3 unique hidden places on Earth that are off limits for visitors

We might think we can access anywhere in the world but there are spots that are completely off limits for visitors.

In such a globalized world, it seems possible to travel anywhere in a matter of hours. But on this large and diverse planet, there are still places to which no one or very few have access. Here are 3 spots that are forbidden for visitors.

North Sentinel Island, India

This is a small island surrounded by reefs that have belonged to India since 1970. It is home to the Sentinelese people. It is believed that there is a population of between 80 to 150 inhabitants although there could be as few as 15 or even as many as 500.


Interaction with this isolated group dates back to at least 1771 when an East India Company ship passed by the island and saw lights on the shore. Since then there have been sporadic conflicts with them that have ended in the deaths of both the invaders and the Sentinelese.

A team of anthropologists led by Nath Pandit tried to make contact with them in the 80s and 90s and managed to diminish the hostility with which they were received, but they were never able to communicate effectively nor were they able to get the Sentinelese to allow them to stay or enter the island. For the safety of both the islanders and potential visitors, since 1956 it has been forbidden to visit the island, although it is still possible to fly over it and admire this mysterious landscape.


Surtsey Island, Iceland

This island was formed by a volcanic eruption in 1967 and only a few researchers have been allowed access to it to answer questions about how ecosystems and their flora and fauna develop when undisturbed by human activity.

Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Norway

This large building by the name of NordGen, along with 1,700 other germplasm banks around the world, is responsible for maintaining samples of our seed diversity. This seed store preserves duplicates of more than one million seed varieties intending to ensure our food security in case of wars or environmental disasters. In 2015 Syria already drew seeds from this bank after seed shortages caused by its civil war.

Although we will never know these places, knowing that they exist makes us aware of the great diversity that exists on our planet as well as the efforts we are making to ensure our preservation.


Story originally published in Spanish in Ecoosfera

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