50 Startling Photos of Abandoned Places Around the World

By Sophia Maddox | December 19, 2023

The "Chicken Church" of Java

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Gereja Ayam, also known under its alternative moniker The Chicken Church of Java, sits abandoned near Magelang. This peculiar underground temple is set against a dense and unrelenting Indonesian jungle. Built by Daniel Alamsjah in the 1990s, the divinely inspired monument served as a worshiping space for followers of his religion.


After a series of financial obstacles and resistance among locals, the structure was ultimately left unfinished and surrendered under the weight of its own wings to the surrounding jungle. Originally intended as a dove, the temple found new life as stories of it circulated the internet. The whimsical Chicken Church of Java is now decked with jewel tiling and cloud-painted ceilings. This dream-like religious monument contains 12 prayer rooms in its catacombs. Early-bird visitors can pay to tour the structure and watch the sunrise from the crown of the chicken-shaped temple.

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.