These Are The 23 Quirkiest Towns In The World

The world is full of beautiful and wonderful cities waiting to be discovered. But while people usually visit the mainstream tourist resorts, there are tons of peculiar towns that also deserve to be known. In this list, we will show you the world’s craziest and most unique cities and towns in the world. From hippie communes to dwarf villages, these 23 places have one thing in common: they’re unbelievably strange. Don’t miss #9, #5, and #3!


#23. Hell, USA

Welcome to Hell! Believe it or not, this town is not fake, but it is a small rural hamlet in southern Michigan. So don’t you worry, the devil doesn’t live here, only a few dozens of people do. There’s actually not much to say about this town apart from its bizarre name. It was developed around a sawmill and a distillery, and very few people live here.

Photo: Courtesy of list25

As you may expect, this town became famous nationwide because of its name. In fact, Hell was featured on an episode of the Travel Chanel’s Extreme Towns, and it became even more popular thanks to KFC. It turns out that the famous fast-food chain held a promotional sweepstake named “Hotter Than Hell”, which gave away 500 coupons each day for free hot wings to entrants whose hometown’s temperature was higher than the one in Hell. Are you interested in knowing another town with a funny name? Then slide to #24!

#22. Nameless, USA

Even though there’s nothing particularly touristic about this town, we thought that it deserved to be included on our list for a very obvious reason: its ridiculous name. Who on earth would consider naming a town Nameless? As you may expect, thousands of people visit this town each year just to take a picture with the sign shown below.

Photo: Courtesy of list25

Up to this day, nobody is completely sure about the origin of this strange name. According to the most accepted version, when the local residents applied for a post office, the place for a name on the application sheet was left blank. Thus, when the US Post Office Department returned the application, the word “Nameless” had been stamped on the form. Why wasn’t the application rejected in the first place, one may wonder?

#21. Supilinn, Estonia

In recent years, the capital city of Tallinn has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Eastern Europe. The city’s Old Town, its many historic buildings and above all its UNESCO status is attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. However, not too far from Tallinn, you’ll find Supilinn, one of the strangest towns in Eastern Europe.

Photo: Courtesy of list25

If you enjoy the peace and serenity of rural life, then this is the place to go. And if you’re a vegetable fan, then think no further, this place will be your Disneyland! All of the town’s streets are named after vegetables, the reason for which it has been nicknamed “Soup Town“. Even though most of the houses lack advanced construction materials, it has a weird quaint charm.

#20. Thames Town, China

If you take a look at the picture below, you’ll probably wonder what’s so bizarre about it. After all, it’s just another random English town with ancient medieval architecture. But there’s a tiny detail missing, and it’s that this English town is not located in England… but in China! Believe it or not, it’s located right in the middle of Shanghai, one of China’s two biggest metropolitan centers.

Photo: Courtesy of Shanghai Squared

Apart from its English esthetic, this town has traditional English cuisine, and it even features the classic red phone booths found in London. So if you ever visit Shanghai, you can pay a visit to this small neighborhood, but if you’re expecting to get to learn about Chinese culture and to taste Chinese cuisine, then you should know that you won’t find any of that here.

#19. Roswell, USA

The New Mexico town of Roswell has left its mark in American popular culture. It became famous during the mid 20th century thanks to the so-called Roswell UFO incident of 1947. It turns out that a US Army air balloon crashed just a couple of miles outside Roswell, but since the accident, many ufologists have developed numerous conspiracy theories, claiming that the element that crashed on the ground was actually a UFO.

Photo: Courtesy of The World Is A Book

As one may imagine, ever since then this town became known as the “UFO Town“. The strangest part is that ever since the incident, many residents have claimed to have seen different unidentified flying objects in the sky, but none of these cases have been proven. What we can say is that the giant green statue of an alien does exist.

