Dangerous lands, strictly protected, or too special such as Special Zone 51 in the US, Qin Shihuang mausoleum in China, Brazilian Snake Island … are hardly visited destinations for tourists.
1. District 51, Nevada, USA
Special Zone 51 is nicknamed a US Air Force base – Edwards Air Force Base, located in Southern Nevada. This facility works in secret, and is a test site for aircraft and weapons. Conspiracy theorists claim that here the US government stored a crashed UFO, aliens and evidence from an alien crash that landed in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947.
The area around Special Zone 51 is a popular tourist spot for space enthusiasts and extraterrestrial life buffs but access to SEZ 51 is taboo. Only intelligence agents and specially licensed servicemen can enter. The airspace above the base can be protected with anti-aircraft weapons and fighter jets.
2. Snake Island, Brazil
Ilha da Queimada Grande, or Snake Island, is an island 43 hectares wide, about 320 kilometers off the coast of Sao Paulo. The island is home to one of the most poisonous snakes in the world, the yellow-headed cobra. This snake’s venom is stronger than acid and can be eaten through the skin.
There are more than 4,000 yellow-headed cobras on the island, but local legends say that you will meet one every 5 meters. The Brazilian government has banned visitors from setting foot on the island, with the only exception: Every few years, the government will grant permits to the island for a few scientists to study snakes.
3. North Sentinel Island, Andaman Islands, India
This small jungle in the Bay of Bengal is completely surrounded by coral reefs, making it difficult to access by boat. However, geography was not the main obstacle that made the island a restricted area. North Sentinel Island is inhabited by the indigenous Sentinelese tribe, who refused to come into contact with other tribes. They are one of the last communities in the world to be intact from modern civilization.
After the great 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami disaster, research helicopters assessing damage in the area were attacked by Sentinelese bows and stones. In 2008, two fishermen while rowing accidentally lost in the territory of the island were killed by the tribe.
Apocalypse seed bank, Norway
This unique bank on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, 1,300 kilometers from the Arctic, is one of the largest secret vaults that store seeds for the whole world. Officially opened in February 2008, this facility stored more than 1 million samples of 4,000 different seeds from all over. The idea behind the seed bank is to provide a safety net against ecological imbalances in the event of a natural disaster, war or climate change.
Located 120 meters below the permafrost, the bunker is like a safe deposit box, allowing organizations or governments to “send” seed varieties in stock and no one can open, possess or dispose seeds apart from them. The 1,000-square-meter facility is protected by state-of-the-art security and restricted access.