In the woods and at the bottom of the sea: TOP 5 picturesque cemeteries of old cars

The world’s 10 largest technology cemeteries

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The world's largest machinery cemeteries.

The cemeteries of cars, trains, bikes, and airplanes are often an eerie sight. And many of the largest vehicle cemeteries can also boast quite an interesting history.

Train Cemetery in Bolivia

Train graveyard in Bolivia.

High in the Andes, in southwestern Bolivia, is the Salar de Uyuni, the largest dried-up salt lake in the world. In 1888, when the local mining industry was booming, British engineers were invited to the area to build a railroad network that extended to the Pacific Ocean.

Bolivia Train Graveyard.

Despite constant sabotage by the local Aymara indigenous peoples, who saw the railroad as a threat to their way of life, the railroad was completed in 1892. But by the 1940s, the mining-oriented economy had collapsed as the mineral deposits were exhausted.

Bolivia Train Graveyard - the last resting place of trains.

When the railroad was no longer in use, many of the steam locomotives were simply left on the salt plain. Even today, it looks unusual: rows of rusting steam locomotives, many of them British-made, standing in the middle of the desert. Because this cemetery is unfenced, the metal components of most of the trains have been stolen by locals. There are plans to turn the cemetery into a museum.

Forest Car Cemetery of Chatillon

Forest Car Cemetery Chateillon.

In the forests around the small Belgian town of Chatillon, there were until recently four car cemeteries at once, where more than 500 cars were slowly rusting and sprouting moss. There is some controversy about the origin of these cars.

Car Cemetery of WWII.

The most common story told is that the cemeteries originated at the end of World War II, when American soldiers could not afford to send their cars home across the ocean. They simply left them in the woods, and over time the junkyard was replenished by locals.

Belgian dump of rare cars.

Another version is that most of the cars that ended up in the junkyard were made in the 1950s and 60s and many of them were collector’s items. Because of this, a large number of cars were scrapped for parts or salvaged by collectors or souvenir hunters. The last of the cemeteries near Chatillon was cleared in 2010 by the Greens.

Car dump at the diamond mines in Oranjemunde

A car junkyard among the diamond placers.

Oranyemunde in Namibia is a small town that is wholly owned by Namdeb, Namibia’s state-owned joint venture with the De Beers Diamond Corporation. The town, which is located near the mouth of the Orange River, has huge deposits of diamonds, and, in fact, the entire town was built to accommodate miners. It is virtually impossible to get into this area, with armed guards patrolling the perimeter. Any unauthorized possession of diamonds is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

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Oranjemunde, top view.

But Oranjemunde is also known as the site of one of the world’s largest car junkyards. Once a car entered the city, it never left it again. Apparently, this was done to prevent the illegal exportation of diamonds. Some of the rusting cars are from as early as 1920. There are even World War II tanks, formerly used to level the sand dunes, dusting in the cemetery.

Nuadibu Ship Cemetery

The graveyard of the ships of Nuadibu.

The hundred-thousand-year-old city of Nouadhibou is the second largest city in Mauritania, one of the poorest countries in the world. The port, located in a huge bay, offers excellent protection for ships coming into the country across the Atlantic. Also, Nouadhibou is some of the best fishing grounds in the world.

Nuadibu - the last port.

In 1980, locals began abandoning obsolete and unneeded vessels by sinking them in the shallow waters of the bay. Soon ships began coming to Nuadiba from all over the world to stay here forever. Local authorities took bribes and turned a blind eye, and now a huge variety of ships, from fishing trawlers to naval cruisers, are rusting in the shallow waters. One of the largest ships in the Nuadibu graveyard is the United Malika, which ran aground in 2003 with full holds of fish. It has never been taken off the shoal since then.

Nouadhibou cemetery - the pain of the green.

Despite measures to prevent further dumping, the number of derelict vessels continues to grow, albeit at a slower pace than before. The government announced a plan back in 2001 to use the ships to form an artificial reef in deeper waters, but little has been done since.

Cemetery of Soviet submarines on the Kola Peninsula

The cemetery in the Bay of Unremarkable.

There is a Soviet submarine cemetery in Nezemetnaya Bay, located beyond the Arctic Circle in the far north of Russia.

Cemetery of Soviet submarines on the Kola Peninsula.

Beginning in the 1970s, old military submarines, many of them nuclear-powered, were simply left in the bay on the isolated Kola Peninsula. Soviet shipyards were apparently too busy fulfilling orders to build new submarines to care about disposing of the old ones.

