Simushir Island, Russia
A string of volcanoes lies along the spine of Simushir island, located in the center of the remote Kuril archipelago in Far East Russia. Like the rest of the Kurils, Simushir has traded hands between Japan and Russia multiple times; residents raised reindeer here before the Japanese used it as a garrison during World War II. When the Soviets regained control in 1945, they built a secret submarine base at Broutona Bay, which brought thousands of workers to the island. The base operated for nearly 20 years before it was abruptly abandoned, leaving behind a rusted, Cold War relic frozen in time. Visitors can wander around the eerie, abandoned barracks and outbuildings, their walls still adored with peeling, Soviet-era artwork. Today Simushir’s main inhabitants are arctic foxes and seabirds, with sea lions lazing about the rocky shores.