Amazing Planet

The Now-Abandoned Battleship Island

Excited for today's eclipse? Visit our Eclipse 2017 page to explore the science, history, and myths of the event. The Curiosity team will be viewing the eclipse alongside NASA in Carbondale, Illinois. Follow us on Facebook for live videos, trivia, and interviews today!

At the end of the 1800s, the Mitsubishi Corporation discovered a one square kilometer island off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan. Hashima Island was situated upon an enormous coal reserve, and the corporation began mining the island. A city was built to support the miners, and a giant sea wall was erected to protect them. The structures gave the island a shape that inspired the nickname of the place: Battleship Island. Unfortunately, the majority of the miners were Chinese and Korean prisoners of war, and were forced to work in very dangerous conditions. At the end of World War II, an estimated 1,300 coal miners had died on the island. Once the Mitsubishi factory closed in the 1970s, all the people left. It has been abandoned ever since.

Share the knowledge!

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Hashima Island used to be the most densely populated places in the world, but is now abandoned. 00:00

  2. At the end of WWII, an estimated 1,300 miners had died on Hashima Island. 01:00

  3. The forced laborers of Hashima Island called it "Jail Island" or "Hell Island." 02:23

If you liked this you'll love our podcast! Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, search 'curiosity' on your favorite podcast app or add the RSS Feed URL.