#18. Manshiyat Naser, Egypt

Manshiyat Naser is not a city itself, but a district located in the outskirts of Cairo, the capital city of Egypt. Most of this district’s territory is covered by the so-called “Garbage City“, which is a slum settlement with an economy that is centered in the collection and recycling of garbage. But why does it live out of garbage, you may wonder? Well, the thing is, this is the place all of Cairo’s Zabbaleens – or garbage collectors – live.

Photo: Courtesy of Reddit

The living conditions in Manshiyat Naser are quite poor; it lacks adequate infrastructure, sewers, and electricity, and seldom does it have running water. So if by any chance you ever pass through the streets of Garbage City, you won’t see much other than piles of garbage, dirt and decaying leftover items. Good luck with that!

#17. Lily Dale, USA

Do you believe in supernatural events? Well, if you are, then Lily Dale is definitely a place you’ll find intriguing. This American town is entirely made up of self-proclaimed mediums and psychics. It is meant to be a place for those people who have experienced a spiritual connection with someone else at some point in their lives.

Photo: Courtesy of list25

Even though the town’s population is merely estimated to be 275, Lily Dale receives nearly 20,000 visitors each year. These people come for classes, church services, mediumship demonstrations, and private appointment with mediums. Some residents even hold “supernatural” services for visitors, such as acts to resurrect the dead. It turns out that Netflix’s series Sabrina isn’t so fictional after all!

#16. Nimbin, Australia

The town of Nimbin is located in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales, Australia. This site grew famous during the late 60s and early 70s, when thousands of young college students, hippies, and misfits migrated to the town and transformed its culture. Ever since then, this place is regarded as a haven of Australian counterculture.

Photo: Courtesy of list25

Nimbin is quite famous for its many environmental initiatives such as permaculture, sustainability, and self-sufficiency, not to mention its cannabis counterculture. When asked what he thought about this town, writer Austin Pick answered the following: “It is as if a smoky avenue of Amsterdam has been placed in the middle of the mountains behind frontier-style building facades“.

#15. Elista, Russia

Are there any chess fans out there? Well, we’ve got some good news for you! The Russian town of Elista is more popularly known as the “Chess City” since it contains a whole area entirely themed around the game (or sport) of chess. However, this is not even the weirdest part.

Photo: Courtesy of list25

What makes this town even weirder is that it was built by the megalomaniac King Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, a major chess fan who claimed to have been abducted by aliens. According to him, the aliens gave him the mission of bringing chess to the citizens of Elista, so this motivated him to build the chess-themed park. Could it be more bizarre?

#14. Monowi, USA

This small town in Nebraska is famous worldwide for its population. Can you guess how many people live here? Only 1! The only resident of the town is an elderly woman who owns and runs a bar and a public library for visitors, which is located just right next to her house. As you can imagine, these are Monowi’s main buildings.

Photo: Courtesy of YouTube

Monowi is the only incorporated village in the US with such a population, and probably the only one in the world. The woman who lives there and runs the store also acts as the town’s Mayor; as such, she has granted herself a liquor license and she pays taxes to herself. How weird is that? However, this role also comes with many responsibilities: for example, she must produce an annual municipal road plan.

#13. Rennes-Le-Château, France

This picturesque little French town seems straight out from a postcard. As you can see in the picture below, it lies on a hilltop and is surrounded by the Cevennes mountains to the northeast and by the Pyrenees to the south. However, the striking mountain backdrop is not the reason for its popularity. Believe it or not, tens of thousands of people visit this village each year because of various conspiracy theories.

Photo: Courtesy of YouTube

Many of these conspiracy theories involve hidden treasures, unsolved murders, and secrets that go all the way back to the roots of Christianity and the true identity of Jesus Christ. For instance, it is believed that a 19th-century priest named Bérenger Sauniére found a buried mythical treasure right next to one of the town’s churches. Furthermore, this town has been one of Dan Brown’s main sources of inspiration for his best-seller The Da Vinci Code.

