Thursday, September 20, 2018

I’d Love To Read About: Abandoned Places



Have you ever learned a strange fact or seen an unusual thing and thought, I wish there were more books about that? It happens to me all the time. Authors, if you’re listening, here are four abandoned places that I wish somebody would write about. (Or take inspiration from. I’m not picky!)







I’d Love To Read About: Abandoned Places





Olympic Venues




Photo source & more info.


The Olympics are fun, right? Every few years we get to dress up in patriotic colors and pretend that we know something about weird sports. But, what happens to Olympic venues after the fun is over? Most of them are repurposed. They become apartments, athlete training centers, convention centers, vacation resorts, tourist attractions, whatever. Others aren’t so lucky. The host country spent all of their money on building the venue, and now they don’t have money left to repurpose it. Those pretty venues become creepy abandoned places. 








Salton Sea, USA




Photo source & more info.


In 1905, the Colorado River broke through its dam and flooded an area of the desert called the Salton Sink. This is why California has a very large lake in the middle of an inhospitable desert. It was an accident. Instead of despairing about their soggy desert, Californians saw an opportunity. They named the lake the Salton Sea, dumped fish in it, and opened yacht clubs. They built hotels and campgrounds and turned the lake into a fancy resort.

In the 1950s, everything went wrong. There aren’t supposed to be lakes in the desert. The Salton Sea had no drainage outlet and was not replenished by rainfall (because it’s in a desert). The lake started shrinking fast and got contaminated by farm runoff and other chemicals. Animals died en masse. Nobody wants to yacht on a lake full of toxic chemicals and belly-up fish, so the tourists left and the resorts died.

Nowadays, there’s still water in the Salton Sea, but it’s mostly a desert wasteland.








Hashima Island, Japan




Photo source & more info.


In Japan, there’s a whole 16-acre (6.3 hectare) island that’s been abandoned and is thought to be haunted. The island got its start in the 1800s as a place for coal miners to live. The coal in Japan is under the ocean. Getting it out isn’t safe or pleasant. The temperature in the mines was around 86°F (30°C) and 95% humidity. Deadly accidents were common.

From the 1930s until the end of WWII, the Japanese miners on the island were replaced by Korean conscripted civilians and Chinese prisoners of war. The forced laborers were made to mine coal in inhuman conditions. It’s estimated that 1,300 of them died from accidents, exhaustion, or malnutrition.

By the 1970s, Japan’s economy was no longer heavily reliant on coal. Mines were shut down. Hashima Island was abandoned.








Petra, Jordan




Photo source & more info.


Here’s an old one. Petra is a city carved into stone. It’s believed to have been settled in 9000 BC and may have had as many as 20,000 inhabitants. It was once a center of wealth and power in the Arab world.

Then, things changed (as things do). New trade routes emerged that bypassed Petra. The city lost its independence to the Romans. An earthquake destroyed most of its buildings. The residents moved away. The glittering center of wealth became a camp for tired nomads.

People outside of Jordan didn’t know that Petra existed until 1812, when it was “discovered” by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. The outside world thought that Petra was pretty cool. Many of the buildings were reinforced or repaired. The ancient city became a tourist attraction and archaeological site.

Now, Petra is Jordan’s most-visited tourist destination. It’s been named a World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of the world.

Photo source & more info.





Is there an abandoned place that you’d like to read about?











44 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this! These are all really cool. I've often thought about old Olympic sites and how sad it is to see so much waste. But the Salton Sea? I can totally see you writing about that!

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    1. The Olympic sites are sad. They’re so expensive and pretty, and then they get abandoned and creepy.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  2. i love this list!! I never thought about what happens after everyone moved away. I would love to visit one of those sites one day.

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  3. Neat! I love the stories that go along with these lists. I'd especially like to read about abandoned Olympic sites and the Salton Sea.

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    1. YES! Someone needs to write about the Salton Sea. Get on it, writers.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  4. Great post idea - and interesting places shared. I'd definitely love to read about Salton Sea (never heard of it before now, but I'm intrigued) as well as Hashima Island (which I had heard about before now and has always intrigued me).

    There is just something so fascinating about an abandoned location.

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    1. Those were both fun places to research. They have a lot of history.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  5. I've never visited as far inland as the Salton Sea, but I've seen others post pictures and I still can't believe that happened. This was such a fascinating post and I didn't even know/think about the other places. Thanks for sharing!
    Jen @ Star-Crossed Book Blog

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    1. I’d love to see the Salton Sea someday. I need to get back to California. It’s been a lot of years since I visited.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  6. I always love these posts---you teach me about so many placed I've never heard of! I think I'm most fascinated by Petra and Hashima Island. Let's face it, abandoned places are just cool.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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  7. That Japanese Island looks interesting. I’ve spent enough of my life exploring old ghost towns!

    www.thepulpitandthepen.com

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    1. I’ve been to a few ghost towns. I love them and want to visit more.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  8. I have to say the Olympic venue one would be super interesting. I love these posts!

