There are some very strange places out there, and this list features the top 10 weirdest communities of all. Some of these places are flourishing and welcoming to visitors, others were abandoned. You may think that your hometown is weird, but it’s way too normal compared to these locations. Please, continue what you were doing! There is no need to pack your suitcase and find your passport.
10. Manshiyat Naser, Egypt
Nestled in a pocket of Cairo, Manishiyat Naser is a city that flourishes on the profits made from trash. Residents here go through the garbage cans of Cairo’s citizens and use it to build an economy. In Garbage City there is tons of trash, but no amenities. Plumbing, electricity, and a sewage system are nowhere to be found.
9. Thames Town, China
Thames Town is an abandoned city in China, located about twenty miles outside of Shanghai. The city is an almost identical replication of the real thing in England. The town is even complete with English culture, such as a pub where you can order classic meals. However, Thames Town is almost completely deserted, yet newlyweds often get wedding photos taken there.
8. Gibsonton, Florida
Close to Tampa lies Gibsonton, a town where you can let your freak flag fly. Traveling freak shows and circuses have found a home here, where the law allows you to have exotic pets on your property. The town is also like a free-for-all carnival, with rides and attractions cropping up on people’s front lawns. Gibsonton has earned the nickname Showtown, U.S.A.
7. Zarechny, Russia
Zarechny is known as the Closed City, referring to the many towns in the U.S.S.R. that were closed off and restricted during World War II. Zarechny was one of the cities that housed research and strategic facilities, so it was essentially shut down by Communist forces. Residents had restricted access to the outside world, and the city was literally taken off the map.
6. Rennes-le-Chateau, France
This Catholic French town was visited by Francois Berenger Sauniere in 1885. He began as a needy preacher and soon amassed a great fortune. He used his riches to commission the construction a devil statue in front of the new church. The monument was complete with an inscription stating that “This place is terrible.”
5. Elista, Kalmykia
Kalmykia is a republic of Russia and is the stuff of fantasy. The town was the creation inspired by former president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. It features a number of chess piece monuments are scattered throughout the town. While Chess City was the site of some chess tournaments over the years, the town is virtually deserted and resembles a ghost town.
4. Noiva Do Cordeiro, Brazil
Noiva Do Cordeiro, Brazil, is an (almost) all-female town. The city’s name translates to “Bride of the Lamb” and was founded in 1891. This is a countryside community of 600 women. Only a few of the ladies have husbands, and those men only come into the city on the weekends. During the week, they work in a surrounding city.
3. Najaf, Iraq
This city is located at the biggest cemetery in the world, Wadi Al-Salam. About five million bodies rest here, with burials happening every single day. Due to current events from ISIS, Najaf is running out of space for corpses; about two hundred are arriving every day. People have even taken to burying their dead in other places besides the cemetery.
2. Neft Daslari, Azerbaijan
Neft Daslari is essentially a twisting city of oil. It is held in place as it sits on the Caspian Sea. Shipwrecks and industrial waste keep the city stable. Neft Daslari was a major exporter of oil to the U.S.S.R; but now it is more of a tourist attraction and oddity. It would be hard to live in this town, as part of it is underwater, but about 5,000 residents call it home.
1. Auroville, India
This town was founded in 1968 and contains about two-thousand residents from across the globe. Known as The City of Dawn, it features a large, gold domed-shaped building called The Matrimandir, named after the founder, Mirra “The Mother” Alfassa. There is no money, no governmental power, and no forced set of rules. It favors peace and “progressive harmony” between people of all races, beliefs, and nations.
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