Komanskop was once an affluent mining village that owed its riches to the world’s never-ending need for diamond engagement rings. After World War II, the diamonds became increasingly scarce and by the 1950s the mine was depleted. With no way to earn a living, the residents eventually moved away and the abandoned city is now a tourist attraction.
Hallsands, United Kingdom
The people in the small town of Hallsands were minding their business one evening in 1917 when the entire village – save for one house – collapsed and fell into the sea. The residents were left homeless and rebuilt elsewhere. Today the remains of the village of Hallsands are under the sea.
Centralia was a tiny town whose residents relied on coal mining to make their living. Then in 1962, a fire made its way into a coal seam – and has continued to burn for 50 years. In 1981 a young boy was almost killed falling through a sinkhole caused by the fire, prompting congress to buy out the remaining residents to give them the means to relocate. There were a few holdouts, leading the state of Pennsylvania to condemn all the remaining buildings and strip Centralia of its postcode in 1992 to encourage the remaining residents to move. Despite this, a church still stands in Centralia and is open to all who seek a place to worship.