05:36 | 13/05/2022 Print
|Top 20 Least Popular Places That You Don't Want to Visit in The World|
While countries like France or the U.S. are regularly packed with tourists, some of the world’s destinations receive very few visitors. Reasons vary, from complicated politics, wars, and regimes, to geographical remoteness and extreme wilderness. Since they’re so unpopular, it’s often hard to count how many travelers reach them. Nevertheless, each year the World Tourism Organization publishes statistics concerning tourism in various countries.
In today's world, places are supposed to be accessible. People move freely around the country they live in and even between countries. However, there are places in the world that, even today, are strictly off-limits to just about everyone.
Some spots are perfect places to indulge those weird and wonderful interests in the otherworldly, others will have you jumping out of your skin. Some are just awesome places to travel to, while everything here promises mystery by the bucket load.
From islands inhabited by people who have no contact with the outside world to super-secret military installations and everything in between, these 20 places are spread across the planet that many people consider so easy to travel to. But, these 20 places clearly demonstrate that there are still secrets to be had, by governments and by individuals. Read the list and find out what are the most isolated and least visited destinations in the world.
1. The Bermuda Triangle, Atlantic Ocean
2. Samarkand, Uzbekistan
3. Snake Island, Brazil
4. Crooked Forest in Szczecin, Poland
5. Heard Island, Australia
6. Maya Nord, the Republic of Congo
7. Dead Vlei, Namibia
8. Holkham Beach, North Norfolk
9. Surtsey Island, Iceland
10. Tehran, Iran
11. North Brother Island, United States Of America
12. Rurrenabaque Pampas, Bolivia
13. Lake Natron – The Scariest Lake, Tanzania
14. Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Norway
15. Bhangarh Fort, India
16. Metro 2, Russia
17. Monastery of Santa Maria dell Isola in Tropea, Italy
18. Eternal Flame Falls, United States
19. Robins Island, United States of America
20. Richat Structure, Mauritania
Tales of lost mariners and disappeared ships, crashed aircraft and even vanishing humans, have been emerging from the waters of the Bermuda Triangle for centuries.
The vast area of more than half a million square miles is also known as the Devil’s Triangle, and theories as to why so many travelers fall foul of its clutches abound.
Some say there are magnetic anomalies that throw compasses off course, others that tropical cyclones are to blame, and some say there’s simply no mystery at all! Today, visiting the area can be much more pleasant than you might think, with the sun-splashed islands of Turks and Caicos beckoning in the south and the coves of Bermuda in the north.
You may actually want to never be seen again!
No destination less deserves to be so little appreciated than Samarkand (which is why we included it in our month-by-month guide to alternative destinations). This ancient city has a storied past that involves the Silk Road, Tamerlane, and a run-in with Genghis Khan. It’s a story still told in Samarkand’s fantastically preserved buildings. Squeeze through the narrow streets hugged tight by traditional mud houses to find the grandest mosques, madrasahs, and mausoleums in Central Asia.
Located about 90 miles off the Sao Paulo, Brazil coast, Snake Island has the highest concentration of venomous snakes in the world. The island is home to the Golden Lancehead Viper, and about 2,000 to 4,000 of these highly venomous snakes live here. That means that there is an estimated one to five snakes every 10 square feet.
Unfortunately, while this is one of the most venomous snakes in the world, it is also one of the most endangered, so there is no going onto the island to clear them out to make way for people. But all it would take is one bite from just one of these snakes to kill a human in about an hour. And that is why Snake Island is forbidden for people to visit.
Now, obviously, people have visited the island, but they are mostly scientists and researchers who are trained in how to deal with the snakes. And why would you want to go to an island filled with snakes anyway? Even if you like snakes, there are just so many on this island that it will make your skin crawl because the ground is crawling with super venomous killer snakes.
Snake Island may sound like a cool place for a villain to have their lair, but even the evilest villain would be pretty crazy to try and visit, much less stay, on this island.
Discover the bizarre array of crooked trees that can be found near the town of Gryfino in Western Poland. Around 400 pine trees in the Crooked Forest grow at a 90-degree angle from the root. Some say that the reason behind the 90-degree bend of the trees is a gravitational pull within the area. Others have more sinister reasons. Make up your own mind!
Just south of the unpronounceable city of Szczecin on Poland’s extreme eastern haunch, a stone’s throw west of the border with Germany, a small clutch of just over 400 pine trees has been garnering the attention of Atlas Obscura types and off-the-beaten-track travelers for years.
The entire forest appears to be bent over almost 90 degrees at the trunk, before twisting back straight again and growing vertically into the Slavic sky.
Debate has raged as to what caused the unusual wood to come to look like it has, with theories as wide ranging as torrential snowstorms and lumberjack growing techniques.
