Considering the staggering rates of global expansion and technology development, it’s impossible to imagine that there is even a sliver of this planet that remains undiscovered or unexplored. So there’s a certain comfort in knowing that, even today, there are mysteries that remain unexplored.
From man-made, guarded structures to natural enigmas protected by environmental science, a slew of spots across the globe are entirely forbidden to outside travelers. Picture islands teeming with vipers, extraterrestrial secrets, locked mysteries of religion, virgin wildlife and entire societies that have never made contact with the outside world. Many of these locations are still shrouded in intrigue, with their goings-on staying behind closed doors. Other locations are better understood, though still off-limits due to a variety of safety, scientific or governmental regulations.
While the allure of the taboo and forbidden is undeniable, you’d be hard-pressed to swindle your way into these 15 forbidden places — and in many cases, you probably wouldn’t want to. Still, in a world full of places you can discover, it’s intriguing to consider the places you can’t.
1Snake Island, Brazil
Poisonous snakes keep this aptly named island forbidden. Not that anyone is complaining.
About 93 miles off the coast of Sao Paulo, Brazil is Ilha da Queimada Granda, also known as Snake Island. To what does it owe this title? Researchers estimate there are between one and five snakes here per 10 square feet. The snakes, specifically golden lanceheads, are known for their poison, which literally disintegrates flesh around their bites.
So maybe it’s not such a bad thing that you’re not allowed to visit Snake Island.