Picture stories

Haunting images capture fascinating abandoned sites around the globe

Haunting images capture fascinating abandoned sites around the globe

A rusted locomotive stands alone, embedded into the earth, an old courthouse building is almost entirely swallowed by the ground from a volcano eruption and a disused lighthouse threatens to collapse into the sea.

These haunting sights are just a few images from journalist Kieron Connolly’s new book, Abandoned Places, which explores 65 fascinating lost worlds from all around the globe. 

With each forgotten location comes a fascinating story of its past and how it came to be abandoned – be it as a result of natural or chemical disaster, war, economic collapse or changing attitudes and tastes.

From uncompleted theme parks in China to deserted and dilapidated opera houses in Massachusetts these abandoned sights have been left to the elements and ignored by humanity. Readers are afforded a glimpse back in time, the photographs illuminating worlds believed to be lost.

After the mining industry  in Bolivia collapsed, the railways that served them fell into ruin. But today people are returning to the town just to see the rusting hulks of old steam trains in Uyuni Train Cemetery

After the mining industry in Bolivia collapsed, the railways that served them fell into ruin. But today people are returning to the town just to see the rusting hulks of old steam trains in Uyuni Train Cemetery

 

Before Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012, this Jet Star roller coaster in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, was an end-of-the-pier attraction. Unfortunately, the storm pulled down much of the pier, leaving the ride in the Atlantic Ocean

Before Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012, this Jet Star roller coaster in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, was an end-of-the-pier attraction. Unfortunately, the storm pulled down much of the pier, leaving the ride in the Atlantic Ocean

 

This vast, dramatic building in Warsaw was once the Wola gasworks, which first opened in 1888, destroyed during the second world war, then rebuilt. It finally closed in the early 1970s when the city switched to using natural gas. Today, part of the site is a museum, but other areas, such as the rotunda pictured, remain dilapidated

This vast, dramatic building in Warsaw was once the Wola gasworks, which first opened in 1888, destroyed during the second world war, then rebuilt. It finally closed in the early 1970s when the city switched to using natural gas. Today, part of the site is a museum, but other areas, such as the rotunda pictured, remain dilapidated

 

This bizarre hotel in the form of a face near Fengdu Ghost City on the northern bank of the Yangzi River in China was never quite completed, leaving the eyes blankly staring down the hill at the lands below

This bizarre hotel in the form of a face near Fengdu Ghost City on the northern bank of the Yangzi River in China was never quite completed, leaving the eyes blankly staring down the hill at the lands below

 

A polluted lake, tainted with cyanide and other chemicals, is seen covering Geamana village in Romania, which was flooded to make way for a copper mine. All that can be seen now is the church steeple

A polluted lake, tainted with cyanide and other chemicals, is seen covering Geamana village in Romania, which was flooded to make way for a copper mine. All that can be seen now is the church steeple

 

This uncompleted castle was to feature at an amusement park called Wonderland located on the outskirts of Beijing, but funds were withdrawn due to disagreements over property prices with the local government and farmers

This uncompleted castle was to feature at an amusement park called Wonderland located on the outskirts of Beijing, but funds were withdrawn due to disagreements over property prices with the local government and farmers

 

Built in the early 1980s, these solar-powered dome homes in Cape Romano, Florida, were occupied for ten years, but 1992’s Hurricane Andrew caused damage in the area. Then in 2005, Hurricane Wilma damaged the houses and tore away part of the coastline. Today, the houses can only be reached by boat

Built in the early 1980s, these solar-powered dome homes in Cape Romano, Florida, were occupied for ten years, but 1992’s Hurricane Andrew caused damage in the area. Then in 2005, Hurricane Wilma damaged the houses and tore away part of the coastline. Today, the houses can only be reached by boat

 

When Gold was discovered in the town of Bodie in 1859 (just after the initial California gold rush) it went from mining camp to boomtown but competition elsewhere soon lead to its decline. Today, Bodie is maintained in a state of arrested decay as a visitor attraction

When Gold was discovered in the town of Bodie in 1859 (just after the initial California gold rush) it went from mining camp to boomtown but competition elsewhere soon lead to its decline. Today, Bodie is maintained in a state of arrested decay as a visitor attraction

 

This  graveyard of military hardware remains at the Kabul Military Training Centre in Afghanistan. Soviet tanks and armoured personnel carriers stand rusting many years after the Soviet retreat from Afghanistan in 1989

This graveyard of military hardware remains at the Kabul Military Training Centre in Afghanistan. Soviet tanks and armoured personnel carriers stand rusting many years after the Soviet retreat from Afghanistan in 1989

 

Rubjerg Knude lighthouse in Denmark dates from 1900 but stopped operating in 1968. It's anticipated that by 2023 the cliff will have eroded so much - due to coastal erosion and continually shifting sands - that the lighthouse will fall into the sea

Rubjerg Knude lighthouse in Denmark dates from 1900 but stopped operating in 1968. It’s anticipated that by 2023 the cliff will have eroded so much – due to coastal erosion and continually shifting sands – that the lighthouse will fall into the sea

 

Haunting images capture fascinating abandoned sites around the globe

Metal World War II forts on tripods rising out of the Thames Estuary and North Sea off England make for an arresting image

 

In 1959 more than 5,000 people were living on this small island of Hashima in Japan, working in its mines. In 1974, the mine was closed and the island abandoned. Its claim to fame is its appearance in the James Bond film Skyfall

In 1959 more than 5,000 people were living on this small island of Hashima in Japan, working in its mines. In 1974, the mine was closed and the island abandoned. Its claim to fame is its appearance in the James Bond film Skyfall

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