No trespassing: 10 places you're not allowed to visit

'Destinations' include North Sentinel Island, Chapel of the Tablet, Area 51

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Unless you want to end up in jail, or, well, dead (we're looking at you, North Sentinel Island), here are some places you'll want to avoid visiting at all costs.

1.) Bohemian Grove, California (not pictured)

Some of the world’s richest, most famous and powerful people -- including business leaders, former presidents and musicians -- are known to descend on the grove for events that reportedly involve party-goers getting wildly drunk. Business deals are to be left outside, according to the Washington Post. The 2,700-acre campground is located in Monte Rio, which isn't far from San Francisco. The gatherings are pretty historic, as they started in 1872, Vanity Fair reports. And if you try to show up uninvited, it's very likely that you'll be arrested for trespassing.

Probably safer if you don't attempt, we'd say!

2.) Area 51, Nevada

This is not the real Area 51, as you might have inferred. Area 51 is another name for a portion of Edwards Air Force Base that UFO enthusiasts have theorized contains evidence of visitors from outer space (Sean Gallup/Getty Images).


Yeah, yeah. Everyone's heard of Area 51 by now. If you try to visit, you’ll either be picked up by the FBI, the CIA or aliens. (Kidding). Area 51, located in the remote Nevada desert, actually doesn’t appear on any public U.S. government maps, although you can see the buildings in satellite imagery, according to

Conspiracy theorists have long speculated that the government uses Area 51 to experiment with extraterrestrials and their spacecrafts. Throughout the years, the CIA, the U.S. Air Force and an aerospace company have also used Area 51 as a staging ground for test flights of experimental aircraft. No matter what, it's safe to say this complex will likely always retain that air of mystery. Perhaps we'll never know what truly goes on.

3.) Lascaux Caves (France)

The original cave was actually open to the public until 1963. But here’s what happened: according to published reports, Lascaux drew about 1,500 visitors a day, and the carbon dioxide in the human breath soon began to damage the famous Palaeolithic cave paintings that brought people there in the first place.

Today, the original Lascaux is closed, and it remains under close surveillance, in order to preserve the site. We wouldn’t advise attempting to visit, but you can check out a replica cave. (We know, not as cool. Sorry!)

4.) Surtsey (an Icelandic island -- not pictured)

This little volcanic island was actually created during an enormous oceanic volcanic eruption in 1963.

Cool story: A person sailing just south of Iceland spotted a column of dark smoke rising from the surface of the sea. The captain of the vessel thought it was a boat on fire and turned around to check. But the pair found an island in the process of being born, according to the website Earth Sky. Oh, and you aren’t allowed to visit, because scientists are studying the island to try to understand how it might become a habitat.

5.) Chapel of the Tablet (Ethiopia -- not pictured)

This chapel supposedly holds the Ark of the Covenant, and only the Ark’s guardian is allowed to enter.

So there you have it.

6.) Poveglia (Italy)

Poveglia, a tiny island that sits between Venice and Lido, is supposedly haunted (oh snap, did that make you want to visit even more?) and the local government has reportedly banned visitors, because it used to host a mental institution, which allegedly used to torture patients.

"Today, the entire island is abandoned; locals and tourists are prohibited from visiting, and fishermen steer clear of the accursed place," the Travel Channel posted online. "In recent years, Italian construction crews attempted to restore the former hospital building, but abruptly stopped without explanation, leaving locals to speculate that they were driven away by the island's dark forces." ... Would you even want to mess with this place?

7.) Niihau (a Hawaiian island)

A solar-electric flying wing soars over the Hawaiian islands of Niihau and Lehua during a test flight in 2001 (NASA/Getty Images).

Niihau has been called Hawaii's “forbidden island,” because for years, no one was allowed to visit. Now, that's kind of half-true. You can take a helicopter tour of Niihau, which includes a visit to the island's secluded beaches, for what it's worth.

The main reason you can't visit? Niihau has been privately owned by the same family since 1864. Bummer!

8.) Svalbard Global Seed Vault (Norway)

Raise your hand if you knew this place existed.

It's what it sounds like: an actual seed vault, as in, a long-term storage facility, built to stand the test of time — and the challenge of natural or man-made disasters. The Seed Vault represents the world’s largest collection of crop diversity, according to its website. You can actually take a virtual reality tour, but you won't be permitted to visit in the flesh. Unless you're a researcher, of course.

9.) North Sentinel Island (in the Andaman Islands)

Yikes. This is probably the scariest place on our list, and for good reason.

As recently as last November, a 26-year-old American adventure blogger and evangelical missionary was killed on the island by the isolated tribe that calls this place home.

We'll rewind: Deep in the Indian Ocean sits North Sentinel Island, where an indigenous tribe has lived for about 60,000 years. Islanders have been known to fire arrows or toss stones at low-flying aircraft, and then in 2006, two illegal fisherman were also killed by the Sentinelese for drawing too close to their shores, according to published reports.

Needless to say, India's government has given up on making contact with the people there, and officials established a ban on visitors. In fact, it's illegal to go within three miles of the island. Steer clear, my friends.

10.) Ilha da Queimada Grande (Brazil)

"Snake Island," what could possibly go wrong?

Yep, we're here to confirm that this place is home to thousands of golden lance head vipers – a particularly nasty and deadly snake. The Brazilian government won't let you visit, unless you're a scientist who wants to study the place, which is similar to the situation at the Seed Vault. Oh, and scientists: Good luck! Looks awesome.

h/t The Culture Trip

About the Author:

Michelle is the Managing Editor of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which writes for all of the company's news websites.