Heard Island is in the middle of the ocean, between Australia and Antarctica. So even if you were allowed to visit the island, it would be difficult to get there. But just why does the Australian government make it illegal for people to go to the island?
Heard Island is completely untouched by humans. And the government wants to keep it that way. Only by very remote methods does anyone know anything about the island. It is known that the animals that live on and around the island are unique to that area. There are two active volcanoes on the island, the tallest mountain in Australia, and a number of glaciers.
In other words, Heard Island is a beautiful pristine wilderness that has not had any contact with humans. In order to keep the island in this pristine setting, the government of Australia has made it illegal to visit the island. As stated, there have been remote expeditions to learn about the island, but people are not permitted to visit the island for any reason.
Imagine an island so untouched by humanity, meaning that the animals who call it home have never been seen by anyone. That would be Heard Island, the secret Australian island that about which the government says "Keep Away".
Maya Nord is not a travel destination for the faint-hearted, more for the adventurous and intrepid with a hint of the hidden explorer in them. It is a bai or open clearing in the forests of Odzala-Kokoua National Park, in the Republic of Congo.
With clever planning, you can get from the UK, via Paris and Brazzaville, to deepest Africa within a day or so. The journey itself is an adventure – planes, cars, dug out canoes and some jungle hiking.
The reward is a truly wild paradise inhabited by a host of charismatic mammals, including elephant, western lowland gorilla, chimpanzee, leopard, and forest buffalo, not to mention the bird life. It’s a naturalist’s heaven and one of the truly wild places left on earth.
The name Deadvlei means ‘dead marsh’ and the place is also known as ‘Dooie Vlei’. It is a sun-blackened dead forest in a white clay pan which is basically a dried oasis. An amazing yet counted as one of the strange places in the world, the lack of water forces the roots of trees to come outside looking for moisture. The struggle is real! The place is surrounded by rust-orange giant sand dunes that form a contrasting backdrop. This place is also said to be surrounded by the highest sand dunes in the world.
Yes, Holkham Beach is award-winning, yes the estate owned parking can be limited, but it’s so easy to lose any crowds by taking a walk through the pine forest or along the amazing wide open beach.
Even in peak, school holiday, summer you can easily find yourselves alone where the sand meets the sky. Go bird watching, spot a seal or two if you are lucky and then enjoy a pint in The Victoria at the end of the day.
Formed in 1965 from volcanic eruptions, Surtsey Island is not accessible by anyone but the most highly-trained scientists. There is nothing deadly about the island, so why does Iceland only allow a select few to visit? That is a delicate and highly controversial issue.
There is fear that humans will destroy the delicate ecosystem of Surtsey Island. This is some of the newest lands in the world, and it is constantly changing with new eruptions of the volcano. Scientists aim to study the new volcanic island and so other people are not allowed to visit.
New species of plants and animals are developing on the island, and it would be impossible for them to grow and develop if people were constantly interacting with them. The highly-trained scientists who are allowed to visit the island know how to view these new species without destroying them.
What is so special about a deserted island off the coast of Iceland that keeps the government and the United Nations from allowing people to visit? Surely, it is not only because of the flora and fauna on the island. There may be more to Surtsey Island than is originally believed. Theories abound as to why this island is kept a secret and why no one is allowed to visit.
If you have some time off in Tehran why not go skiing for the day. The city is surrounded by the desert to the south and a crescent of mountains to the north.
There is a ski resort at Tochal, on the highest peak of these mountains. It takes about an hour from the city centre to the bottom of the lifts. The runs are basic but not busy. Just two hours north is the bigger resort of Dizin, with chalets and ski hire shops.
North Brother Island is home to Riverside Hospital... or what is left of the hospital. The state of New York purchased the island in 1885 in order to build the hospital. Riverside Hospital was built in order to house extremely contagious people—people with diseases like typhus, tuberculosis, yellow fever and smallpox.
During World War II, the hospital was used to house military veterans. After that, Riverside Hospital was used to house heroin addicts. However, it is now closed, abandoned, and falling apart.
Due to the storied history of the hospital, no one is allowed to visit North Brother Island. Despite the ban on visits, many people have tried to get onto the island to visit the former hospital.
100km north-east of Rurrenabaque, in the Bolivian lowlands, is Santa Rosa, the remote jumping-off point for boat tours on the slow-moving Río Yacuma, where wildlife is bountiful. Families of capybara, hundreds of caiman, pink river dolphins, raucous hoatzin, herons, and innumerable other birds can be seen at boat level.
Look up into the gallery forest for howler, squirrel, and capuchin monkeys. On a walk through the marshes, wading in parts, you’ll see spoonbills and maybe even an anaconda if you’re lucky.
