5 Dark Tourism Destinations From Around the World

When it comes to tourism, we all prefer to spend our vacation somewhere, where all our worries perish away. But the world is not always about happy places, and during the million years of human history, our planet has seen several tragedies. To commemorate these disasters, atrocities, and to pay tribute to the victims, several sites are declared Dark Tourism sites. It involves traveling to places, which are historically associated with unnatural deaths and tragedies, which get under your skin.

Here, we will discuss those dark places, which are still there to tell the tales of the darkest phase of human history. But before you visit these dark sites, take a note that it can be depressing and can live as a haunted memory with you forever.

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The Murambi Genocide Memorial

It is not new to the world that Rwanda has always been a victim of crime and inhumanity. The massacres and genocides are common here. One such horrendous incident took place in Murambi in 1994, a small Rwandan town, where more than 50,000 Tutsi people were killed brutally by people from the Hutu ethnic group.

The Murambi Genocide Memorial came into existence one year after the massacre. The site contains 50,000 graves, and the museum exhibits the skeletons and mummified bodies of the victims. Today, it is a popular site for dark tourism and history enthusiasts visit this site to know about this ethnic genocide.

Chernobyl, Ukraine

If you have watched the Amazon Prime show Chernobyl, you probably have the idea of how devastating it was for the people of Pripyat. Even today, this radioactive explosion is haunting the people of the region. The explosion from Reactor 4 of the power plant took place on 26th April, 1986 and went on to become the worst accident of mankind.

It was once a home to over 120,000 people, majority of whom were the employees of the powerplant. However, due to the explosion, the entire town became a ghost town within a day. Although it killed 32 people and left many injured, the memories of it still haunts the people. Moreover, it still has the most radioactively contaminated areas, which are restricted for civilians. However, you can take a guided tour from Kyiv to visit some areas, which are decontaminated.

Pearl Harbor

With over 1.8 billion visitors annually, Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, is one of the most visited disaster tourism sites in the world. People visit the harbor to pay homage to the fallen heroes of World War II, who were martyred by a surprise attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service in 1941. The air attack was carried out by 353 Imperial Japanese aircraft and damaged eight US naval battleships, sinking four of them. This attack led to the formal entry of the US into WWII.

Today, millions of visitors come here and pay homage to the martyrs. So, take a flight from Phoenix to Hawaii, and check this place out. The main attraction is the Arizona Memorial, which marks the resting place of 1,102 of 1,177 sailors and marines, killed on USS Arizona during the attack. You can take a n audio and video tour and visit the museums to know more about the fateful day.

Hiroshima & Nagasaki

Who doesn’t know about the tragic attomic bomb explosion of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 by the USA, which claimed 129,000 to 226,000 people of these two cities. It were normal days for the people of these two cities, when the USA dropped the bombs on the city, immediately killing 80,000 people, all of them civilians. It remains a part of the darkest history of mankind.

The entire world has seen the devastation it caused and it remained the only use of nuclear weapons in armed conflict. Those who survived the bombings later died of cancer, lukemia, and other terrible side effects from the radiation. Today, there is a Peace Memorial and a pagoda, where visitors honor the victims of the Nuclear attack.

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, Berlin

Whenever we talk about the concentration camps, the first thing that comes to our mind is the horrific acts of Nazi brutality against the Jews. The tourists visiting Berlin never miss paying their respects to the victims at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. This German Nazi concentration camp was used between 1936 and 1945. It mainly used to hold political prisoners, including Yakov Dzhugasville, the son of Joseph Stalin.

There was a gas chamber and a medical experimentation area, where prisoners were treated inhumanely. Moreover, overall, 30,000 prisoners died in the camp, due to extreme exhaustion, malnutrition, and disease. Many were executed or died as a result of the inhumane medical experimentation. However, after WWII, the camp was turned into a national memorial in 1856.

Final Words

There shouldn’t be any term like Dark Tourism or any Dark Phase of human history. But unfortunately, there is. No matter how absurd and depressing it may sound, the tragic sites are still standing to tell the stories of its catastrophic past. To know about the history of these sites and learn how greed for power and hatred turned humans against its own species, visit these places.