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A few weeks ago, Trips brought you photos of The Most Alien Landscapes on Earth. Now, a sequel, focusing this time on scenes shaped by the hand of man.

About The Author

Hal Amen

Hal Amen is a managing editor at Matador. His personal travel blog is WayWorded.

  • Paul Sullivan

    Depressing yet thought-provoking. Great essay even if I am now going to spend the weekend being ashamed of being human.

  • Michelle

    I had no idea number 9 was what it is until I read the title…what a striking photo. The reflection in 5 is amazing.

  • Kathy

    Burning since 1971? That was the year I graduated from college, for perspective.

    Nukes for construction? How did such an idea get off the drawing board?

    Incredible photos and really interesting (if depressing) factoids. Where do you find this stuff? 8-)

  • Megan Hill

    Wow. It’s amazing the power we have to alter our landscapes (for better or worse)

  • Julie

    Impossible to choose which of these images I find most disturbing.

  • Christine

    I have to say that the pic of Rio Tinto is beautiful in a way.

    I don’t know if the windfarm in Cali is the one I’ve driven by many times heading toward I-5, but either way, they are kinda freaky, though mostly good for the environment (except for the birds, of course).

    • Hal Amen

      I love the “windmills kill birds” argument. There’s such a slim chance of one of those blades actually hitting a bird, but how many are killed from the burning of fossil fuels and habitat loss due to drilling/mining?

      • Carlo Alcos

        Not to mention airplanes.

        Fab pics. Very disturbing.

  • joshywashington

    the ground zero pick looks like they are in some crumbling gothic cathedral.

    another great photo essay!

  • Nick

    Hal you rock! It’s interesting how some things that are so wrong can appear so beautiful.

    I love the Libyan photo!

  • Hal Amen

    Thanks all. Glad you enjoyed it. Stay tuned next week for some sweet shots from a trek in Nepal.

  • Millie

    Depressing!! Man has destroyed what God has created! Sad very sad! 8(

  • AdventureRob

    I totally want to visit a door to hell now, surely it would be a good idea to turn that into a small geothermal station though, seems a waste of energy sitting there like that.

  • Audrey Phillips

    the oil spill in Mexico would surely be one of the greatest environmental disasters for this year.,”;

  • Anis Salvesen

    Wow! I came across this photo essay through a blog post on Tripping (, and I’m so glad I did. I had no idea most of these places existed.

    What struck me most, other than the sheer impact of the photos, was the insights I got into the humans that created these alien-like landscapes. For example, I was very surprised (at least initially) by #3. I can’t believe that in the ’60s, the U.S. government experimented with NUCLEAR BOMBS for use in massive construction projects.

    I also wonder if future generations will look back at some of these humans creations like we look at Machu Pichu and wonder how we lived. I can just hear the narrator on a show about us, speaking in his British or Australian accent: “These early humans were strange creatures. It seems they enjoyed destroying their planet. Scientists are still trying to determine why….”

  • Toni Parks about craters of the moon national park and the south end of death valley. They look much more alien than these, although they are not human made.

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