HomeTop Countries NewsFascinating new book reveals the world's eeriest abandoned islands

Fascinating new book reveals the world’s eeriest abandoned islands

books, is a lavishly illustrated compendium of ‘a few of the world’s eeriest locations… an excellent pictorial exploration of misplaced worlds’. The book is full of images of 180 abandoned locations, taking the reader on a spellbinding tour of abandoned outcrops scattered throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific. Martin writes in the introduction: ‘Across the globe there are a lot of tons of of abandoned islands, some abandoned when settlers have been defeated by the hostile forces of nature… unending typhoons, volcanic eruptions or disappearing freshwater. For many islands, there was no sudden dramatic ending however somewhat a sluggish depopulation as, household by household, islanders left for a better or much less remoted life elsewhere. The world’s abandoned islands are monuments to the pleasure of long-forgotten kings, to the over-reaches of industrialists and to the extraordinary struggles of extraordinary folks.’ Scroll down for a peek at a few of the islands detailed in the tome…” class=”blkBorder img-share” model=”max-width:100%” />

Take a globetrotting tour of a few of the world’s most fascinating abandoned islands courtesy of this new coffee-table book. Abandoned Islands by Claudia Martin, printed by Amber books, is a lavishly illustrated compendium of ‘a few of the world’s eeriest locations… an excellent pictorial exploration of misplaced worlds’. The book is full of images of 180 abandoned locations, taking the reader on a spellbinding tour of abandoned outcrops scattered throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific. Martin writes in the introduction: ‘Across the globe there are a lot of tons of of abandoned islands, some abandoned when settlers have been defeated by the hostile forces of nature… unending typhoons, volcanic eruptions or disappearing freshwater. For many islands, there was no sudden dramatic ending however somewhat a sluggish depopulation as, household by household, islanders left for a better or much less remoted life elsewhere. The world’s abandoned islands are monuments to the pleasure of long-forgotten kings, to the over-reaches of industrialists and to the extraordinary struggles of extraordinary folks.’ Scroll down for a peek at a few of the islands detailed in the tome…

CASTLE STALKER, SCOTLAND: The book praises this 15th-Century castle, which 'stands on a tidal islet in Loch Laich and is walkable from the mainland at low tide', for being 'one of the best-preserved medieval tower houses in Scotland'. And it has a claim to fame, the author reveals - it made an appearance in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) as 'The Castle Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh'.

CASTLE STALKER, SCOTLAND: The book praises this Fifteenth-Century citadel, which ‘stands on a tidal islet in Loch Laich and is walkable from the mainland at low tide’, for being ‘one in every of the best-preserved medieval tower homes in Scotland’. And it has a declare to fame, the writer reveals – it made an look in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) as ‘The Castle Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh’.

MAMULA, MONTENEGRO: Explaining the history of this rocky isle, Martin writes: 'This islet's fort was built in 1853 by Austro-Hungarian general Lazarus von Mamula to defend the Bay of Kotor [a bay in southwestern Montenegro]. During World War II, the fort was used as an internment camp by Benito Mussolini's fascist forces. At the time of writing, there were plans to turn Mamula into a hotel'.

MAMULA, MONTENEGRO: Explaining the historical past of this rocky isle, Martin writes: ‘This islet’s fort was inbuilt 1853 by Austro-Hungarian normal Lazarus von Mamula to defend the Bay of Kotor [a bay in southwestern Montenegro]. During World War II, the fort was used as an internment camp by Benito Mussolini’s fascist forces. At the time of writing, there have been plans to show Mamula right into a lodge’.

FORT JEFFERSON, FLORIDA, USA: 'In 1846, construction began on this 65,000-square-meter (700,000-sq-ft) fort on Garden Key, in the Lower Florida Keys, to defend the Gulf Coast and shipping in the Caribbean,' the book reveals. 'Abandoned in 1906, the fort is built from 16million bricks, making it the largest brick structure in the Americas'.

FORT JEFFERSON, FLORIDA, USA: ‘In 1846, development started on this 65,000-square-meter (700,000-sq-ft) fort on Garden Key, in the Lower Florida Keys, to defend the Gulf Coast and transport in the Caribbean,’ the book reveals. ‘Abandoned in 1906, the fort is constructed from 16million bricks, making it the largest brick construction in the Americas’.

