Abandoned Lighthouses 8. Aniva Rock
The Aniva lighthouse was built by the Japanese in 1939, on a chunk of rock off the southern coast of Sakhalin, a thin 950 km long island situated just east of Russia, between the sea of Japan and Russia’s Sea of Okhotsk. The island was largely uninhabited until the 1800’s, when both Japan and Russia became interested in annexing it; the Russians for use as a penal colony.
Almost a fairy-tale castle on the water.
That led to years of conflict, retrenchment, and buildup of military forces, with both nations agreeing to split the island across the 50th parallel. A ring of light-houses were built on Sakhalin’s rocky coast to signal incoming troop carriers and merchant ships.
After around 50 years of sharing the island, the Russians annexed it all in the Second World War, causing some half a million Japanese to be evacuated back to Hokkaido. In 1951 the Treaty of San Francisco was signed, officially handing tenure of the island over to the Russians, though plenty of territorial issues remain over surrounding, smaller islands.
A dangerous and rocky approach. Building the lighthouse required extensive blasting of the rock it sits upon to make a level surface.
Now the Aniva lighthouse is abandoned. Its seven stories of diesel engines, accumulator rooms, keeper’s living spaces, radio facilities, storerooms, large clockwork pendulum (for regulating optical system), and 300kg pool of mercury (as a low friction rotation surface for the lens) are still, and echo only with the crash of waves against the surrounding crags.
Now rusted and swarmed by gulls.
Isolated and perilous.
I read about this location first on English-Russia. There are interior photos taken by an urban explorer claiming that the lighthouse was radioactive, having been powered by a small nuclear unit that had breached. Though looking at the size of the structure and the total lack of evidence elsewhere on the net (that surely a breached nuclear site would attract), I rather doubt its true. It is dramatic though.
Apparently this reads Radioactive. Surely someone’s idea of a joke.
Dead Sentinels: 10 abandoned lighthouses
See many more abandoned places in the ruins gallery.
Explore more Japanese ruins (haikyo) in the galleries:
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You can also read SF & Fantasy stories inspired by ruins.
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