17 Photographs of Ghostly Ship Graveyards Around the World

Have you every heard of a ship graveyard? A ship graveyard (or ship cemetery) describes an area where several shipwrecks have accumulated or where abandoned ships are left to rust away. Sometimes the abandoned ships are no longer seaworthy, but at other times the waters they plow dry up. That’s what happened with the Aral Sea captured in several shots here—once one of the world’s largest lakes, the sea has nearly vanished in the decades since the rivers which fed it were diverted. These ship graveyards exist in every continent excluding only Antarctica.

In these photographs, you can see the death of the boats, the rust and decay. With modern environmental regulations, ship graveyards are becoming less common since the hulks leech dangerous chemicals; ships today are more likely to be recycled for their metal. Yet these eerie resting places strike us as sublime.

Kazakhstan, Aral Sea

ship graveyard Kazakhstan, Aral Sea
via Staecker / CC BY-SA 3.0

River Rance, France

ship graveyard River Rance
via user:Clipper / CC BY-SA 3.0

Nouadhibou, Mauritania

ship graveyard Nouadhibou, Mauritania
via Sebastián Losada / CC BY-SA 2.0

Blue Douro, Portugal

ship graveyard Blue Douro, Portugal
via tm / CC BY-SA 2.0

Chittagong, Bangladesh

ship graveyard Chittagong, Bangladesh
via Shipwreck-65 / CC BY-SA 2.0

Darwin Harbour, Australia

ship graveyard Darwin Harbour
via Sanders, William Charles

Derwent River, Tasmania

ship graveyard Derwent River, Tasmania

Grytviken, South Georgia, South Atlantic

ship graveyard Grytviken, South Georgia, South Atlantic
via Lieutenant Philip Hall

Half Moon Bay, Victoria

ship graveyard Half Moon Bay, Victoria
via Dpoirier / CC BY-SA 3.0

Homebush Bay, New South Wales

ship graveyard Homebush Bay
via Mattes / CC BY-SA 2.0

Malabar, New South Wales

ship graveyard Malabar, New South Wales
via ANMM The Commons

Mallows Bay, Maryland

ship graveyard Mallows Bay
via Amazur / CC BY-SA 3.0

Moynaq, Aral Sea

ship graveyard Moynaq, Aral Sea 1
via russavia / CC BY-SA 2.0
ship graveyard Moynaq, Aral Sea 2
via Sebastian Kluger / CC BY-SA 3.0

River Humber, Victoria

ship graveyard River Humber, Victoria
via Paul Glazzard / CC BY-SA 2.0

Skeleton Coast, Namibia

ship graveyard Skeleton Coast, Namibia
via Joachim Huber / CC BY-SA 2.0

Photos via Wikimedia Commons

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