The world is constantly changing. Blink, and we might just miss something. Visiting somewhere today could look completely different when we visit there again in ten years. But there are some places that have been frozen in time. Some places that the world has seemingly left behind. Beautifully preserved to portray a time that once was.
The disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in 1986 left the town of Pripyat uninhabitable for the next 20,000 years at least. Safe to say that no one will ever live there again. 34 years on and nature has surprisingly taken over. All images of this beautiful ghost town show delipidated buildings peeking out of the forest of trees that now call it home. Even with the high levels of radiation still present, there are some places that are safe for tours to take place.
Take a trip to the Namib Desert in Namibia and find a weather-worn town with a population of zero. Diamonds were discovered here in the early 1900s and the town was formed. More than 2,000 pounds of diamonds were removed from the soft sands of the desert, but once they were all gone and the price of diamonds dropped, there was no point in living in the intense heat anymore. The town is now a tourist attraction and has been used as the backdrop of films and many fashion shoots.
Born at the height of the gold rush is another historic mining ghost town. Bodie in California was founded in 1859. Within 20 years it had boomed to home 10,000 people and contain more than 2,000 buildings. By the early 1900s the mines had completely dried up and only a small population was left. After a terrible fire in 1932, the last inhabitants left the town because they were no longer able to maintain it without an income from the mines. The town has been abandoned ever since.
When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 CE, the city of Pompeii was instantly frozen in time. The eruption was so quick that the inhabitants had no time to evacuate. The eruption preserved the town in such a way that after all this time, archaeologists have found evidence of advanced plumbing facilities, ancient graffiti, first aid equipment, and many other everyday conveniences that were used in their homes at the time. The city of Pompeii is now a major tourist attraction for Italy.
Dating back to 1060 CE is Craco in Italy. The population stayed at a steady 1,500 residents for many years but grew big enough to be split into two districts by the 1800s. The city itself was built on the steep slopes of the mountainside. This, combined with Italy’s seismic activity and the age of the city was a series of disasters waiting to happen. After numerous landslides and collapsed buildings, the last residents finally left the city in 1963. Today, tourists will find most of the buildings just as they were in earlier centuries.
All of these locations are no longer controlled by humans. They are completely at the mercy of mother nature and only subtly change at her will as the years go by. They will remain this way indefinitely, for hundreds of years to come.