Unearthing 12 of the World’s Strangest Towns to Visit

We all have a bucket list of places we would love to visit at some point in our lives. While those places probably center towards places like Hawaii, Italy, or maybe France, there are smaller towns around the world that are pretty strange. When travelers met in an online forum, they discussed odd towns they’d visited worldwide. Will any of these end up on your list?

1. Oamaru, New Zealand

Oamaru, New Zealand
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Oamaru is a small town located on the southeastern tip of New Zealand. It is most known for its penguin colony and limestone structures. A forum participant who traveled there stated, “One of the weirdest (in a positive way) towns I’ve ever visited was Oamaru in New Zealand. When I arrived, I was expecting a very normal, small and quiet town but found something very different! Most of the buildings were extremely elegant and very European-looking; the people were some of the most unique, friendly, and artistic ones I’ve ever met. It’s full of art galleries and magic-related shops. Moreover, there’s also a steampunk museum where people collect what would be considered ‘trash’ and turn it into art!”

2. Norilsk, Russia

Norilsk, Russia
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Located on the Arctic Circle, this town is located in the northern part of Russia. Even though travel here is not very common due to its cold weather, people still venture here. Norilsk is unique because it is ranked in the top 10 most polluted places on Earth due to the harmful metals in its air. This is caused by Russia being home to the world’s largest heavy metal smelting complex.

3. Youngstown, Ohio

Youngstown, Ohio
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

A traveler passed through Youngstown while on a road trip. He reported it was a normal-looking town on the outside, but little by little, he began to see some nicer-looking houses and gas stations. “But then, as I kept walking, I noticed some things,” he explains. “I walked by a house that looked like it was burned. The whole house was charred but wasn’t demolished for some reason. I kept walking. Occasionally, there would be a beat-up house along the nice-looking houses in between.” The traveler states that the houses around look very creepy and even haunted.

4. Centralia, Pennsylvania

Centralia : The abandoned PA town
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Centralia is a small town in the middle of Pennsylvania. One individual says, “Almost all of the houses have been torn down, so if it weren’t for my GPS, I wouldn’t have even known that I was in Centralia. The town has been abandoned for so long, and vegetation has taken over so much that Centralia looks like a part of the highway now.” This town is abandoned due to coal mine fires that started in the 1960s and have continued to burn. Adding to the strange factor, there is a creepy church at the top of a large hill; when the traveler was at the church, a mysterious car appeared behind their vehicle and spied on them the rest of the time.

5. Luxora, Arkansas

West Memphis, Arkansas
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

This broken-down town in Arkansas is reportedly filled with unique people. One forum participant visited and said, “We saw some weird anomalies there, and I immediately noted that this was the weirdest place I’d ever been in America. Precisely every third house was burned to the ground on one street… a clerk looked like a zombie. Most of the cities on this list have odd scenery. Luxora had more than that, with a very weird vibe amongst the people.”

6. Springdale, Nevada

Nelson Ghost Town, Nevada
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

With one paved road and a couple of buildings throughout, the closest gas station may be miles away from you. Another individual had to say, “No modern pictures even exist on the Internet, so looking at it from Google Street View will have to do. It is literally in the middle of nowhere. To truly feel the oddity of the town’s survival, you have to travel between Las Vegas and Reno to understand the nothingness that surrounds Springdale during a drive through the desert.”

7. Schurz, Nevada

Mineral County, Nevada.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

A very tiny place with almost no business at all, this town is located on the eastern side of Nevada, bordering California. One person claims it feels like a complete ghost town. This individual stated, “After sunset, it’s completely silent and deserted. But someone’s paying a lot for significant street lighting in this tiny town in the middle of the desert.” There is minimal movement during the day, so it gets even creepier at night.

8. Huslia, Alaska

The Alaska Highway
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Huslia is a small, remote town that almost nobody, even within Alaska, knows about. Someone who had visited states, “I’ve probably statistically eliminated Huslia as being the least known town now. Oops. With fewer than 400 people, it’s among only 149 incorporated towns in Alaska. A few hundred homes lie in this city founded in the 1960s, with only a few roads leading nowhere. It isn’t connected to Alaska’s road system, so you can’t drive to Huslia. You can only fly since every road dead ends.” With an estimate of less than 70,000 total people knowing about this location, this is a very odd place indeed.

