Tom writes, "Subterranean London is a strange and fascinating world, a labyrinth of underground tunnels that range from Victorian sewers to wartime bunkers. Among them is the famous London Underground network, known as the Tube due to the shape of its deep level tunnels. The network boasts around 40 ghost stations, from including entire stations that closed decades ago as well as disused platforms hidden behind iron gates in still operational hubs. This article looks at 13 of London's most impressive abandoned underground stations."
If you like this, check out Peter Laurie's classic Beneath the City Streets, a comprehensive list of subterranean shelters, bunkers, tunnels, and tubes (I drew on it heavily for Pirate Cinema).
All around the world, there are abandoned Santa Claus parks -- Christmas-themed amusement parks that passed their prime and shut their gates. Atlas Obscura did a deep trawl through Flickr and other online photo repositories and rounded up a gallery of amazing pictures of decaying, unloved Christmas parks from every corner of the globe.
Last February, Chevalier von Windsor posted a bunch of gorgeous, amazing photos from the UK's phone booth graveyard, near the village of Carlton Miniott (scroll right to the bottom). The contrast between the normally shiny and proud red call-boxes and these dusty, decaying corpses makes the photos work.
IO9's Vincze Miklós has collected a marvellous gallery of photos from abandoned and rotting themeparks around the world. Several of these have been featured here before, while others are entirely new to me. The Katrina-wrecked Six Flags park in Louisiana and Walt Disney World's sadly abandoned Discovery Island are both especially compelling in their graceful ruin.
Swedish artist Johanna Mårtensson created this installation depicting a cityscape made of bread in 2009, and photographed it as it decayed, creating a series of pictures representing the destiny of all human folly come the day that we make ourselves extinct and vanish from the face of the Earth:
I was inspired by an article about how well the earth would do without us. Within 500 years all buildings would be half fallen or fallen, perfect homes for animals and plants. The forrest would soon grow in cities. After hand buildings as well as pollutions would be taken care of by bacterias and micro-organisms. An ufo that came here in a couple of of hundred thousand years would not see many signs of that a gang of primates ones thought that they where the lords of the planet.
A friend of redditor BigBoppinBill forgot some pizzas in the oven for "a few weeks." The result? A kind of glorious fungal jellyfish.
This calls to mind the timeless wisdom of the Jazz Butcher's classic, loony, over-the-top song, Caroline Wheeler's Birthday Present: "Do you know what happens when you leave a fish in an elevator?/You don't?/Well, here's a clue/Fish is biodegradable/THAT MEANS IT ROTS."
Dark Roasted Blend has a beautiful gallery of Spreepark PlanterWald (originally called Kulturpark Planterwald) a Soviet-era abandoned themepark in central Berlin, which is gracefully rotting away. This is a Boing Boing/Cory Doctorow trifecta: abandoned themeparks, Soviet kitsch, and urban exploration. Yes, please!
When it opened in 1969 as Kulturpark Planterwald, it was the "only constant entertainment park in the GDR, and the only such park in either East or West Berlin". However, the Berlin Senate did not seem to have provided for enough parking space... which is quite silly, all things considered. Plus, the forest around the park was deemed to be doomed from the impact of visiting crowds. In any case, the socialist and then private owners were left with a bunch of debt and the place got suspended in limbo... But the story does not end there (read on).
Mark Nixon's "MuchLoved" project collects photos of peoples' long-suffering toys, along with the stories behind them. It's a poignant collection of sentimental reminiscence and beautiful patinas and genteel decay.
Jesse Brown sez, "My uncle, the amazing photographer Robert Burley, captured the death
of analog photography: the demolition of Kodak plants, the rapid
downfall of the film photography industry, the sudden obsolescence of
neighbourhood photo shops and subway photo booths. Naturally, he did so on film.
His book, Disappearance of Darkness, was just released, and some of
the gorgeous, haunting images are featured today on CNN's website."
Jeffrey sez, "Because there aren't enough things to be sad about in the world.
Behold, a once-glorious attic full of books falling victim to entropy and vandalism.
I don't know the real story behind this, but I know a sad sight when I see it."
François Vautier infested his flatbed scanner with an ant-colony and scanned the burgeoning hive-organism every week for five years, producing a beautiful, stylized stop-motion record of the ants' slow consumption of his electronics.
Five years ago, I installed an ant colony inside my old scanner that allowed me to scan in high definition this ever evolving microcosm (animal, vegetable and mineral). The resulting clip is a close-up examination of how these tiny beings live in this unique ant farm. I observed how decay and corrosion slowly but surely invaded the internal organs of the scanner. Nature gradually takes hold of this completely synthetic environment.