15 Strange Towns that Actually Exist

15 Strange Towns that Actually Exist

Although most towns have their unusual and quirky traditions, some places are just out of the ordinary that you really have to see them in person for you to believe it’s real. And whether it’s the people who choose to love there or the locations the towns are situated that makes it so odd, living in these sorts of places is just unimaginable. If so you thought your place was a bit strange, could you imagine living in any of the towns listed below?

1. Thames Town, China

“A British Town in the Heart of Asia”

Located on the edge of Shanghai, Thames Town is designed after an English town market. It features red phone booths, a fish and chips shop, a pub, and even English cobbled streets. Although the place remains unpopulated, it is still a popular destination for couples.

2. Miyake-Jima Island, Japan

“Gas Masks City”

Found at the bottom of an active volcano, the Miyake-Jima Island is one dangerous town to live in. Residents of this town are at high risk of being poisoned because of the high levels of sulphur in the air. So, they are always asked to bring a gas mask with them at all times. Whenever the sulphur level is so high, sirens are sounded. One strange fact about this town is that the Japanese government have to pay people to live there.

3. Manshiyat Naser, Egypt

“Literally A Rubbish Town”

Mashiyat Naser is a town in Egypt that is used as a dumping site for waste from Cairo. Everyday, massive amounts of waste are thrown here. Although this would surely upset the locals, they are actually more than happy to accept it because garbage is their source of income.

4. Elista, Russia

“Chess City”

The former president of Kalmykia loved chess so much that he thought of designing a whole new town based on the game. The “Chess City” or the Elisa features numerous chess-themed sculptures, including a giant chess board in the town square, complete with large pieces.

5. Colma, California, USA

“The Dead Outnumber the Living”

In 1900, San Francisco passed on a law that stated that no more cemeteries should be constructed within the city of San Francisco. It affected the town of Colma so much that they decided to turn it into a necropolis in 1924. In 2010, a census showed that the town of Colma is home to a living population of only 1,800 and a deceased population of over 1.5 million. Because of this, it has earned the nickname of “The City of the Silent”.

6. Coober Pedy, Australia

“An Underground Town”

Australians have this problem of extremely high temperatures during the summer months. So, the residents of Coober Pedy had a great idea. They though of building a town underground where they could no longer feel the intense sun. In 1915, the town was successfully established. It has a store, a hotel, a number of residences, a gallery, and a church.

7. Noiva Do Cordeiro, Brazil

“A Town for the Girls”

First established in 1891, the Noiva Do Cordeiro is one male-free town with a population of about 600 women. It was Senhorinha de Lima who started the community after she was pushed out of her  town due to adultery. Today, the married women living there only see their husbands at the weekend. 

8. Gibsonton, Florida, USA

“The Circus Town”

If you are thinking where circus performers go when they retire, then Gibsonton is the answer. Located on the outskirts of Tampa, this place has been a popular destination for many circus folks.

9. San Zhi Resort, Taiwan

“The Lost Paradise”

Designed as an advanced holiday home for US military officers, the San Zhi Resort was constructed in 1978. However, for some mysterious reasons, the project was abandoned. Although they say the reason for abandonment was because of investment losses, locals believe it was because of the number of suicides and deaths that have occurred during construction. As a result, these pod-like homes were left to decay and rust and to date, the town is believed to be haunted.

10. Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain

“The Town Built in a Cliff”

The Setenil de las Bodegas in  Spain is one strange town you definitely should visit. Visitors keep on coming back to this place because of the strange architecture of houses built into the side of a cliff.


11. Monowi, Nebraska, USA

“A One Woman Town”

In the 1930s, the town of Monowi had a thriving population of 150. However, the numbers slowly declined since then. And as of the year 2000, only one couple was left – Elsie and Rudy Eiler. When Rudy died in 2004, Elsie was left alone. She then became the only resident of Monowi. This is the reason the town is famed as the “One Woman Town”.

12. Hell, Michigan, USA

“Hell on Earth”

Hell town is a small town in Michigan. Although the town has a spooky name, there are actually a number of restaurants and bars that attract tourists.

13. The Villages, Florida, USA

“America’s Friendliest Hometown”

Known as “America’s friendliest hometown”, The Villages in Florida is among the largest retirement communities on the planet. It is home to more than 100,000 residents, aged 55 and above.

14. Centralia, Pennsylvania, USA

“The Town that Inspired Silent Hill”

 photo Centralia-Penn-1_zpsa92d6799.jpg

The town of Centralia served as the inspiration for the famous video horror game, Silent Hill. However, it was in 1962 when all the hair-raising occurrences started. A fire broke out in a mine that forced the residents to evacuate. Surprisingly, it continues to burn up to this day.

15. Dwarf Village, China

“A Paradise for the Dwarfs”

Although there are concerns about the creation of this “theme park-like village”, the Dwarf Village in China is not your ordinary town. It employs over 100 people, with a height of not taller than 4 feet and 3 inches.



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