The world is getting smaller everyday pirates. You can go almost anywhere in the world at this point.
However, there are places that, despite all of this, will remain closed to visitors (or at least closed to us average mortals). Want to know what you're missing?
1. Global Seed Bank - Longyearbyen, Norway
On the Svalbard archipelago, located about 1,200 km from the North Pole, there is an underground bunker holding about 1 million seeds from around the world. The Seed Bank was created to protect the diversity of plants and seeds in the case of global or regional crisis. Advanced security systems protect it and it is prohibited for the public, and strictly limited to very few employees.
2. Island of Snakes, Brazil
The island of Ilha da Queimada Grande, or Snake Island, is located about 35 km from Peruibe in the state of São Paulo. There are up to 4,000 snakes here. Many of them are among the most poisonous on Earth. The island is inaccessible to everyone, with one exception: the Brazilian government allows few researchers access to the island to observe the legless inhabitants.
3. Lascaux Caves - France
Lascaux Caves, located in southwestern France, is a group of caves containing a rich collection of prehistoric works of art from the time of the Upper Paleolithic era. THe caves were opened to the public in the 1940s, but had to be closed in 1963. Fungal infections and the daily presence of tourists had a devastating effect on the images. To this day, only a few scientists are allowed in a couple of days each month.
4. Area 51 - USA
Who has never heard of Area 51? It's believed to be one of the most mysterious places in the world. Decades of speculation about what is actually happening here adds to the allure. Access to the zone is strictly forbidden, so we'll probably never REALLY know what was going on in here.
5. Ise Jingū - Japan
The shrine of Isej, dedicated to the goddess Amaterasu, is located in the city of Ise in the prefecture of Mie. This area has been a sanctuary since the 3rd century, but the buildings are dismantled and renewed every 20 years. The last reconstruction took place in 2013. It's believed that the Holy Mirror depicting Amaterasu is housed in the sanctuary, but such high security means that we can't be 100% sure. The chief priest or priestess of this shrine must be a member of the Imperial House of Japan, and it's their job to watch over the Shrine.
6. The tomb of the first emperor Qin Shi Huang - China
The tomb of the first Chinese emperor is located near a hill near Xi'an, Shaanxi province. This mausoleum is the most important archaeological site in China, a vast underground funeral complex filled with things that the emperor would need in the underworld. Among them is the famous clay reproduction of the army, family, and servants of the emperor. These statues are nicknamed the Terracotta Army. Thousands of statues have been unearthed but the more interesting portion, the emperor's funeral chamber, remains intact and has not been excavated.
7. Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mary Zion in Aksum, Ethiopia
Located in Aksum, the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Zion is the oldest and most important place of worship in Ethiopia. La Chiesta claims that the Ark of the Covenant has been preserved here. Only a specially chosen monk/guard is ever allowed in.
8. Club 33 - California, USA
Think Disneyland is for children only? Well you haven't been to Club 33. Neither have we. It opened in 1967 and you can only go with an invitation. The initiation fee ranges from $25,000 to $100,000, and members must pay an annual fee of $12,000. It was created to host famous people and investors in a more adult space. Members have access to two dining rooms, Le Salon Nouveau Jazz Lounge and the Disney California Adventure 1901, the only place that serves alcohol in Disneyland.
9. White's, London
Gentlemen's clubs have been around for centuries in British culture. The most exclusive of all is White's. It's been an institution since 1693. So far, only two women have been allowed in, one being Queen Elizabeth II. The club only has 500 active members at a time, so of course the waiting list goes on for years. And if that's not enough of a bummer, the membership comes to $85,000 a year.
10. Coca-Cola Vault - Atlanta, Georgia, USA
The legendary formula of one of America's favorite drinks, Coca-Cola, is top secret. It's stored in a huge treasury inside the World of Coca-Cola Museum, access to which is TOTALLY forbidden. The vault is part of an exhibition, and while visitors can approach the vault thousands of pounds of metal separate them from the famous recipe.