Urban exploration

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Urban exploration (often shortened as urbex or UE) is the examination of the normally unseen or off-limits parts of urban areas or industrial facilities.[1] Urban exploration is also commonly referred to as infiltration, although some people consider infiltration to be more closely associated with the exploration of active or inhabited sites. It may also be referred to as "draining" (when exploring drains) "urban spelunking", "urban caving", or "building hacking".

The nature of this activity presents various risks, including both physical danger and the possibility of arrest and punishment. Many, but not all, of the activities associated with urban exploration could be considered trespassing or other violations of local or regional laws, including—but not limited to—invasion of privacy and certain broadly-interpreted anti-terrorism laws.[2]


Targets of exploration

Urban explorers often attempt some or all of these subsets of urban exploration.


Ventures into abandoned structures are perhaps the most common example of urban exploration. At times, sites are entered first by locals, and may sport large amounts of graffiti and other acts of vandalism. Explorers face various risks in abandoned structures including collapsing roofs and floors, broken glass, guard dogs, the presence of chemicals and other harmful substances, most notably asbestos, hostile squatters and motion detectors. Some explorers wear respirators to protect their airways and proper attire to protect their bodies.

Although targets of exploration vary from one country to another, high-profile abandonments include amusement parks, grain elevators, factories, power plants, missile silos, fallout shelters, hospitals, asylums, schools, poor houses, and sanatoriums.

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