All those hard to break vaults you’ve seen in movies are nothing compared to our list of top 10 vaults in the world. Protection is important and crucial for any vault and this is the key idea behind the design of these vaults.
Our number 10 spot has been taken by The Mormon Vault, also known as the Granite Mountain Records Vault. Yes, the name granite does suggest that it is surrounded by Granite however that is not true. In fact it is surrounded by quartz. The owner of this vault is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and it has been built six hundred feet into the side of a giant rock in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. Here’s the catch, the vault can withstand a nuclear blast so you plan to break into it, better get rid of the blowing-it-up-with-dynamite plan. The doors seal tighter on impact and that is a plus. According to the Mormon leaders, the church is restoring microfilm and microfiche to digital media inside Mormon Vault.
The Pionen Bunker; a former civil defense center, is concealed in the side of White Mountain in Stockholm. Converted by Bahnhof, a Swedish Internet service provider into a data center that is protected by a 40cm thick door accessible only via tunnel and capable to withstand a hydrogen bomb, it rents secure space and bandwidth to a variety of customers. WikiLeaks operates from here. The Bunker is something straight out of a spy movie and is coupled with super cool looking computers and, let’s not forget, the spy touch that comes because of the mountain walls.
At number eight, we have the largest gold vault in the world. Its length is equal to that of a football field and it can be found five stories below ground level in Manhattan, New York. It is located just across the street of United States’ Federal Reserve Vault. The second vault of the bank was a mystery until March, 2013 when it was discovered that it is beneath a firm’s office and this vault too is in very close proximity of Bank of England. Also, both the vaults are capable of handling a nuclear blast.
Well we can thank Dan Brown for really flaring up the conspiracy theories about churches and the same theories come into play once we mention Vatican Secret Archives. A certain theory suggests that all the Church’s secrets can be exposed if one was to gain entry into the Vatican Secret Archives. Catholic officials however say that the vault’s belongings are more private than secretive in nature. The archive is guarded 24 hours a day by Pontifical Swiss Guard and has about 50 miles of book shelves that contain documents dating back to the 8th Century. The 400th anniversary of the archive was celebrated by putting some of its contents on display at the Capitoline Museums. Only qualified clergy and academics are allowed inside the archive and they too need advanced approval for certain sections.
Yes, we know what you are thinking. Why on earth would KFC need a vault? Well, this must be serious otherwise it wouldn’t be on number six of the list. They need the vault for their precious recipe, the original by Colonel Sander, for fried chicken. It consists of the eleven unknown herbs and spices. The safe was completed in 2009 and is located in KFC’s headquarters in Kentucky. The recipe is kept within folds of security measures that include but are not limited to motion detectors, cameras and 24 hr guards. Concrete slabs surround the safe and the whole system has a backup power supply.
Another religious vault located in New Mexican Desert just a few hours away from Roswell, New Mexico. The impenetrable bunker belongs to The Scientologists. The cave can withstand a hydrogen bomb and contains titanium caskets which have steel plates and gold discs inscribed with fundamentals of Scientology. This all is shielded by three 5,000 lb stainless steel doors. The vault is guarded by gates, armed guards and security cameras. Another bizarre thing about this vault is the crop circles above it which look like symbols from air and have certain theories related to them. Some believe it is for communicating with ET.
This vault is one thing you will thank after an earthly disaster. It has been built to preserve crop diversity and to provide a source of food in case of any catastrophic events. The Doomsday Seed Vault, officially known as the Svalbard International Seed Vault, is funded by the Global Crop Diversity Trust, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other organizations and governments. Located in Svalbard-a large rock island in the Arctic Circle inside a copper mine, this vault has blast proof doors, airlocks, motion sensors and about 3 ft thick steel reinforced concrete. Thus, making the vault impenetrable for nature!
The security company opened up in 1950s and offered their services to cater for the safety of corporate documents in case of nuclear attacks. It has been constructed on an abandoned mine which was previously used as a mushroom farm. The Iron Mountain Vault in Germantown, New York is a 95 acre bunker which is heavily guarded and despite its size, many of the residents are unaware of its existence. The Vault is seven layers deep and is buried about a quarter mile into the mountain. Those who are planning to enter the vault might want to take into consideration the 28 ton, triple time-locked door!
Switzerland is famous for its banks and how you can get away with all kinds of money(Black or white) once you have it deposited there. However, the reason why these vaults are more famous is not because of their high security but the relationship that bankers develop with their clients. This doctor-patient like relation is of high confidentiality. The no questions asked attitude and the devotion with which bankers provide the customers with the privacy they require are two things that have made the Swiss banks and their vaults so famous. Swiss law is quite strict when it comes to confidentiality in banking or commerce and offenders can face jail time or a heavy fine.
The Antwerp Diamond Vault in Belgium is the most impenetrable diamond safe and yet it is also famous for the diamond heist of 2003. The vault housed 70% of the world’s diamonds and was built by 1500 diamond merchants. The safe is obviously guarded as you would expect it to be guarded; heat detectors, Doppler radar, seismic sensors, magnetic fields and lock that could spin your head while you came up with the right combination. The door was thick to the point that it would require twelve hours of continuous drilling to break into the safe. However, all these measures proved to be futile when The School of Turin broke in and stole $100 million worth of diamonds. The discovery of the heist was made next morning. The Antwerp Diamond Center has increased its multi-tier security system after the heist and is regarded the most secure safe.