Unless you have superpowers or have super connections to some of the world’s most powerful individuals (even then that’s still not a guarantee), there’s no way you’re getting in any of these places. Here are 19 of the most heavily guarded facilities in the world:
1. Vatican Secret Archives
Only qualified clergy and academics are allowed inside the Vatican Secret Archives. Even those granted entry inside the facility cannot view items without advanced approval. The skeptics have various theories behind the secrecy, including: the cavern hiding gospels that contradict the Bible, it housing the earliest known collection of pornography, and holding plans to control the world.
2. Fort Knox
Fort Knox is home to the US Bullion Depository where it not only stores thousands of tons of gold, but is also said to house important historical documents such as the Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence. Its impenetrable layers of protection include: solid granite wall perimeter, squadrons of machine-gun wielding guards and armed military, and a 22-ton vault blast door held shut by a lock so intricate that it requires a 10-person team to unlock.
3. Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Federal Reserve Bank in New York has a security so tight that it’s entrusted with more U.S. gold bullion than the famous Fort Knox. Men aren’t even allowed to enter the bank’s vault since pallets are moved around by a team of robots. To top it off, a Jason Bourne level protection force watch its perimeter. Their shooting range scores are so goo they’re even better than marksmen. The bank’s security systems are so trusted that even foreign governments use it for gold storage.
4. Tumen River
The Tumen River makes up part of the boundary between Russia and North Korea, and also snakes down into Chinese territory. Within a mile, you can go from North Korea, through China and end up on Russia. This makes the river a good place for those wishing to defect. As such, it is generally well guarded by North Korean soldiers.
5. The Iranian Gold Reserve
It really would be hard to penetrate Iran’s gold reserve since nobody can say for sure where it is. Assumptions go from it being either in the Imperial Treasury location or the Iran Central Bank. Iran secretly flew gold into the country from Europe in order to dodge “financial pressure” from the United States and UK.
6. Bank of England gold vault
More than 4,600 tons of gold are safeguarded in the Bank of England gold vault, UK’s largest gold vault. Its walls are bombproof and the security system is so intricate that it involves voice recognition, 3 foot keys, and other security measures that aren’t even published.
7. The Swiss Vaults
Swiss banks are among the safest on the planet. The 3-key safety deposit box in particular has been used by the world’s most wealthy individuals for over 200 years.
8. The Mormon Church’s Secret Vaults
The Mormon Church’s secret vaults contain genealogical and historical records that are not only heavily guarded, but are also rumored to be protected by temperature control as well as motion and heat sensors.
9. Korean Demilitarized Zone
The Korean Demilitarized Zone is one of the most heavily guarded borders in the world. This strip of land which stretches 160 miles in length and 2.5 miles in width, divides North and South Korea. Because of the high defense surrounding the border, people rarely dare to cross it, and as such, the place has become a nature preserve.
via The Chive
10. ADX Florence Prison
The Administrative Maximum Facility or ADX, is a supermax prison for men in Colorado. The prison houses the most dangerous cons in the US which earned the prison the nickname “Alcatraz of the Rockies.” Security measures at ADX include attack dogs guarding the area between the prison walls and 12 ft. high razor wire fences, 1,400 remotely controlled steel doors, motion detecting laser beams, pressure pads and cameras. One former ADX warden described it as “a cleaner version of hell”.
11. Bold Lane Car Park
This car park (or parking garage) is located in Derbyshire, England and is one of the safest places in the world. You can’t get in unless you have a ticket indicating your exact parking spot. And once your car is parked, it is protected by motion detectors and other alarms that will go off if someone messes with your car. If the alarm does go off, the whole place goes into lockdown mode.
via The Chive
12. Cheyenne Mountain Complex
The Cheyenne Mountain Complex was, at one point, the command center for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD has since moved its operations to another location) and U.S. Space Command missions. The complex is so well guarded that its tunnel is protected by solid granite and reinforced. It is interesting to note that the Cheyenne Mountain Complex was also the home of the fictional Stargate Command on the popular TV show Stargate SG-1.
13. Air Force One
Air Force One is one the most well built planes in the world. It has the world’s most advanced flight avoidance, air-to-air defense, and electronics technology packages available anywhere in the world, all for the protection of the Commander-in-Chief and his entourage. With its tight security, it’s been considered the world’s most secure moving location.
14. Area 51
Located in Nevada, this top secret air force base is so well guarded that no one can get in, even flying over it is forbidden. Area 51 is covered in motion sensors and is heavily patrolled by all sorts of vehicles. It is the home of anything pertaining to UFOs and alien conspiracies.
15. Haven Co
This data-protection company is located in the North Sea off the coast of Britain. The only people ever allowed in Haven Co were authorized personnel, investors, and members of Britain’s royal family. It was allegedly shut down in 2008 with no clear explanation as to why and what data was stored here.
16. The Greenbrier
The Greenbrier is an exclusive resort that’s spread out across 6,500 acres and lies deep within the forests of West Virginia. Underneath it lies a 25-ton nuclear blast door, with tunnels behind it which create a nuclear bunker that is filled with supplies for members of the U.S. Congress to weather out a nuclear attack.
17. Iron Mountain
This retired limestone mine houses 1.7 million square feet worth of vaults, 200 feet below the ground. The US government is the biggest tenant, and the identities of 95% of vault owners are confidential but we do know that Warner Brothers, the Smithsonian Institution, and Corbis all have vaults there. Thousands of historic master recordings, photo negatives, and original film reels live here as well as the charred remains of Flight 93, the original photo of Einstein sticking out his tongue, and Edison’s patent for the light bulb. Iron Mountain is also home to Room 48, a data center backing up some of America’s biggest companies. Two waves of armed guards protect the entrance, and it’s said they inspect guests so thoroughly that even the TSA would be embarrassed.
via The Chive
18. The 1960’s Bar
The 1960’s Bar is located 100 feet underground within Britain’s secret subterranean Burlington bunker complex in Wiltshire, England. It’s a recreation of a pub popular with British Government officials. The bar was first constructed during the Cold War. It was designed to be a refuge for the higher-ups to reconstruct Britain in the event of a nuclear attack.
via The Chive
19. Doomsday Seed vault
Officially known as the Svalbard International Seed Vault, this one-of-a-kind facility is designed to store a wide assortment of seeds in an effort to preserve crop diversity and assure humans will have a source of food no matter what earthly disasters occur. It is located in Svalbard — one of the remotest places on the planet that’s still fairly accessible. The storage compound is a large, barren rock island in the Arctic Circle, and the vault is situated inside an old copper mine. Aside from its isolated landscape, Svalbard is defended with blast-proof doors, motion sensors, airlocks, and one meter thick steel reinforced concrete. The unique climate and position should keep the seeds safe from any disaster, man-made or otherwise, for centuries.
H/t The Chive