The most powerful — and mysterious — abandoned cities the world forgot

Tourists clamor to see Petra in Jordan, Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Machu Picchu in Peru — onetime megacities that now capture our imagination and fuel legends. But they’re not the only mythic spots. Here are some of the most mysterious abandoned locales in the world.

El Dorado/The Lost City of Z: Brazil

If you didn’t catch the 2017 film “The Lost City of Z,” you’re not alone: The movie grossed just over $8 million at the US box office. But the Muisca tribal city of El Dorado itself — which is said to contain mountains of gold — is the stuff of legend. Explorers have been seeking the mythical land since at least the 1500s. After first searching in Honduras and Colombia, archeologists hit pay dirt in 2010 when satellite imagery located promising remnants deep in an impenetrable jungle in the Mato Grosso state of Brazil. According to the Guardian: “The discovery was in line with a document in the National Library of Rio De Janeiro called Manuscript 512, written by a Portuguese explorer in 1753, who claimed to have found a walled city deep in the Mato Grosso region of the Amazon rainforest, reminiscent of ancient Greece.” Excavation has yet to commence, but the lure of the megalopolis’ untold treasures has caused several deaths. The area is also full of once cannibalistic tribes who are thought to have been responsible for the 1925 disappearance of explorer Sir Percy Fawcett and his entire team.

Hashima Island: Japan

Battleship Island in Japan off-limits to touristsJapan's Battleship Island

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