Battleship Island

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Off the westernmost coast of Japan, is an island called "Gunkanjima" that is hardly known even to the Japanese. Long ago, the island was nothing more than a small reef. Then in 1810, the chance discovery of coal drastically changed the fate of this reef. As reclamation began, people came to live here, and through coal mining the reef started to expand continuously. Befor long, the reef had grown into an artificial island of one kilometer (three quarters of a mile) in perimeter, with a population of 5300. Looming above the ocean, it appeared a concrete labyrinth of many-storied apartment houses and mining structures built closely together. Seen from the ocean, the silhouette of the island closely resembled a battleship - so, the island came to be called Gunkanjima, or Battleship island. (...) Eventually, the mines faced an end, and in 1974 the world's once most densely populated island become totally deserted. The island, after all its inhabitants departed leaving behind their belongings, became an empty shell of a city where all its peopl disappeared overnight, as if by some mysterious act of God.
Via Mefi.

3 comments:

Yasser said...

this is extremely interesting - to follow the birth and death of a city and its life span; so basically the island is totally deserted now?

xenmate said...

Indeed Yasser. And from what I can gather entry to the city is prohibited.

That said, there is no one there to enforce this ban.

Carlos el Rojo said...

Muy buena historia para empezar el lunes. Y genial la galería fotográfica. Te has lucido payo. ;)