What happens to all of the detritus of modern life once it has outlived its usefulness? We tend to think of it as being “thrown away” – but there is no away, and bizarre collections of outdated and broken junk are piling up around the world. Like all of those abandoned airplanes, sea-unworthy ships and busted bicycles, these 10 objects are accumulating in their very own graveyards with nobody to mourn their passing.
#1 - Tacky Toilets
Junkyards around the world are stocked with the forlorn toilets of yesteryear, never again to feel the warmth of a human behind. But while cracked, broken and seriously dated toilets typically rot behind gates in metaphorical toilet graveyards, others are displayed in bizarre works of public art. One town seems to have created an actual graveyard of toilets, while Gunagdong Province in China put thousands to use in a giant public waterfall.
#2 - Forgotten FEMA Trailers
FEMA trailers were a godsend for victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, giving them roofs over their heads – and lungs full of formaldehyde. The trailers contained dangerously high levels of the toxic chemical, sickening hundreds of people. Today, those contaminated trailers sit and rot on storage lots throughout the country, like this one in Hope, Arkansas.
#3 - Busted Bus Stops
What, exactly, could be so wrong with dozens of bus stops found abandoned in the Warehouse District of Minneapolis that can’t be fixed? Whether for looks or function, these bus stops were scrapped and now sit as an odd monument to junk that nobody wants.
#4 - Vacant Vending Machines
Japan is a country packed with vending machines, and they’re not just full of candy, chips and soda. Eggs, fresh flowers, piping hot french fries and lingerie are just a few examples of off-the-wall offerings. So, the existence of vending machine wastelands is no surprise.
#5 - Tarnished Tanks
The tanks that clutter vast open spaces in the African country of Eritrea aren’t just the product of neglect. These hunks of metal are relics from the nearly half-century-long war fought for independence from Ethiopia, and they stand as a proud reminder of the country’s hard-won victory.
#6 - Tossed-Aside Taxis
For decades, Chinese citizens took taxi cabs and public transportation when they needed to get somewhere. But economic expansion meant that personal vehicles were no longer out of reach of the middle class, and the taxis that they once depended on so greatly are now jumbled chaotically amidst dirt and weeds.
#7 - Canned Construction Equipment
When construction equipment is finally done building things and tearing them down, where does it go? Apparently, it sits around in scrap yards waiting for any still-useful parts to be harvested, and then sits around some more. This lot in England has just about any piece of equipment you can imagine.
#8 - Broken Books
With such an astounding volume of books piled on the floor, this building could only be a library – albeit one that has seen better days. The sight of thousands of books rotting in an abandoned building is enough to make any bibliophile cry, but waste like this is all too common in the wake of the Soviet Union’s collapse.
#9 - Contaminated Chemical Barrels
While Superfund sites wait to be cleaned up, all of the toxic chemical-laden crap strewn around – including leaky barrels full of who knows what – are “contained” within a restricted area. Over time, as those barrels rust, their contents seep into the soil, and ultimately into the groundwater of nearby communities.
#10 - Trashed Tractors
Typically, abandoned tractors tend to be left wherever they break down. At least this tractor graveyard in Nebraska appears to be in the process of recycling, given that the rusting beasts have been dismantled and categorized.