opened to the public in 1948. By 1955, the carbon dioxide, heat, humidity, and other contaminants produced by 1,200 visitors per day had visibly damaged the paintings and introduced lichen on the walls.

The cave was closed to the public in 1963 to preserve the art. After the cave was closed, the paintings were restored to their original state and were monitored daily. Rooms in the cave include the Hall of the Bulls, the Passageway, the Shaft, the Nave, the Apse, and the Chamber of Felines.

Scary and spooky ... an aerial view of the haunted Poveglia Island.
Scary and spooky ... an aerial view of the haunted Poveglia Island.

7. Poveglia Island, Italy

The island is first mentioned in chronicles of 421, when people from Padua and Este fled there to escape the barbarian invasions. In the 9th century the island's population began to grow, and in the following centuries its importance grew steadily, until it was governed by a dedicated Podesta.

The island remained uninhabited in the subsequent centuries; in 1527 the doge offered the island to the Camaldolese monks, who refused the offer. In the 20th century the island was again used as a quarantine station, but in 1922, the existing buildings were converted into an asylum for the mentally ill and for long-term care. This went on until 1968, when the hospital was closed, and the island, after being shortly used for agriculture, was completely abandoned.

The island contains one or more plague pits. Some estimates suggest that 100,000 people died on the island over the centuries. The island was sealed off and used to host people with infectious diseases, leading to legends of terminally ill Venetians waiting to die before their ghosts returned to haunt the island.

In 1922, the island became home to a mental hospital where a doctor allegedly experimented on patients with crude lobotomies. He later threw himself from the hospital tower after claiming he'd been driven mad by ghosts. The island has been featured on the paranormal shows Ghost Adventures and Scariest Places on Earth.

8. Moscow Metro-2

Metro-2 (Russian: Метро-2) is the informal name for a purported secret underground metro system which parallels the public Moscow Metro.The system was supposedly built, or at least started, during the time of Joseph Stalin and was codenamed D-6 (Д-6) by the KGB. It is supposedly still operated by the Main Directorate of Special Programmes and Ministry of Defence.

Map of the Metro-2 system as supposed by the United States military intelligence.
Map of the Metro-2 system as supposed by the United States military intelligence.

Russian journalists have reported that the existence of Metro-2 is neither confirmed nor denied by the FSB or the Moscow Metro administration. However, there are many evidence for the Metro-2's existence.

The length of Metro-2 is rumored to exceed even that of the “civil” (i.e. public) Metro. (It is said to have 4 lines and lie 50 to 200 m deep. It is said to connect the Kremlin with the FSB headquarters, the government airport at Vnukovo-2, and an underground town at Ramenki, in addition to other locations of national importance. Needless to say, the fact that no one confirms its existence makes it pretty difficult to visit.

9. Snake Island, Brazil

IIha da Queimada Grande, nicknamed Snake Island, is a 430,000-square-metre (43-hectare) island off the coast of the Brazil.

One of the most dangerous places in the world, Snake Island, is home to a vast colony of golden lancehead pit vipers. This species is among the most poisonous snakes on the planet. The Brazilian Navy expressly forbids civilians from landing on the island, and for a good reason: there are at least 5,000 snakes writhing around the place. Only super cool scientists are allowed to enter this secret serpentine paradise.

A Discovery Channel documentary claims that in some places there are as many as one snake per square meter, while local legend claims there are five snakes to every square meter.

10. Google Data Center, The Dalles

Google’s enormous Data Center at The Dalles was built amid great secrecy at a cost of $600 million.

The Data Center, codenamed “Project 02” in its early days, opened in 2006. Everything about it was shrouded in secrecy, even it’s opening where ironically all visiting journalists were required to sign confidentiality agreements.

The Center itself is surrounded by a perimeter fence that is patrolled by guards and is constantly under closed-circuit surveillance. The Internet may be the one place where all information is easily accessible, but Google clearly intends to keep the information on its data centers secret.

11. Bank of England Vaults

Since 1734, the central bank of the United Kingdom has been based at Threadneedle Street in the heart of the City of London.


The underground vaults located beneath the bank’s floors store not only the gold reserves of the UK, but also the wealth of countless other countries. Access to the vault these days is via huge doors that are opened by 3-foot-long keys. The identity of staff who work in the vaults is a closely guarded secret.

12. Mezhgorye, Republic of Bashkortostan

Mezhgorye is a closed town in the Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia, located in the southern Ural Mountains near Mount Yamnqau, about 200 kilometers (120 mi) southeast of Ufa, the capital of the republic, on the banks of the Maly Inser River.

This closed Russian town is believed to house people working on the highly secret Mount Yamantaw. Mount Yamantaw stands at 5,381 feet and is the highest mountain in the southern Urals.

The area is believed to be a large, secret, nuclear facility and/or bunker. In response to U.S. questions regarding the site, the Russian government said it is a mining site, a repository for Russian treasures, a food storage area, and a bunker for leaders in case of nuclear war.

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    • Freeproducts4you profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruwan 

      3 years ago from UK

      Thank you for your feedback Hannah David Cini.

    • Hannah David Cini profile image

      Hannah David Cini 

      3 years ago from Nottingham

      A really interesting piece. It would be amazing to get a look inside some of these places.

    • Freeproducts4you profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruwan 

      3 years ago from UK

      Thank you Lawrence01.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Really enjoyed this hub.

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