Google employee forced to wander alone on eerie abandoned island for Street View photos


Google Street View recently sent out one intrepid employee to explore the completely abandoned Japanese island of Gunkanjima.

The Google employee not only had to haul a hundred pounds of R2D2-like robotic equipment on his back, but had to endure what was probably a terrifying solo walk around the eerie and undoubtedly haunted island.

Gunkanjima (“Battleship Island”) is actually a nickname for the island of Hashima which, lo and behold, looks a lot like a battleship from afar. The island was inhabited for around a hundred years, primarily by coal miners harvesting the rock until the 1970s when petroleum mostly supplanted coal in Japanese industry. As the coal mines shut down, the island’s approximately 5,000 inhabitants had no choice but to pack up and head back to the mainland; there were no other jobs on the island since, you know, a tiny, isolated landmass of concrete apartment buildings and coal mines is a bad place to start a McDonald’s franchise.

Although the island was finally reopened to the public in 2009, after 35 years of being declared off-limits, it’s kind of a hike getting out there and we hear the amenities suck, so you might be better off satisfying your curiosity with a Street View search or the video below.

Source: Byokan Sunday

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Battleship Island: Five Reasons Why More Movie Villains Should Live Here -- Pigeon people flock to Google Street View in Tokyo -- Japan’s Lesser Known Natural Treasures: A Photo Journey

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World Heritage application - yet another one - this time for UNESCO World Heritage site as one of The Modern Industrial Heritage Sites in Kyushu and Yamaguchi. In August 2006, the Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry decided to support the World Heritage designation proposal in an attempt to promote the utilization of the Meiji-Era industrial heritage, including Hashima, as tourism resources in the Kyushu and Yamaguchi region.

However, the submission is contested by South Korean authorities, who object on the grounds that the coal mining facilities on the island employed forced Korean and Chinese labourers during World War II.

Of the local Japanese who worked there, 4-5 died each month in accidents, the pit face was more than 600 metres deep, nearly 2,000 feet underground; and so narrow, people had to bend to work there. The mine was dedicated to providing coal for their own steamships. Mitsubishi Mining were a notoriously brutal employer, to their fellow Japanese as well as the war-time slaves, and at their other mines in Japan.

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of those 500 220 were tortured and killed.

There is a very moving testimony from a Korean survivor in this online description


However, it doesn't match your description; the survivor describes cruel guards and many accidents; but not 220 deliberate murders. If you are exaggerating make a point, you are doing more damage than good.

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There are dozens of photographers who travel across Japan to walk through ruins (called haikyo廃墟),abandoned amusement parks, Hotels, factories and what else. And guess what, not only do they enjoy it a lot, but they also do it mostly alone, at the crack of dawn so as not to be caught. They would have paid to be able to wander around those ruins off the guided tours.

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Definitely on my list of places I have to go to at least once in my life. Thank you Google for making it possible to take a peek in advance.

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It's actually pretty dangerous to be tromping through buildings that haven't been maintained for half a century. The people were more in danger of falling debris than they were in danger of "ghosts".

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and the others who thumbs downed me,

oops, I guess it didn't get across- my post was sarcasm. as you said "tongue in cheek"

I do not understand those saying "fun". I couldn't imagine having fun there. Maybe if I was a kid...

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" undoubtedly haunted island."


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The island featured in 'Skyfall', the latest 007 movie, but there was no actual filming on the island. Instead, production designer Dennis Gassner visited the island and oversaw construction of an impressive facsimile at the 007-dedicated stage at Pinewood Studio (U.K.)

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Looks fun!!

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I'd love to go there.

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Google, my other brain!

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Haha thank goodness for Google Maps

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Google employee forced to wander alone on eerie abandoned island for Street View photos

Certainly he was not alone. If he was alone then who captured him in video. Its a Google advertisement where they are just showing capabilities of capturing everything on Google street view available in Japan, which many advanced and developing countries are opposing to. Good for Japan to check Google's link with NSA

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I think Gunkan island is fascinating and I am glad I can Googleview it now. but to claim it is "haunted" --- really now. the journalist should get a grip. And I am sure the Google guy was not "forced" to that, but rather enjoyed the experience.

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He wasnt forced to do anything, and he certainly was not alone....pfffft

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Like I said, its rocket news, if you are unable to comprehend that, then its your problem, no need to get your knickers in a twist over it.

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Exactly my thoughts Heda.

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So the satelite zooms in next to him? In front of him and then behind him? Is that how hi- technology works these days? And did you really not notice where the video went from real to map/image?

And Tokoyo, if it was meant to be tongue in cheek then they should report it that way and not say that it was a terrifying solo walk when there was clearly a film crew with him.

Sorry, but I still expect that when the media make factual claims that they are actual facts as opposed to exaggerations to create a story.

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what are you talking about hedaa?

it's the satellite filming him while he films the satellite. didn't you see the pull-back from the island at the end? like, that's how hi technology works these days!

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I think its supposed to be tongue in cheek...lighten up a little - the source is rocket news after all...

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A perfect example of the media sensationalising a story for it's own benefit...

Google employee forced to wander alone on eerie abandoned island for Street View photos

It's pretty impressive that not only was he FORCED to wander ALONE but he also managed to video himself doing it... unless of course there was another film crew with him? But that can't be the case otherwise the story would have been incorrect...

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