Amazing Facts About The Most Dangerous Places Of The Planet
Ilha da Queimada Grande (a.k.a. Snake Island) is located 93 miles from São Paulo and is untouched by human developers because the island is densely populated with venomous snakes. Researchers estimate between one and five snakes live per square meter on the island. The Brazilian Navy has it quarantined and one biologist quoted “you are never more than 3 feet from death” on the island. The government of Brazil has banned anyone, except researchers, from landing there.
Entry into the tomb of Chinese Emporer Qin Shi Huang Di is forbidden. Although his Terracotta Warriors have been excavated, no one has ever entered his tomb. He was the most tyrannical and violent leader in Chinese history, so there is a lot of superstition about evil spirits around his tomb. Ancient historians wrote that the tomb contains rivers of mercury mechanically operated to flow like real rivers. Modern tests have reported mercury levels in the soil over 100 times what occurs naturally, so it could prove dangerous to open it. The Chinese government does not allow the tomb to be opened and restricts people from access to the land surrounding the tomb.
The Vatican secret archive is buried deep within the walls of Vatican City, and mostly underground. It houses the immense history of the acts of Pope, state papers, historic documents, papal account books, and other official correspondence, some of which dates back to the 8th century. Among other things, it has are letters from Michelangelo, a letter from Mary Queen of Scots written while she was awaiting her execution, and King Henry VIII’s request for a marriage annulment. The archives span over 52 miles of shelving and houses 35,000 items. Access is strictly limited to staff and qualified scholars who have to undergo rigorous application process to be granted entry.
The Black Mountain in Queensland, Australia is pretty much just a giant pile of granite boulders, some the size of a house. The absence of soil between the boulders and rocks create a maze of gaps and passages, which can be used to penetrate inside the mountain. There are massive internal caves systems that change over time due to collapses and therefore the mountain hasn’t been mapped yet. The mountain whistles and moans in the wind and locals don’t get TV or radio signals. Visitors are forbidden to climb or even approach the mountain. Few people have ever explored the caves and come out alive.
The Fort Knox vaults, home to most U.S. gold reserves, have been deemed the most heavily guarded place on the planet. Besides gold, Fort Knox has also held, among other things, the US Constitution, part of the Hungarian Crown Jewels, and reserves of morphine and opium. No single person can make it into the vault. Several combinations need to be entered to gain access, and various staff members know just one. Even they wouldn’t be able to get in without the help of their colleagues.
The Cave of the Crystals in Mexico hasn’t been fully explored yet and most of it is forbidden to visitors. The cave is extremely hot, with air temperatures reaching up to 58°C (136 °F) with 90 to 99 percent humidity and therefore without proper protection, people can only endure approximately 10 minutes of exposure at a time. In order to map it, spelunkers had to wear special refrigerative suits and could only go so far due to their suits overheating.
Room 39 is a secret organization associated with the dynasty of the North Korean dictators, the Kim family. Actual Room 39 is thought to be located inside a ruling Workers’ Party building in the capital city of Pyongyang. It is rumored that Room 39 has a slush fund of up to $5 Billion and may be involved in Meth and Heroin distribution. They also run an international chain of restaurants called “Pyongyang.” Until 2004 the organization also maintained an official bank in Vienna, which they used for money-laundering and trade with radioactive substances.
The Chapel of the Houska Castle in the Czech Republic is supposedly constructed over a bottomless pit that is allegedly a “gateway to Hell.” The castle was built with no fortifications, no water, no kitchen, near no trade routes, and with no occupants at its time of completion. Legend has it that when construction began in the castle, death row inmates were offered a pardon if they consented to be lowered by rope into the hole, and report back on what they saw. When the first person was lowered, he began screaming after a few seconds, and when pulled back to the surface he looked as if he had aged 30 years. He had grown wrinkles and his hair had turned white.
Pluto's Gate is an archeological site in southwestern Turkey that was discovered in 2013. The site was a temple that was dedicated to the god of the underworld. It was built on top of a cave which emits toxic gases. Deadly vapors still waft out of this “gate to hell” and it still claims the lives of unfortunate birds that get too close. Ritual animal sacrifices were common at the site. Tourists are forbidden to get too close to this site.
There is a chain of non-contiguous areas throughout France called the Red Zones which the French government isolated after the World War 1 and access to these areas is still forbidden. These areas are saturated with unexploded shells (including gas shells), grenades and rusty ammo. The soil is still heavily polluted by lead, mercury, chlorine, arsenic, various dangerous gases, acids, and human and animal remains that the government considers it impossible to clean and human life is still impossible in the zone. In some of these places, 99% of plant life still dies and agriculture is considered impossible 100 years later.
North Sentinel Island is one of the tribe inhabited island in the Bay of Bengal near India. Inhabitants of the island have been living there for about 60,000 years and to this day remain completely untouched by modern civilization. They were visited extensively in the 1990s. It was found that they hunt wild pig, their songs contain two notes, and their only form of art is body painting. Researchers compare them to humans 15,000 years ago. In 2006, two fishermen were killed by the Sentinelese when their boat drifted too close to their shore and since then there has been no contact between them and the rest of the world. Since then any intruders on their island have been met with lethal hostility and therefore Indian government has established a 3-mile exclusion zone around the island.
Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerela, India has 6 underground vaults labeled A to F of which 5 have been opened. These vaults had about a ton of gold jewelry, diamond and other precious stones necklaces stretching 9 feet long, coins and utensils. The real mystery lies in the vault B, which is yet to be opened. There's a warning on the door written in Sanskrit that curse and calamity will befall on anyone who tries to open the door. The door is said to have been sealed with Naga Bandham or the snake seal and anyone who tries to open the vault will face the 7 headed serpent that guards the vault. Therefore the final vault remains closed with no plans to open it in the near future.
