Some places take their security to the next level. Multi-layered protection at it’s best, these high security locations are designed to be impenetrable and withstand almost anything. Crossing a spectrum of different types of facilities, these locations are currently ten of the most secure in the world.
- Area 51; Nevada, USA
A top-secret military testing facility, Area 51 has caught the interest and curiosity of people all over the world. It is a subsection of either Edwards Air Force Base or Nellis Air Force Base – the question of association hints at the mystery of the place. It was identified as the only location Skylab 4 astronauts were not allowed to photograph. Visitors arrive in unmarked airplanes. The airspace above is restricted. And while the boarders around the area not fenced, there are orange poles and warning signs alerting that trespassing risks deadly force. In-ground sensors and roaming armed guards also protect the perimeter.
- Vatican Secret Archives; Rome
The storage facility was built almost 400 years ago and is heavily protected by the Pontifical Swiss Guard. It keeps the oldest and the most important religious ledgers and documents from the Catholic Church. Among the documents it stores are the transcript of Galileo’s hearing and Michelangelo’s letters. Learn more here
- United States Bullion Depository; Fort Knox, USA
This building keeps the bullion reserve of the country which amounts to $200 billion worth of gold. Built in 1936 with a 20-ton door, the vault has also kept the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Hot sealing wax and tamper-resistant tape with a signed card are said to seal the vault doors. It is also heavily guarded.
- Cheyenne Mountain Complex; Colorado, USA
This complex is located below the Colorado Springs and 2,000-foot granite. This facility can withstand nuclear bombings and has housed different government organizations in the past. It is currently the headquarters of the North American Aerospace Defense Command.
- Federal Reserve Bank; New York, USA
There are 12 different Federal Reserve banks located in various parts of the country. The one in New York holds the largest gold collection in the world. It houses more than 6,000 tons of precious metals below Manhattan. The New York Reserve vault has a steel cylinder weighting 90 tons that is set in a 140 ton concrete and steel frame. It also uses robotics for interior security with high-security on the outside.
- Svalbard Global Seed Vault; Norway
This doomsday vault was built to preserve backup samples of different seeds in case there will be a need for them in the future. It holds more than 930,000 samples, with 500 seeds of each. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is built under the Arctic Circle and is designed to stay below freezing temperature for 200 years even if the cooling facility fails.
- Korean Demilitarized Zone; North and South Korea
Otherwise known as the DMZ, this 2.5 mile wide strip of land serves as a buffer between North and South Korea. As the name suggests, the DMZ itself is demilitarized, but the boarders on either side are recognized as a couple of the most heavily militarized borders in the world. Soldiers numbering nearly 2 million patrol these borders. A point of focus in recent news, this area may soon become a bit more relaxed as tensions may be reducing in the region.
- Pionen Data Center; Sweden
The center is built under 100 feet of granite inside a Cold War bunker. This data center is the most secure in the world with 40-centimeter steel doors and a tunnel entrance that can withstand even a nuclear war.
- The White House; Washington, DC
The house of the President of the United States is still one of the most heavily protected buildings in the entire world. Known as the White House, this location is fitted with bulletproof windows, surrounded by an iron fence, and has an undisclosed number of ready-for-action secret service agents on-site at all times. These agents protect the entire complex and secure the safety of the First Family.
- Iron Mountain; Boyers, Pennsylvania
Under an old limestone mine, Iron Mountain is a temperature-controlled and high-security facility that keeps commercial documents. It holds the negatives to more than 120,000 Hollywood movies and other iconic photographs that are worth millions.