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  • We live in an increasingly urban world. Busy lives on busy streets, the hustle and bustle of everyday life.


  • But imagine, if suddenly everything stopped. The homes suddenly empty, and everything was abandoned.


  • Throughout history, there have been hundreds of ghost towns, places abandoned for a range of reasons.


  • In many instances, abandonment is rapid and locations transform abruptly from being live and 'in the present' to being dead and 'in the past', leaving behind broken but recognisable remnants of life, and often a pervading sense of melancholy.


  • The abandonment of towns is nothing new.


  • Remnants of human presence have inspired artists and poets dating back to ancient times, whether romanticized or dreaded, our fascination with ghost towns carries on to this day, creating a subculture of 'dark tourism'.

    人類存在的遺蹟給了藝術家和詩人靈感可以追溯到遠古時代,無論是浪漫的還是令人恐懼的,我們對鬼城的迷戀一直持續到今天,創造一種 「黑暗旅遊 」的次文化。

  • Traveling to these abandoned sites can take on the significance of a pilgrimage, especially where a location is associated with death.


  • Travel agents offer day trips to Chernobyl. For some, the opportunity to witness the aftermath of a nuclear disaster is too tempting to resist.


  • Visitors also flock to Epecuen in Argentina, a town semi-submerged after the dam above it broke in 1985.

    遊客也湧向阿根廷的埃佩昆,它是一個在 1985 年上游的水壩破裂後被淹掉一半的小鎮。

  • There are many other reasons why towns are suddenly abandoned, one of them is war.


  • In June, 1944, the Waffen-SS murdered the entire population of Oradour-sur-Glane in occupied France, a total of 642 men, women and children.

    在 1944 年 6 月,武裝黨衛軍在其佔領的法國境內,殺害了格拉訥河畔奧拉杜爾全部的人口,共有 642 名男女老少。

  • The ruined streets and homes have remained untouched ever since: a memorial to the dead.


  • On the other side of the Channel, in the autumn of 1943, as Britain prepared for D-Day, the residents of Imber, in Wiltshire, were told that they had mere weeks to leave their homes as the Ministry of Defense needed places for troop training and target practice.

    在海峽的另一邊,1943 年秋天,當英國為諾曼底登陸做準備時,威爾特郡因伯的居民被告知,他們只有幾週的時間離開家園,因為國防部需要為部隊提供場所進行訓練和目標練習。

  • Residents assumed that they'd be able to return to their homes after the war, but in fact the Ministry of Defense retained the village. Imber is still used to this day for urban warfare training.


  • Not all ghost towns have such violent histories.


  • All over the world, practicalities such as clean water, electricity and transport led to the displacement of thousands of people who sacrificed their homes, schools and businesses to enable other cities to thrive.


  • The village of Capel Celyn, in Wales, was controversially vacated and then flooded in 1965 to provide a water reservoir for the city of Liverpool.

    威爾士的卡佩爾斯連村曾有爭議性地被騰空出來,然後在 1965 年被洪水淹沒,為利物浦市提供了一個水庫。

  • The action was, and still is, deeply resented by nationalists in Wales, furious that a Welsh community paid such a high price for England's gain.


  • At times, ghost towns represent a cautionary tale. A reminder of how humanity's own actions have also created a legacy of uninhabitable landscapes.


  • Abandoned mining towns like Gilman, Colorado, heavily mined for silver, lead and zinc since the late 1800s, then ordered to vacate in 1984, due to toxic pollutants that contaminated the groundwater. To this day, Gilman remains unsafe and off limits to the public.

    自 1800 年代後期以來,像科羅拉多州吉爾曼這樣的廢棄採礦城鎮就開始大量開採銀、鉛和鋅,然後在 1984 年因有毒污染物污染地下水而下令撤離。時至今日,吉爾曼仍然不安全,且不對公眾開放。

  • Climate change too presents an existential threat to the populations of some towns and cities: flood, wildfires, weather and erosion cause people to have to abandon their homes all over the world.


  • The ancient civilisation of Harappa on the Indus River Valley was possibly a victim of climate change around 1800 BCE, when it was abandoned due to the disruption of river systems.

    印度河流域的哈拉帕古文明可能是公元前 1800 年左右氣候變化的受害者,當時由於河流系統的破壞而被遺棄。

  • Today, the Welsh village of Fairbourne is facing an uncertain future. Built on the coast in the mid-19th Century, a large part of the village sits below sea level.

    現今,威爾士的費爾伯恩村正面臨著不明朗的未來。該村建於 19 世紀中葉的海岸上,村莊的很大一部分位於海平面以下。

  • With levels rising due to climate change, defending the village is no longer sustainable.


  • The residents of Fairbourne are in danger of becoming among the first UK citizens to be displaced by climate change.


  • Are we witnessing the early days of a new ghost town?


  • What is the dark magic of ghost towns?


  • Is it because they lure us, they invite us to briefly visit our own demise? Or is it the thrill of experiencing a dystopian landscape we're familiar with from books and films?


  • Nobody in these abandoned communities expected that this would happen to them.


  • Our lives, homes and cities seem so permanent, it's frightening to realize we're largely powerless to prevent forces acting at scale.


  • Perhaps we're drawn to these ghost towns for a very simple and intimate reason: for the opportunity to imagine, "What if this happened to me?"


We live in an increasingly urban world. Busy lives on busy streets, the hustle and bustle of everyday life.


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去鬼城探險!為什麼我們對鬼城如此著迷? (Why are we so fascinated by ghost towns? | BBC Ideas)

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    Summer 發佈於 2021 年 09 月 16 日