When the human body dies, we all know where it may end up – in an urn, a cemetery, or the bottom of the ocean, to name a few – but what about our material possessions? Do we really know where our things end up after they’ve ran their course? Don’t be so quick to assume that everything we discard is whisked away to the junkyard, the landfill, or the recycling center. Some objects are fortunate enough to be brought to a designated graveyard, where they can be discovered and cherished for many years to come.
Before you chuck your toothbrush, consider the fact that maybe there’s a place for you to respectfully lay it to rest. The same goes for other objects like neon signs, phone booths, and toilets. The world is filled with fascinating graveyards for abandoned things. Let’s take a look at 7 of them…
1. The Yellow Taxi Graveyard (Chongqing, China)
Decades ago in China, consumer goods such as personal vehicles and T.V.s were reserved for only wealthy folks. The common man had no choice but to hail a taxi every time he needed to go somewhere. Because of that, China was overridden with yellow taxis. In 1978, the Chinese economy started growing and, thirty four years later, it’s still going strong. Personal vehicles become more and more accessible to the Chinese middle class, and the yellow taxis eventually become obsolete. The government had to put them somewhere, so they created this yellow taxi graveyard.
2. The Island of Abandoned Dolls (Mexico City, Mexico)
This island, located in the middle of an ancient lake, is chock full of abandoned dolls hung from trees, tied to fences, and scattered across the ground. The story behind this is very strange. In the 1950s, an eccentric man named Don Julian Santana left his family and lived like a hermit on this island. One day, he found a little girl’s body floating in the water, so he started collecting thousands of discarded dolls because he thought they would keep the little girl’s spirit company on the lonely island. Don Julian spent the last 50 years of his life collecting dolls and decorating the island with them until his death in 2001. Visitors have reported hearing the dolls whispering as they passed them.
3. The Neon Boneyard (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Want to know what Vegas was like 30 years ago? This neon boneyard can show you. Located north of Old Vegas, the six-acre boneyard features old neon signs from iconic old casinos and other businesses. It’s owned by the Neon Museum, an independent non-profit. Here, you’ll discover some of the signs that were shown in old Hollywood movies like Mars Attacks, National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation, and Honey, I Blew Up the Kid.
4. Cemiterio das Ancoras (Tavira Island, Portugal)
Every anchor has its own story. This anchor graveyard on Portugal’s Tavira Island has several hundred rusted anchors lined up among the dunes. Each anchor used to belong to a fisherman who lost his livelihood when the tuna population dwindled and eventually abandoned the coasts. Since Tavira Island thrived on the tuna fishing industry, its economy was hit pretty hard when the tuna supply dried up. The fishermen had to find a new field of work. This anchor graveyard serves as a memorial for the island’s former tuna fishing industry.
5. The Toothbrush Fence (Te Pahu, New Zealand)
Located on a quiet rural road, this toothbrush fence boasts hundreds of used toothbrushes sent in from all over the world. This all began when a local man named Laird McGillicuddy Graeme Cairns started hanging up his own collection of used toothbrushes. Soon enough, people began adding their own toothbrushes to the fence. Even famous people like New Zealand’s Prime Minister Helen Clark and Academy Award-winning musician Bret McKenzie added their toothbrushes to the collection. If you can’t make it to New Zealand, you can mail in your toothbrush! The address is: The Toothbrush Bucket / 294 Limeworks Loop Road, / Te Pahu, R D 5 / Hamilton / New Zealand
6. The Toilet Waterfall (Guangdong, China)
After having served people for years, ten thousand used toilets went on to become part of a giant waterfall. Designed by famous Chinese artist Shu Yong, the waterfall is 328 feet long and 16.4 feet tall. While the toilets have a new purpose, the waterfall is still a collection of old and abandoned toilets, each of which has its own history.
7. The Phone Booth Graveyard (Newark-on-Trent, UK)
This unusual graveyard lies in an abandoned industrial estate. Scattered across it are red phone booths from various time periods. Some are 85-year-old kiosks, and some are modern state-of-the-art models. When one of Britain’s red phone boxes gets damaged and cannot be repaired, it ends up here. Red phone booths are becoming popular, so people from all over the world are lining up to buy one from this graveyard. Be sure to check it out before the entire graveyard clears up!