There’s something about visiting abandoned cities and ghost towns. Call it thrilling, exhilarating or even frightening, the experience of visiting these cities and towns that have been abandoned due to various reasons is something to be cherished.
And if you are the kind of person who likes visiting these places, here are some of the most popular abandoned cities in the world.
Prypiat, Ukraine: The city of Prypiat in Ukraine was abandoned after a massive blast at a nuclear power station killed thousands of residents. The radiation that resulted from the explosion spread to nearby countries as well, claiming more lives in what analysts still call the worst disaster in nuclear energy production.
The Russian government ordered the construction of an 18 mile exclusion zone which covered the city of Prypiat as well. Abandoned within 60 hours of the blast, the city lies in ruins today and is still considered unfit for human habitation. And it will be the same for another 100 years at least.
Beichuan, China: In May 2008, a massive earthquake hit the city of Beichuan which falls into the Chinese province of Sichuan. The city came down like a pack of cards and nearly 50000 people were killed.
Most of what remains in the city today are old dilapidated buildings and the old remnants of a once modern city that was turned to rubble by the brutal force of mother nature.
Centralia, Pennsylvania: Before 1962, the bustling city of Centralia housed almost 3000 residential houses in addition to a number of stores, churches and schools. The city’s main profit came from the coal mine situated nearby. And it was this coal mine that saw the city to its end.
In 1962, an accidental fire lit up the entire underground mine system and raged on for 20 complete years. All attempts to put out the fire failed and residents slowly started migrating to other cities and towns.
In 1982, the town started opening up from underneath and the inhabitants found deep sink holes of up to 150 feet beneath the ground’s surface throughout the city. This was the last straw and the entire city was abandoned. Only a very few residents chose to stay back and reside today as squatters in their homes.
Humberstone and Santa Laura, Chile: The cities of Humberstone and Santa Laura saw their best days between 1930 and 1940. Operating as the mining centers for nitrate which is an ingredient used to make fertilisers; the cities started declining after a cheap substitute for nitrate was created.
Taking more than 3 decades to become abandoned, these neighboring cities stand near the scorching desert today and have no inhabitants at all. The factories and the machinery remain in ruins in addition to a few schools, theaters and houses. The sites were declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2005 in addition to being declared as national monuments by the Chilean government in 1970.
Hashima Island, Japan: What was formerly one of the most populated cities in the entire world lies in ruins today and is totally deserted save for its furry inhabitants. The island is stiuated on top of a coal mine which was officially closed in 1974 which ultimately led to the city’s demise.
The tunnels that connect the island to the main land still remain and the city still houses strong concrete structures that have remained intact for more than 3 decades. Apartment blocks are filled with old television sets, stoves and toys which prove that these houses were once lived in. A proposal to make the island a World Heritage Site is in the pipeline.