9. Rapidan, Virginia

Rapidan, Virginia
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“This tiny Southern community is frozen in time, and not in a charming way, but more like a weird apocalyptic movie set kind of way. I immediately added it to my travel log as one of the weirdest places through which I’ve driven in America,” a forum participant stated. Rapidan is located in northern Virginia, with a population of about 1,400. A  Civil War battlefield nearby adds to the strangeness visitors report.

10. Coober Pedy, Australia

Coober Pedy, Australia - November 1, 2010: Underground Serbian Church. Coober Pedy is an opal mining town and known for its underground dwellings, built against the heat, known as dugouts
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

This Australian town is primarily known for its opal gemstones and is the world’s capital for this gem. While living in an opal-filled place seems fun, about 3,500 inhabitants have to live underground due to how hot it is, with temperatures reaching 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

11. Longyearbyen, Norway

The colorful houses of the town of Longyearbyen, the largest settlement and the administrative center of Svalbard, Norway
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Longyearbyen is the northernmost city in the world, which means the temperatures in this town are also very frigid. It is an extraordinary place; the sun sets for the last time on October 25th and will not rise again for another four months. If you want to see the Northern Lights, it’s an excellent place to visit — if you can brave the cold and don’t mind not seeing the sun.

12. Chugwater, Wyoming

Chugwater, Wyoming
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

With almost nothing to do here, this tiny town lies in the southeastern corner of Wyoming. Its population is about 178 people and only covers about 3 square miles. Chugwater is not known for anything except lousy weather and destructive tornados.

Sources: Quora, MapQuest.

10 Major US Cities That Offer Quick Access to Nature’s Beauty

Happy couples enjoying vacation in beachPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

Who doesn’t like going on a relaxing (or strenuous, depending on your preference) hike that isn’t far from the middle of a bustling city? Millions of Americans hike at least once yearly, and most live close to bigger towns offering nearby trails just out of city limits. Recently, experienced hikers met in an online discussion to reveal the best U.S. cities that provide the quickest access to excellent hikes.

America’s Top 15 Hauntingly Creepy Destinations Would You Visit?

scared woman running

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Spooky spots have left the sweat-drenching scenes of nightmares; they now live on some eerie streets of America, sending shivers down the spine of adventurers who dare step foot on their soil. From abandoned asylums screaming that you steer clear of the knobs of their doors to haunting lighthouses remembered for the darkness they hold, tales of paranormal activities bind the land of the free, and an internet fandom of the dark vets these destinations as the creepiest of them all.

12 Famous American Small Towns That You Can Visit Today

Traveling with friends

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

When we think of small American towns, specific images come to mind. Do you picture a place like the fictional towns of Stars Hollow, Cabot Cove, or Mayberry? It’s undeniable that little towns across the US have the wholesome, nostalgic, peaceful qualities we imagine. But smaller cities are more varied than we might think. Contributors on an online forum shared some of the most famous, and the choices may surprise you.

10 Expert Travel Hacks for Solo Female Tourists

Solo woman traveler enjoying in beach

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Traveling solo is challenging, especially for females. While the thrill of exploring a new place is exhilarating, there are plenty of tips and tricks savvy travelers swear by. Recently, solo female travelers met in an online discussion, put their heads together, and came up with a list of the essential travel hacks for any woman embarking on a solo adventure of a lifetime.

11 Tips for Staying Calm and Collected While Flying

Woman having headache in plane

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

For millions of travelers worldwide, flying is the opposite of a calm and peaceful experience. Flight anxiety is real, and sometimes it can be crippling, especially during turbulence. However, hope is not lost! Recently, frequent fliers met in an online discussion to reveal the best tips and strategies for staying calm during your next flight.

This article was initially published and syndicated by The Cents of Money.

Leave a Comment