2012: A Year of Strange Landscapes

Eric Vandeville—ABACAPRESS.com
Eric Vandeville—ABACAPRESS.com
Jan. 14, 2012. The Italian cruise ship 'Costa Concordia' ran aground and keeled over off the Italian coast near the island of Giglio in Tuscany, Italy.

In the fall of 2012, the Mars Curiosity Rover—after years of travel—finally reached its destination, touching down on the Red Planet and transmitting back to Earth a series of strange landscapes of the planet’s surface. Here on Earth, the scenery sometimes resembled the barren Martian terrain, as wildfires, droughts and natural disasters shaped the landscapes of Earth. Climate change, too, had a say on Earth’s canvas—bringing a cold snap to Europe, a dusting of snow to the Middle East and a super-powered hurricane to the East Coast of the United States.

But as much as natural phenomena shaped Earth’s landscapes, humans forced their intentions upon Earth as well. Wars in the DRC and Syria reduced entire city structures to rubble. Careless chemical spills dyed our waters strange and unnatural colors, and continued deforestation in Brazil’s rainforests left huge swathes arid and bare. And finally, large-scale accidents remind us of man’s hubris, like the Costa Concordia in Italy— it’s abandoned carcass standing as a monument to man’s recklessness.

Here, TIME looks back on the byproducts of man’s folly and nature’s fury in a gallery of the year’s strange and surreal landscapes.

Related Topics: , , , , , , ,

Latest Posts

Gaza Strip, Gaza City: Palestinians travel to a shelter at a UN school after evacuating their homes near the border in Gaza City on July 13, 2014. ALESSIO ROMENZI

Innocents in the Crossfire: Alessio Romenzi’s Shocking Photographs From Gaza

The world has become used to seeing images of dead civilians caught in the crossfire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, says Italian photographer Alessio Romenzi. Yet, he believes it's his role to bear witness for future generations

Read More
20131118 001

‘Recklessness and Rebellion’: Meet The Cool Kids of South Korea

Democratic Republic of Congo War

Things Fall Apart: Masculinity and Violence in Congo