GEMILER, TURKEY: Archaeologists believe the remains of the early Christian bishop St Nicholas were laid to rest on Gemiler in 326 CE, Martin reveals. The author continues: 'The island soon became a pilgrimage destination. Under threat from attacks by Arab ships, the saint's remains were removed to the mainland in 650 CE, leading to the ecclesiastical settlement's abandonment'.

GEMILER, TURKEY: Archaeologists imagine the stays of the early Christian bishop St Nicholas have been laid to relaxation on Gemiler in 326 CE, Martin reveals. The writer continues: ‘The island quickly grew to become a pilgrimage vacation spot. Under menace from assaults by Arab ships, the saint’s stays have been eliminated to the mainland in 650 CE, resulting in the ecclesiastical settlement’s abandonment’.

SPINALONGA, CRETE, GREECE: 'The Venetians built the fortifications on Spinalonga in the late 16th century, to defend their trade routes from attacks by pirates and Ottoman Turks,' says Martin. Between 1903 and 1957 the island was a leper colony, we’re told. Martin notes that the colony's priest 'did not leave until 1962, so he could continue to pay respect to the recently deceased in line with Orthodox tradition’.

SPINALONGA, CRETE, GREECE: ‘The Venetians constructed the fortifications on Spinalonga in the late sixteenth century, to defend their commerce routes from assaults by pirates and Ottoman Turks,’ says Martin. Between 1903 and 1957 the island was a leper colony, we’re informed. Martin notes that the colony’s priest ‘didn’t depart till 1962, so he might proceed to pay respect to the not too long ago deceased consistent with Orthodox custom’.

KLEIN CURACAO, CURACAO, CARIBBEAN SEA (LEFT AND RIGHT): Detailing this island's history, Martin says: 'From 1662, the Dutch West India Company used Klein Curacao to quarantine enslaved Africans who had fallen sick on the Atlantic crossing. Many thousands of men, women and children died on the island.' Today, the author notes, the 'windward side of Klein Curacao is littered with the rusting hulls of wrecked ships'.

KLEIN CURACAO, CURACAO, CARIBBEAN SEA (LEFT AND RIGHT): Detailing this island’s historical past, Martin says: ‘From 1662, the Dutch West India Company used Klein Curacao to quarantine enslaved Africans who had fallen sick on the Atlantic crossing. Many 1000’s of males, ladies and kids died on the island.’ Today, the writer notes, the ‘windward facet of Klein Curacao is affected by the rusting hulls of wrecked ships’.

ILHA DA QUEIMADA GRANDE, BRAZIL: This island - nicknamed Burnt Island - has been uninhabited since the 1920s, when its lighthouse was automated, the book reveals. '"Burnt Island" gets its name from settlers' attempts to create a banana plantation by burning the vegetation.' Fancy seeing the island for yourself? Perhaps don't. The book explains that the presence of golden lancehead pit vipers 'makes the island too dangerous for people to visit'.

ILHA DA QUEIMADA GRANDE, BRAZIL: This island – nicknamed Burnt Island – has been uninhabited since the Nineteen Twenties, when its lighthouse was automated, the book reveals. ‘”Burnt Island” will get its title from settlers’ makes an attempt to create a banana plantation by burning the vegetation.’ Fancy seeing the island for your self? Perhaps do not. The book explains that the presence of golden lancehead pit vipers ‘makes the island too harmful for folks to go to’.

FORT ALEXANDER, RUSSIA: 'Built in 1838 to 1845 on a man-made island in the Gulf of Finland, this fort was commissioned to guard close by St Petersburg and the port of Kronstadt,' Martin writes. She continues: 'In 1899, the fort was repurposed as a analysis laboratory for the <a href=study of a newly found plague pathogen, and different micro organism. Two employees died from the plague earlier than the institute was closed in 1917′.” class=”blkBorder img-share” model=”max-width:100%” />

FORT ALEXANDER, RUSSIA: ‘Built in 1838 to 1845 on a man-made island in the Gulf of Finland, this fort was commissioned to guard close by St Petersburg and the port of Kronstadt,’ Martin writes. She continues: ‘In 1899, the fort was repurposed as a analysis laboratory for the study of a newly found plague pathogen, and different micro organism. Two employees died from the plague earlier than the institute was closed in 1917′.

