These Islands Used To Hold Life. Now Look At Their Abandoned Remains

What do you picture when you think of an island? Perhaps you imagine a tropical beach packed with tourists, or the white buildings that dot Greece’s shores. Some islands looked like that long ago, but they have since become abandoned. Their old buildings are empty shells that residents of the mainland never see.

Some of these islands harbor dark secrets. Others became deserted because the pub on the island was far too loud! Check out these haunting photos of abandoned islands, and learn why all of their inhabitants left.

Deception Island, Antarctica

Deception Island lies in the South Shetlands Islands archipelago in Antarctica. For years, explorers considered it to be the safest island on the continent. Explorers, whalers, and fur-sealing hunters used the island as their supply base. But not everyone knew that there was an active volcano there threatening to erupt at any moment.

A man walks down Deception Island in Antarctica.
Sharpshooters /VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

During the 1960s, several countries sought Deception Island for oil mining. But the volcano erupted in both 1967 and 1969, destroying all bases and equipment. Today, the island is only visited by the occasional research base and tourist boat.