Learning English Daily – English Lessons – Learn English Vocabulary
Why do you think ghost towns exist? Why do people abandon towns? Are there any ghost towns in your country? Where are they? Why are they ghost towns? Have you ever been to a ghost town or abandoned building? Where was it? What was it like? Why was it abandoned? Would you like to go to a ghost town? Why? Why not?
1. Bodie (California, United States) Gold was first discovered in Bodie in 1859. Within 15 years it had become a boomtown; and at one point had a population of about 10,000. But when all the gold went, so did the people. It officially became Bodie State Historic Park in 1962, and is preserved as a kind of museum.
2. Pripyat (Ukraine) Pripyat became a ghost town after a nuclear reactor explosion at the nearby Chernobyl power plant on 26th April 1986. Within 36 hours, the town was completely abandoned. The town had originally been developed in the 1970s for Chernobyl employees and their families. There were schools, sports stadiums and a newly built amusement park, which had opened the same day as the explosion. The risk of radiation is still high; and according to experts, it will take around 20,000 years before Pripyat is safe for humans.
3. Hashima Island (Japan) Hashima is an abandoned island off the coast of Japan. A community was established in 1887 when coal was discovered. Apartment buildings, hospitals, prisons, libraries and schools were built. At one point, the population reached around 5,000, and it became the most densely populated place on earth. However, in 1974, the coal ran out and the people left. In 2009, a small portion of Hashima was reopened for tourism. In 2012, it featured in the James Bond movie Skyfall, and in 2015 it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
4. Tianducheng (China) Construction for Tianducheng started in 2007. Located in Eastern China, it was meant to hold a population of about 10,000, but currently only has around 2,000 residents. The people who remain are mostly employees of nearby construction sites. Interestingly, Tianducheng has a replica of the Eiffel Tower and is known as “Little Paris”. It’s become a popular (and cheap) way for couples to take wedding photos that look like they were shot in Paris.
5. Craco (Italy) Craco is a medieval ghost town in southern Italy. Founded in the 8th century, it’s got a university, a castle and several public buildings. But as a result of recurring earthquakes, its citizens were forced to relocate to a nearby town in 1963. Craco has been completely abandoned since then, although it has featured in movies including The Passion of the Christ, Quantum of Solace and Saving Grace. Nowadays, the only way to get in is by taking a guided tour.
1. a boomtown (n): a town that grows very quickly
2. to preserve (v): if you ‘preserve’ something, you make sure it stays the way it is and it doesn’t change.
3. a nuclear reactor (n): a large machine that is used to produce nuclear energy.
4. an amusement park (n): a place where you have fun and ride on fast train.
5. radiation (n): very small particles of a radioactive substance. Radioactive substances are produced from nuclear energy.
6. densely populated (adj): if a place is ‘densely populated’, there are very many people there.
7. to run out (v): if you ‘run out’ of something, you have no more of that thing.
8. a construction site (n): an area of land where they’re building something, an office, a bridge, an apartment block.
9. a replica (n): a copy of something.
10. recurring (adj): if something is ‘recurring’, it happens again and again.
11. an earthquake (n): a violent movement of the earth. Sometimes, buildings fall down when there’s an ‘earthquake’.
12. to relocate (v): if you ‘relocate’ someone, you move them to another area so they can live there instead.