Popular Places Made Famous By Tragedies

“Dark tourism” is the academic term that refers to sites that are visited and became popular because of their tragedies. Over the years, this has become popular. While some view this as the exploitation of tragedies, others may see it as a way to raise the awareness of major events in history. Regardless of the lens through which you view this emerging trend, one thing is for sure; there are several places that became famous because of tragedies. Here are five of these places.

1. Detroit Urban Ruins 

The city of Detroit, Michigan in the United States of America has been labeled as “The Abandoned City.” This city once thrived and was a place of great promise. It was known as the home of the American auto industry and Motown. From the 1960s, a decline in the economy was realized and by 2013, Detroit became the largest city to ever declare bankruptcy. Today, although there are large urban renewal projects being undertaken, Detroit is plagued with issues of unemployment, poverty and crime. There stand numerous abandoned buildings with some areas like a ghost town. Detroit has caught the attention of many historians and artists who have come to explore the abandoned buildings and tell their stories.

2. Chernobyl

The Chernobyl nuclear power station in Ukraine saw one of the most horrifying radiation explosions on April 26, 1986. This was a result of a flawed reactor design used with inadequately trained personnel. This unfortunate incident claimed lives and many sustained injuries. The settlement of Pripyat was abandoned. Pripyat and Chernobyl later became a tourist attraction site with major companies running guided tours of the area. Even though Chernobyl is said to be radioactive, if people limit their exposure time, it is safe.

3. Volcano Creeks in Pompeii

In 79 AD, the volcano Vesuvius erupted and destroyed the ancient city of Pompeii. This city was buried by volcanic pyroclastic flows and ash which preserved the city. Pompeii was discovered by archaeologists in the sixteenth century and was carefully uncovered. Today this has become a famous tourist attraction site and the ruins and all that it has to be explored continue to amaze visitors. There are areas of the city of Pompeii that are still unexcavated.

4. New Orleans

On August 23 2005, Hurricane Katrina, the worst storm to hit America, caused much destruction in New Orleans. After many years, the city of New Orleans has not fully recovered and is still being rebuilt. Billions of dollars have been poured in rebuilding efforts. Today, people are organizing hurricane tours where the damage from Hurricane Katrina can be seen and experienced. The proceeds from these tours go into the relief fund. It is said that a walk through surely leaves visitors humbling.

5. Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

When Mount St. Helen in Washington in the United States erupted in 1980, many people did not survive and property was extensively damaged. The massive eruption destroyed about 210 square miles of wilderness. Since then, this land has been set aside as a memorial for trekking, outdoor recreation and most importantly the commemoration of those who passed away. The forests that were decimated have started to return to its former glory. This has become a popular spot for many visitors and the locals alike.

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