The Ghost Town Being Swallowed by Sand

Your Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
June 7 2013 12:00 PM

Kolmanskop Is Being Buried by the Desert

Atlas Obscura on Slate is a new travel blog. Like us on FacebookTumblr, or follow us on Twitter @atlasobscura

People flocked to what became known as Kolmanskop, Namibia, after the discovery of diamonds in the area in 1908. As people arrived with high hopes, houses and other key buildings were built. The new town, which was German-influenced, saw the construction of ballrooms, casinos, theaters, ice factories, and hospitals, as well as the first X-ray station in the southern hemisphere.

Prior to World War I, over 2,000 pounds of diamonds were sifted from the sands of the Namib desert. During the war, however, the price of diamonds dropped considerably. On top of this, larger diamonds were later found south of Kolmanskop, in Oranjemund. People picked up and chased after the precious stones. By 1956, the town was completely abandoned.

Advertisement

Today, the eerie ghost town is a popular tourist destination. Guided tours take visitors around the town and through the houses which, today, are filled only with sand.

More photos of Kolmanskop can be seen on Atlas Obscura.

Disappearing under the desert:

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 21 2014 2:00 PM Colin Farrell Will Star in True Detective’s Second Season
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.