Reddit | Koreshdog

Internet Comes Up With The Answer To Why This Dilapidated Building Is There

Ryan Ford 3 Apr 2020

Sometimes the remnants of yesteryear are too far removed from the present to fully understand what they are, what they were for, or why they even still exist. Just imagine trying to explain to future generations that we once carried around portable music disc players, which meant having to carry around a library of music discs as well.

Not so portable, amirite? Not to date myself too horribly, but I'm old enough to remember buying a coat with pockets big enough to hold my CDs. Seems pretty silly right now.

So the past often offers up things that are legitimately questionable, like the structure above. Reddit user Koreshdog saw it on a beach one day and it had him pondering its purpose, so they turned to the site's r/whatisthisthing community, and as usual, they came through with an answer.

You'll see plenty of historical objects that people have trouble identifying on the page.

Reddit | dag19150

For example, there's this thing that looks like an old-timey candy or lozenge tin. However, the community quickly pointed out that it was actually a radio in disguise. How cool is that?

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So, Koreshdog brought their question to the right people.

Wikimedia | https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Xiamen,_China.jpg

And to help the community out a bit, they offered what clues they could. "In Xiamen, China," they wrote. "Faces out towards the ocean, and the entrance is small and L shaped, with what I assume is a gun slot to defend it? what weapons would be used in this?"

Xiamen is a port city in Southeast China, with a population of about 3.5 million.

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It's a legitimately fair question.

Reddit | Koreshdog

Why would someone put up a concrete building in such a perilous spot? Isn't it destined to be claimed by the ocean eventually?

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The note about it having a possible gun slot was a crucial detail.

Wikimedia Commons

Because the community quickly pointed out that the building, oddly positioned such that it's now on the verge of falling into the sea, once served a strategic purpose.

It's a blockhouse or pillbox, a sort of bunker that served as part of a coastal defense network.

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There are many still visible around the world, even though they haven't been in use for decades.

Reddit | DrFolAmour007

Along the shores of France, for example, constructed by occupying German forces in WWII. Some folks said they have seen similar structures in South Carolina and California as well.

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It's hard to say when the one in Koreshdog's picture would have been built, or by whom, however.

Wikimedia Commons

During WWII, Xiamen was under Japanese control, so it could have been built by occupying forces. However, shortly after WWII, China engaged in military actions against Taiwan, which is just across the strait from Xiamen, so it could easily have been built for that conflict.

The city has long been well-defended, however, with thick city walls that date back centuries and coastal defenses that have been in place since at least the 19th century.

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While blockhouses all over the world were built to withstand the worst invaders could throw at them, time has proven to be the ultimate foe.

Reddit | DevaKitty

Many are still in decent condition 75 years after the end of WWII, but for most, obviously including the one Koreshdog stumbled upon, coastal erosion has finally humbled them.

h/t: Reddit | Koreshdog

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