Traveling the world to see new and different experiences is what makes us human. Discovering new and strange things beyond our normal everyday lives helps us broaden our horizons. There is so much to see in the world that you likely won't be able to see it all. While the big cities and sights are great to see there is also a part of the world that isn't advertised as much as popular tourist destinations. These cities and towns hold people's everyday lives and many of them may seem very bizarre to some people. These towns all have a unique quirk about them that separates them from the rest. These towns are usually small towns with a minimal population but that just adds to the charm.
Most of these places cherish tourism so if you see any of the places on this and you are interested in visiting a lot of these places encourage it. Traveling to these strange towns can open a new avenue of knowledge of strange ways people live. Reading about these myths and strange occurrences is one thing but experiencing them face to face is another. These aren't the only towns that have strange quirks. There are many other towns waiting to be discovered and who knows maybe one of them is the town you live in.
20 Setenil De Las Bodegas In Spain
The phrase living under a rock has never been more literal than it is in Setenil De Las Bodegas located in Spain. The word Setenil means "seven times no" which refers to a plan that the Catholics developed to take back their territory from invaders. The town was built here as a type of protection from attacks from above. Today the rocks are used to protect the town's residents from the sunlight. The town is rich in history and is worth visiting to learn more about if not to see the amazing buildings built into the cliffside.
19 Miyake-Jima Island In Japan
This island in Japan is quite strange as most of its residents must wear gas masks at all times. This is due to a high concentration of sulfur found on the island. The sulfur is speculated to come from Mount Oyama which is an active volcano. The volcano erupted in 2000 causing most of the residents to have to abandon their homes but no lasting damage was caused so most of them stayed on the island. The island, excluding all of the sulfur and volcano stuff, is a great tourist spot with amazing scenery.
18 Noiva Do Cordeiro In Brazil
Noiva Do Cordeiro is a small town in Brazil that only consists of women. There are around 600 women inhabiting the area all ranging in different age groups. The purpose of this community was to prove how women can live a normal life without the help of men. The community is strong with a motto that reads "It’s all for one, and one for all". The residents look out for one another and it has a strong growing community since it was founded. Some women have husbands but they are only allowed to visit the community on weekends.
17 Centralia In Pennsylvania, the USA
Centralia Pennsylvania was the main inspiration for the game series Silent Hill. If this doesn't tell you how creepy this place is nothing will. Centralia is a ghost town and has been abandoned for years. This is due to the local leaders storing garbage in the sewers underneath the town which then caught fire causing serious danger to the residents of Centralia. Since then the residents were asked to leave the town and abandon it. Nobody has returned to it due to it still being a dangerous area. If you travel to Centralia you may still see smoke coming from the cracks in the ground.
16 Longyearbyen In Norway
This small city located in Norway has strange rules if you are to live there. For starters, no one can be buried in the city due to the permafrost on the ground. This will add complications when it comes to body decomposition and the town doesn't want to deal with that and we can't blame them. There are other strange rules in the town. For example, there aren't street names but just street numbers. Also if you live in the town you can't own cats as they treasure their bird population there. Everyone who lives in the town is required to know their way around a weapon in case polar bears attack.
15 Slab City In California, the USA
Slab City was once a marine training camp called Dunlap camp. The nickname slab city comes from the slabs of concrete left behind by the United States military. Slab City is a place where RV's and hitchhikers can spend the night without having to worry about paying a fee. It even has an outside nightclub where the residents of Slab City get together to have a fun night. There isn't much to Slab City which is why it is so strange. The residents of Slab City seem to love it and don't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
14 Battleship Island In Japan
Battleship Island is actually called Hashima Island and was an island where Japanese families would work in mines to send back resources to help the development of Japan. The island was very controversial as the residents were basically forced to work in the mines if they wanted to live on the island. The work was brutal and many lost their lives in the mines. Hashima Island is thought to be haunted by the spirits of the laborers who once worked here. The Japanese government still holds the island in high honor as it shows the history of Japan's industrialization. Even with that, however, the island is still slowly crumbling.
13 Coober Pedy In Australia
This small underground town started as a mine in Australia. The mine was filled with opals and was named the opal capital of the world. The town has around 3,500 residents living in it. The town is very open to tourism and the residents say the best time to visit the town is between the months of October and March. This is because the weather is just the right temperature. It is definitely worth the visit if you are in or near Australia. The website boasts that you can't see everything in one day and that they encourage tourists to stay two or three nights.
12 The Villages In Florida, the USA
The Villages in Florida is exactly what you'd think it is. Florida is known to house older people due to its warmer climate. The Villages offer a place for older people to settle down in a nice community. However, the community is only for older people. The minimum age you can be to live in the Villages is 55. The Villages has a wide variety of attractions such as tennis courts, swimming pools, gyms, golf courses, and much more. However, this extravagant lifestyle doesn't come cheap as it costs around 200,000 dollars to stay in the Villages.