Catacombs of Paris hold the remains of more than six million people. They were originally set up in the 1700s because of overcrowding of a central cemetery becoming a hazard, so they used abandoned quarry tunnels snaking through the city. The tunnels were used to store the cemetery remains dating back to the 15th century. Though some 200 miles of labyrinthine tunnels are believed to exist, only a small section of it is open to the public. People have ventured deep into them and would go missing for days. In 2004 while searching the Catacombs police discovered a cinema in one of the caverns. It was equipped with a giant screen, seats for the audience, a fully stocked bar, and a complete restaurant. The source of its electrical power and the identity of those responsible remain unknown.
Kofuns are giant Japanese gravemounds which are usually shaped like keyholes. Their size can vary from a few meters to the Daisen Kofun which is the biggest grave in the world covering an area of 460,000m². Many of these date back to the 3rd century, but with few exceptions, the government doesn’t allow excavation. These are mostly off limits because no one wants to accept that the Japanese imperial family probably came from Korea in the 3rd through 6th centuries CE. The Japanese government actually has people in little guardhouses by the biggest Kofun all day, just to make sure no one climbs them.
River Wharf in Yorkshire, England is 30-feet across with frothing currents and waves, but downstream at around Bolton Abbey it suddenly turns into a rather calm creek just a few feet wide. Water doesn’t disappear anywhere but the whole river changes orientation. Waters begin to flow vertically in the tight shaft created by the natural rock. The stream hosts multiple underwater cave systems and dangerous currents below the surface. No person who has fallen into the Strid has ever come out of it alive and its underwater geology is still unexplored.
Mount Kailash is a 6600-meter peak in the Chinese part of the Himalayas near Mansarovar Lake. The mountain is considered sacred by both the Hindu as well as Buddhist communities and as a result, the Chinese government has banned anyone from scaling it. One mountaineer did get a permit but had to withdraw due to the public backlash. In the past, people who tried to scale it accounted for it is very difficult. Locals believe that Lord Shiva resides there. There have been many other weird theories related to the peak, one of them being that it is actually a pyramid which is connected to others like the Great Pyramid of Giza via a network of underground tunnels. As a result till date, the peak remains unscaled.
The Darien Gap is a 100-mile gap in the Pan-America Highway, covering terrain that includes Panama and Columbia, but is effectively governed by neither. Most of it is marshland and with virtually no infrastructure it is a wet cesspool of tropical disease and, historically, paramilitary groups. People do live in it, in certain regions, and migrants traverse its more worn paths out of desperation, but it's virtually guaranteed to claim the lives of the careless. There is nothing of civilization or man's law there.
Ramree Island located right off the coast of Myanmar is famous for a strange and deadly incident that followed a battle between the British and the Japanese during World War II. When the British drove Japanese from their camps and into the mangroves, the scattered rifle shots in the pitch black swamp punctured by the screams of men crushed in the jaws of saltwater crocodiles. Though locals and historians dispute the idea of a massive massacre by the saltwater crocodiles, it is true that somewhere between 500 and 1,000 soldiers entered the marshes and only around 20 were found alive. The Guinness Book of World Records has listed it as the “worst crocodile disaster in the world” and “most number of fatalities in a crocodile attack.”
Vale do Javari in Brazil is home to at least 14 uncontacted indigenous tribes. Approximately 2000 individuals live autonomously from the Brazilian government in an area the size of Austria. Their isolation is protected by a federal agency charged with preventing outsiders from invading indigenous territories. Among the main threats to the well-being of these groups are illegal fishing, hunting, logging, mining, cattle ranching, missionary actions and drug trafficking.
After World War 2 when the Enewetak Atoll in the Pacific Ocean came under the U.S. control, local residents were involuntarily evacuated. Forty-three nuclear tests were then conducted on the island from 1948 to 1958. In 1977, USA started a $100 million decontamination project, during which contaminated soil and debris were buried under an 18-inch thick, 25 foot high spherical concrete cap, dubbed “Cactus Dome.” The Dome is currently deteriorating and could be breached by a typhoon, though the sediments in the lagoon are even more radioactive than those which are contained.
The chapel of the Ark of the Covenant in Ethiopia has been rumored for centuries to be the final resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. Nobody is allowed to see the Ark, not even the Ethiopian president. According to rumor, a single monk watches over it and never leaves the chapel grounds.
Poveglia Island is an abandoned island located off the coast of Northern Italy. It is off limits for public access. It was a site of wars, dumping grounds for plague victims, used as an armory for weapons, had a mental asylum. Some estimates suggest that 100,000 people died on the island over the centuries.
Bottomless lakes in New Mexico are what they sound like. Some of the small lakes have “no bottom” and feed underground rivers and streams stretching hundreds and possibly thousands of miles. Trackers that have been tossed in have been found days later in the Gulf of Mexico. They have claimed many lives of careless swimmers and some of the lakes are now sealed off.
Heart Island is a remote, volcanic island in the Subantarctic that belongs to Australia. Stark and inhospitable, it’s dominated by Big Ben – a 9,000-foot-high active volcano which last erupted in 2016. The island remains uninhabited by humans. In order to protect the island’s rare and delicate ecology (including the resident penguins), visits are strictly regulated unless you’re part of a scientific expedition. Should you be granted access, you face a two-week voyage from Australia across some of the planet’s roughest seas.
Morgan Island a.k.a the Monkey Island is a 4,500-acre sea island off the coast of South Carolina. The island is uninhabited and is home to a breeding colony of approximately 3,500 rhesus monkeys, who are naturally infected with Herpes B, which is deadly to humans. The island has become a Primate Research Center. Only researchers are allowed on the island and their first rule on the island is not to get peed upon by the monkeys. Tourists aren’t allowed on the island.