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World's 10 abandoned cities

Last updated on: May 25, 2011 12:15 IST

World's 10 abandoned cities

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Some cities die due to natural catastrophe, some die due to economic changes and some simply die because they have outlived their functions.

The world is full of abandoned cities, or ghost towns, where buildings remain standing while people have moved on.

Let's take a look at 10 abandoned cities around the world.

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Image: There are many reasons why cities die.

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World's 10 abandoned cities

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Location: Kayakoy, Mugla, Turkey

Abandoned since: 1923

This place has been a virtual ghost town since the end of the Greco-Turkish War.

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Image: Kayakoy has been a ghost town since 1923.

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Location: Bodie, California, United States

Abandoned since: 1942

The town, over 8,000 feet up in the Sierra Nevadas, was a gold rush outpost.

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Image: It was a gold rush outpost.

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Location: Humberstone, Northern Atacama desert, Chile

Abandoned since: 1960

Humberstone was once a bustling saltpeter refinery in the desert of northern Chile.

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Image: It was once a saltpeter refinery.

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Location: Centralia, Pennsylvania, United States

Abandoned since: 10 or so people still live in Centralia.

In 1962, a fire broke out in a landfill near the Odd Fellows cemetery. The fire quickly spread through a hole to the coal mine beneath the city, and the fires have been burning ever since.

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Image: Fires have been buring in the city since 1962.

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Location: Oradour-sur-Glane, Limousin, France

Abandoned since: 1944

During World War II, the Nazi troops came upon Oradour-sur-Glane and completely destroyed it, killing 642 people.

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Image: Nazis destroyed the city.

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Location: Hashima Island, Nagasaki, Japan

Abandoned since: 1974

During the industrial revolution in Japan, the Mitsubishi company built this island civilization around large coal deposits in the Nagasaki islands.

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Image: It has been abandoned since 1974.

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Location: Kolmanskop, Namibia

Abandoned since: 1954

Once a successful diamond mining community, Kolmanskop is now a desert ghost town where the houses welcome only sand.

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Image: It was a diamond mining community.

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Location: Craco, Basilicata, Italy

Abandoned since: 1963

After being rocked by a number of earthquakes and subsequent landslides, Craco was abandoned for lower ground.

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Image: Earthquakes and landslides forced people to abandon Craco.

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Location: Sanzhi district, New Taipei, Taiwan

Abandoned since: 1980

Sanzhi was originally a vacation resort catering to US servicemen north of Taipei.

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Image: It was orginally a resort town.

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Location: Pripyat, Ukraine

Abandoned since: 1986

After the Chernobyl reactor meltdown in 1986, Pripyat is an abandoned shell of a city frozen in a 1980's Soviet time-warp.


Image: Pripyat is an abandoned shell of a city.

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