This planet is home to countless gorgeous spots that tend to attract millions of visitors each year. However, from one corner of the globe to another, there are also off-the-beaten paths that many people never knew existed. These places are teeming with secrets and delights yet to be discovered.
Want to be among the few who are in the know? Then check out the most mysterious places on earth:
1) Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Centre, North Korea
North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Centre is, perhaps, the most secret place on earth. On top of being located in a country that no foreigner is allowed to freely enter, this major nuclear facility was kept hidden from the rest of the world from the time it was constructed in 1979 until six years later. It was only in the year 1985, when the 5-Megawatt nuclear reactor became critical, that people became aware of the facility’s existence.
The nuclear center was reportedly shut down in 1994 in accordance to an agreement between North Korea and the United States, but the 2002 dissolution of the said agreement paved the way for its operations to resume. To this day, however, to set foot in such a mysterious place would be like pulling off a major coup.
2) Underwater Ruins, Japan
Even if you’re the most passionate scuba diver in the world, you probably haven’t been to the centuries-old ruins that lie in the ocean off the southern coast of Yonaguni. The spot is among the secret places on earth and is so mysterious that it hasn’t even been given an official name yet. Discovered by a stray diver in the year 1995, Japan’s underwater ruins were thought to be the results of geographic phenomena. It has been confirmed, though, that the ruins are of a man-made nature.
What supports such a claim? Well, not a lot of people have been there, so everyone will have to rely on pictures of the intricate carvings, complex stairways, and the almost-perfect right angles of the structures.
3) Lake Vostok, Antarctica
Owing to its extremely cold and biting climate conditions, Antarctica is one of the least explored and most mysterious places on earth. Yet, in that land of mystery, there is one place that remains the most secretive – Lake Vostok.
While the analysis of the first sample of the lake’s water has yielded nothing but clean water, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the lake held no forms of life in the past. The initial results reportedly came from the ice that froze around the drill bit itself, not from water that rushed up from the lake to fill up the hole created. A number of scientists are still hoping that samples from Lake Vostok’s lower depths will later prove that the lake served as home to a few species that are supposedly as old as 15 billion years.
4) Leptis Magna, Libya
Libya may have carved itself a place on the world map as home to the world-famous Gaddafi forces during the 2011 Libyan Civil War, but few people know that it harbors one of the most stunning collections of architectural ruins. Apart from Rome itself, Leptis Magna is the mecca for all history and architecture lovers.
The site used to be a prominent city of the Roman Empire so it shouldn’t be so shocking that some of the best and most spectacular Roman ruins can be found there. If you’re itching to visit Leptis Magna, you’ll come upon it about 80 miles to the east of Tripoli.
5) Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center, United States of America
When it comes to top secret underground facilities, few can compare to the mystery surrounding the Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center. Situated approximately 46 miles from Washington DC, this military base is thought to be equipped with all the facilities and amenities one would need to survive. Well, the only ones who know for sure what the interiors look like are those who are working within its walls, the high ranking officials who’ve been “relocated” there in times of national disasters, and the builders of the said structure. While the facility has been photographed from afar a number of times, its mysterious air remains. One thing’s for sure, though. The US government certainly believes in being prepared.
6) Groom Lake, Nevada
The lake is mysterious for one reason and one reason only: Area 51. This secretive military base has been the subject of conspiracy theories, documentaries, movies, and academic debate for over half a century. What goes on in there is still not know but many conspiracy theorists say that the base contains remnants of alien spaceships and is the home for cutting edge UFO research. We may never find out as the guards are authorized to shoot on sight if you even get near the base.
7) Rio Tinto, Spain
When one hears about Spain, one automatically thinks about bull fights, matadors, and mouthwatering Spanish dishes. At the very least, a person definitely won’t liken Spain to the planet Mars. Yet, this comparison is exactly what will enter your mind once you read about Rio Tinto, which is one of the most mysterious places on earth. Situated in the southwestern region of the country, this river is fed by red and highly acidic waters. The river owes its rusty appearance to the numerous minerals, including iron, which can be found within its depths. The acidity, on the other hand, still puzzles the scientists who are studying Rio Tinto today.
8) Woomera Prohibited Area, South Australia
From the name of the facility itself, you can conclude that most of the public hasn’t ventured into this place. Although its enormous size and location makes the facility a difficult secret to keep, the facility’s highly restricted airspace and colossal exclusion zone are enough to keep the place cloaked in mystery. Literally only a handful is aware of the goings-on within this massive weapons testing range.
9) Ise Grand Shrine, Japan
Apart from the country’s high priests and priestesses as well the Imperial Family, absolutely no one is given access to this shrine. Considered as one of Japan’s holiest, most sacred places, Ise Grand Shrine is said to be destroyed and reconstructed once every two decades. Forget about peeking into the secrets of this shine; you’d best focus on other more accessible and less restricted temples.
10) Pantanal Wetlands, Southern Brazil
Wildlife enthusiasts jump at the chance of going to the Amazon, but what they don’t realize is that Brazil’s Pantanal Wetlands offers a similarly exhilarating experience. Unlike the Amazon’s thick vegetation, the vast grasslands of Pantanal make it more convenient for the visitor to view and take pictures of the animals. Some even go as far as declaring it the best place in the world for sighting jaguars in the wild.
There are a number of places in this world that are shrouded in secrecy. A handful is just waiting for the world to discover and explore their possibilities. However, there are also sites that will remain mysterious to the outside world forever. For these secret places on earth, you’ll just have to content yourself with the most basic details.