We have completely transformed our world through the immense amount of buildings we have constructed, leaving only a few places untouched by man. While many buildings exist for the purpose of serving food, selling things, or living in, there is actually a very rare yet interesting type of building that has been designed to keep people out. The specific purpose of these areas varies drastically, from prisons, to bank vaults, to military sites, but each has their own story to tell. These buildings are a great display of working as a team, and showing what we can do as people if we have a common goal. Today we’re going to learn a bit about some of the most heavily guarded places on Earth, why these places are so secure, and hopefully uncover some of the secrets that they hold.
10 Cheyenne Mountain Complex
Starting off we have the Cheyenne Mountain Complex. It is located in Colorado and has a deep history as a base of operations in the 1950’s during the cold war. It was at this time where the threat of soviet bombings were high, so proper action needed to be taken in order so that everything was safe, which is why it was built inside of an entire mountain.
While it may seem a bit overkill, it certainly gets the job done. Since then, its use has declined substantially, still being maintained by the Air Force but at a much lower function. It’s weird to see such a huge construction not being used much and it makes you wonder if it ever will be prominent again.
9 Fort Knox
Next up we have the infamous Fort Knox. While many of you have probably heard this name before, you may not know all there is to it. You see, Fort Knox, located in Kentucky, is the USA’s famous long lasting Military base. It was around all the way back in the First World War and played a large role in the harboring and training of troops. Since its creation, over one million troops have graduated here, further showing how important it has been. In addition to being a military base, it is also the largest depository for “precious metals” a.k.a GOLD! Now how much gold are we talking about? Just about 147 Million Ounces of gold, or around $10 Billion dollars of gold. It makes a lot of sense for such an important stash to be guarded at a military base of all places. You definitely wouldn’t want to push your luck here, that’s for sure.
8 Haven Co
Continuing on, we have Haven Co, a rather unheard of yet very interesting story. The idea of Haven Co was essentially a place where you could use their servers in order to host just about anything. For example, if online casinos were banned in your country, you would be able to go through Haven Co in order to bypass some restrictions, it worked as a sort of loophole. The only content banned were things of very malicious nature such as using it to hack.
The reason this place was so guarded is because it actually has its own country—Sealand. It was this structure that was built out of the sea with its main goal to contain the servers to Haven Co. Since 2000, its goals have changed quite a bit and mainly offer cold storage of encryption keys or data, instead of hosting. It sure was a wacky idea, and it is a surprise that it came to life in the way that it did. No doubt thanks to cancel culture, digital “book burnings” and the extremist attacks on free speech, it is set to thrive in the current political climate!
7 The Korean Demilitarized Zone
Now we have the Korean Demilitarized Zone, also known as the DMZ. The DMZ is a very long stretch of land that cuts right across and divides Korea into its Northern and Southern parts. It is a 250km long and 4km wide path that is constantly under watch. The border is closed and because of this, it means that no one is allowed to cross, it is so heavily guarded in fact that casualties have occurred on either end by people trying to cross. The only way to get from North to South Korea or vice versa, would be to travel to an intermittent country such as Russia and then go to your desired destination. It’s a shame that tensions are so high, but hopefully there is a brighter future where it may be safe to cross.
6 Air Force One
Air Force One is a special case, while you may think it’s the name of a military base, it is in fact the name of a plane! To be more specific it’s the President’s plane. The President has to be able to fly at any time so of course he is going to have his own private plane. It is very important that no one tampers with this plane, so it is on lock down at all times except to those maintaining it. With cargo as precious as the president, people have to be extra careful so that everything runs smoothly.
The plane also has many interesting features, it is able to refuel in the air, has defenses against EMPs and can even function as a Base of Operations if necessary. Additionally, it has plenty of places to prepare food and an operating room with a full time doctor. It sure is the supreme mode of travel to go to just about any golf course in the world!
5 Woomera Prohibited Area
Continuing we have the Woomera Prohibited Area, this is a Special zone that is under control by the South Australian Army. Now it isn’t always illegal to be in this area, in fact it is only sometimes subject to exclusion periods. The reason for this is, this site is actually an area for the testing of “war materials” or bombs and whatnot. In advance of testing, messages will be sent out to evacuate and no one will be let in, merely for their own safety. It is very interesting to see what one of these places looks like, we know that weapons testing must happen very often but it is very rare that you know of any of these locations.
4 ADX Florence
“Locking up” 4th is ADX Florence, one of the most heavily guarded jails in all of the U.S. ADX Florence is a Maximum Security penitentiary, which means only the worst of the worst are contained here. There are around 400 inmates here and the living conditions are awful. While prisoners do have the basics such as food and a bed, they are also alone up to 23 hours of the day.
It is definitely not the place for growing as a person, but instead as a way to keep you away from the world. Although it does seem pretty bad in here, it’s not very easy to get in, you genuinely have to deserve to be here in order to get within these walls. It is an incredible facility that is the ultimate jail.
3 Area 51
A classic, Area 51 is up next as one of the most heavily guarded places on Earth. Area 51 as we all know is “where the aliens are at”, a place shrouded in mystery and only a few elite people know its secrets. Besides being the elusive place that it is, it is also an Air Force base, responsible for the training of many troops every year. It is a 38,000 acre stretch of land located in Southern Nevada which is essentially in the middle of a desert. It is a wonder as to what truly lies within its boundaries, but maybe it is just an Air Force base after all.
2 Pionen Data Center
Next on this list is the Pionen Data Center. While it sounds rather boring at first, it is quite the opposite! Pionen is probably the world’s only data center that is located within an old Nuclear Bunker! Bahnhof is an extremely large service provider, and with all of that excess money, there is really no reason not to do such a creative act. The inside looks incredibly futuristic yet retro at the same time!
It is truly a work of art and is something more people should be aware of. Even though a data center is pretty boring, being at the heart of a Nuclear Bunker makes it way more interesting. It is a wonder if Bahnhof will do anything like this again.
1 The Greenbrier
Lastly, is “The Greenbrier”, a state of the art spa facility for only the most elite. It is located in West Virginia and is sitting on just around 11,000 acres of land. It is a massive building that has been around since the old days of 1778. It sure has stood the test of time and has some amazing guests, for instance 26 presidents have stayed here. What makes this so guarded though is its underground bunker. Not only is this a luxury spa but back in the days of the Cold War, a bunker was installed in order to protect the members of Congress just in case anything were to happen. It’s a good thing that it wasn’t used in a serious capacity, but you can never have too many bunkers, that’s for sure.