Man Caves

Qaddafi’s compound turned out to look like a child’s dreamland. From Saddam’s hole to bin Laden's fortified caves, see other leaders' secret hideaways.

Sergey Ponomarev / AP Photo

Muammar Gaddafi

Libyan rebels seized Muammar Gaddafi’s massive Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli.  Apparently, Gaddafi wanted to give Michael Jackson a run for his money, because the compound included a zoo and amusement park rides, as well as a network of underground bunkers. The compound was decorated with massive chandeliers, golden statues of Gaddafi, and giant teddy bears. One rebel said, “Libyan children have no childhood, their lives are destroyed by Gaddafi. But his children, his family, have everything.” Rebels suspect Gaddafi is now hiding in a complex nearby. They captured many interesting items from the compound including a gold plated rifle and his personal golf cart. However, the strangest find was almost certainly a photo album dedicated to former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. Gaddafi referred to Rice as his “darling black African woman” and once said, “I admire her and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders...Leezza, Leezza, Leezza…I love her very much.”

Osama bin Laden: Abbottabad, Pakistan

Until he was pronounced dead Sunday night, no one reportedly knew of Osama bin Laden's precise whereabouts since September 11. In 2007, American intelligence stumbled upon crucial information about one of his couriers, and by August 2010, they found the courier's home in Abbottabad, a wealthy suburb and military base in Pakistan less than 40 miles from the Islamabad, where bin Laden was living as well This was no ordinary house, but a gargantuan mansion roughly eight times larger than any other home in the area. Built in 2005 and worth roughly $1 million, it is surrounded by 12 foot by 18 foot walls and closed off by two security gates, with no telephone or internet access, and no windows facing the road. U.S. officials said it was "custom built to hide someone of significance."

Aristide Bodegla / AP Photo

Laurent Gbagbo

Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo, who had ruled the West African country since 2000 and refused to step down after an election in November 2010, was finally captured Monday in the culmination of a four-month standoff. He was found in an underground bunker at the presidential residence in Abidjan. He emerged from the bunker in a sleeveless white undershirt and was arrested along with his wife, son, and 50 members of their entourage. They were brought to the Golf Hotel, where someone was nice enough to lend him a Hawaiian shirt.

William Vandivert, Time Life Pictures / Getty Images

Adolf Hitler

In January 1945, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler went into a bunker underneath the Reich Chancellery, where he and his confidants lived for the remainder of the War. Hitler married in the bunker and then killed himself there in April 1945, before Allied forces reached the bunker. Though the bunker is technically hidden from the public today, a popular Internet meme shows Hitler angrily reacting to various current events from inside the facility.

Howard Sochurek, Time Life Pictures / Getty Images; Lonely Planet / Getty Images

Ngo Diem

In November 1963, President Ngo Diem of South Vietna and his brother fled the Presidential Palace following a coup and went into hiding in Cha Tam Church. On November 2, they surrendered and gave up their location. That same day, they were executed in the back of an armored personnel carrier soon after being removed from the building.

Efrem Lukatsky / AP Photo; Inset: Reuters / Landov

Saddam Hussein

He may have disappeared during the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003, but U.S. troops finally found Saddam Hussein in December of that year. They discovered him hiding in a hole on a farm not far from his hometown of Tikrit. The hole was six to eight feet deep, with enough space for a person to lie down in. U.S. soldiers were just about to throw a grenade into the hole when a "bewildered" Hussein emerged and surrendered.

Scott Nelson / Getty Images; Inset: Reuters / Landov

Uday and Qusay Hussein

In July 2003, an Iraqi informant told U.S. forces that Saddam Hussein's two elder sons, Uday and Qusay, were hiding out in a Mosul neighborhood house in northern Iraq. Before they were found, the house had already been under scrutiny, and suspected to be a way station for members of Saddam's ousted regime who were trying to flee to Syria. The brothers were both brutal officials in their father's regime, and had been in hiding since the U.S. invaded Iraq several months earlier. They were killed during a confrontation with U.S. troops who were denied permission to search the Mosul hiding spot.

King Charles II

After his father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall at the height of the English Civil War in 1649, Charles II was his rightful successor. But during this unstable time England became a de facto republic led by Oliver Cromwell, and Charles was defeated at the battle of Worcester in 1651. After the battle, Charles hid in an oak tree near Staffordshire's Boscobel House to avoid being captured by Cromwell's Parliamentary officials. But it wasn't long before his tree house hideaway was discovered. He spent the next nine years in exile until Cromwell died in 1658, at which point Charles II was re-crowned king of England.