The more we learn about the world, the more bizarre it seems to us. Nature has its own ways of explaining its superiority over us. Mortality is nature’s most frequently used weapon. But wait! Are only living beings mortal? No, even cities and towns have been seen as mortal. Here is a list of 10 such strange deserted places in the world, once prosperous and now deserted and haunted.
10 Strange Abandoned Places In The World
1. Kolmanskop, Namibia
Kolmanskop is located near the port of Lüderitz, Namibia. It was a town influenced by German architecture, which was developed for diamond mining during the diamond rush of 1908. The village had amenities such as houses, schools, hospitals, casino, bowling alley, ballroom, ice factory etc. After the First World War the diamond fields were exhausted and the town was abandoned in 1950. What lies here today are only rotting buildings filled with sand dunes.
2. Craco, Italy
This hilltop town in southern Italy was once prosperous and lively. But due to a series of events such as a landslide in 1963, floods in 1972 and an earthquake in 1980, the city is now uninhabited. Although the city lies in ruins, it is sometimes used for filming. The place appeared in Quantum of Solace and The Passion of Christ.
3. Varosha, Cyprus
Varosha was once a beachfront recreation area in the Cypriot city of Famagusta. The place was full of pomp and glamour. But after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, almost 15,000 people evacuated the place. Now it lies rotten and unused.
4. Wittenoom, Australia
The prosperous town of Wittenoom was once famous for its asbestos mines. The town, which is located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, has now almost disappeared from the world map as the government has restricted visits to the town. The reason for this is exposure to asbestos fibres, which can cause fatal diseases. After 23 years of thriving business, the mine was closed down in 1966. In 1978 strict measures were taken to resettle the inhabitants.
5. Picher, Oklahoma
This was once a stronghold of lead and zinc mining. At the end of the 1960s, problems arose when the water in the stream turned red, sinkholes formed and expanded in the earth, and the number of cancer patients in the city started to rise. The mines were closed and the town was declared part of the Tar Creek Superfund Site in 1983. However, hundreds of residents did not evacuate the town until 2008, when Picher was hit by a massive tornado. In 2009 the town of Picher was closed for good.
6. St. Kilda, Scotland
St Kilda is a 64 km long archipelago in the North Atlantic. It was founded in the Bronze Age and had an immense stock of barley and sheep. Therefore the inhabitants of the town did not depend on outside products to continue their lives. But the whole scenario changed with tourism and the First World War, when people came into frequent contact with the outsiders. Soon the land was contaminated by artificial fertilisers, and crops failed one after another and diseases spread. Soon St. Kilda was abandoned by its inhabitants and has now been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
7. Oradour-Sur-Glane, France
It was once a beautiful little village, in Haute Vienna, in Nazi occupied France. In 1944, 642 villagers were massacred by the Nazi soldiers to teach them a lesson that they should not have supported the French Resistance. After the war, the decision was taken not to demolish or rebuild the village. Now the place is ghostly and lifeless.
8. San Zhi, Taiwan
San Zhi, a pod city in Taiwan, was to become a holiday resort for US military officers in 1978. The houses looked futuristic like UFO disks. According to local people, Pod City was built on a Dutch cemetery. After a series of mysterious deaths, including accidents and suicides, the place was abandoned in 1980. The pods were demolished by the government to build a new water park.
9. Centralia, Pennsylvania
In 1962 the inhabitants of the town burned some rubbish that was lying next to the unused mine in the region. Accidentally, an open vein of anthracite coal was also set on fire and the fire spread under the whole town. In 1981 a 12-year-old boy fell into the burning crater in the backyard of his grandmother’s house. This incident triggered the evacuation of the town. Centralia once had 3000 inhabitants and now has only 10 inhabitants. It is estimated that the fire will burn for another 250 years.
10. Prypiat, Ukraine
Prypiat was built in 1970 to house workers at the nearby Chernobyl nuclear power plant. It had about 50,000 inhabitants and a well-developed infrastructure. But the town was abandoned in ruins after the notorious and fatal Chernobyl reactor disaster in 1986.