#12. Accident, USA

And we’re back to the funny names! Accident is a small rural town located in Garret County, Maryland. Just like the case of Hell, there is no certainty as regards the origins of its name, but it is believed that it comes from the 1786 survey. Reportedly, two friends accidentally claimed the same plot of land, and as a result, they decided to name it “accident”.

Photo: Courtesy of list25

But do you know what’s even funnier? According to writer Paul Dickson, people who are born in Accident are called Accidentals. But the truth is that it’s a very very small town: according to the 2010 census, there are only 325 Accidentals in the world! By accident, are any of you out there reading this article?

#11.  Bangkok, Thailand

During the past decade, Bangkok has become one of the most popular destinations in the world. In fact, since 2017 it has become the most visited city in the world, receiving nearly 21 million visitors each year… that’s even more than Paris! But there’s something that very few people know, and it’s that Bangkok is not the city’s true name, or at least not its full name!

Photo: Courtesy of list25

If you translate it to English, the full ceremonial name of this city is actually “City of angels, great city of immortals, magnificent city of the nine gems, seat of the king, city of royal palaces, home of gods incarnate, erected by Visvakarman at Indra’s behest“. Obviously, it holds the world record for the place with the longest name in the world. In the picture above, you can see the city’s name written in Thai.

#10. Longyearbyen, Norway

As you can tell from the picture below, the town of Longyearbyen is among the coldest on Earth. It is located on the Norweigan island of Svalbard, and it is one of the northern-most inhabited places in the world. Due to the freezing temperatures, houses are built on stilts in order to prevent the melting snow from flooding the homes during the summer.

Photo: Courtesy of list25

This town is known for its unique and bizarre laws. For instance, it is said that it has been declared illegal to die and be buried in the town since the frigid temperatures keep the corpses from decomposing properly. Furthermore, there is a law which bans the possession of cats. Even though this seems cruel and ridiculous, it actually makes sense:  as the ecosystem is so isolated, cats have been prohibited in order to protect the rich bird life on the island.

#9. The Villages, Florida

Just like the small Norweigan town we’ve just talked about, this small Florida community is famous for its peculiar rules and regulations. Actually, it’s not technically a city, but a census-designated place within Florida’s Sumter County, but we still thought it deserved a place in our top 10. To begin with, this area is age-restricted, because nobody under the age of nineteen can enter.

Photo: Courtesy of Realtor

But this is not all. Not only is it illegal for underage people to circulate the town, but those over nineteen must have a person older than 55 living with them, or else they’ll be forced to move out. As you may imagine, The Villages has become one of the most popular and fastest-growing retirement communities in the state.

#8. Coober Pedy, Australia

Coober Pedy is a small Australian town located in the middle of the desert. It is known as the “opal capital of the world” because of the number of precious opals that are found in the nearby mines. But what’s most striking about this town is that most of the city has been built underground into a network of abandoned mines.

Photo: Courtesy of Pinterest

It is believed that the city was built beneath the ground in order for the people to be protected from the red-hot daytime heat. In fact, many of its 1,700 inhabitants live in below-ground residences called dugouts. Don’t miss the chance of visiting this city, since it is full of beautiful underground hotels and motels. There are even underground markets and churches, such as the one shown above.

#7. Kowloon Walled City, Hong Kong

Kowloon Walled City was an ungoverned, densely populated settlement in Kowloon City, Hong Kong. It was initially conceived as a Chinese military fort, but it was later used as a residential area. Its population increased after the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during World War II, and by 1990, this small settlement was home to over 50,000 people.

Photo: Courtesy of Wikipedia

50,000 people maybe don’t sound so much… but what if I tell you that this walled city covered a territory of only two hectares? Believe it or not, there were 25,000 people living in each of the two blocks, thus setting the world record for history’s most densely populated settlement. As you can see in the picture above, this city was made up of tiny houses that were stacked one on top of the other. The settlement was evicted in 1994, but people can still visit the city’s ruins.