MADONNA DEL MONTE, ITALY: Describing Madonna del Monte, which lies in the Venetian Lagoon, the author says: 'Madonna del Monte is actually two islets once joined by a dammed strip of land. On the larger islet stands the remains of a 19th-century gunpowder magazine, built on the site of a medieval monastery.' She adds that waves from traffic on the lagoon are 'eroding the islet year by year'.

MADONNA DEL MONTE, ITALY: Describing Madonna del Monte, which lies in the Venetian Lagoon, the writer says: ‘Madonna del Monte is definitely two islets as soon as joined by a dammed strip of land. On the bigger islet stands the stays of a Nineteenth-century gunpowder journal, constructed on the web site of a medieval monastery.’ She provides that waves from site visitors on the lagoon are ‘eroding the islet 12 months by 12 months’.

SUAKIN, SUDAN: The island of Suakin is connected to mainland Sudan by a causeway. Martin says that it's 'wedged' between the 'neglected' city of Suakin and Osman Digna Port, a 'modern ferry port largely used by pilgrims heading for Saudi Arabia'. The author notes that since Port Sudan, a city 60km (37miles) up the coast, was founded in 1905, the town of Suakin has been 'overlooked'.

SUAKIN, SUDAN: The island of Suakin is linked to mainland Sudan by a causeway. Martin says that it is ‘wedged’ between the ‘uncared for’ metropolis of Suakin and Osman Digna Port, a ‘trendy ferry port largely utilized by pilgrims heading for Saudi Arabia’. The writer notes that since Port Sudan, a metropolis 60km (37miles) up the coast, was based in 1905, the city of Suakin has been ‘missed’.

DELOS, GREECE: 'Inhabited since the 3rd millennium BCE, Delos became a major place of pilgrimage between 900 BCE and 100 CE,' the book explains. It notes that before its abandonment in the 8th century, landmarks included 'temples, marketplaces, theaters, homes and a monumental avenue lined with statues of snarling lions'.

DELOS, GREECE: ‘Inhabited since the third millennium BCE, Delos grew to become a significant place of pilgrimage between 900 BCE and 100 CE,’ the book explains. It notes that earlier than its abandonment in the eighth century, landmarks included ‘temples, marketplaces, theaters, properties and a monumental avenue lined with statues of snarling lions’.

GAIOLA, ITALY: 'According to the citizens of Naples, the island of Gaiola – just a few meters from the city's coast – is cursed,' Martin says of this island. She continues: 'This reputation was gained by the tragedies that befell the 20th-century owners of the island's villa. These included Jean Paul Getty, who endured the deaths of two sons and the kidnapping of a grandson; Hans Braun and Otto Grunback, who both died on the island; and Gianpasquale Grappone, who was sent to prison for debt.' The author adds that today, the isle is owned by the government of Campania.

GAIOLA, ITALY: ‘According to the residents of Naples, the island of Gaiola – only a few meters from the metropolis’s coast – is cursed,’ Martin says of this island. She continues: ‘This popularity was gained by the tragedies that befell the Twentieth-century house owners of the island’s villa. These included Jean Paul Getty, who endured the deaths of two sons and the kidnapping of a grandson; Hans Braun and Otto Grunback, who each died on the island; and Gianpasquale Grappone, who was despatched to jail for debt.’ The writer provides that immediately, the isle is owned by the authorities of Campania.

ANO NUEVO ISLAND, CALIFORNIA: This outcrop is today home only to breeding populations of northern elephant seals and Steller’s sea lions, plus the ruins of a lighthouse and foghorn station, the book reveals.

ANO NUEVO ISLAND, CALIFORNIA: This outcrop is immediately residence solely to breeding populations of northern elephant seals and Steller’s sea lions, plus the ruins of a lighthouse and foghorn station, the book reveals.

ALCATRAZ ISLAND, CALIFORNIA, USA: Touching on the haunting history of Alcatraz, which is located around 2km (1.25 miles) off the coast of San Francisco, the author writes: 'Alcatraz Island was the site of a federal prison between 1934 and 1963. Strong currents made escape by swimming nearly impossible, with only one prisoner, John Paul Scott, known to have reached the mainland alive. He fell into hypothermic shock and was almost immediately recaptured'.

