With only a few remaining weeks of summer left, some of us are still searching for a last minute holiday. And what could be more exciting than a trip to a place we've been told we're not allowed to visit? Yes, it seems as soon as someplace becomes off limits, we all want to go. It's human nature, after all.
So we've compiled a list of the world's most mysterious and unusual locations, many of which are forbidden to enter - which just makes them all the more interesting, doesn't it? Perhaps you won't find your next vacation destination on this list, but you'll definitely find a few spots that will stir your wanderlust.
1. Ploutonion at Hierapolis or Pluto's Gate, Turkey
The mysterious Pluto's Gate is located in the ancient city of Hierapolis and was once dedicated to the Roman god of death. After the ancient historian, Strabo, paid a visit to Pluto's Gate, he declared: "Any animal that passes inside meets instant death. I threw in sparrows and they immediately breathed their last and fell."
However, in 1965, the deadly myth proved to have some real truth to it when scientists measured the CO2 concentrations inside. During the day, the heat from the sun dissipates the gas, but at night, the cooler temperatures cause the CO2, which is heavier than air, to settle to the bottom and from a deadly pool of poisonous gas.
Check out the video below to see five places that people are forbidden from entering!
This pool would be able to kill animals and people within minutes. However, because the concentration of the CO2 drops the further one gets from the bottom of the shaft, simply standing at the entrance of the gate would only be a problem for smaller animals.
2. Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Norway
The Global Seed Vault is also referred to as "The Doomsday Vault" because should the worst happen and humans have to start civilization over from scratch, it will be the only way we can preserve the world's food crop diversity. It holds seeds from across the globe, even from North Korea, so that biodiversity and plant life can be restored in the event of a disaster.
The vault was built to withstand earthquakes and explosions and is hidden in the Arctic circle on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen. It was even spaced on the side of a mountain so that even if the icecaps melt, it would still be above sea level.
The vault reportedly has 100 million seeds and is considered a complete "backup" of planet Earth's crops. The first withdrawal was actually made recently by Syria in order to recreate a research center that had been destroyed in Aleppo.
3. North Sentinel Island, India
This island is home to the Sentinelese people, who make up one of the few remaining tribes that have had absolutely no contact with modern civilization. While the tribe does hunt, fish, and gather, it shows no signs of farming or fire.
The tribe doesn't seem to want any interaction with outsiders, either, as it has driven away anyone who tries to enter their territory. After two fishermen were murdered for accidentally entering the Sentinelese territory, India declared the area as forbidden and it is strictly off-limits to visitors.
4. The Catacombs, Paris
A small portion of the Parisian catacombs actually is open to the public for visits, but 99% of the tunnel network that became a storage area for six million dead bodies is off limits. That's due to the fact that anyone who attempts to navigate the maze of skulls and bones is sure to get lost.
There's even a special Catacomb Police Force called the Catafics that work in the underground tunnel network to prevent people from trying to explore off the beaten path.