Sony provides some exclusive footage of Hashima Island: the crumbling abandoned island that served as the lair of Bond villain Raoul Silva.

Hashima Island was once a bustling community built around a coal mining facility off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan. Known as “Battleship Island” due to it’s distinct battleship-like silhouette, the island was owned by the Mitsubishi corporation from 1887 to 1974. It was once the most densely populated place in the world, with more than 5,000 inhabitants crammed into its 6 square-kilometre dimensions. Now, having been abandoned for almost forty years, the island is nothing more than a creepy shell of crumbling buildings and twisted metal. The perfect lair for a supervillain, it appeared as Raoul Silva’s secret hideaway in the most recently released Bond movie: Skyfall.

Rocket News 24 was lucky enough to accompany Sony photographers to some areas of the island that have been off-limits to the public for over thirty years. Although tours to the island started in 2009, most of the interesting ruins – including the deserted apartment blocks – still remain off-limits to the public.

The Sony team went equipped with a Sony Action Cam, a HD video recorder attached to a remote controlled helicopter. They were able to take some amazing footage of some of the areas that were deemed too dangerous for people to set foot. You can see the full video, accompanied by some overly cheerful music considering the subject matter, above.

When it was still in operation, there were about forty buildings on the islands. A bustling community complete with schools, restaurants, shops and a hospital, the island was also home to Japan’s first-ever multi-storey concrete reinforced apartment block. Today, the island is an urban explorer’s wet dream, full of crumbling concrete, rusted metal and shattered windows.

Obviously, no-one is maintaining any buildings on the island, and the harsh elements are slowly reclaiming it. Several sea walls have collapsed and it won’t be too long before the entire island is simply swallowed up by the sea. There are hopes that after its publicity boost in Skyfall, the island may be registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but for now, these photos are the only way to really preserve this interesting snapshot of Japanese history.

Source & Images: Rocket News 24

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