Back to the Future: the Sanzhi UFO Houses in Taiwan

Have you ever seen a crash-landed UFO up close? Until five years ago, Taiwan had a reasonable facsimile thereof: a strange and spooky complex called the Sanzhi Pod Village.

Situated along a remote stretch of coastline in the Sanzhi district of Northern Taiwan, this luxury resort-turned-ghost town was abandoned in 1980 but continues to attract tourists and repel locals. Even after the buildings were torn down in 2010, visitors continued to converge on the area from all over the globe, drawn by the rumors of ongoing paranormal activity.

The pod village was originally intended as a vacation destination for wealthy travelers and U.S. military personnel posted in East Asia. It made sense at the time: UFOs were all the rage on television and in films. What vacationer would pass up the chance to relax on a beach with neon buildings shaped like flying saucers in the background?

kevinhung /

kevinhung /

A Series of Hauntings

The freaky but futuristic pod-shaped buildings followed two basic architectural designs: the flying saucer-shaped Futuro and the Venturo, a curved rectangle, both of which were made famous by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen. But two years after construction began in 1978, all development was suddenly – -and mysteriously — halted.

Government spokespeople claimed that investment losses were to blame. Others, however, insisted that the complex was doomed after workers damaged a Chinese dragon statue next to the entrance gate. Their reason was that the approach road needed widening and the dragon was in the way, but on the Chinese bad luck scale, defacing the statue was the equivalent of smashing a thousand mirrors. There were also whispers that over 20,000 skeletons, the remains of fifteenth century Dutch colonists, were unearthed when construction began, causing their angry spirits to retaliate.

Whatever triggered the problems, disaster followed fast. A number of fatal car accidents took place on the nearby highway, and at least one worker committed suicide. There were supposedly more deaths, but the Taiwanese government never released any numbers and refused to discuss the subject, even decades later. Site records were destroyed, which fanned the flames of speculation over Sanzhi’s mysterious collapse. Within a few years, the futuristic vacation spot deteriorated into an eerie ghost town.

Ruins of the Future

Colorful, quirky, and forlorn, the Sanzhi UFO houses became a fixture on the creepiest ghost town lists, earning nicknames like the “ruins of the future.” Instead of American serviceman and wealthy globetrotters, the place attracted urban explorers with a taste for the uncanny. Most of them brought cameras along, capturing the ruins of the pod village in all their dismal glory. Even MTV got in on the act, shooting some footage there.

Despite an online petition to retain at least one of the now-famous UFO houses as a museum, demolition work began in the village on December 29, 2008. There were plans to redevelop the site into a new and modern resort complete with upscale hotels and beach amenities. The last of the structures was razed in 2010, and there has been no word since, either on future developments or the activities of the spirits that may still haunt the grounds.



Most Interesting Small Towns to Visit in the United States

If you’re used to living in a city or a big suburb, it can be hard to picture what life is like outside of all the hustle and bustle. In fact, U.S. cities house 62.7 percent of the population (as of 2015), but take up just 3.5 percent of the land area — and those numbers continue to grow as more people move into cities every day. If you need to get away for a bit, check out some of these incredible American towns. They may be small, but they’ve all got their own unique attributes that make them popular vacation destinations.

Most Interesting International Fast Food Chains We Wish Would Come to the USA

To connoisseurs of fast food, visits abroad bring the opportunity to see how the rest of the world eats on the go. Although we have our own fast-food chains at home — many which have spread around the world — the most exciting chains around today are regional chains, which use local ingredients flavored to perfectly suit the local’s palate. To get a taste at what’s out there, here are some amazing international fast food chains we wish would come to the United States.

Travel Destinations to Consider in 2019

Whether you’re looking to escape the cold winter weather or boiling summer heat or experience a different culture, there are endless potential travel destinations for you to choose from. But making the right decision may be challenging. Here are some of the top destinations throughout the world that you may want to consider visiting during 2019.