Thursday, November 11, 2010

5 Entire Islands with Large Complex Buildings Completely Abandoned

Deserted Floating City of Oily Rocks

One of the strangest cities in the world sits just off the coast of Azerbaijan, abandoned and dilapidated. ‘Oily Rocks’ began with a single path out over the water and grew into a system of paths and platforms built on the back of ships sunken to serve as the city’s foundation. It was all created to serve the oil industry, and before long, it contained housing, schools, libraries and shops for the workers and their families. Now, only part of it remains as many of the paths have disappeared into the surf.

Abandoned Launch Platform for some of America’s first spy satellites

There are numerous isolated military bases around the world, but few as remote as Johnston Atoll. Located in the central Pacific and comprising little more than a vast runway, it’s not hard to imagine what sort of “under the radar” pursuits went on here over the years.

Origionally a natural island atop a coral reef about 750 nautical miles west of Hawaii, Johnston Island has been enlarged tremendously over the years by coral dredging. The result: a semi man-made island providing space for a expansive military base with accomodation for more than 1,000 people at its zenith.

Between 1958 and 1975, Johnston Atoll was used as a nuclear test site for underground and above-ground nuclear weapons. Several nuclear test missiles were launched from the atoll during “Operation Dominic” in 1962
Johnston Atoll also served as a launch platform for some of America’s first spy satellites and other scientific rockets. But by 1993, its military mission had been scaled down to handle the storage and destruction of chemical weapons.

The Fort in the middle of nowhere

A military fort, out in the ocean, with a moat! Fort Jefferson is a part of Dry Tortugas National Park in the waters off of Key West, Florida. Construction on the “fort in the middle of nowhere” was started in 1846. It was originally meant for the defense of the US, but during the 30 years of construction, some design features became obsolete for that purpose. During and after the Civil War the fort began to be used as a prison for deserters and other criminals. In 1874 the army completely abandoned the fort after several hurricanes and a yellow fever epidemic, and it wasn’t until 1898 that the military returned in the form of the navy, which used the facilities during the Spanish-American War. The fort was also used from 1888 through 1900 as a quarantine station, and was garrisoned again briefly during World War I.

Ghost Island – The highest population density ever recorded

Hashima Island (meaning “Border Island”), commonly called Gunkanjima (meaning “Battleship Island”) is one among 505 uninhabited islands in the Nagasaki Prefecture about 15 kilometers from Nagasaki itself. The island was populated from 1887 to 1974 as a coal mining facility.

Amenities like a movie theater, doctor’s office, arcades, restaurants and bars were added later, and the city became a thriving, microcosmic community. The entire complex was linked via underground tunnels. At its peak in 1959, Hashima Island was the most densely populated city on Earth, with 5,259 inhabitants on the small, rocky outcropping, the highest population density ever recorded worldwide. That’s 835 people for every 2.5 acres.

As petroleum replaced coal in Japan in the 1960s, coal mines began shutting down all over the country, and Hashima’s mines were no exception. Mitsubishi officially announced the closing of the mine in 1974, and today it is empty and bare, which is why it’s called the Ghost Island. Travel to Hashima is currently prohibited.

Abandoned Man-Made Military Island

Fort Carroll is a 3.4 acre (14,000 m²) artificial island and abandoned fort in the middle of the Patapsco River, just south of Baltimore, Maryland. The fort was used in the 1800s. In WWII it was briefly used as a firing range for the Army and a checkpoint for ships The government abandoned the fort as a military post in 1920, and the island was declared excess property in 1923. However, the War Department took no immediate steps to sell the land. In May 1958, a Baltimore attorney purchased the island for $10,000, but development plans never materialized. The fort now is deserted.

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