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Rusted ship stranded on sand bar in ocean.

The 5 Most Beautiful Ship Graveyards Around the World


Boat landfills have a quality that resembles an enigma, and this enigma’s beauty we will never be able to decipher.

The places where the hulls of old ships are left to disintegrate are usually remote, enveloped by a ghostly, beautiful aura where every ship comes to resemble a wooden and metallic whale that made its way to the surface to die.

Each one of these ships is a story and a testimony that there, where now rust rules, once was dwelled by sailors who soared the seas and saw things that now we can only imagine. The ship graveyards are something like an epic melancholy made-up from the suggestion of sails –– A truly majestic and serene scene that few of us have the privilege of seeing, even if there are many around the world. The following list comprises some of the most beautiful among them:

Mo’ynoq (Muynak/Moynaq), Uzbekistan

Rusted boats in desert.

The ancient port of the city is the host of many rusted ships, it was abandoned since 1980 due to the Aral Sea recession. The hulls are now found kilometers into the ocean, stranded on a sand desert.

Cemitério das Âncoras or the Anchor Cemetery, Tavira Island, Portugal

Lines of old anchors on beach.

A section of this beach is covered in ancient anchors. This spectacular landscape seems taken from an illustrated fantasy story. The anchors look out towards the sea, as if they were paying tribute to their past.

Nouadhibou Port, Mauritania

Rusted ship on beach.

This is the largest ship landfill on earth. More than 300 forgotten ships rest here since the Eighties, when the country’s fishing industry was nationalized.

Skeleton Coast, Namibia

Frame of rusted ship hull partially in water.

This is perhaps the most ghostly of sanctuaries. The ships’ “ribs” barely protrude the sand when the waves recede, looking like the whale and seal corpses. There are over a thousand buried ships here, slowly disappearing into the coast’s depths.

Grytviken, Georgia, South Atlantic

Two rusted ships on water's edge.

This settlement was established in 1904 by a Norwegian captain as a whale fishing station. It was closed in 1966, but the ships were left behind, to eerily decorate the chilled landscape with rust and solemnity.

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