Islands can be a great place to escape from the normalcy of everyday life and are often the most visited vacation spots in the world. There's something about being secluded in a tropical setting, isolated from the stress that plagues us back home... Unless, of course, we're talking about a deserted island. With dilapidated buildings and troubled history.
We're talking about the islands many have only ever heard vague whispers of; the pieces of land that humanity forgot. Some have simply fallen back to nature while others were intentionally abandoned and ignored, but all have a story to tell... And we've got those haunting tales right here.
10 Gunkanjima In Nagasaki, Japan
Gunkanjima is by far one of the most notorious abandoned islands in the world and this infamy is mainly due to its history. The island was first opened in the early 1900s when it was created by the Mitsubishi Corporation. They had a hunch that this spot was a gold mine for coal and, as luck would have it, they were correct.
Over the next few decades, they mined the spot until there was simply nothing left, digging deep into the ocean's seabed. By that point, nearly 6,000 people called the concrete fortress home, and all of them soon left once the island's purpose was fulfilled. Now, the island is open to tours.
9 Poveglia (Plague Island) In Venice, Italy
Plague Island has a dark past and was recently closed to all outside visitors. The chances of getting there prior to this closing were already pretty slim, with few fishermen proving willing to take tourists. This island was used to house people in quarantine during the 18th century when the plague ran wild and, unfortunately, many of them met their fate there.
It's rumored that much of the soil is essentially decaying human remains, as it was believed that roughly 160,000 people lost their lives there.
8 No Man's Land Fort In Solent, England
This island, if it can be called that considering its small size, is believed to be cursed still to this day. Built with the initial goal in mind of defense, the island never needed to be utilized for such things. Rather, it was turned into a luxury resort which never really appealed to many.
The resort was kept open until a wicked outbreak of Legionnaire's disease spread through its contaminated swimming pool, leading to the ultimate shutdown of the island. With no resort or means of keeping the island open, its owner simply holed up inside the structure until he was eventually evicted in 2009.
7 Deception Island In Antarctica
Deception Island is still open to visitors, however, it can't be used commercially or for business anymore. After several failed attempts at setting up shop, the island's active volcano wiped out any and all progress that settlers had made.
After finally giving up, all that has been left on the island are the ruins from society's previous attempts at taming the wild nature of an Arctic island. Today, the draw is mostly due to its natural hot springs and various abandoned structures that line its shores. Talk about risky business.
6 Dry Tortugas In Key West, Florida
Interestingly enough, Dry Tortugas is known as one of the least-visited national parks. It was ultimately abandoned by the army in 1874 despite the fact that they had created nearly a fully-stocked fortress, one of the biggest in the world, in fact.
The island was first discovered in 1513 by Juan Ponce de Leon and though the turtles the island was known for are long gone, its long history is still obvious. Although the fortress is large, it's also home to its fair share of shipwrecks, which also earned it the name of a 'ship trap'.
5 Stilt Village Of Ukivok In Alaska
We often forget that although Alaska is part of the US, it doesn't see the population that many of the states do. Just off Alaska's coast lies King Island which was once home to a tiny stilt village.
The architecture involved in creating this small village was quite brilliant, as various houses and structures still stand on those stilts today. It's undeniably eerie to witness houses just barely hanging onto the side of a sea-soaked cliff, but after roughly 50 years, no one has made any move to clear them out.
4 St. Kilda In Scotland
Although St. Kilda is no longer fully abandoned, chances are there are more puffins on this island than actual people. In 1930, the island's inhabitants were forced to evacuate and were eventually relocated to the main island. It became nearly impossible for any human to survive there due to the island's complete isolation.
Its inhabitants were completely cut off from any contact with the mainland or surrounding land, for the most part, and were not successful at sustaining their lifestyle. The island is now a World Heritage Site but is not inhabited like it once was.
3 Holland Island In Maryland
When you think of the Chesapeake Bay, you normally think of beach houses, an insanely long bridge/tunnel, and crab. However, the bay was once home to an island called Holland Island which was inhabited up until 1922. The reason for this island's evacuation was due to nothing else but natural causes... the island simply sunk.
The combination of erosion and continuous deterioration caused the island to slowly break apart and fall into the bay, while those nearby could only watch the five-mile island slowly disappear. As of 2010, there's nothing left of the homes that once existed.
2 Cumberland Island In Georgia
While Cumberland Island doesn't have a very sorted past, it does hold a bit of mystery. The island, which is actually one of Georgia's barrier islands, was once home to a vacation home owned by the Carnegie family.
This mansion was called the Dungeness House and while it was a grand structure for some time, it eventually burned down in 1959. The mystery of it all is that it's unclear whether the fire was set intentionally or not. Today, the ruins, as well as the island, remain open for all who wish to visit it.
1 The Antipodes Islands In New Zealand
While many have tried, the Antipodes Islands have been branded as 'uninhabitable'. This reasoning is due to the harsh climates they're prone to as well as strong winds, making it nearly impossible for any human to sustain life there.
The islands are also the cause of many shipwrecks, of which the most recent occurred in 1999. While no one has ever actually survived a move here, visitors can witness huts that have been left behind -- complete with survival supplies -- from those who have made the attempt.