With breakthroughs in technology every year, from improvements in transportation to new trip planning applications, wanderlusts can travel to more secluded places. However, there are some places that will remain off limits — and for good reason.
The sites below are among the most fascinating on earth — from Ilha da Queimada Grande (Snake Island), secret formula for Coca-Cola to Google Data Centers. Some are temporarily closed off from the public while others will remain so permanently, meaning exploration will have to be conducted via imagination.
#1. ILHA DA QUEIMADA GRANDE (SNAKE ISLAND)
Ilha da Queimada Grande, or Snake Island, is an uninhabitable island about 90 miles off the coast of Santos, Brazil. There you will find more than 2,000 golden lancehead vipers, one of the most venomous snakes in the world. The poison is said to melt the flesh around the bites. According to VICE, these snakes are so rare that snake smugglers sell them for up to $30,000 on the black market.
Controversy remains, especially among activists who are unsure whether the secret activities conducted within the base are acceptable, or accountable, to the British public.
#2. BOHEMIAN GROVE
About 75 miles north of San Francisco you will find a 2,700-acre redwood region called the Bohemian Grove. Every year during the last few weeks of July, some of the richest, most powerful men meet at Monte Rio to drink and exchange secret conversations. You must be a member of the Bohemian Club to gain entry into the camp, but there have been a few infiltrators that have managed to sneak in. Among them were Texas-based filmmaker Alex Jones, who entered with a group and a hidden camera, and Vanity Fair editor Alex Shoumatoff, who was arrested for trespassing in 2008.
#3. 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.
Guests can visit the World of Coca-Cola after passing through a strict security checkpoint and can even see the Vault of the Secret Formula, but it’s just a teaser. The vault remains closely guarded.
A quick Internet search will lead you to many similar recipes, though none have been officially confirmed.
#4. CHURCH OF OUR LADY MARY OF ZION
In the town of Axum in the province of Tigray is the most significant church in Ethiopia: the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion. The Church claims to have had in their possession the Ark of the Covenant, or a wooden chest housing the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were scribed, for the past 3,000 years.
According to a traditional story found in the Glory of the Kings (Kebra Negast), Menelik I was born unto the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon. Menelik later went to visit his father and returned to Ethiopia with the firstborn sons of Israelite nobles, one of which secretly stole the ark. The royal son accepted that since no harm had come their way, it must have been God’s will.
Virgin monks commit to living exclusively on chapel grounds for the remainder of their lives once anointed, and are assigned as guardians of the Ark. No one else has ever laid eyes on it, contributing to difficulties in confirming or disproving the claim.
#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. GOOGLE DATA CENTERS
Have you ever wondered how Google manages to provide free e-mail storage to hundreds of millions of Gmail users, over 3 billion daily search queries, millions of ad auctions and YouTube videos, among other incredible things? We sometimes rely on Google more than we rely on our own memories, and the billions of pages that the company indexes each day – in real time – exist in data centers around the world. As a global giant, employees must learn how to keep the secrets behind its organizational prowess. In 2012, however, Google published photos of its data centers for the public.
#7. NORTH SENTINEL ISLAND, ISLAND IN THE INDIAN OCEAN
Amongst sapphire waters, North Sentinel Island is considered to be one of the most dangerous islands in the world because locals refuse contact from outsiders, and have even killed trespassers. Conversely, the locals face threats of outside diseases which they have no way of combatting. The Manhattan-sized island belongs to a group of Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal, and the government of India declared the island and its surrounding area an exclusion zone.
HERE ARE 15 MORE MAGICAL PLACES YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO VISIT:
SOURCES USED: LIFEBUZZ, PLANET DOLAN
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