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    1. Thanks! I’d love to read a story set in an abandoned Olympic village. That would be one of the most awesome settings ever.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  9. Ooh, the Olympic venues is a good one. What DOES happen to them after the Games are over?

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    1. From the research I did, it seems like most of them are demolished or turned into other things.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  10. You got me here with a bunch of pages open to Google trying to look up some of these places. I've never before heard of any of them.

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    1. Haha, I hope you learned something cool!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    2. I sure did. I still find it hard to believe Salton Sea is real even after googling it. Dunno why that blows my mind.

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  11. Girl, YES. I loooove abandoned places, and I absolutely just opened the link to every one of these to go down that rabbit hole. I feel like I might have to actually write about this, because I love stuff like this? There is a place in PA that I thought part of Mockingjay should have been filmed in but it wasn't because no one asked me but I have always been fascinated by it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_Pennsylvania

    GAH these posts are awesome.

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    1. I have a fascination with abandoned places, too. I’ve written about Centralia on this blog before, but I think it was in a Top Ten Tuesday post.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  12. New follower here :)
    What an awesome post! I would love to read about any of these!

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  13. I'd love to go and photograph those abandoned Olympic venues(and theme parks!) and then write lots of creepy stories about them! That island looks creepy and fascinating at the same time. I just LONG to read a story about tourists trapped there!

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    1. I know! Why aren’t writers writing about these places? We want to read about them!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  14. I take it ruins count as abandoned places...? In which case I recc. the Roman fort in Caerleon right here in Wales. The enclosure in the amphitheatre where they used to hold the lions before the gladiator bouts is... weirdly eerie.

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    1. Oh, cool! I’d love to go to Wales and see all the old buildings and stuff. Where I live, there’s nothing that was built before the 1800s.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    2. If you ever make it here, go to St Fagans National Museum of History near Cardiff - a lot of old buildings have been relocated there for preservation and restored to what they would have been like in their original periods :) They're also currently working on a replica of Prince Llywellyn's court, based on archaeological evidence :) (The tourist board needs to pay me! Lol.)

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  15. This is sooo cool. I'm all about haunted islands but coal mines scare the hell out of me

    Salton Desert/Toxic Waste Land sounds like a mess.

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    1. Yeah, mines are pretty freaky. Pretty much every school fieldtrip I ever had was to a mine.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  16. You never fail to amaze me with these posts! There is an abandoned asylum in NJ, that kids are always trying to sneak into. I don't know, those kinds of places terrify me.

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    1. The terrifying places are the most interesting :). There used to be an abandoned factory near my college that kids were always breaking into. It got demolished after a girl fell through the floor and needed the fire department to rescue her.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  17. Ooh, I love this post! I would love to read about abandoned sites, call me weird but I love to read about abandoned places especially when they have a lot of history!!

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    1. YES! Me too. I want to read about all the abandoned places.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  18. I don't know what happened, I think google ate my previous post. I'm sorry if the other one shows up, LOL.

    I love these posts. You give me such good ideas. I'm in the worldbuilding phase of my NaNoWriMo novel, and I think that a place like Petra would be an interesting place for my characters to run into as they travel through the dwarven mountains! It won't be the same, because it's a different universe, but I can get inspiration from it.

    I remember you posted about that garbage beach in California a few months ago. I think that something like that might make my way into one of my fanfics. I need to stalk these posts because they give me ideas to make my stories more interesting!

    Chernobyl is an interesting place. I watched a documentary a few months ago about these old ladies that have lived there since the accident. They never moved out. About once a month, people come and visit them to make sure that they're okay. Now, some people go there for the thrill of it (even though it's illegal). That would be interesting to read about, although I don't think it will fit into anything that I'm writing at the moment.

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    1. Blogger’s comment system is awful. It eats my comments, too. I’m glad these posts are helpful! Hopefully I’ll be able to buy your books someday. I’ve thought about putting Chernobyl in one of these posts. It might be too well-known, though. I try to find things and places that most people don’t know about.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  19. These places would make great book settings!
    I read a novel a while back set in an abandoned German underground airport from the War - only the buildings were underground obviously! I think it might have been a DBC Pierre book?

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  20. Would love to go to Petra - they use it in Indiana Jones don't they? I always think abandoned Theme parks are cool, but there's probably loads of horror films/books about them.

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  21. Oh thank you so much for sharing these - reading all of these stories about these places is making me want to write stories haha :D

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