Atlantis

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This is pure gold: a gallery of real-life sunken cities.

For me, Atlantis has always been a gigantic city, sitting in a natural amphitheater, the houses and temples still essentially the same – only drowned and crusted in shells and weed. Ghosts still haunt the city, sharing terracotta pots with octopi and crabs. They watch the transatlantic liners and factory trawlers comb the seas above them.

Have a browse right here, and lose yourself underwater…

Goussainville ghost town

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I’m such a sucker for ghost towns and abandoned places. This gallery explores the┬ávillage of Goussainville-Vieux Pays, abandoned after first a plane crash, and then the opening of Charles De Gaulle airport, drove the residents into Paris or the quieter villages nearby.

I think, for me, that silence – or at least natural sound – is an important part of defining a true edgeland, and the incessant roar of aeroplanes would discount Goussainville. But there’s something so sad about the sight of deserted buildings. The energy that comes from their construction – and the energy needed to sustain the life, and love, and relationships inside them – doesn’t dissipate when the people leave.

This comes hot on the heels of Les Revenants, too…

Battleship Island

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Here’s another gallery of awesome threshold spaces – thanks to Iain Maloney for pointing this one out to me. This is Hashima Island in Japan, also known as Battleship Island. It was used as a base for extracting and processing coal from the sea bed, and for housing the miners. The Mitsubishi corporation owned the island for almost a century, but the mines became unprofitable as coal was increasingly superseded by petroleum. Mitsubishi abandoned the place in 1974. Since then, the concrete has crumbled, the balconies have fallen from the buildings and plants have erupted in the courtyards. It’s an astonishing, ghostly space.

The sea will take its own.