Modern abandoned cities were once the most functional and thriving cities of the world. All of these abandoned cities have an equally interesting story of their demise. Some were abandoned due to some disaster, natural calamity, human error or some esoteric reasons. Whatever the reason was, these once modern and lively cities have now turned into dead abandoned cities where everything feels haunted. Some cities appear to have frozen with all the things in their exact places while others have gone through complete destruction.
It is very strange how some cities are as still as a corpse while their neighboring cities are still full of bustling life. Whatever their cause of destruction is, you will surely be engrossed in their stories. Have a look!
1) Pripyat, Ukraine
Pripyat is a city in Northern Ukraine. It was founded on 4th February 1970, near Pripyat River with a population of 49,360. It is the ninth nuclear city in Soviet Union. The city is now vacant and haunted due to the nuclear blast of 26th April 1986. This incident is commonly known as Chernobyl disaster.
An explosion occurred at the reactor of nuclear power station at Chernobyl. It was considered as the worst disaster in the history of nuclear energy production. The result of explosion was that the radiations spread throughout the city and caused thousands of deaths despite being evacuated within 60 hours of explosion.
Pripyat was once a lively city with a great amusement park and high-rise buildings. Now, the city has turned into a haunted place with vegetation and animals all over the place. It looks like the city has frozen for ages.
2) Humberstone and Santa Laura, Chile
Humberstone is a city located in northern Chile which was renamed after the British mine manager. In 1862, it was the nitrate mining center of La Palma. Humberstone and Santa Laura had huge reserves of nitrate which is the main ingredient of fertilizers.
The reason behind the evacuation of the city is not any calamity or disaster but it it the availability of substitute of nitrate. When the need of mined nitrate ended, people started moving out of the city leaving behind their homes, offices and industries.
In 1970, the government of Chile declared both of the towns as national monuments. And in 2005, they were declared World Heritage Sites by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
3) Some parts of Detroit, Michigan
Detroit is the most populated city in the state of Michigan. However, it has a few districts which are completely abandoned while other parts are fully functional. The Motor City is one good example. It is called so because of being the world’s center of automotive industry in the earlier times. The city expanded with leaps and bounds all because of Henry Ford’s assembly line of cars and trucks. Their cheap production in the area caused an increase in the district’s living standards.
Since the district’s success was based on the manufacturing of automobile, its received a decline in its sales when the other manufacturers came in the market. With the decrease in employment rates and low income generation in the area, the residents started migrating thereby abandoning another district.
4) Hashima Island, Japan
Hashima Island is only a 15-acre outcropping of rock off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan. However, the island was of great importance as being a major coal mining center for almost a century. Therefore, Mitsubishi build a housing for its workers and provided all the basic facilities for its workers on the island and brought life to the vacant island. This life for the island was very short lived.
In January 1974, Mitsubishi announced the closing of coal mine due to petroleum replacing coal as the world’s most preferable energy source thereby evacuating the once thriving island. The building and people’s belongings still depict the existence of life in the island.
5) Centralia, Pennsylvania
Centralia, Penn. was a boomtown established on 1866 with a population of almost 3000 people. The town had churches, stores, hotels and buildings which were all developed out of the profits of coal mines. These coal mines are the main reason behind the town’s destruction.
In 1962, the city workers accidentally lit a vein of anthracite coal which caused the burning of large masses of underground coal. The city tried for a years to get rid of the fire but all the efforts went in vain. The government strategies required a huge investment so they didn’t opt for that either. In the end, the only solution was to evacuate the town so the government provided homes to all the Centralia’s residents and left the town deserted.
These are the stories behind the abandoned cities of the world. All for now!