Lost in Time: 50 Curious Abandoned Places and Ghost Towns

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1Ohio State Reformatory

Ohio State Reformatory

The Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio is an abandoned prison where ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ was filmed. It was purchased for $1 in 2000 and converted into a tourist attraction that nets $16 million annually.

2. There is a Canadian island called Devon Island, which is the largest uninhabited island in the world and it is used to simulate a Mars-like environment by scientists because of its uncanny similarity with the Martian surface.

3. The town of Singapore in Michigan became a ghost town after complete deforestation removed its protection from the surrounding sand dunes. It is currently buried beneath the shores of Lake Michigan

4. "Moyenne Island" is a small uninhabited island in Seychelles that Brendon Grimshaw bought for £8,000 in 1962. With help from a partner, Rene Antoine Lafortune, Grimshaw transported and bred roughly 120 tortoises onto the island which is now the world's smallest national park.

5. There is an uninhabited island in the Bahamas known as Pig Beach, which is populated entirely by swimming pigs.

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Centralia in Pennsylvania became a ghost town due to its massive underground coal fires, which have been burning interrupted since 1962.

7. Disappointment Island is an uninhabited island in New Zealand. In 1868, a steel tanker crashed on the island which killed 68 people, leaving the 15 survivors waiting 18 months to be rescued. In 1907, another ship ended up crashing there and 12 men drowned.

8. The Chinese town of Tianducheng was built to be a near-exact Replica of Paris, complete with a mock-up of Versailles and a copy of The Eiffel Tower. It however is now a giant ghost town with only 2,000 people living there.

9. In the Falklands, an abandoned minefield has accidentally become a penguin sanctuary. The mines were set in the Falklands conflict and have remained there since, keeping humans away. The local Magellanic penguins are too small to set them off and have thrived in the area.

10. There is an abandoned subway station under City Hall in New York where no trains stop but you can see it in passing if you take the number 6 train.

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11Riverview Hospital

Riverview Hospital

Many of the scenes in "Elf" were filmed at an abandoned psychiatric hospital (Riverview Hospital) in Vancouver. In the 50's, Riverview Hospital was home to more than 4,000 patients. The X Files, Supernatural, Saw, Deadpool 2 and many others have filmed scenes on the site.

12. Scientists discovered a cannibalistic ant colony composed entirely of worker ants in a abandoned Soviet Bunker in Poland. They had fallen down ventilation pipes leading into the bunker and reverted to cannibalism to survive. When scientists discovered it, they built a bridge that allowed most of them to escape.

13. An Irish maternity home called “Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home” was operated by nuns in the mid-1900. Long after it was abandoned, in 1975, two kids playing on its grounds found a creepy secret vault “filled to the brim” with skeletons of more than 800 children. Carbon dating confirmed that the remains date from the timeframe relevant to when the maternity home was being operated.

14. There are “ghost islands” off the coast of Virginia that have been uninhabitable since 1936 as they act as a natural barrier to the coast during hurricane season. They are home to a feral horse population, a NASA flight facility, and the second tallest lighthouse in the United States.

15. Abu is an elderly Indonesian man who lives alone on a deserted island (Pulau Cengkeh) with his wife so that he wouldn’t spread his leprosy to others. He makes a living out of raising turtles and taking care of the reef around the island.

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16Ukkusiksalik National Park

Ukkusiksalik National Park

Ukkusiksalik National Park in Canada is uninhabited now, but the Inuit lived there from the 11th century to the 1960s. Remains of fox traps, tent rings, and food caches have been discovered in the area. Usually, the park can only be visited during a few summer weeks.

17. There is a ghost city in China, called the Tianjin Trade District, which was built to exactly resemble Manhatten. The city now remains completely uninhabited after its rapid construction was suddenly cut short following China’s economic slowdown.

18. “Lost Dakota” is a small portion of the Dakota Territory which was not given to any state in the late 19th century and was subsequently forgotten for five years. It was later annexed by Montana and remains uninhabited to this day, although it is reportedly “infested with grizzly bears.”

19. The beaches of uninhabited Henderson Island of the Pitcairn Islands are littered with highest density of plastic rubbish in the world because of the South Pacific Gyre currents.

20. In Oklahoma, there exists a ghost town named Picher that was so polluted from lead mining that leftover minerals have caused the rivers to turn red. Children who went swimming in the arsenic-filled water thought they were just getting sunburnt - in reality, they were being covered in chemical burns.

21Burj Al Babas

Burj Al Babas

Burj Al Babas is an abandoned $200 million residential development located near the Turkish town of Mudurnu. The homes in the development are designed to resemble Disney-style miniature castles. After the developer went bankrupt and economic slowdown, the whole development remains unsold and lays uninhabited.

22. Thames Town is in a suburb outside of Shanghai, China, which was built to resemble a small British market town. However, due to the high cost of living, very few houses were sold and most of the town remains uninhabited. Right now, it mainly serves as a backdrop for wedding photographs.

23. There is an idyllic island (Ilha da Queimada Grande) uninhabited by humans off the coast of Brazil that's crawling with venomous golden lancehead pit vipers. According to estimates, there's one snake per square meter on the island, making it illegal to step foot there.

24. The city of Treece in Kansas was abandoned and is now a ghost town because past mining caused long-lasting lead pollution.

25. The city of Ordos in China is considered to be the largest ghost town on Earth with the prefectural administrative region covering 86,752 square kilometers (33,495 square miles). Half-way constructed buildings blanket the town and only 2% of its buildings were ever filled.

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