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Exploring Wanli UFO Village

On a beach in northern Taiwan, a few dozen Futuro and Venturo houses, designs of the future from the 1960s, sit abandoned and rotting away. It's a fascinating place; here's how it looks.

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Geoffrey Morrison
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1 of 41 Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Sun, rain, and heat

Like something out of another world, or another time, the Futuro and Venturo houses of the Green Bay beach in Wanli, Taiwan now sit abandoned. 

Learn more about these haunting retro ruins in The sci-fi future stands derelict: Taiwan's abandoned UFO houses.

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Decay

Time has taken its toll. Most of the Futuros are secured so you can't get in, but since so many have broken windows, you can see plenty from outside. They're not in good shape.

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Venturo

The same can't be said for the many Venturo houses. Finnish architect Matti Suuronen created both types. These weren't as successful, and haven't held up as well against the elements.

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Harsh climate

Given their floor-to-ceiling windows, and their apparent propensity to being blown out, the Venturos have extensive damage and deterioration. 

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Neighborhood

The houses are arranged in a pretty traditional neighborhood arrangement, but the decay of the buildings and the overgrowth of the vegetation give the feel of an alternate-future post-apocalyptic movie, as imagined in the past. 

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Curves

The designs, with their unconventional curves and ovals, evoke a different era of architecture. An imagined future of the past.

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Glass

Interestingly, there was considerable glass on the ground outside the Venturo. I suppose that could have been human-caused, or perhaps a typhoon's strong winds blowing the windows in on one side, and then out on this side?  

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From another time

Both the Futuro and the Venturos were designed in the 1960s, though these were likely built many years later, possibly under licence. This photo is from my Instagram.

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Best preserved

The interior of the Futuro you just saw, and likely the best preserved. It's not coincidentally also one with intact windows and a secured door surrounded by trees.

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Abandoned

There are lots of conflicting reports online, though it seems most likely this neighborhood was built in the early 80's, and abandoned less than 10 years later. For more details, check out The promised future of the past: Taiwan's abandoned Futuro UFO houses

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Porches

Though the shells of the Venturos are all the same physically, each has slightly different colors and add-ons, like this collapsing porch. 

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Patios

I can only imagine how futuristic this all looked when new. Imagine stepping out of your prefab Venturo and seeing that UFO as your neighbor. 

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Quiet

It's a quiet street, just the sounds of cicadas and the sea breeze. Too quiet.

Creepy quiet.

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The mystery

What determined which home would survive, and which wouldn't? This one is in OK condition, but right next door...

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Reversion

There's one like this. I bet it collapses within a year.

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Entropy

As soon as one of the windows goes out, that's pretty much it for a Venturo. The collapsing ceiling here adds another layer of destruction. Wait, is that...

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Oh no, beta

A Betamax machine? Or at the very least, an old-school VHS deck? Without bigger boots and a tetanus booster, I didn't venture any closer. 

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Keep out

Even if you're an expert urban explorer, it's best to keep out of the houses that look this bad. Not least to preserve them for other explorers, but because the decaying structure doesn't inspire confidence. 

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Hiding Futuro

This Futuro, slowly getting enveloped by a tree, is actually open.

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Eerie

Like so much of this village, the insides are a multitude of weirdness. Slippers wait by the door for visitors that will never come. Pots, pans and spices sit in the kitchen like the family will return in a few days. Yet... look at the layers of dirt and the hole in the floor. The softness of the underlying plywood was alarming, to say the least. 

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Bedroom

Sagging furniture, what's not plastic, anyway, go well with the feeling of abandonment... and yet the closet to the left had blankets stacked and ready for a cool night.

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Bathroom

Paper wipes and cleaning supplies imply someone was trying to clean recently, yet a brush left by the mirror, the dirt everywhere, and rust on the fixtures say it was not recent.

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2nd bed

The parallelogram bed is a nice design touch. And with sheets! If it weren't for the floor about to give way and years of grimy layers, it really feels like the owners will be home that weekend.

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Seaside resort

Not hard to see why they chose this area. This view is from the entryway of the Futuro you just saw. From my Instagram 

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Futuro secured

But then there's this Futuro, which almost seems lived in. All the windows are intact, there's a lock on the door (though not new) and there are curtains so you can't see inside. This neighborhood is best described as mostly abandoned.

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Mostly...

The Venturo you see on the left has sheets for curtains. Squatters, perhaps? The one behind (and out of view) had a newish looking grill, but heavily faded kids toys in the yard. 

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Double landing

These had a commanding view of the area and the sea. The one on the right was closed up when I walked past initially, but two Taiwanese girls pulled the door open. Well, as long as it's open, might as well get a photo from the door...

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Rot

One of the few instances of the cushions that were likely standard in all the Futuros, sadly rotting away. The original Futuro had individual seats in this room. Check out those end tables. The mugs on the counter creep me out. How long have they been there?

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So say we all

One of the few pieces of graffiti. 

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Behind a hatch

The hatch was secured with a 2x4, and the windows were all intact. Just a glimpse in was possible from the window closest to the stairs.

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Nature reclaims

One of the farthest gone Venturos. Only a matter of time before it collapses into nothing. There were some empty slabs throughout the development. My guess is they used to hold Venturos that collapsed, and someone (the city?) removed the rubble.

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Model home

My guess is this was the model home for the Futuro. As I approached I could hear voices, and sure enough on the other side, a half dozen men sat around eating BBQ. Though the area isn't lived in by anyone (probably?), it's still used. This building now seemed like storage for a local paragliding club, and that's my guess who the gents were.

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Extra space

Most of the Venturos are on a slab, but a few, like this one, have a basement garage. Completely open, I ventured inside.

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Basement

Like so many things here, there are signs of life, but not very recent. Note the scooter in the back, which has aged worse than the house.

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Creaking

The slight breeze was causing this Venturo to creak ominously. I stayed on the solid stairs. Given the extra space afforded by the basement, this one is set up as just a master bedroom, with a view of the sea. 

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Green Bay

Just adjacent to the UFOs is a functioning resort called Howard Green Bay Resort Hotel. I bet the view of the UFOs is great from there. 

Oh, and the beach and ocean and whatever, too.

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Hatch

The original design for the Futuro had a hatch that folded down to the ground, with an integral staircase like you'd see on a private jet, or a UFO I guess. 

This airplane-style hatch is a far more pragmatic. Well, if it weren't off its hinges, flat on the porch.

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Come watch TV

The TV looks roughly the same vintage as the VCR from the other house. Any guesses on the make?

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Windswept

This Futuro was probably in the worst shape of the lot. No windows to shelter the insides and no trees to shield against the winter storms. This one (and a few others I didn't tag) are also on my Instagram.

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Model S

Probably the biggest shock, a practically spotless Venturo with a Tesla outside. It's clear this guy has enough money to throw around for that car and to have refurbished this seaside Venturo. It was easily in the best shape of any here, and in one of the best spots. On the other side is the beach.

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The sea and beyond

One last look at the Venturos lining Feicuiwan, aka Green Bay, Beach before heading I head back to Taipei. 

If you visit this "UFO Village" keep in mind that, as mentioned, not every building is abandoned. Be respectful of the area, the people and of the homes. 

To learn more about these fascinating buildings, check out The sci-fi future stands derelict: Taiwan's abandoned UFO houses.

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