ALCATRAZ ISLAND, CALIFORNIA, USA: Touching on the haunting historical past of Alcatraz, which is positioned round 2km (1.25 miles) off the coast of San Francisco, the writer writes: ‘Alcatraz Island was the web site of a federal jail between 1934 and 1963. Strong currents made escape by swimming practically inconceivable, with just one prisoner, John Paul Scott, identified to have reached the mainland alive. He fell into hypothermic shock and was nearly instantly recaptured’.

ELLIOAEY, ICELAND: This island off Iceland's south coast was inhabited until the 1930s, the author reveals, but today it is only home to puffins. Touching on the island's history, Martin writes: 'Ellioaey's small community, never larger than five families, lived by fishing, hunting puffins and raising cattle. As life became increasingly impractical in comparison to life on the mainland, Ellioaey's inhabitants moved away.' The large white building in the picture was built in 1953 by the Ellioaey Hunting Association 'for use on puffin-hunting trips'.

ELLIOAEY, ICELAND: This island off Iceland’s south coast was inhabited till the Nineteen Thirties, the writer reveals, however immediately it is just residence to puffins. Touching on the island’s historical past, Martin writes: ‘Ellioaey’s small group, by no means bigger than 5 households, lived by fishing, looking puffins and elevating cattle. As life grew to become more and more impractical compared to life on the mainland, Ellioaey’s inhabitants moved away.’ The giant white constructing in the image was inbuilt 1953 by the Ellioaey Hunting Association ‘to be used on puffin-hunting journeys’.

NAN MADOL, FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA: These artificial islets lie in a lagoon on the eastern shore of Pohnpei, one of the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia. The tome reveals: 'From the 8th or 9th century, around 100 islets were built from stone and coral, linked by canals. Chiefs, priests and their servants lived in stone dwellings, with fresh water and food supplied by boat.' According to the book, the Nan Madol islets were the capital of the Saudeleur Dynasty [the first government uniting the people of Pohnpei island] until 1628, when it was conquered by the 'semi-mythical Isokelekel' - a warrior from Kosrae, another island in the Federated States of Micronesia.

NAN MADOL, FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA: These synthetic islets lie in a lagoon on the japanese shore of Pohnpei, one in every of the 4 states of the Federated States of Micronesia. The tome reveals: ‘From the eighth or ninth century, round 100 islets have been constructed from stone and coral, linked by canals. Chiefs, clergymen and their servants lived in stone dwellings, with recent water and meals provided by boat.’ According to the book, the Nan Madol islets have been the capital of the Saudeleur Dynasty [the first government uniting the people of Pohnpei island] till 1628, when it was conquered by the ‘semi-mythical Isokelekel’ – a warrior from Kosrae, one other island in the Federated States of Micronesia.

MIDDLE GROUND COASTAL BATTERY, INDIA: The book reveals that this basalt islet, which is located in Mumbai Harbour, was 'first fortified in 1682 by the British East India Company to guard against pirates'. It goes on: 'During World War II, anti-aircraft guns were added to the island’s armory.' Today, we learn, the island is 'occupied by a rota of sailors from the Indian Navy, who salute returning navy ships'.

MIDDLE GROUND COASTAL BATTERY, INDIA: The book reveals that this basalt islet, which is positioned in Mumbai Harbour, was ‘first fortified in 1682 by the British East India Company to protect towards pirates’. It goes on: ‘During World War II, anti-aircraft weapons have been added to the island’s armory.’ Today, we be taught, the island is ‘occupied by a rota of sailors from the Indian Navy, who salute returning navy ships’.

BALJENAC, CROATIA: 'Resembling a fingerprint when viewed from the air, Baljenac has 23km (14 miles) of dry stone walls, known as "suhozid",' says Martin of this isle. Shedding light on the construction of the island's stone walls, she goes on: 'For hundreds of years, the inhabitants of the nearby island of Kaprije used Baljenac for farming, constructing the walls to divide their vines, figs and olive trees, and to protect them from the wind'.

