These amazing towns and cities are completely abandoned

CNN's Joe Minihane surveys a fascinating array of towns and cities around the globe that were once thriving and now have been totally reclaimed by nature. Above, a building in Kolmanskop, Namibia, a town that is slowly becoming buried in sand. From CNN:

Founded after local worker Zacharias Lewala discovered diamonds here in 1908, [Kolmanskop} saw a huge influx of German miners and became a bustling hub before it was finally abandoned in 1956.Built to mimic a German town, Kolmanskop had a ballroom, a casino and even a tram system.

And here is Shengshan Island, near Shanghai:

image: Joe Nafis/

"[…]This once vibrant village of more than 2,000 people was left behind in the early 1990s after residents struggled to access food due to the area's remoteness and complained of issues with education," Minihane writes.

Below, a building in the the resort town of Epecuen in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina:

image: Fernando Tsariktsian/

Minihane: "Drawn to its apparently restorative salt waters, visitors flocked here for years, until disaster struck in 1985. A rare 'seiche,' a standing wave which occurs on a closed body of water, led to a dam bursting and the town being flooded. The water finally receded in 2009, with buildings left encrusted in salt."

"The world's most fascinating abandoned towns and cities" (CNN)