50 Startling Photos of Abandoned Places Around the World

By Sophia Maddox | January 9, 2024

Japan's Aniva Rock Lighthouse Still Exists as a Solitary Relic of the Second World War

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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Spectacularly poised on an uneven outcrop at the southern tip of Sakhalin Island, the Aniva Rock Lighthouse assumes a lonely stance over Japan’s Sea of Okhotsk. Now abandoned to the elements, the lighthouse was originally constructed by Japanese engineers during the global depression of the 1930s. Known as one of the most remote lighthouses in the world, the structure, also referred to as Nakashiretoko, supports nine floors at 31 meters high.

Russia assumed control of the tower after the country annexed the Island of Sakhalin at the end of the Second World War. The stark beauty of its decaying facade hits at the isolation endured by its original keepers, who diligently monitored the area for the intermittent mariner brave enough to traverse these unforgiving straits. Its silent repost and imposing character summon its past as a lifeline to dozens of ship captains who found themselves lost at sea.

Indonesia’s Locomotive Graveyard Is Reminiscent of the Nation’s Global Steam Era

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Behind the grasslands of Purwakarta lies a cadre of somber locomotives, many of which trace back to the early 20th century. The desolate resting place for these once-majestic engineering marvels powered Indonesia’s early industrial era. Today, these machines are scarcely supported by their own hulking steel frames. They sit rusted and stripped of the bustling lifeblood that once powered these robust industrial pieces of machinery through the Indonesian countryside.

This eerie gravesite for retired engines exists as a lasting, if haunting, memorial of rail travel's Golden Age.