Australia’s asbestos site is known to be the most contaminated site in the entire southern hemisphere. It’s also one of the most toxic out there. For some strange and unexplained reason however, tourists can’t seem to keep themselves away from the area near the Pilbara region of Western Australia known as Wittenoom.
Once upon a time, when the area of Wittenoom was in its prime between 1930 and 1966, it housed nearly 20,000 locals. Most of the village’s inhabitants worked in nearby mines that are now abandoned, and would extract asbestos for a living.
Today, Wittenoom is a ghost town, filled with danger signs, warning people to stay away. Although the mining of asbestos stopped years ago, the area is still covered in nearly three million tonnes of its residue – making the air potentially even deadly. The Australian government has even required the very last three people living in Wittenoom to evacuate, taking over their homes just to ensure their safety.
Despite all these dangers that have been made public, thousands of tourists come to the site annually to share their photos on Instagram and Facebook. According to experts, even a quick visit to the mining can have severe consequences – even fatal.
Authorities have been doing everything possible to keep people from coming, removing road signs, disconnecting the power, and placing warning signs everywhere – but it seems as though this new trend of ‘extreme tourism’ knows no limits.