BALJENAC, CROATIA: ‘Resembling a fingerprint when seen from the air, Baljenac has 23km (14 miles) of dry stone partitions, generally known as “suhozid”,’ says Martin of this isle. Shedding mild on the development of the island’s stone partitions, she goes on: ‘For tons of of years, the inhabitants of the close by island of Kaprije used Baljenac for farming, establishing the partitions to divide their vines, figs and olive timber, and to guard them from the wind’.

HOUTOUWAN, SHENGSHAN, CHINA: The 'creeper-covered properties' of the fishing village of Houtouwan, set on Shengshan Island, amongst the Shengshi Islands, as soon as housed a inhabitants of two,000, the book reveals. Martin writes: 'The distant village had growing points with each infrastructure and <a href=education, resulting in an exodus of its inhabitants in the early Nineties. Nearly everybody was passed by 1994′.” class=”blkBorder img-share” model=”max-width:100%” />

HOUTOUWAN, SHENGSHAN, CHINA: The ‘creeper-covered properties’ of the fishing village of Houtouwan, set on Shengshan Island, amongst the Shengshi Islands, as soon as housed a inhabitants of two,000, the book reveals. Martin writes: ‘The distant village had growing points with each infrastructure and education, resulting in an exodus of its inhabitants in the early Nineties. Nearly everybody was passed by 1994′.

DECEPTION ISLAND, ANTARCTICA: Martin says of this remote spot on the Great White Continent: 'The island is littered with the remains of previous settlements, from the boilers of Whalers Bay to an aircraft hangar, as well as British and Chilean scientific research stations abandoned after the violent 1967 and 1969 eruptions of the island's volcano. Today, Deception is home to two summer-only research stations, staffed by Spain and Argentina'.

DECEPTION ISLAND, ANTARCTICA: Martin says of this distant spot on the Great White Continent: ‘The island is affected by the stays of earlier settlements, from the boilers of Whalers Bay to an plane hangar, in addition to British and Chilean scientific analysis stations abandoned after the violent 1967 and 1969 eruptions of the island’s volcano. Today, Deception is residence to 2 summer-only analysis stations, staffed by Spain and Argentina’.

HASHIMA, JAPAN: 'At its peak in 1959, Hashima’s population was 5,259,' the book explains, adding: 'Workers were housed in reinforced concrete apartment blocks and were served by an on-site school, hospital, community center, cinema, bathhouse, swimming pool and pachinko (pinball) parlor.' Since the island was abandoned, we're told, 'several of the buildings, and parts of the surrounding seawall, have collapsed due to typhoon damage'

HASHIMA, JAPAN: ‘At its peak in 1959, Hashima’s inhabitants was 5,259,’ the book explains, including: ‘Workers have been housed in strengthened concrete condo blocks and have been served by an on-site faculty, hospital, group heart, cinema, bathhouse, swimming pool and pachinko (pinball) parlor.’ Since the island was abandoned, we’re informed, ‘a number of of the buildings, and components of the surrounding seawall, have collapsed as a consequence of storm injury’ 

ISOLA DEI CAPPUCCINI, SARDINIA: '"Capuchin Island" takes its name from the abandoned monastery that stands on the island's highest ground,' Martin writes, adding: 'Seeking to return to a simpler way of life, of solitude and penance, Capuchin friars started to build communities in Sardinia from 1591.' She says that today, Isola dei Cappuccini boasts eight circular bungalows that are used as holiday rentals.

ISOLA DEI CAPPUCCINI, SARDINIA: ‘”Capuchin Island” takes its title from the abandoned monastery that stands on the island’s highest floor,’ Martin writes, including: ‘Seeking to return to an easier lifestyle, of solitude and penance, Capuchin friars began to construct communities in Sardinia from 1591.’ She says that immediately, Isola dei Cappuccini boasts eight round bungalows which are used as vacation leases.

All photographs are from the book Abandoned Islands by Claudia Martin (ISBN 978-1-83886-115-5), printed by Amber <a href=books Ltd (www.amberbooks.co.uk) and obtainable from bookshops and on-line booksellers (RRP £19.99/$29.99).” class=”blkBorder img-share” model=”max-width:100%” />

All photographs are from the book Abandoned Islands by Claudia Martin (ISBN 978-1-83886-115-5), printed by Amber books Ltd (www.amberbooks.co.uk) and obtainable from bookshops and on-line booksellers (RRP £19.99/$29.99).

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