The World’s Most Depressing Place Names

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There are some really sad places on earth. Countries torn by war and violence. Countries reeling under poverty. Those places are truly depressing. But there are also places stuck in perpetual despair, but only by name. A new Instagram account called Sad Topographies by Australian artist Damien Rudd is dedicated to showcasing these places.

"I initially came across a place in Australia … called Mount Hopeless. The name kind of caught me off guard and I decided to come back later and research it," Damien Rudd told CBC.  "I actually found that there were many more places that had surprisingly depressing names. That kind of got me started on the project."

sad-topographies

Many of these depressing place names are connected to the dark history of early colonialism, and the mishaps of explorers and settlers. Communities are hesitant to change the names of these places because of their historical context.

"I think once you become accustomed to a name, you don't really hear it like an outsider would," he says. "There's a certain type of history that gets lost when you change names."

Rudd finds these places by typing sad words into Google Maps.

Here is a short list of some of the places Rudd has found so far.

disappointment-island

Disappointment Island, one of seven uninhabited islands in the Auckland Islands archipelago, near New Zealand, has a disappointing history. In 1866, a ship crashed into the towering cliffs on the west coast of Auckland Island resulting in the death of 68 passengers. 15 survivors made their way to the island, where they waited eighteen months for rescue. Then in 1907, another ship crashed on the shores of Disappointment Island. Twelve men drowned and sixteen survivors waited seven months for rescue.

slaughter-beach

Slaughter Beach, is a town in Sussex County, Delaware, United States. There are at least three stories of where the town's name came from: The first is that it was named after William Slaughter, a local postmaster in the mid-19th century. The second story claims that the name came from the horseshoe crabs that wash up on shore and die each year. They come near shore to shallow water to lay their eggs and the low tide strands them leaving them to die. The third story, and the most contested source of the town's name, stems from a local legend which tells of a man named Brabant who, in the mid-18th century, slaughtered several indigenous inhabitants by cannon in order to prevent an impending massacre.

starvation-heights

Starvation Heights, an unincorporated community in Jackson County, Oregon, was named before 1883 for its poor and infertile soil, a granite-like mix which supported only scrub vegetation.

lonesome-lake

Lonesome Lake, New Hampshire, United States

lonely-island

Lonely Island, Ontario, Canada

suicide-lake

Suicide Lake, Wyoming, United States

unfortunate-cove

Unfortunate Cove, Cook's Harbor, Canada

killer-lake

Killer Lake, Addington Highlands, Canada

tragedy-pool

Tragedy Pool, Camballin, Australia

mistake-island

Mistake Island, Jonesport, U.S

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6 comments:

  1. Missed a couple: Repulse Bay NWT Canada & Bloody Bay, Negril Jamaica. I'm sure there are many more!

    ReplyDelete
  2. We recently were looking at real estate and decided that a street called Barren Hill Road was not a great location. I'm wondering about the source of the other locations that aren't described.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You missed Deception Island, one of the South Shetland Islands off Antarctica.
    I'm surprised that there were no sub-antarctic islands on your list.

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  4. There is Cape Disappointment in Washington State.

    ReplyDelete
  5. There is a small part of Streatham in south-west London, UK, called Lonesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. don't forget about Boring, Oregon

      Delete

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