1) Michigan Central Station
This hulking Beaux-Arts train station was the tallest train station in the world at the time of its construction in 1912. It was designed by Warren & Wetmore and Reed and Stem—the same architects behind New York’s Grand Central Terminal—but has been abandoned since 1988.
More than 10,000 people lived on this tiny Japanese island up until the 1970s. Once home to an active coal mining facility owned by Mitsubishi Motors, Gunkanjima (or, literally, “Battleship Island”) is now entirely abandoned.
3) Nara Dreamland
Japan’s troubled version of Disneyland closed in 2006, but all of the park’s roller coasters, arcades, and souvenir shops remain intact.
4) Maunsell Forts
These sci-fi towers were constructed in the Thames estuary to protect England’s coast from German air raids during World War II. After being abandoned in 1956, the forts were briefly used to broadcast offshore radio stations.
Kolmanskop was once a thriving diamond mining town—home to the southern hemisphere’s first X-ray station and Africa’s first tram—but the dwindling diamond field was exhausted by the 1950s. Now, sands of the Namib desert have overtaken the town.
Pripyat was vacated just a few days after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, abandoning 15 schools, a hospital, a rail station, and an amusement park.
Once a popular beach destination for stars like Brigitte Bardot, the resort town of Varosha was abandoned during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. Its inhabitants never returned.
8) Train Cemetery
Uyuni is best known as home to the world’s largest salt flat. But travelers can also visit the antique train cemetery, where many mining company trains were abandoned in the 1940s, when the industry collapsed.
9) Lake Reschen
Beginning in 1940, Italian electric company Montecatini built a dam to unify the area’s two lakes—Reschensee and Mittersee. As a byproduct of the dam, local villages were entirely submerged. In Graun, this 14th-century church bell tower is the only reminder that the village ever existed.
10) Bulgarian Communist Party Headquarters
When the Iron Curtain fell in 1989, it left behind this massive relic, perched at an altitude of nearly 5,000 feet. The new government hopes to restore the immense building.
11) City United Methodist Church
The United States Steel Company paid $385,000 toward the construction of this $1 million Gothic beauty in the 1920s, but now the church lies in decay.
12) Ship Cemetery
Mauritania’s second-largest city is home to the world’s largest ship graveyard. The city’s port is home to more than 300 rusted vessels, as corrupt officials took bribes from boat owners, allowing them to abandon their ships.
This picturesque Italian village was owned by the Benedictine abbey of San Pietro dei Monti in the 12th century and was once a bustling village full of olive farmers. Population began to decline, however, in the late 19th century when a series of earthquakes struck the area. The remained residents were relocated in 1953 due to geographic instability.
14) Nicosia International Airport
The customer waiting areas, restaurant, and check-in counters at this abandoned airport remain exactly as they were in 1974, when the Turkish invasion of Cyprus began.