From UK shores to remote parts of the African deserts, it seems us humans are really good at upping and leaving our settlements.
So we’ve rounded up the weirdest ghost towns around the world…
1. Capel Celyn, Wales
If you’re old enough to remember Capel Celyn, you’ll know that it was a village purposely flooded in 1965 to help develop a reservoir. Among the things lost in the flood included a chapel, school, post office and 12 houses and farms – it was widely controversial, not just because it meant many lost their homes, but because it was one of the last Welsh-speaking settlements.
2. Grand-Bassam, Ivory Coast
It was the French colonial capital during the 19th century until a heavy bout of yellow fever hit the city. For years it has been inhabited only by squatters, as companies moved their businesses elsewhere following the outbreak.
3. Grytviken, South Georgia
This British settlement looks like it could be anywhere, but in fact this little unused town is just east of the Falkland Islands – the most southern territory in the world. Now it serves as a tourist stop for travellers on cruises around Antarctica, while its original purpose was as a whaling station.
4. Agdam, Azerbaijan
During a war in 1993, the entire population of Agdam was forced to flee eastwards – the enemy then destroyed much of the remaining town. One of the only remaining pieces from the ghost town is the mosque, which, although damaged, it still mostly in one piece.
5. Varosha, Cyprus
Varosha is part of the Cypriot city of Famagusta, which, during the 70s, was one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations – welcoming celebrity guests such as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. During the Turkish invasion in 1974, all its inhabitants were forced to flee and nobody has ever returned since.
6. Pyramiden, Russia
This coal-mining community based on an island just off of Norway was originally owned by Sweden but later sold to the Soviet Union. In 1998 the 1,000 residents quickly fled, leaving much of the settlement exactly as it was – which, judging by this picture, makes it feel even creepier.
7. Chaiten, Chile
The town was evacuated in 2008, when, after 9,000 years dormant, the volcano on which the town is situated erupted. As a result, the local river burst its banks and even now, six years on, the extent of the damage is unknown – much of the population relocated to other nearby settlements.