There are many fascinating places to travel in the world.; even more so if they are places that were once abandoned and were later absorbed by nature. In these cases, what we are offered has a peculiar and unique aspect: human creation merges with the wild. Old ships stranded on the beach or buildings and settlements that rest in the middle of nowhere have their own hidden stories, from their beginnings to their subsequent abandonment.
We at Bright Side investigated which places were abandoned over time, why people abandoned them, and what they look like today.
1. Hotel del Salto in Colombia
In Colombia, an abandoned hotel was built in the 1920s for people from high society. But due to the economic crises in the country in subsequent years, the building was abandoned, and many legends arose around it.
This place is attractive because it is located on the edge of a precipice and just a few meters from Salto del Tequendama. It also went through different owners and became one of the favorite spots for mystery lovers. It is currently a tourist site and is enabled for visits in certain periods.
2. Ponyhenge Horses in Lincoln, Massachusetts
In the city of Lincoln, there is a terrain known as Ponyhenge , characterized by exhibiting strange rocking chairs in the shape of a horse. Until now no one knows who placed them there, but it is believed that the first horse appeared in 2010 and, little by little, more units emerged to complete the herd.
The plot is located on the side of the road, so any traveler can see them from a distance. A total of 30 horses have been counted, although the locals assure that they saw up to 50. And even with time, they are quite well preserved, but the strangest thing is that they are never placed in the same place. As if someone redistributed them on each visit.
3. The Uyuni trains in Bolivia
On the outskirts of Uyuni, Bolivia, there are many abandoned trains whose origin dates back to the 19th century, since it was planned to create a railway network connecting several important cities in the country. Currently, there are more than 100 trains, all rusted due to the salt that abounds in the place.
It is a tourist attraction for those who visit the region, and a prelude to the Salar de Uyuni, which is nearby. The idea is that the trains can be preserved and, in the future, be used as a railway museum for lovers of this means of transport.
4. The dome houses of Marco Island in Florida
This strange set of houses in the form of space domes was built in 1982 by an oil producer named Bob Lee. He intended to create a beach house to spend his vacations away from the city. The project included six interconnected structures with three bedrooms and three bathrooms.
Some units had two levels, and the dome molding was made to eliminate corners and other wasted space found in ordinary construction. Although Lee’s family managed to use this house for a while, the constant storms caused it to be sold and had multiple owners. It was finally abandoned in 2018 and passed into the hands of the state.
5. The abandoned town of Houtouwan in China
We are used to seeing buildings in ruins, but what about entire towns abandoned? This is the case of Houtouwan , a fishing village located in China, which was home to some 2,000 people and was abandoned in the 1990s by its own inhabitants.
There are several theories that try to explain why the people gradually left the town. Some believe it was due to mismanagement of the fish trade. Others theorize that the approaches were too dangerous and that the bay was too small. Even so, you can visit and admire the peculiar landscape of the houses covered with vegetation due to lack of care.
6. The “chicken church” in Magelang, Indonesia
This peculiar bird-shaped construction is hidden in the Magelang forest in Indonesia. Its name, Gereja Ayam, means “chicken church”, although the idea was to represent a dove. Its construction began in 1990, but was abandoned in 2000 due to economic problems and other problems that arose over time.
This caused it to acquire a strange atmosphere, mixed with nature’s own weeds. In 2016, a documentary dedicated to this church called Into the Inferno was created . It details that it has a connection to a nearby volcano, as the head points there. Currently it is an interesting site for lovers of hiking and adventure tourism.
7. The Eiffel Tower in Tianducheng, China
During 2007, it was planned to build a replica of the Eiffel Tower but in China. This is how a town called Tianducheng arose, which is made up of the mythical scale tower, surrounded by other garden constructions and Parisian-style buildings. Due to the small number of inhabitants in the area, it was classified as a ghost town.
Among the recreations that Tianducheng made of Paris, are the lighting of the tower itself, the Neptune Fountain, the Tuileries Garden and the Palace of Versailles, among others. In addition, some couples also tend to take photos in front of the tower to celebrate their anniversary, not to mention a street vendor selling figurines of the structure.
8. The Maunsell Sea Forts in England
This peculiar metallic structure served to protect the army from air attacks. But after its abandonment in the middle of the 20th century, it was gradually dismantled, since its parts began to be used as scrap.
Initially , this fort was made up of a central tower surrounded by five artillery towers and a searchlight tower at the rear. Inside, fuel, supplies and water were stored, as well as being used as accommodation for the crew.
9. The island of Poveglia in Italy
The island of Poveglia is located between Venice and Lido, in northern Italy. It has a small canal that divides it into two parts and its construction dates back to the year 421. It was active until the 1960s, when it was finally completely uninhabited.
Although visits are prohibited for tourists and the curious, many photographers and writers managed to enter it to create documentaries related to the paranormal. In 2015 it was proposed to use it as an amusement park, but to date it remains empty.
10. The ships of the Aral Sea
The Aral Sea was known to host an important fishing industry, and was forgotten when it dried up and became the Aralkum desert. It is estimated that it produced more than 50,000 tons of fish and was an important source of income for more than 100,000 people who lived in the region.
Currently, only a few abandoned ships remain, which form a peculiar apocalyptic landscape because they are in the middle of the desert. Some travelers often use them as a shelter to hide from the sun, but due to the disappearance of the sea, it has become completely uninhabitable.
11. Montserrat Island
This island is located in the Caribbean, but is part of the British territory. Between 1995 and 2000, a volcano erupted and caused a large part of the population to evacuate their homes. Half of the island was marked as an “exclusion zone”, which caused several important points (such as the main airport) to be moved north.
The exclusion zone reflects a rather peculiar landscape, with some ruins that used to make up the different settlements, although, for the most part, these regions were destroyed by the lava from the volcano. Currently, it is considered an uninhabitable and unsafe area for tourism.
12. The SS Ayrfield ship from Australia
Nature spares nothing when it comes to appropriating uninhabited constructions or buildings, as happened with this abandoned ship in Australia. She was used as a means of transporting supplies and cargo, but after her useful life ended, parts of her began to be used for scrap in the 1970s.
Over time, it gradually sank and it was then that a mangrove forest grew, which became a floating island. These trees have overgrown the edges of the ship, slowly and gradually breaking it with their branches and roots, creating a real spectacle for those passing by.
What kind of abandoned places would you like to know? And what do you think can be done to encourage its conservation?
Cover image AFP / East News