Across the planet, there are locations and monuments left abandoned. Once time and corrosion have taken hold, entire towns are left in ghostly shells of their former selves.
Take for example Pripyat, Ukraine, site of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster of 1986. This once-bustling city of thousands was abandoned virtually overnight when one of the reactor cores malfunctioned. Residents were told to take only what was necessary and leave immediately. All that stands now is a wasteland of wreckage and ruins that create a snapshot in time. Large parts of the site are still off-limits due to radioactivity, but there is a small portion that has been sealed off for tourists.
The Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was open from 1829 until 1971 and utilized a system of separate incarceration. Designed in the shape of a wagon wheel, the prison was home to notorious criminals such as Willie Sutton and Al Capone. The prison is now a museum and official historic site that is a monument to history with eerie imagery, abandoned barber shops and cavernous wrecked hallways.
The Ryugyong Hotel in North Korea is a construction project several decades in the making. Building began in 1987 and came to a halt in 1992 with the fall of the Soviet Union and a downturn in North Korea's economy. Standing at just over 1,000 feet tall, the hotel is the most visible object of Pyongyang's cityscape. Known also as 'the hotel of doom' and 'the phantom hotel,' it has stood largely vacant for decades with an uncertain path forward. Work on the hotel began again in 2008 and today the exterior is complete, but reports are that the interior is hollow, large and mostly incomplete.
The New South China Mall is a large mall in Dongguan, China that, since it's opening in 2005, has remained largely unoccupied. The 7.1 million square foot leasing space was built on farm land and is a haunting reminder of ambitious, albeit poorly planned, urban development, which is sadly the case in many parts of China.
Ghost towns across the world pique our imaginations and continue to be relics of an age gone by.
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