Hashima Island, Japan
Credit: Getty Images

The future wasn't kind to the residents of Japan's Hashima Island, which is sometimes called Gunkanjima or Battleship Island (because of its shape) or Ghost Island (because of its residential population). At its peak in the late 1950s, approximately 5,200 coal miners and their families lived on the island because of its easy access to the nearby undersea mines. But then along came petroleum, which replaced coal as the country's main fuel source during the 1960s, and the island's population of miners packed up and moved on, leaving what looks like an abandoned battleship in their wake.

Getting there: In 2009, the site opened up to visitors, though the weather will determine whether you'll be able to sail around the island or actually step foot on it. Tour operator Yamasa Kaiun offers two daily cruise departures.