Cemetery of military power.

Access to the area is forbidden without permission, so information about the cemetery remains rather limited. It is known that some of these submarines were finally sent for disposal in the 1990s because of concerns about water pollution. But Google Earth images indicate that at least seven submarines still rest in the bay.

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Barry’s railroad dump.

Railroad junkyard in Barry.

In 1955, the newly nationalized British railroads announced plans to renew aging transport stock. The 650,000 cars and 16,000 locomotives were to be replaced. Because of the large amount of rolling stock that had been scrapped, British Railways warehouses were unable to cope on their own, and many of the trains were sold to private junkyards. The Woodham Brothers junkyard in Barry, South Wales, was among such junkyards.

Woodham Brothers Junkyard in Barry.

Initially the locomotives were disassembled shortly after arrival but by the fall of 1965 owner Dye Woodham decided to concentrate on the easier job of dismantling the wagons that were arriving by the hundreds. Eventually the rusting steam locomotives were rolled out into the back yard to the open space, where they quickly became popular with tourists in Barry. Steam locomotive enthusiasts soon realized that the Woodham Brothers offered a chance to get rare locomotives for the surviving old railroad lines that began to reopen across the country. Many of the models that stood in Dye’s yard were impossible to see elsewhere.

Junkyard of rare steam locomotives.

In September 1968, the first steam locomotive was removed from the junkyard for reconstruction. In the end, 213 steam locomotives were salvaged. Today, many of the steam locomotives from the junkyard can be found in fully operational condition on preserved lines on the outskirts of Great Britain.

Motorcycle Cemetery in upstate New York

Motorcycle junkyard.

Near the Erie Canal, in Lockport, New York, is a warehouse that has become a legend in the biker community. The warehouse was once owned by a man named Kohl, the owner of bike dealerships. By buying cheap Japanese motorcycles and stock from defunct dealers, he accumulated a huge number of rare vehicles.

Unique bikes at the junkyard.

He even purchased a building for his collection, but was unable to realize his idea. Photos of the cemetery first appeared in April 2010 on Flickr, and fans rushed to the bike graveyard in an attempt to find rare motorcycles and spare parts for them.

Faulkingham Air Force Base

Faulkingham: Yesterday an airbase, today a junkyard.

Faulkingham Air Base in Lincolnshire, UK, came into being in 1940 as a fictitious airfield that was to deflect Luftwaffe attacks from the real RAF Spitalgate Air Base 10 km to the north. In 1943 the base was transferred to the U.S. Air Force for “normal” use. Douglas C-47 transports were dispatched from here for landings in Italy and Normandy. In 1947 the base was closed and the British Racing Motors Formula One team used the runways as a test track. From 1959 to 1963, the U.S. Thor thermonuclear missiles were stationed at Faulkingham base.

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The formidable inhabitants of Faulkingham.

Today, Faulkingham is owned by Nelson M. Green & Sons Ltd, which uses the old airfield to store vehicles used as a source of spare parts. The former airfield is dusty with old Caterpillar bulldozers, fuel trucks, cranes, tractors, and former military trucks and armored vehicles from World War II.

Chernobyl transport dump (Ukraine)

Chernobyl transport dump (Ukraine).

After the Chernobyl accident, radiation contamination affected not only people and buildings, but also a huge number of vehicles used for firefighting and subsequent cleanup. Since the beginning of the tragedy, most of the vehicles have been taken to huge cemeteries, the largest of which is in Rassokh. However, not all of the vehicles have been buried. For example, the fire trucks that were the first to arrive in the disaster area have been buried deep underground.

Landfill of radioactive equipment.

On the surface remain, for example, firefighting helicopters, which were the first to engage in a battle with radiation. Locals have repeatedly been apprehended trying to steal metal from vehicles, despite the enormous risk. Ukrainian police even arrested several people for trying to remove one of the Mi-8 helicopters, which they intended to use as a café.

Arizona Cemetery.

Arizona cemetery, top view.

The Arizona Cemetery is a huge site in the middle of the Arizona desert. It is officially known as Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and the site of the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG). It is the largest military aircraft cemetery in the world. Its area is the equivalent of the area of 1,430 soccer fields. It has found a final resting place for 4,200 aircraft worth about $ 35 billion.

One of the inhabitants of the Arizona landfill.

