There's always something so haunting about finding abandoned things. Whether it's an abandoned building, car, farming equipment, or even an entire city, there's such a magnetic draw to what was, what could've been, and the forgotten stories behind the people who used to live in those places. Oftentimes, you find yourself wondering, "What happened here?" or "Why did everyone leave?" It's this kind of mysterious aura that abandoned places and objects give off that draws many people in. And even if the idea of exploring an entire abandoned city doesn't appeal to you, you might really enjoy pictures of the city or pictures of an abandoned tractor in a pastoral scene. These forgotten objects stand, stalwart and stoic, reminding us about the inevitability of time and the importance of weathering every storm. Cars are always fascinating objects because we still use cars to this day, and there's something sad and enrapturing about an automobile that used to move people from one place to another, now left to decay and to remain stationary for the rest of its time. There's not really any kind of abandoned object that's more captivating than abandoned airplanes. There's just something extra haunting about them: the fact that, in most cases, the reason they were abandoned is that they crashed. It's sobering, somewhat haunting, and extremely captivating to not only see pictures of these but to experience being near them. There are some pretty spectacular pictures of abandoned airplanes in the world, and here are just 19 of them.
19 Left For Scrap In Bali
This abandoned Boeing 737 is found in Bali, where it eerily sits on a flat stretch of ground hidden between a large wall and a forest.
The strangest part is that no one knows quite how the plane got here or why it's abandoned.
Some believe that it was meant to be converted into a restaurant, but was left to decay when the owner ran out of money to complete his project. So now, it sits on a lonely patch of land and is quite the tourist attraction—if you can figure out how to get to it.
18 Sunset On An Ancient Relic
This is one of the more iconic abandoned planes in the world, at least as of today. This is a US Navy Douglas C-47 Skytrain located in Iceland, one of the most beautiful places in the world. Located very near the sea, this plane was abandoned a long time ago on the black sand beach of Solheimsandur, fairly close to Vik and the capital of the country, Reykjavik. This picture looks like it was taken either early spring or late summer when the sun only rises that far during the entire day. What a stunning capture, too.
17 Unearthed After Half A Century
This plane was lost to the depths of time, and quite literally, in the sand, until quite recently it was rediscovered, having surfaced from the depths of sand and water after half a century's time. As you can see, it's still partially buried in the sand.
This abandoned plane can be found on a beach in Wales, although getting to it is a bit difficult, mostly because it's protected.
In fact, the government is trying to get the plane into a museum. Understandable, too, considering it's a Lockheed P38 Lightning Fighter Aircraft, a slice of history brought back from the grave. How neat.
16 Abandoned Military Base
This abandoned wreckage lies amongst many other aircraft in a similar state in an abandoned military base located in Croatia. It's a dangerous place to go, with unexploded landmines in the area, along with any number of laws protecting the trespassing of any people who are a bit too curious. The people who run Urbex Session keep their anonymity and won't release the exact location of this military base due to its high danger levels. I bet there are some really interesting finds there, though. Maybe one day, it'll be opened to the public. For now, pictures will just have to suffice.
15 No Casualties, Except The Plane
We've got here another Douglas C-47, just like the one found on the black sand beaches of Iceland, except this one crashed near Snag, Yukon, in Canada. It was part of the Royal Canadian Air Force, and all six aboard survived when the plane crashed back in 1950, which is something of a miracle and a testament to the amazing abilities of the pilot. I imagine the crash was only the first of their problems, though, because the country they crashed in is harsh and unforgiving, and while undeniably beautiful, that doesn't mean it isn't dangerous and life-threatening, especially after a crash.
14 Talk About Desolated
This is definitely a much more exotic location to find an abandoned airplane than somewhere like Ohio or Nashville or even Iceland. This massive aircraft, an Avro 716 Shackleton MR3, can be found in its lost state somewhere in South Africa. I suspect, due to the state of the entire landscape around this empty shell of an airplane, that you'll just have to ask the locals and figure out where this is by word of mouth. I bet the journey would be worth it, though. I'm definitely putting it on my bucket list!
Talk about an amazing place to go snorkeling! Swimming among the wreckage of any man-made structure is a really amazing experience. I'm of the opinion that everyone should try it at some point in his or her life. Whether or not you do it in the tropics, exploring none other than Pablo Escobar's infamous drug running plane is a different matter. But this looks like a good enough spot to me with its crystal clear waters, sunshine, fish, and a reef nearby, regardless of the rather dramatic history behind this particular plane. The color of that water is just spectacular.
12 Airplanes For Art
These abandoned planes lie together in a deserted area in the desert sun of Tucson, Arizona, but they don't lie forgotten—not even close actually. These particular planes, as you can clearly see, have been converted for another use—that is, for art. These planes belong to the Boneyard Project, a coalition of incredibly talented artists who paint murals onto old airplanes. The art along the side of that particular plane is really exceptional, an awesome statement and mural. Similar to graffiti, in a way, but more focused, with a bigger message. The opposite side of the plane has the same bird but as a skeleton.