Looking for some weird places in the world? How about this terrifying lake? Animals that die in this African lake are turned into statues, through calcification. The presence of huge volumes of sodium bicarbonate ensures they turn into mummies. And because of the high alkaline collection, the lake looks red in color, especially during summer in Tanzania. This is the reason why this lake is also known as the ‘Petrifying Lake’. In spite of all these conditions, it is grazing ground for the Lesser Flamingos. Fancy a dip? Don’t even think about it!
The vault is designed to hold 4.5 million types of seeds, with 500 seeds of each variety. The idea is to keep seed populations safe in the event of a localized disaster, but many people believe the seed vault is designed for a "doomsday" scenario in case the world needs to be reseeded. Whatever the case may be, no one is allowed to visit the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
Norway was chosen as the site of the global seed vault because it is naturally a cold place, which means equipment do not need to be used to keep the seeds stable. Also, the relatively low humidity is ideal for storing things like seeds. However, probably the biggest reason Norway was chosen is because the world trusts Norway, and the country is relatively safe. But that does not stop the need for security at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
Enfolded by the rises of the Aravali Hills and baked by the Rajasthani sun, the old bulwarks of the Bhangarh Fort are said to echo with the ethereal presence of one cursed princess and her would-be captor, the wizard Sinhai.
It’s said that Sinhai tried to ensnare the young royal by offering her a love potion.
The plan backfired, the wizard ended up dead, but not before he could lay his hex on all the inhabitants of Bhangarh.
Today, the Mughlai complex trod by Madho Singh I is considered one of the most haunted spots in India.
No one is allowed to enter after dark, and locals have even reported deaths as a result of the continued curse!
Is Metro 2 a secret train line below the streets of Moscow? That is the rumor, although it is claimed that if the subway line does exist, no one will ever find or see it.
It is said that Metro 2 was built by Stalin at the beginning of the Cold War to connect the most important government buildings in Moscow: the Kremlin, the Federal Security Service, and the airport. It consists of a single track that makes these connections possible. That means that a government agent could get from the Kremlin to the airport without going out on the streets of the city.
In fact, the only thing that is known about Metro 2 is what is heard in rumors. From a novel published in 1992, the rumor began since the author claimed the setting of the story was real. In 2004, a former government official declared that the train line existed to connect the Kremlin to Stalin's Dacha outside the city.
Are you up for a secret getaway? Like literally, a secret getaway. Then pack your bags and head to Tropea, Italy. Get a good view of this 12th century Norman cathedral Franciscan monastery. This place is a best kept secret of Italians where they all go to for vacations. (Apologies to the Italians for sharing it with the world!) Not a lot of travellers know about this place yet. Not only do you get the scenic view of the castle but you can also enjoy an afternoon dip in its warm, turquoise clear water. How can you resist a dramatic coastal cliff view while you’re sunbathing?
Delve into the winding walking trails that crisscross Chestnut Ridge Park and discover the hidden wonder of Shale Creek.
Called, appropriately, Eternal Flame Falls, this curious natural phenomenon is a real mystery to behold.
Why? Well, because it manages to fuse two of the earth’s most elemental forces in one single spot – that’s why! You’ll first see the gorgeous falls themselves, cascading down over layers of chiseled granite rock.
Then comes the flame, which can be seen flickering behind cataracts.
It never goes out, and scientists say the conflagration is created by the presence of natural gas seeping from the subterrane.
Off the coast of New Suffolk, New York is Robbins Island. The island is 435 acres and is a private island that is not open to the public. The island has a storied history of transfers and mishaps that have led to further transfers of ownership. The owners of the island have gone bankrupt and failed in nearly every venture to make something of the island.
Today, the island is privately owned and serves as a nature preserve and sanctuary. The owner has spent the money to rebuild the natural state of the island by bringing in mature oak trees and replacing non-native grasses. Currently, Robbins Island has the healthiest population of turtles in the state of New York, thanks to the efforts of the owner, Louis Bacon. He has even begun to build on the island, with a home and cottages for those that take care of the island.
But Robbins Island remains a private place and is strictly off-limits to the public. This may seem strange for a nature preserve, but the ecosystem of the island is considered unstable, and Mr. Bacon does not want the island to be destroyed by commercialization.
Seemingly swirling and spinning and twisting like a cyclone through the heart of the mighty Sahara Desert, the great Richat Structure in the depths of Mauritania is something truly mysterious (although you’ll certainly have to take to the skies to see it!). Scientists have puzzled for years as to how the perfect circular set of concentric rings got there.
Some think it was an asteroid impact in centuries gone by.
Others say it was the simple process of natural geological attrition and erosion.
And then – of course – there are some who think it was the creation of extra-terrestrials, who passed this way and marked a landing point for future visits to earth.
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