Monday, May 18, 2015

Aokigahara -- Japan's Suicide Forest


Atlas Obscura
"Called "the perfect place to die," the Aokigahara forest has the unfortunate distinction of the world's second most popular place to take one's life. (The first is the Golden Gate Bridge.) Since the 1950s, Japanese businessmen have wandered in, and at least 500 of them haven't wandered out, at an increasing rate of between 10 and 30 per year. Recently these numbers have increased even more, with a record 78 suicides in 2002.
Japanese spiritualists believe that the suicides committed in the forest have permeated Aokigahara's trees, generating paranormal activity and preventing many who enter from escaping the forest's depths. Complicating matters further is the common experience of compasses being rendered useless by the rich deposits of magnetic iron in the area's volcanic soil.
Due to the vastness of the forest, desperate visitors are unlikely to encounter anyone once inside the so-called "Sea of Trees," so the police have mounted signs reading "Your life is a precious gift from your parents," and "Please consult the police before you decide to die!" on trees throughout.
This does not deter determined people to commit suicide in this dense forest. Annually about 70 corpses are found by volunteers who clean the woods but many are forever lost in the very thick woods. Japanese authorities discounted publishing exact suicide numbers in order to not make the place even more popular."

Warning: The film is really depressing.





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