If you’ve seen the most recent James Bond movie, Skyfall, you may remember the scene when Bond is taken to an eerie deserted island that doubles as the secret high-tech lair of bad-guy Silva.

It looks like something straight out of Hollywood’s imagination — an entire island deserted, left to fend for itself and ready for any villain to come ‘colonize’ — but it may surprise you to find out that this island actually exists.

It’s called Hashima, also known as Gunkanjima or Battleship Island, and in its heyday the 16-acre island was home to over 5,000 people who mined for coal beneath the rock.

It was established in 1887 and functioned for many years, but in 1974 the mine was closed, and humanity fled this lonely rock off the coast of Nagasaki.

Since then, as these pictures attest to, the island has fallen into a state of disrepair; or, if you prefer, nature is reclaiming what is rightfully hers. Buildings crumble and, until 2009, the only people to set foot on the island were URBEX enthusiasts who had to find their own way out there.

In 2009 the island was opened up to tourists and now, if you dig through 500px, you can find all sorts of fascinating pictures of this once-bustling metropolis that has slowly given itself up to the ravages of time. Scroll down to see for yourself: