50 Mesmerizing Photos of Abandoned Places Around the World

By Sophia Maddox | March 14, 2024

Time Stands Still in the California Gold Rush Town of Bodie

Come along on a trip around the world with us to visit some of the most visually stunning and occasionally haunting abandoned spaces. Each breathtaking image reflects a historically significant location once brimming with life and purpose.

Today, the following monuments stand alone as a signifier of bygone eras. From ancient fairytale-like palaces to forgotten covert military infrastructure, these abandoned buildings are a stark reminder of time's fleeting nature.

 

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The ghost town of Bodie, California, is a silent monument to the classical boom-and-bust saga of the American West. Bodie was among the most significant gold rush towns in the late 19th century. A bustling mining settlement is now a visually striking specter of decay in the heart of California’s high desert.

The village was established in 1876 to accommodate the surge of miners lured by the prospects of striking it rich in the gold mining trade. The diverse population represented an early melting pot culture, and Bodie was a hotbed of legendary figures in the Wild West. The site is currently managed and maintained in an arrested state of decay by the California State Parks system. Visitors can tour the more than 100 historical structures that still remain at the site, including the bespoke, weather-wooded saloons and original Methodist church.

The Tranquil Fields of Lincoln, Massachusetts Reveal an Unsettling Equine Mystery in Ponyhenge

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Ponyhenge is a curious display of rocking horses and other themed toys that can’t help but attract the attention of the casual passerby. This enigmatic (or, um, super weird) collection of plastic hobby horses marks a rather peculiar sight amid New England’s rural landscape. There’s no shortage of local folklore surrounding the eerie site.


As the legend goes, Ponyhenge started with a single rocking horse abandoned by an unknown party. Over time, more equine figures began to mysteriously accumulate until they attracted more anonymous donors. Contributors started to display this unusual collection in a unique circular pattern reminiscent of the ancient megaliths. The ever-expanding assemblage of toy horses has been said to mysteriously migrate from one part of the circle to another. The spontaneity of the display lends the area a truly unique expression that can’t be found elsewhere.