5 Enormous Modern Ghost Towns You Won't Believe Exist

#2. Spain's Deserted Airport

Vicente Pena/ABC

The Ciudad Real Central Airport in Spain cost 1 billion euros to build. But that was all right: It was positioned within a short train ride of both Spain's capital city, Madrid, and the Andalusian coast -- clearly Ciudad Real Central was going to be standing room only. Here it is on a busy day:

Oli Scarff/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Flights expected from fleas, bees, and dragonflies!

It was completed in 2009 and opened the same year, but instead of handling the anticipated 10 million passengers a year they expected, Ciudad Real Central managed to average a meager 22,000 during its brief and lonely period of operation before closing entirely in 2011. Two years: That's all they got out of it. That's a negative return of half a billion dollars annually.

Africa Twin/Wikimedia
The crushing economic failure in Spain stays mainly in the plane.

The majority of its facilities, which include an enormous 28,000-square-foot terminal building, have gone completely unused. Endless empty parking lots litter the airport, vast runways go unused save for the occasional tumbleweed drag race, and passenger walkways lead off to nowhere. It's either an eerie physical reminder of an economic crash or one hell of a skate park, depending on how you look at it.

Oli Scarff/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Spain is not optimistic about shifting to a skater-based economy.

The good news is that you can buy it right now for the low, low bargain price of 100 million euros (plus the miniscule, almost-not-worth-mentioning half-billion-euro debt it's incurred). So if you've always loved the airport but hate people, travel, planes, and your own money, look no further for your new summer home. It's got one hell of a driveway.

Oli Scarff/Getty Images News/Getty Images
The backyard's a bitch to maintain, though.

#1. The Empty City With Space for Millions

Michael Christopher Brown/Time

This is the Chinese city of Kangbashi, Inner Mongolia:

Situated within the greater populated region of Ordos, Kangbashi looks like a metropolis after an uber-plague swept through. All these giant apartment buildings look so pristine and new because they are absolutely pristine and new -- so new, in fact, that nobody has ever lived in most of them. And yet they're still building more.

Michael Christopher Brown/Time
Someone needs to kick them out of this dreamy limbo.

Somewhere in the region, there's a population of about 20,000 (does the census count Mole People?), which seems like a lot until you learn that Kangbashi has been designed to house around a million people. It's the world's largest and newest ghost town.

Michael Christopher Brown/Time
A secret cannibal cult would make this town less creepy.

And it's not all apartment buildings, either. Kangbashi also has a museum, a stadium, and an opera house, all completed and all empty save for the ghosts of potentiality.

saigonpunkid/Wikimapia
This building was supposed to house a guild of warrior companions.

Strangely enough, it may not be a matter of supply exceeding demand -- most of the condos and apartments have apparently been sold. The entire city was built in advance of the people's arrival -- they just never arrived. Why buy a home you never intend to live in? Simple: Many Chinese citizens don't trust the stock market, so it's generally perceived as safer to dump your money into property instead. The result is an entire city that's technically sold out, yet damn near vacant. And also the single most impressive go-kart track ever built, if we have our say.


Xavier Jackson has a Facebook page and takes insults personally at XavierJacksonCracked@gmail.com.

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Related Reading: Are you a supervillain looking for some abandoned building to make into your Citadel of Terror? Click here. The Whitley Park Estates would be a pretty great spot to pick, since it's got the underwater Crazydome you'd need for true villainy. And hey, you'll need some weaponry to go with your new HQ: the aircraft boneyard has plenty of hardware.

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