#6. Colma, USA

The small Californian town of Colma is commonly known as the “City of the Dead“. Do you know why? This town was actually founded as a necropolis, way back in 1924. Consequently, it is now home to many cemeteries, including a Jewish, a Chinese, and even a pet cemetery, among others.

Photo: Courtesy of The New York Times

Even though Colma has a population of 1,700, the population of the dead is thought to be nearly 1,5 million. That means that for every person alive, there are 882 corpses. Can you think of anything creepier? Evidently, locals take this with humor, since the official website reads: “It’s great to be alive in Colma“. It’s a pretty good joke, let’s give them that. Can you guess which our top 5 is?

#5. Gibsonton, USA

There is no doubt of the fact that Gibsonton, Florida, is one of the most fun towns in the world. But why? Traditionally, Gibsonton was a famous sideshow wintering town, since hundreds of people from the circus and carnival business would spend offseason. Because of this, it was also famous for some peculiar laws, such as the one that allowed residents to keep elephants and circus trailers on their front lawns.

Photo: Courtesy of list25

This town has been home to many unique characters, such as the famous Siamese twin sisters who ran a fruit stand. Nowadays, this small town has become a retirement spot and a home for people who have worked in the circus industry. This town is also home to many hilarious museums on the carnival and circus lifestyle.

#4. Hashima Island, Japan

Hashima Island is a Japanese island which went from a flourishing community to a ghost city in a matter of days. Also known as the “Battleship Island”, it was once famous for harboring one of the most important coal mines in the country. Believe it or not, during the 50s, the island’s population reached 5,300 people, constituting one of the places with the highest population density in the world!

Photo: Courtesy of Pinterest

However, in 1974 the coal mine closed down, and as a result, all of its inhabitants left the island in a matter of days. After all, the coal mine was literally the island’s only source of work and income. All of the buildings have been abandoned ever since, and in 2009, the island opened to visitors. So if you ever visit Japan, don’t miss the chance to travel through time!

#3. Yangsi, China

The Chinese village of Yangsi is like no other place in the world. Believe it or not, 40% of the adult population of this remote village exhibits dwarfism, which explains why it is often referred to as the “dwarf village”. However, if you’re dying to know the reason behind these astonishing figures, I’ve got some bad news for you: nobody knows.

Photo: Courtesy of Courtesy Feed

According to one of the theories, the high concentration of mercury in the soil is the reason behind this phenomena. Many people, however, are firmly convinced that this town is cursed. According to popular belief, a giant black turtle with strange feet has been tormenting the souls of the villagers for many generations. The mercury theory seems more feasible, right?

#2. Miyake-Jima, Japan

Japan’s back on our list! The town of Miyake-Jima is located at the base of an active volcano, the reason for which its inhabitants are dramatically exposed to extremely high levels of sulfur dioxide each day of the year. As a result, people must wear gas masks at all times as soon as they leave their house, just in case of spikes of toxic gas in the atmosphere.

Photo: Courtesy of La Piedra de Sísifo

And it’s not that these people are paranoid. The island’s volcano, Mount Oyama, has erupted a total of 13 times during these last 500 years. In fact, in 2000, a series of eruptions forced authorities to evacuate the island, which remained uninhabited for almost four years. Do you find this scary, bizarre, or both? I think both!

#1. Centralia, USA

This small Pennsylvania ghost town was once home to over 1,000 people, but nowadays, only 7 people live there. Can any of you guess what happened? Well, it turns out that in 1962 most of the residents were evacuated as a result of a coal mine fire. But what’s even more impressive is that this fire has been burning beneath the surface ever since then, making Centralia one of the most dangerous towns in the world.

Photo: Courtesy of history.com

During the last couple of decades, the underground fire has caused major sinkholes as well as the release of toxic gases. But despite these threats, there’s a tiny group of people that have refused to be relocated to other cities and have therefore chosen to remain in Centralia. These 7 fellas must really love their town!

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    Hernán Tamargo

    Teacher. Political Scientist. Writer. Feminist... and much more!

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