There is something weird and mysterious about stairways that don't go anywhere, and yet they're surprisingly common: inside and outside old buildings, among demolished walls, in big cities and small villages, or in artists' imaginations. They get your mind going, spurring you to imagine secret places and invisible doors. Try climbing the next one you encounter. Or just imagine climbing these.
Green stairs to nowhere, University of Vermont campus.
University of Cincinnati
Ocean stairs, San Sebastian, Spain.
Photo: Lauren Manning
Center of the World, Felicity, California (staircase salvaged from the Eiffel Tower in 1989).
Photo: Mike Towber
Photo: SFB579 :)
One of the famous stairs of Malta.
Photo: Mads Johansen
Waiting in Whitby, Great Britain.
Wooden staircase of Tors Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
Ancient stairs carved into rock. Petra, Jordan.
Photo: Neil and Kathy Carey
Leicester, Great Britain.
Photo: karlos of syston
Stairway on a house. Offenbach Marktplatz, Frankfurt, Germany.
Alcatraz, San Francisco, CA.
Floating stairway over the Hudson River, New York.
Staircase of a demolished house. Looks like a dinosaur. Columbus, Ohio, US.
An old brewhouse, Philadelphia, US.
Boston, Massachusetts, US.
Photo: Andrea Schwartz
Stairs on the bank of the River Danube. Budapest, Hungary.
Photo: Attila Nagy/Gizmodo
Michel De Broin's mind bending sculpture: 'Révolutions'. Parc Maisonneuve-Cartier, Montreal, Canada.
Photo: Evelyne Awaad/art_inthecity
Staircase sculpture at the KPMG Building in Munich, by Olafur Eliasson, entitled 'Rewriting'.
Photo: Alaskan Dude
'Winding stairs' monument by Rudi van de Winton, dedicated to those who lost their lives in a 1977 air disaster. Tenerife, Spain.
Photo: Arturo Rodriguez/AP
'Crouching Tiger and Turtle, Magic Mountain', by sculptors Ulrich Genth and Heike Mutter in Duisburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
Did we miss your favourite stairway? Post it in the comments!