Some psychologists claim that the fact that we see a rich and detailed picture of the world is just an illusion. Because if it’s not interesting, we aren’t paying attention. At any moment we are aware of just a tiny part of what’s surrounding us right now and don’t notice what’s hidden from our consciousness. The refrigerator light always appears to be on because when it’s dark we aren’t looking.
We at 5 Fun Facts have decided to illuminate some of the places you could pass by dozens of times, but never knew exactly where to look for more detail.
1. Disneyland’s secret club 33
In the heart of the New Orleans Square section of Disneyland there’s an ultra-secret exclusive restaurant — Club 33. Walt Disney needed a place to entertain visiting donors, celebrities, and politicians. Unfortunately, it was officially opened only in May 1967 — few months after he died. There’s a long waiting list to pay the $25,000 joining fee and the $10,000-a-year membership fee to become one of its members.
2. Gustav Eiffel’s private apartment
The Eiffel Tower was finished in 1889 and it soon became well-known that the designer Gustav Eiffel hadn’t forgotten about himself and built a small apartment near the top of the world. Many of the Parisian high society have tried to rent his cozy little nest in the sky, but Eiffel declined them all. He preferred to use it for reflection and to entertain prestigious guests like Thomas Edison. Today the apartment is on display for visitors to come and peer into.
3. Track 61 of Grand Central Station in New York
Deep under the Waldorf Astoria hotel’s ballroom there’s a secret terminal that dates back to the 1930s. Built along with the rest of Grand Central Terminal, track 61 had a special purpose to allow President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to arrive unnoticed so that no one would see him in the wheelchair that his polio forced him to sit in. Though it’s hard to confirm, track 61 is supposedly still in use as a secret escape for presidents and celebrities visiting the city.
4. The balcony on the 103rd floor of the Empire State Building
Tourists usually visit the observation deck on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building. The most enthusiastic ones take the elevator up to the 102nd floor to see the views from behind sturdy windows. But little do they know, that there’s another deck, a secret one, on the 103rd floor. It’s reserved only for those in the know and most of its visitors are fearless celebrities.
5. India’s National Library’s secret chamber
The history of the building of the National Library goes back to the days of the Raj. That’s why archeologists were pretty excited to discover a mysterious room in the 250-year-old building. A room that no one knew about and no one could enter because it didn’t have any doors, windows, or even trap-doors.
Scientists thought it could be a torture room, or maybe it kept some unimaginable treasures. But they were all wrong and a bit disappointed: it turned out to be a block stuffed with mud, whose predestination remains a mystery.
6. Times Square’s noticeable secret place
Not all secret places are invisible. Sometimes we look at them all the time. The famous Times Square Building where the New Year’s Eve ball drops every year keeps its own little mystery this way. Or actually, it doesn’t keep anything. Surprisingly, it’s empty.
Walgreens rents the first 3 floors. The upper floors are occupied by the One Times Square Production Management Team for New Year’s Eve. But in between, there’s not much else. Which is pretty mysterious in a central place like that.
7. The Vanderbilt Tennis Club in Grand Central Terminal
Another secret the Grand Central Terminal has hidden since the 1960s is some exclusive tennis courts on its upper levels. They were opened to the public once, but then in 1984 Donald Trump took them over and decided to turn them into a private Tennis Club where celebrities and other rich people could play tennis. In 2009 the Vanderbilt Club was shut down and a full-service lounge for Metro North railroad employees was created. In 2011 new courts were built and the Vanderbilt Tennis Club moved onto the newly-constructed 4th floor.
8. The buried remains of old streets beneath London
At the intersection of Charring Cross Road and Old Compton Street in Soho, there’s a traffic island. If you stand right at it and look down at the metal grate on the ground, you’ll see 2 tiled, Victorian street names set into the wall beneath the ground, and get a glimpse into a forgotten remnant of the old London, a small part of a long lost road — Little Compton Street.
At that time, the street level was much lower and there was a public house called the Coach and Horses on the corner of Soho. In 1896 the street level was raised and an office block eventually was built on the site of Little Compton Street, leaving it in the past.
9. Flinders Street Station Ballroom
On the top floor of Australia’s busiest rail station there’s an abandoned beautiful ballroom. The space occupied by the ballroom was originally the lecture hall of the Victorian Railways Institute. Later in the 1950s and 60s it was a place for public dances that would fill the hall until the dancers could catch the last train home.
10. The Colossus of the Apennines
This giant half-man half-mountain statue was built at the end of the 16th century in Italy and it really has a secret to hide. There are several rooms inside that once made him come to life. The monster in his left hand erupted water from an underground stream. And there’s also a rumor that the space in his head housed a fireplace, so when it was lit, it would blow smoke out of his nostrils.
Do you know any mysteries that we probably haven’t noticed being dazzled by the beauty of famous places? Share them with us in the comments below.
Preview photo credit xenof/Imgur