There aren’t too many opportunities to feel like an adventurer in modern times. However, exploring abandoned places and finding unexpected treasures can give you that deep thrill. You might not bring anything physical back to show for your efforts, but the photos you take and the first-hand experiences make for even better souvenirs.
The ‘Abandoned Beauties’ Facebook page is dedicated to urban exploration (aka Urbex or UE) and showcasing gorgeous images of abandoned places and objects. Both past and present. We’ve got a beautiful selection of photos from them to share with you today, Pandas, so go on and have a scroll down into the mysterious, uncharted wilds of Urbex. Upvote your fave photos and, if you’ve ever gone exploring like this yourselves, tell us all about it in the comments.
A very strong note of warning, dear Pandas: your safety is of paramount importance. If you plan on exploring any abandoned places, you need to take the necessary precautions and be extremely careful. I know that you’re all very capable, but you can’t go adventuring without the proper preparations if you want to stay safe. More on that below.
‘Abandoned Beauties’ has quite the member count over on Facebook. A whopping 435.8k people follow the page. It’s easy to see why.
The photos are stunning and evoke a sense of mystery, adventure, and uncovering lost secrets. The photos are also peppered with a heavy dose of creepiness that makes us just uncomfortable enough to keep us alert.
The founder of the ‘Abandoned Beauties’ project notes that they credit all the photographers for their work. If you notice a gorgeous photo without any credits, then that means that the image is either part of the creative commons license or the page wasn’t able to find the original photographer.
There are few reminders of the power of nature as beautiful and stark as the scenes at the abandoned village of Houtouwan, on the Shengsi archipelago just off the Chinese mainland.
This small fishing village was only deserted in the early 1990s, but since then nearly every building has been enveloped by some of the densest greenery you will ever see.
If you have any questions about all of that and you want to give the photographers a follow but can’t seem to find the original source, try asking the page moderator or the community itself. You never know, you might find someone who’s in the know!
Originally, the airfield on this place was built in the early 20th century for the Imperial Japanese Army and was called Keton. It consisted of a 1200 m long concrete runway, gravel taxiways and about 20 equipped aircraft parking lots.
After the Soviet Union regained control over Sakhalin in 1945, the Smirnykh airfield (both the village and airfield were renamed in 1946 after the battalion commander who died in the battles for the liberation of the island in this area) became home to the 528th Fighter Aviation Regiment, which performed the tasks of air defense of Sakhalin Island and its marine zone.
In 1966, the airfield was reconstructed. A new runway with a length of 2,000 m was built, which was later extended to 2,500 m, as well as reinforced concrete shelters for aircrafts with fan exit to taxiways.
In 1994 the fighter aviation regiment was disbanded. The aircrafts were moved to Komsomolsk-on-Amur, where a storage base was equipped, but later all of them were disposed off. But two MiG-23s, one combat aircraft and one combat trainer, were left in hangars at the Smirnykh, where they remain to this day…
One thing to keep in mind is that, overwhelmingly, the authors of the photos don’t add details about the precise locations. This is done very much on purpose, in order to protect the locations and objects from vandalism.
Keeping the locations secret is a very practical approach. While a handful of urban explorers visiting an abandoned ship (which is dangerous in itself) might not do much harm (especially if they don’t remove anything as souvenirs), the same can’t be said about dozens, hundreds, or possibly even thousands of visitors.
Imagine if a huge flood of urban explorers would end up going to a single location. Some of them might be veterans who know to treat the location with care, however, others might be amateurs who damage the place willfully or by accident.
More foot traffic means more wear and tear and that means that the risk of getting hurt increases. Someone might weaken the floorboards in an abandoned shack or someone else might have vandalized the railings, leading to a nasty fall.
Part of being an urban explorer means keeping a lot of information secret, only sharing it with a small handful of trustworthy community members. Posting photos is fine; shouting about where you took them isn’t.
Preparation is everything when it comes to Urbex. That means getting yourself a good pair of gloves, a pair of thick shoes, and wearing a quality dust mask. When you venture out, you should be wearing heavy clothing and perhaps even a helmet of some sort to protect your body from any debris or in the case of a fall.
Before you venture out, do some research about the area and the specific location. Reach out to any local Urbex communities or any pals who you know go exploring after school or work. Whenever possible, consider starting your adventure with a partner or two by your side. That way, if one of you gets hurt, the other can help! And that means that you all get back home safely, ready to share your fantastic photos with everyone on the internet.
The quarry closed in 1969 due to industry decline and because 170-years of working the site had reaulted in waste tips sliding into the main pit workings.
The garden includes the ruins of the ancient settlement of Ninfa, whose name seems to derive from a classical era nymphaeum, a temple dedicated to nymphs, located on an island in the small lake.