24 Cities You Learned About in School That No Longer Exist
From the tragic to the mysterious, you won’t believe these fascinating tales of cities that no longer exist.
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Looking around your city, it may be hard to imagine that there might be a time when it no longer exists. But that’s exactly what happened to these communities. Read on to learn all about the fires, floods, disasters, and unsolved mysteries that led to these cities no longer existing. It’s not just cities—these 15 countries no longer exist, too.
East Berlin, Germany
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The Soviet sector of Berlin was established in 1945 and existed until 1990. The Wall that divided it from West Berlin became a symbol of the evils of communism to the rest of the world until it finally fell in 1989. Today, a united Berlin is the largest city and capital of Germany. Berlin has also earned the distinction of being deemed one of the most honest cities in the world.
Hashima Island, Japan
Hashima Island was formerly one of the most populated cities in the world. The 16-acre island provided jobs to more than 5,000 people, many of whom made their living at the island’s underwater coal mines. When the mines were closed, Hashima Island was abandoned. Today it is nothing but dilapidated high rises and forgotten buildings as evidenced in these pictures of Hashima Island and other abandoned places throughout the world.
Consonno was a tiny town with a population of less than 300 and roots dating back to the middle ages. The residents made their living harvesting crops like chestnuts and celery. Then Mario Bagno came along and decided to turn the area into the Las Vegas of Italy and planned on calling it the City of Toys. He demolished nearly every building and set to work on building his masterpiece. The disaster struck: in 1976 a landslide buried the access road and the project was never finished. Today, Consonno has been abandoned. Check out Consonno and other abandoned amusement parks that will give you the creeps.
Little America, Antarctica
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Little America was the name of not one, but five different postal outposts in Antarctica. The first was established in 1933 and the last, in 1958. Where did they go? The answer is as unique as Antarctica itself. One by one, they floated out to sea. If the glaciers continue to melt, that could spell disaster for Antarctica.
Eastern Settlement, Greenland
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Eastern Settlement in Greenland isn’t just an abandoned city, it’s also a mystery. Once the most populated area in Greenland, the area was abandoned and no one knows why. The last known writings from the area pertained to a wedding in 1408 and offered no clues. It remains one of many ancient mysteries researchers can’t explain.
Ordos Kangbashi, China
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Ordos Kangbashi boasts some of the most stunning architecture in the world. It’s also one of the world’s largest ghost towns. In the early part of the 2,000’s the Chinese government invested over a billion-dollar into the city, which was a planned utopia with cutting edge buildings and technology. Unfortunately, a downturn in the economy made the city unaffordable and there weren’t enough residents to sustain the city. Those that did move in eventually moved away. For another example of amazing Chinese architecture, check out these pictures of one of the world’s most complicated overpasses.
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Pompeii was once a resort town in Italy where wealthy Romans spent their vacations. In AD 79, Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried the city under ash. It was all but forgotten until 1800 years later when archeologists found the city that remained intact beneath the rubble. Here’s a list of the volcanoes that could erupt next—or already are.
Machu Picchu, Peru
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Today Machu Picchu is on the bucket list of dream trips for many travelers, but there was a time it was an Incan city spanning over five miles. Historians believe it was a religious or royal site but the city’s origins are largely mysterious. Machu Picchu was abandoned in the early 1500s around the time the Spanish Conquistadors. Since archeologists haven’t discovered evidence the area was attacked, many speculate the population could have been wiped out by a smallpox epidemic.
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Troy was rendered immortal in Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad. For many years, the Troy of Ancient Greece was merely the stuff of legend but in the 1800s its location was discovered in what is now Turkey. The site contains layers of ruins archeologists are still studying. Find out some of the weirdest discoveries archeologists have ever made.