The Ultimate Abandoned Cities Quiz

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

There's no doubt that the world's deserted cities have seen better days, but what caused these mass evacuations? Whether you're walking through the rustic ghost towns of the American frontier or the cities torn apart by environmental and industrial mishap, abandoned cities are fascinating views into the past. How much do you know about the world's most famously forgotten places?

Which of the following abandoned settlements experienced an extraordinary drought despite its proximity to the ocean?

Settlers at Roanoke Island most likely struggled through drought conditions, but no one knows what exactly happened to this "Lost Colony."


In 1986, residents and workers at Prypiat, Ukraine, were evacuated from the city because of which event?

After an explosion at a nuclear power station at Chernobyl, the city was evacuated to prevent further exposure to radiation.


Which well-known ghost town in Arizona got its namesake from the wife of Julius Andrews, the town's mining camp store owner?

Tough luck, Taylor and Fredonia! Andrews originally named the town's post office "Ruby" after his wife, and it eventually became the town's name as well.


What modern city was recorded as the most densely populated on Earth before it was abandoned in 1974?

Hashima Island boasted a record of 1,391 people per hectare in its most crowded residential district.


Which desolate mining town in Chile was declared a World Heritage site in 2005?

After the demand for nitrate waned, the towns of Humberstone and Santa Laura were abandoned and later preserved as historical sites.


The city of Pompeii was buried beneath layers of pumice and ash in A.D. 79 by an eruption from which volcano?

One of several volcanoes in Italy, Mount Vesuvius showered the city with ashes, creating the fragile, ash-covered figures associated with Pompeii.


Roger Avary, screenwriter for the horror film "Silent Hill," was influenced by which of the following abandoned cities?

Avary thought Centralia was a hot spot for movie horror -- literally. After an underground coal fire relentlessly burned under the city for several years, residents started moving away in the early 1980s.


What strange structures were left behind in Sanzhi, Taiwan?

Workers stopped building several resort-like UFO houses in Sanzhi after rumors of ghosts followed fatal accidents at the site.


Which abandoned hamlet now lies in a national park north of New York City?

Though Haverstraw and Clarkstown are nearby (and intact), what's left of Doodletown lives on through building foundations covered in overgrown vegetation.


If you were to venture to Elkhorn, Mont., in the 1870s to strike it rich, which of the following metals would be the easiest to mine?

You could try mining aluminum and gold, but you'll definitely have better luck finding silver at Elkhorn.


Which of the following is NOT an abandoned city?

Both Jamestown and Oradour were abandoned, but Savannah remains a populous port city in the Southeastern U.S.


Before becoming a part of the Kalaupapa National Historical Park in Hawaii, a portion of the island Molokai served as a colony for whom?

Kingdom of Hawaii government officials, fearful of disease, segregated people infected with leprosy in 1865 and sent them to live on the island.


Which of the following cities does NOT have part of its territory submerged underwater?

The ancient city of Herculaneum was definitely submerged, all right -- but in mud, not water -- after Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79.


With vacation spots named after the legendary lost city of Atlantis, which resort company owns property in the Bahamas and Dubai?

Kerzner International initially spent more than $800 million to recreate its first Atlantis-themed resort.


Discovery Channel explored how to survive and rebuild after catastrophic situations in which TV show?

Bear Grylls knows how to survive in the wild, but "The Colony" shares survival skills with viewers in a more urban setting.


Which popular gold rush town became desolate in the wake of new mining projects to the east, World War I and the Great Depression?

Though all three towns struck gold, Bodie became increasingly desolate because of competition to the east, the first world war and a poor economy.


The Kowloon Walled City was a derelict city in which country?

After years of debate, the Chinese government evacuated the city and demolished all but a few structures. The city, located in the Hong Kong administrative region of the People's Republic of China, was largely unmanaged and degraded.


Times Beach, Mo., was evacuated after the EPA found which contaminant in its soil?

Released in contaminated oil used on the city's roads, the toxic chemical dioxin posed health risks to Times Beach residents, who were relocated permanently by 1986.


Which abandoned city in Turkey is known for its 2,000 empty stone houses?

Inhabitants of Kayaköy gradually deserted the city during World War I and after the Turkish War of Independence in the early 1920s.


Which mineral fiber associated with mesothelioma and other lung-related illnesses spurred the permanent evacuation of Wittenoom, Australia?

The Government of Western Australia evacuated Wittenoom because of its previous asbestos mining operations. Asbestos was often used as insulation in buildings.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!