Why we’re obsessed with abandoned power plants and theme parks

Sneaking into abandoned buildings and filming urban decay may not be the newest trend, but the obsession with so-called “urban exploring” and “abandon porn” has skyrocketed alongside the widespread accessibility of social media.

Today, millions of viewers eagerly await the videos of intrepid explorers like Bob Thissen, who travel the world in search of abandoned power plants, coal mines, theme parks, hotels, and shopping malls. Thissen’s mission is archaeological: to document places where no one has set foot in years (or decades) and tell the story of their abandonment through found objects.

Often, Thissen’s videos show meals half-eaten, clothes hanging in closets, and machinery in working order left to rot for a variety of reasons: business failures, safety concerns, and even political revolutions.

This week on 2 GIRLS 1 PODCAST, Alli and Jen talk to Thissen about his thirst for adventure, sneaking into Kazakhstani space shuttle hangers, the Fukushima power plant, sleeping in creepy abandoned buildings, and how he films and funds his fascinating excursions.

Listen to episode 117 of #2G1P right here:


You can purchase Thissen’s books here, which also help fund his adventures.

2 Girls 1 Podcast is supported by listeners. A lot of time and resources go into research, booking, editing, and publishing this show. If you love internet culture as much as we love ’casting about it, consider a contribution of $1 or $2 per month to help offset our production costs. Become a patron of #2G1P and earn some cool perks while you’re at it:

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2 Girls 1 Podcast is hosted by Allison Goldberg and Jennifer Jamula, and is produced and edited by Matt Silverman in New York City. Production assistance is provided by the Podglomerate.

Matt Silverman

Matt Silverman

Matt Silverman is the director of video and producer of 2 Girls 1 Podcast at the Daily Dot. He has been making internet shows and viral videos for nearly a decade, and has directed top talent including John Oliver, Kevin Bacon, Kate McKinnon, Alton Brown, and the Sesame Street Muppets. Silverman is also the creator of FREE DAD VIDEOS, a comedy and music channel with his young children.