8 Bizarre and Wonderful Deserted Places

Words by Billie Jenkin

Hashima Island, Japan
Just given World Heritage status this entire island was abandoned in the 1970’s after Mitsubishi closed it’s mine. It’s an entire infrastructure, full of high-rise and grey concrete. You might recognise it from the latest Bond film, and if you fancy a look around Google Earth has sent some in to capture the ruins. Find the results here: www.hashima-island.co.uk

Holyland, USA
What’s more freaky than a derelict Bible themed fun-town left rotting since the sixties. Statues of the religious figures with their painted faces peeling away, and an extensive underground crypt make this horror film material. Under the foreboding Holyland sign built onto the hill, and a hundred crosses.

Holy Land

Christ of the Abyss, Italy
This huge bronze statue of Christ submerged under water, looks wonderful, but the mystery is somewhat undermined when you find out they dredged it up, chiseled off the crustaceans, only to submerge it again.

Roberto-1951Photograph by Roberto 1951

Pripyat, Ukraine
A relic of Chernobyl this abandoned city suffered decline after the nuclear disaster, both due to fears of radiation and the fact a large amount of residents worked for the plant. An oddly uniform cement skeleton looks as much like a awry council estate as a disinhabited town.

Gulliver’s Travel Land, Japan
A huge man lies against the background of Mount Fuji, graffiti tattooed across his face. Not much else is to be found around the him, apart from a few remnants of a little used theme park. Surreal above anything else.


Mir Diamond Mine
A vast hole bury’s into the surface of the ground, as surrounding buildings slip into decay. This old Soviet Union diamond mine suggests something apocalyptic, when it is in fact just a sad reminder of expunged natural resources.

The Ghost Town’s of the California
Ghosts towns in the US are innumerable, and probably not all rediscovered. But the gold rush of 1849 makes the California townships of the archetypal wooden walls, cowboy doors and tumble weed variety.


Murmansk School, Russia
Since it’s hard to get to school on time when it’s in the middle of remote Russia this school had to shut its doors. Pleasingly different from normal ruins, with bright colours and a host of teaching props from the eighties and nineties.


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