Beira is an important African coastal port and the second-largest city in Mozambique. In the mid-1950s the ruling Portuguese Estado Novo regime wanted to build luxurious oceanfront quarters for VIPs visiting Beira. The result was the Grande Hotel, a beautiful Art Deco resort opened in 1955.
When completed it was the pride of Africa, featuring every amenity available – but it would close in 1963 after only eight years of operation. The Grande Hotel would serve many functions over the years, but in 1981 it became a refugee camp and remains one to this day.
For centuries, the Georgian-era town of Plymouth served as the main port for Montserrat, a part of the Lesser Antilles in the West Indies. An eruption from the Soufrière Hills volcano in 1995 would see the capital city decimated and two thirds of the island’s population would be forced to flee.
Today the remains of the now forbidden port town litter the landscape, the land now unusable due to pyroclastic lava flows which have destroyed everything in their path.
Located about 50 miles north of Hong Kong in Dongguan, China, the New South China Mall is the largest mall in the world by gross leasable area. Twice the size of United States’ Mall of America, it was opened with room for 2,350 stores in 7.1 million square feet of leasable space.
No mall in the world can rival New South China in any category, except perhaps number of tenants.
Despite having every amenity a shopper could want, the mall has been 99% vacant since it’s opening in 2005.
On the Maryland side of the Potomac River just west of Chesapeake Bay, the largest shipwreck fleet in the Western Hemisphere sits half-sunk and decomposing. In the early 20th century, hundreds of U.S. vessels were scuttled to Mallows Bay to be destroyed and scrapped – and to this day the remains of dozens of them can still be seen in the shallow water.
How did the ships end up here and why were they abandoned?
About 570 kilometers southwest of Buenos Aires lies the remains of a deserted resort town on the coast of Laguna Epecuén in Argentina. Named Villa Epecuén, the town was founded in the early 1920s as a vacation resort for the well-heeled in Buenos Aires to get away from it all.
The town would prosper for over 50 years, eventually peaking in the 1970s. Villa Epecuén was a true paradise until a breach in the dam in 1985 would see it completely submerged. 25 years later the waters have finally receded, revealing what little is left of what was once a thriving vacation town.
April 7th, 2012 started just like every other day for the 76-ft. Brazilian research vessel Mar Sem Fim (“Endless Sea”). Unfortunately the vessel would become stuck in the ice and overcome by severe ice compression and strong winds.
The Mar Sem Fim would sit in about 30 feet (9m) of water, preserved in its shallow arctic environment.
After World War II plans were conceived by the U.S. military to construct a massive outpost in Alaska, due in part to the growing concern of suspected Soviet activities next door. Whittier was strategically chosen and construction on the 273,660 square-foot facility would begin in 1948. Five years later the Buckner building was operational. At the time it was the pride of Alaska, the largest building in the state.
The pride would be short-lived. When the Great Alaskan Earthquake struck in 1964 the facility was permanently damaged, leaving it exposed to the elements for the next 50 years. Read more…
In late October 2012 the east coast of the United States was pummeled by Hurricane Sandy, the largest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded. Sandy swept through the entire eastern seaboard, killing over 250 people in seven countries. Financial losses were over $74 billion; Sandy was in fact the second-costliest natural disaster in United States history.
What happened to the flood-damaged vehicles? One company had the foresight to sign a lease on a seldom-used airport just before the storm hit the coast. Thanks to photographer Doug Kuntz, we have aerial photographs of their salvage progress. Read more…