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Devetashkata Cave - Bulgaria Ben Bulben at County Sligo, Ireland
For a number of reasons, natural and human, people have recently evacuated or otherwise abandoned a number of places around the world -- large and small, old and new. Gathering images of deserted areas into a single photo essay, one can get a sense of what the world might look like if humans were to vanish from the planet altogether. Collected here are recent scenes from nuclear-exclusion zones, blighted urban neighborhoods, towns where residents left to escape violence, unsold developments built during the real estate boom, ghost towns, and more. [41 photos] Use j/k keys or ←/→ to navigate Choose: A tree grows from the top of a chimney in an abandoned factory yard in Luque, on the outskirts of Asuncion, Paraguay, on October 2 , 2011. A bust of Confucius rests at an abandoned workshop in the town of Dangcheng in Quyang county, 240 km (150 miles) southwest of Beijing, on December 7, 2011.