The aircraft graveyard is divided into four categories: from planes that are in excellent condition and can still fly, to those that have every chance to become museum pieces. Arizona is ideal for such a graveyard because its dry climate helps prevent aircraft from rusting.

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Several dozen Soviet GAZ-21 and Moskvich sedans are the latest such find. The cars in incomplete condition (most lack an engine) were found on the outskirts of Mecca. Another peculiarity of the cars is the same light blue color of the body.

Who and how abandoned the cars is still a mystery. However, it is also a mystery how the Soviet cars ended up under the Mecca. Soviet Union was the first country in the world to recognize Saudi Arabia, but it had no relations or diplomatic relations with it since 1938 until 1991.

However, it is not excluded that the cars were brought to the Arabian Peninsula in the post-Soviet automotive enthusiasts. In fact, in addition to the “Volga” and “Moskvich” in this cemetery found a rare sedan BMW 1600 and some classic “Americans” from the 1950s.

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An unusual cemetery of the rarest cars an hour south of Tokyo were found by two British car journalists. On a small site near Japanese capital, more than 200 cars of various years of manufacture survive their century. And many of them have a fair share of tuning.

According to people who discovered the cars, most of them are donors for tuning-projects, forgotten by their owners. Of course, not all abandoned cars are unique, but there are some real gems among them.

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For example, the junkyard features the rarest Alpina B7 Turbo S and Alpina 635CSI, a classic BMW 635CSI, a unique Land Rover TD5 Defender in Middle Eastern spec, as well as a Toyota Trueno GT-Z, Chevrolet Corvette C3, BMW E9 and even a Citroen AX GT.

A huge red-brick castle near the Belgian capital belonged to a local millionaire who left for the U.S. more than four decades ago and decided not to return to his homeland. The building stood locked up for nearly half a century until it was broken into by local authorities when the title expired.

In addition to luxury furniture and expensive utensils in the basement of the castle found a dozen rare models of Alfa Romeo from the 1950s and 1960s. In spite of the fact that the cars were not in the open air, and indoors, because of the humidity and temperature differences for almost half a century they came to a dismal state. However, several European museums of vintage cars have already expressed the desire to purchase and restore the cars.

Old Car City is the largest car junkyard in the world, which is the result of a family business. Back in the 1970s, the owner of a small junkyard store selling used car parts decided that many of the cars they stripped parts from deserved an entirely different fate. So instead of dismantling old cars, the enthusiast began buying them up by the dozens and taking them to a huge plot of land 50 miles from Atlanta, Georgia.

He did not do any restoration work with them. And the cars, standing out in the open without any care, fell into disrepair, and some even sprouted bushes and trees.

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Nevertheless, over two decades, he collected more than 4,500 cars, most of them made before 1972, on an area of about 14 hectares. Then the man passed away, and the strange collection was inherited by his son. An enterprising man who received an unusual inheritance, decided to make money on it. Now the Old Car City – this is not a dump or auto cemetery, and the “open air museum”, the entrance to which costs $ 25.

There are several abandoned car cemeteries around Dubai, but they have one thing in common. As a rule, there are new and very expensive luxury cars. The fact is that many foreigners, who are used to living the high life, often go bankrupt or violate the laws of Islam, and leave the region. And often, when fleeing, they leave everything they own, including luxury cars.

A special service then collects them all over the emirate and takes them to huge sites in the desert. So you should not be surprised by dozens of derelict Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini and even Rolls-Royce. Moreover, under the windshields of some cars you can see loan documents or apology notes left by their owners. Of course, some of these cars are confiscated against the debts of their owners. But there are also those that stand for years under a huge layer of dust, waiting for their owners.

For its very modest size, Belgium is rich in strange car clusters. But unlike the castle with the abandoned Alfa Romeo, which was discovered earlier this year, about another cemetery on the territory of the homeland of Van Damme has long been known. Thus, in the south of the country, not far from the village Chotien in the deep woods for more than half a century are rusting and rusting out of several dozen vintage cars. The exact reason for their appearance in a strange place is not known, but the local legend says that the cars appeared here immediately after the end of World War II.

U.S. soldiers stationed in the area hid trophy cars in the woods. Because they couldn’t get them across the ocean on military ships and planes, of course. At the same time, they did not plan to leave them there forever and probably wanted to take them out later. But for some reason they never succeeded. They say there used to be about 500 cars in this forest, but now there are no more than 150 of them left.

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