11 In a Field
Unfortunately, I couldn't find the actual source photo for this or where this plane was abandoned, but for the rest of the photos in this series, we'll have the places—or at least approximate places—where the planes were downed or abandoned. But this is definitely a huge one, and it would be so fascinating to explore. There's just something about nature slowly taking over a manmade object, especially one that belongs in the sky, that's endlessly captivating and interesting. Looks like a pretty big storm is blowing in, too, so I wouldn't be surprised if this is somewhere tropical.
10 Graffiti In Flight
With all things abandoned comes quite a large amount of graffiti. More often than not, anyway, and it's definitely true with this abandoned Lockheed Venturas. It's a pretty spectacular plane to look at with those huge slanted wings, small door, and steel paneling across the entirety of the plane. This particular plane lies abandoned at a forgotten Memorial Airport in Chandler, Arizona, and the airport itself is quite a popular place among those into abandoned photography or airplanes. I'd love to explore this place and look at all the different types of vintage aircraft lying around.
9 Lost In The Middle East
Talk about an epic wreckage site. That plane is undeniably massive, with a huge span of wings across the top of the plane and with a huge body and tail hanging underneath them. Two massive propellers pull this thing through the air, or it used to, anyway. This thing has been pretty long abandoned.
You can find it somewhere in Saudi Arabia, although it's fairly unclear where.
It's somewhere between the sea and the desert of Saudi Arabia, obviously quite close to the sea. Talk about a fascinating place to visit if you get the chance to.
8 Lost To Time And Buried In Snow
This aircraft can be found frozen somewhere deep in Yukon Territory, surrounded by complete wilderness, wolves, -20+ temperatures (Fahrenheit), grizzly bears, and tons and tons of snow. While it looks desolate and barren, I imagine this would be a pretty amazing thing to come across if you were in some kind of survival scenario because you'd have so much shelter from the elements and exposure, along with, I'm sure, a pretty good number of resources you might be able to use to help you survive. All the members of this crash actually survived, too.
7 Close To Home Once Again
The remains of this small private plane can be found abandoned just outside of Nashville, Tennessee. A lot of the locals know all about it, but it's not well known among visitors or anyone else. It's a bit of a local secret, but if you know where to go, it's worth it to make the trek. How fun would it be to go here, being so close to the central hub of all things music in Nashville, and to record a music video with your band! I'd love to do something like that someday. Next time I go, I'll be bringing my guitar!
6 Somewhere In Russia
This is a pretty old-looking airplane and not even because of its current state. Just the shape of it indicates that it speaks of an era long ago. Airplanes just don't look like that anymore. You can even see the faint numbering on the side, which can tell us that this was likely a military aircraft.
It can be found at the Khodynka Airdrome, an abandoned air museum somewhere in Russia.
Talk about an incredible place to explore. I'm afraid I'll have to add this one to my bucket list, too. That is, if people are allowed in.
5 Take Us Back To Croatia
Here's another abandoned aircraft located in Croatia. According to urbexsession.com, this plane is one of many found at an airplane graveyard from the war. The planes are part of a military base that was abandoned at the end of the war, and it, along with the planes, have fallen into disrepair since then. However, it's not easy to get to this one. There are many warning signs of dangers and landmines still left over in the area. As fascinating as abandoned airplanes are, anyone planning on exploring this area needs to be extra careful.
4 Golden-Hour Machinery
This gorgeous picture of an abandoned aircraft at an abandoned airport is really an exceptional one. Laying forgotten amongst so many other airplanes and aircraft, this one stands out due to its turbine, beautiful red paint still intact, and riveted steel paneling that's just so iconic. It's a beautiful machine, and you can find this one at the Gila River Memorial in Chandler, Arizona, which isn't very far for a lot of people. So, if you're into aircraft or abandoned things or history, this might be a pretty awesome weekend trip!
3 St. Augustine Abandoned
This pile of metal, scraps from an abandoned airplane, lies behind an overgrown and dilapidated fence somewhere near St. Augustine, Florida. It's not alone either.
Locals refer to it as the "Airplane Graveyard."
While this is also a spot known by the locals, it's a bit more well known amongst the general public due to its proximity to the highway, amongst other things. There's still a bit of mystery around why they're there and how long they've been there. So, if you happen to be driving through St. Augustine, it might be worth checking out if that's your kind of thing!
2 Repurposed Quite Well
This pastoral scene with an abandoned USR4D aircraft at the center of focus is located in Iceland. While this airplane, with virtually nothing left of it, may look completely useless, forgotten, and like it's left to continue its very slow decay, alas, it's been reclaimed, repurposed, and recycled.
A local Icelandic farmer has turned it into his very own sheep barn.
Quite inventive and creative, if you ask me, and very much environmentally conscious. And I appreciate that. Plus, it looks really cool. If this was on my property, I'd probably convert it into an art or music studio.
1 Fly No More
This airplane is missing its nose, and in its place, we see graffiti, lots of it. It's pretty clear that this aircraft isn't flying again any time soon. Especially because the pilot would be blown right out of his seat while flying. Of course, that's not speaking for the lack of wings, nose, and I'm sure engines or turbines that are completely unsalvageable. All this airplane is good for is scrap metal and as a canvas. It can be found in an aircraft graveyard near the city of Bangkok. Seems like there's quite a large number of abandoned graveyards for aircraft in the world.
Sources: medium.com, urbexsession.com, wired.com, uk.businessinsider.com