Our highly industrialized world has created vast tracts of concrete and steel and ... trash. Lots and lots of trash. When the tides of mankind shift, things that were once its prized brainchildren are abandoned to the elements to slowly fade away. But when you step into some of these vast cities of rust and tetanus, it feels strangely like you've stepped into some far-flung era when the future is the past and the past is ... the ancient past, we guess?
OK, since we've officially confused ourselves, let's just get straight to the futuristic abandoned stuff, shall we?
#7. Spomeniks -- the Balkans
When you see something like that looming in the distance, you just stepped through a Stargate onto some distant world, or out of a time machine into a future Earth ruled by your childhood bully, and this is his winged emblem. Or maybe that thing is the time machine. Or maybe, just maybe, it's a Spomenik.
What the hell is a Spomenik, you ask? Well, Americans weren't the only ones to have a World War II "Greatest Generation" -- the Yugoslavian government worshiped and idolized the sacrifices made during World War II, and as a result, thousands of these monuments to the war sprouted up all throughout Yugoslavia.
Apparently the only rule when designing a Spomenik was: 1) Make it fucking weird. They ranged from Godzilla-sized viruses:
To Boba Fett's bachelor pad:
"Wait till you see my jet pack course out back. The 'Sarlacc pit' obstacle gets me every time."
But then the Yugoslavian dream ended in the early '90s when the country tore itself apart. Most of the Spomeniks were torn down, but many still stand abandoned throughout the Balkans, their original symbolism lost to time. Today, they presumably only serve to alternately freak out and confuse the hell out of any tourists who happen upon them.
#6. Energomash Plant -- Moscow
Look at that. That's obviously the core of the Death Star. Any second now, the Millennium Falcon's going to come roaring through there to turn that fucker into an unrealistically fiery space explosion, and all the Ewoks will be so, so happy.
Actually, that's a shot taken not so long ago in a galaxy ... well, right about here. It turns out that the mountains of industrial waste created by the former Soviet Union have resulted in an underground explorer culture, and thanks to a handy Russian law stating that it's not trespassing so long as there's an open door or a busted gate, right now hundreds of Russians are rummaging through poisonous Soviet rust piles in hopes of snagging some truly prime Abandoned Porn. At the forefront of this movement is Lana Sator, who documents her adventures on her LiveJournal account. (Yes, people still use LiveJournal -- mostly in Russia.)
Sator, chilling moments before activating the Stargate.
These photos were taken when Sator and some friends sneaked into the state-owned Energomash plant near Moscow. While that sounds like a factory producing the world's most horrific energy drink, its actual purpose was to test rockets -- big rockets. Once inside, in addition to a scale model of the core of the Death Star (as if that weren't enough), Sator also found either the prototype for the Soviet Overcompensation Rocket or the permanent storage space for Spinal Tap's guitar amplifiers, we're not sure which:
Either way, these go to 11.
#5. Buzludzha Monument -- Bulgaria
That's got to be a remote Galactic Empire base on planet Hoth. But wait -- wasn't it the Rebels who had a base on Hoth? And while we're at it, that big star emblem is totally not movie-accurate.
There's also a shocking lack of kissing siblings and sexually ambiguous robots.
No, this giant building is in fact the Buzludzha Monument in Bulgaria. It wasn't always dilapidated and snow-covered, but even in its heyday, it still looked like something straight out of an early '80s sci-fi flick:
Just add bad hair and a Queen soundtrack.
The monument exists because in 1891, some Bulgarians met on a remote mountain to form a socialist organization. Decades later, World War II left the entire Eastern European bloc in Stalin's hands, and a communist government ruled over Bulgaria. To commemorate that 1891 meeting, the Bulgoviets built this gigantic concrete flying saucer on top of the mountain in bumfuck nowhere, Bulgaria, where the meeting took place. Just 10 years after it opened in 1981, the Iron Curtain fell and Bulgaria's communist government collapsed. The monument was abandoned, and the Bulgarian populace has since demonstrated just how much of a shit they give about socialist ideals ...
That would be "not a single, steaming turd."
... but add some snow and stream in some sunlight, and suddenly the inner auditorium of the monument full-on transforms into a UFO straight out of Invasion of the Commie Snatchers:
"Prepare for anal probing, comrade ... you know, for the common good."
#4. Soviet Superplanes -- Russia
Oh, you wacky Soviets, with your communism and your nuclear missiles and your freaking crashed spaceships. How else would you explain this thing? It obviously only ended up here on Earth because two of its eight warp drives failed on the way to Ursa Minor, forcing it to crash land on our little backwater pisspot of a planet. It's what the Roswell crash would look like if it took place in Russia instead of New Mexico and the aliens were rednecks with an insatiable engine fetish.
That, or it's the remains of the monster Soviet watercraft the Lun Ekranoplan. Designed to skim across the surface of the water and explodify anything in its path, this ground effect vehicle weighed 380 tons, had a 148-foot wingspan, and packed six anti-ship missiles, because of course it did.
We're just going to assume that every male involved with this somehow possessed an inverted penis.
But it wasn't just military vehicles that got an otherworldly makeover in Soviet Russia -- even their mass transit looked like it was about to blast off for intergalactic destinations. This Russian Meteor hydrofoil, for example, looks like it was plucked straight out of a 1950s Buck Rogers comic strip and promptly dropped in the woods to rot: