Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Norway
Svalbard Global Seed Vault could be a lifesaver for anyone who survives the apocalypse… if they can find it that is.
Pre 1974, Varosha was the place to be if you were in Cyprus. The beachside resort was popular with celebrities including Elizabeth Taylor and Brigitte Bardot. But in 1974, Turkish troops invaded the island after tension with Greece reached breaking point.
North Sentinel Island, India
North Sentinel Island, a small island in the Indian Ocean, is officially off-limits to all visitors. Its inhabitants, the Sentinelese, live their life completely untouched by the outside world. The Indian government forbids contact with the tribe, principally to protect them from contracting diseases they have no immunity against.
Heard Island, Australia
This remote, volcanic island in the Subantarctic belongs to Australia. Stark and inhospitable, it’s dominated by Big Ben – a 9,000-foot (2,743m) high active volcano that is linked to the famous London landmark by name alone. The last recorded eruption here was in 2016. Needless to say, the island remains uninhabited by humans.
Yemen’s capital is one of the oldest and highest cities in the world. Sana’a is also one of the most enchanting, its Old City crammed full of Islamic and Ottoman buildings. People have been living in Sana’a for more than 2,500 years, and its exquisite architecture has earned it a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Lascaux Cave, France
Back in the 1940s, a teenage boy stumbled upon a cave in the Dordogne filled with prehistoric paintings of more than 2,000 figures. But, after France opened the caves to the public in 1948, it wasn’t long before the effects of all those visitors started to destroy the paintings.
Chapel of the Ark of the Covenant, Ethiopia
It’s said that, sometime before Christ, the Ark of the Covenant disappeared from Jerusalem and ended up in Ethiopia. The Ark is significant in Christian belief since it holds the tablets of the Ten Commandments, and it’s now thought be kept in a special chapel in Aksum.
There’s always been a mythical air about this ancient Saharan town, which was one of the most important seats of Islamic learning for centuries. But this UNESCO World Heritage Site has since come under attack by Islamist rebels, and tourist numbers to Timbuktu have plunged.
Mount Athos, Greece
For more than a thousand years, Eastern Orthodox monks have been living in the monasteries in Mount Athos. They continue to do so, and welcome a limited number of visitors to this Greek peninsula, providing they’re men. They’ve never allowed women to visit the mountain, and they have no intention of doing so in the future.
Leptis Magna, Libya
Even before Libya was swept along the tide of turmoil in Africa and the Middle East, its ancient Roman city was well off the tourist radar. Leptis Magna was founded by the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC, and its ruins overlooking the Mediterranean Sea are really quite extraordinary.