11 Neft Daşları In Azerbaijan
This town is built right on top of the sea. The town has the nickname "oil rocks" because it is used for its mines. The town doesn't actually house anyone so it is rather more of a business than a town but it is large enough to be considered a town. Many people commute from nearby towns on land to work in Neft Daslari. It is strange to see the town on a map because it seems like the workers have to take a boat to get to work every day. This town isn't for those who are prone to getting seasick or are scared of the open ocean.
10 Hell In Michigan, the USA
Hell on Earth has never had such a literal meaning. This small town in Michigan is called Hell and nobody really knows why. When it was established in the 1800's many people claim its nickname came from the fact that the town was so bright and it resembled hell. The town's founder was quoted as saying “I don’t know, you can name it Hell for all I care.” when discussing what to name the town. Perhaps this is the work of someone who took the word of the founder too literal and actually went through with it.
9 Supilinn In Estonia
Supilinn located in Estonia is a town mainly inspired by different types of soup. The street names are named after different ingredients you put in soup. For example, one of the street names is Herne which means pea. Other than the strange choice in street names, the town also is considered part of the slums. This is because the river located near the town floods regularly. This causes residents to hide in their homes until the flooding recedes. However, they don't leave because the cost of living is so low. Many people say the flooding is a metaphor for the town being similar to a bowl of soup.
8 The Alien Town In New Mexico
The town of Roswell is known to have an interesting background in the paranormal. Specifically, with aliens. In 1947 it was reported that a UFO crash landed in Roswell and it is said that the government seized the alien from the ship and conducted tests on it in secret. While this is all a conspiracy theory the town of Roswell has taken to making it the theme of their town. Everywhere you look you can find something related to aliens. There are several alien themed signs and street lamps. There is even a McDonalds that has small aliens painted on the outside.
7 Nagoro In Japan
Nagoro located in Japan is quite possibly the creepiest entry on this list. The town is made up of dolls that replace the residents of the town. All over the town, you can find small dolls doing different things as if they were just living their lives. This strange doll obsession began when one of the town's residents returned to find most of the residents had left to search for employment. This made her feel lonely and she started to construct these dolls to replace the friends and neighbors she lost along the way. Now the town has over 300 different dolls all doing different things.
6 Chefchaouen In Morrocco
The main draw of this town is the fact that most of its buildings are painted some shade of blue. The town was painted blue in the 1930's around the time it was founded. In Chefchaouen they don't say "let us paint the town red" but
rather they say "let us paint the town blue". This is a huge tourist spot for Morrocco as many people want to see the town in all of its blue glory. There are over 200 hotels in the town to cater for all of the tourists it receives. The town's tourism contributes greatly to Morroco's financial ecosystem. Who knew painting a town blue could peak so many people's interests.
5 Manshiyat Nasser In Egypt
Manshiyat Nasser is considered one of the trashiest towns in the world. This is because it is literally a dumping ground for other nearby towns and cities. The whole town is covered in loads of trash because the capital of Egypt, Cairo doesn't have a proper way to dispose of their trash. Therefore, they just send it to Manshiyat Nasser for them to deal with. Manshiyat Nasser apparently likes to have the trash around because when the government of Cairo ordered a contractor to remove the trash from Cairo this town requested to have the trash. It seems like they took the saying "another man's trash is another man's treasure" a little too literal.
4 Matmata In Tunisia
Some of the oldest cave dwellings and buildings are located in Matmata and the strangest part is that they are still inhabited. In the 1970's above ground, houses began to be developed, however, most of the residents in Matmata still wanted to live underground. This place may look familiar to some and this is because it was the area where most of Tatooine and Luke Skywalker's home was shot in the Star Wars franchise. The area gets many Star Wars fans touring the area living out their sci-fi fantasies. The town has a lot of history and great structural integrity.
3 Monowi In Nebraska, the USA
Monowi is a town that holds one resident. Apparently, even if only one person lives in a town it can still be considered a town. 83-year-old Elsie Eiler is the only resident of Monowi after her husband passed away in 2004. Many people wonder if Elsie gets lonely being the only person who lives in Monowi but she claims that neighbors and tourists keep her company. The nearest town to her is 20 miles away so she is quite a ways away from any other civilization. She seems to be open to meeting many people including tourists, although we're not sure how she'd respond to someone moving into Monowi.
2 Kowloon In Hong Kong
Kowloon was known as the most densely populated area in the world before it was demolished in 1994. Taking a look at a few pictures it isn't surprising that it earns that title. There were 50,000 people living in a city that was barely 6 acres of land. The city originated as a fort for the Chinese military before it was abandoned in the 50's. Since then people started to build homes there and with no real governing law to tell them otherwise they began to build houses on top of one another because they ran out of room. This was obviously in violation of safety codes, eventually leading to it being demolished.
1 Hallstatt In China
Hallstatt is a town that exists in two places at once. This may seem strange but the Chinese government decided to build a replica town of Hallstatt, Austria. The Chinese enjoyed the town of Hallstatt so much that they wanted to visit it more often but didn't want to travel all the way to Austria to do so. Therefore, they replicated the town in China offering locals a sense of travel without actually having to leave the country. Everything was replicated to look the same, even the architectural design. Fun fact, the Hallstatt located in China cost more than the Hallstatt in Austria.