Ghostly Ship Graveyards From Around The World

Where do boats go when they die? Sometimes they end up in vast ship graveyards, sometimes craggy, foggy places where ships have met their doom, and sometimes spots where ships are deliberately left to rust. There's a quiet beauty to many of these graveyards and their resting inhabitants.

The port of Nouadhibou, Mauritania

More than 300 ships are resting in the world's largest ship graveyard. The practice of abandoning ships here started in the 1980s after the country's fishing industry was nationalised.

Pictures: Geolocation/crodenas, Filippo Minelli/Flickr, j-b.d/Flickr, j-b.d/Flickr, Sebastián Losada/Flickr, Crazytopics


Mo'ynoq (Muynak/Moynaq), Western Uzbekistan

The former sea port city has lots of rusting ships, abandoned since the 1980s due to the recession of the Aral Sea, which is now at least 150km away from the former harbour.

Pictures: United Nations Development Programme/Flickr, Martijn Munneke/Flickr


Skeleton Coast, Namibia

The area was named after the whale and seal bones that littered the shore because of the whaling industry, but there are more than a thousand ships caught by rocks and fog.

Pictures: Wikimedia Commons, Joachim Huber/Flickr


Staten Island Boat Graveyard or the Witte Marine Scrap Yard, New York

A dumping ground for disused and decommissioned ships in New York.

Pictures: Bob Jagendorf/Flickr


Military graveyard near Landévennec, France

The graveyard for (mainly naval) vessels is a bend on the Aulne River, used by the French Navy.

Pictures: Vincent Maurin/Flickr, Vincent Maurin/Flickr


Grytviken, South Georgia, South Atlantic

The settlement was established in 1904 by a Norwegian sea captain as a whaling station for his fishing company. It was closed in December 1966, but the church is still used occasionally for marriages, and the whaling ships are still in the harbour.

Pictures: Wikimedia Commons, Aah-Yeah/Flickr


Gadani ship-breaking yard, Gadani, Pakistan

The world's third largest ship breaking yard has a capacity of 125 ships of all sizes, including supertankers. In the 2009-2010 fiscal year, 107 ships were on the yard.

During the 1970s and 1980s, the ship breaking industry was on top, and Gadani was the largest breaking yard in the world.

Pictures: Michael Foley/Flickr, Michael Foley/Flickr, Dawn, NGO Shipbreaking Platform


Bonus: Cemitério das Âncoras or The Anchor Graveyard, Tavira Island, Portugal

A portion of the beach is littered with hundreds of rusted anchors.

Pictures: StartTheDay, Ricardo Santos


Double bonus: Japanese Midget Submarines, 1945-1947

“At the end of World War II, Allied Occupation forces found hundreds of midget submarines built and building in Japan, including large numbers of the “Koryu” type. Many of these boats were in massed groups at shipyards and naval bases.”

Pictures: Department of the Navy/Naval Historical Center

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