Written by JAMES GABRIEL MARTIN
There’s often an eerie silence that surrounds abandoned places, as well as a unique energy that speaks to something deep within us, playing on our curious nature.
From former industrial islands to idiosyncratic monuments left forgotten to time, these places continue to intrigue and excite. Here’s seven incredible abandoned places around the world.
Gunkanjima in Nagasaki, Japan
Known as Battleship Island (Gunkanjima in Japanese), thanks to its distinctive shape, Hashima Island is a former deep sea coal-mining settlement off the coast of Nagasaki set up in the late 1800’s.
The 16-acre island was once home to over 5000 workers and their families before being closed for good, and today is full of crumbling facades, overgrown grass and hawks circling overhead.
You may recognise some of it, as it was featured in the 2012 Bond film Skyfall as the headquarters of Raoul Silva. Although it's in a state of compete ruin, tours are available from Nagasaki harbour.
Pripyat in northern Ukraine
26 April 1986 is etched into memory as the day the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant suffered an accident that resulted in the evacuation of nearly 50,000 people from the area and the town of Pripyat.
Now, the exclusion zone is like a ghost town, with fairground rides, hospitals, and schools lying as they were left. Radiation levels are still higher than normal, but authorised tours are available.
Last year’s hit show 'Chernobyl' proved to be a catalyst in sparking renewed interest in tourists visiting the site to discover the history and background of what happened there.
As is the case with any “dark tourism” (a growing trend in recent years), visitors should be respectful and mindful if they do choose to visit.
The fishing village of Houtouwan in China
Located approximately 40 miles from Shanghai, Houtouwan was once a flourishing fishing village, with local communities building impressive homes on top of a mountain slope overlooking a bay.
The economic boom of the 1980s led to better wages and opportunities further away however, and the village was eventually abandoned by its 3,000 residents.
Today the village is a popular spot for tourists, photographers and day trippers who venture there to see the lush greenery and vegetation that has completely taken over the area.