Humanity has made significant progress in the last 100 years claiming the Earth as its own with its enormous buildings and highways. But sometimes the Earth fights back and will reclaim what’s been taken. So here are some photographs of Mother nature doing just that and the results are utterly terrifying.
When urban structures decay and fall apart without constant upkeep, it doesn't take long before nature steps in and reclaims the property. And that's what Disney found out after they closed not one, but two waterparks that urban explorers later documented after years of abandonment.
The Forest Reclaimed this Castle
In the 1930s, the Château de la Mothe Chandeniers caught on fire and damaged most of the structure. Even though the exterior walls were left intact, the castle was unsuitable for living. So, over the years, a forest rose from the structure’s ashes.
Disney’s River Country is Turning Green
In 1976, Walt Disney World opened River Country, the first water park at Disney World, but in 2001 the park was suddenly shuttered for good. The park sat abandoned for 17 years before any maintenance was done to the area and in 2016 the green and grimy 330,000-gallon pool was finally drained, but the rest of the park is still completely as it was left in 2001.
Life After Rust
One of the reasons that Mother Nature is so awesome is that she can add life and color to just about anything, even this rusty piece of metal. As one can see from the photo, there’s moss growing all over this old contraption. Think of it as nature’s way of redecorating.
This Situation Has Escalated
This might look like a scene from an apocalyptic movie, but it’s just an escalator that’s been abandoned. And over time, plants have started to grow in and around the contraption, creating a masterpiece that’s the perfect blend of biology and technology.
The Great Link
This tree grew from the ground of a former New Zealand mine. But due to the presence of this link of chains, the shape of the tree changed into a y shape and that’s not all. The chain appears to have completely integrated with the metal object, so no one can remove the metal object.
This mall in America has suffered a similar fate to other shopping malls around the world. It doesn’t take long without the upkeep of dozens of custodians and managers for a huge shopping location to look absolutely desolate. And with the massive costs of tearing down a building like this, it’s not worth the land owner’s time to do so.
This Wall Tree
Trees generally grow from the ground up, but this tree has literally started growing from the third floor of this building. No one’s sure how it happened, but judging from the size of the trunk, it has insidiously been branching out of the window and into the world for a while now.
The Green House
This old house in Cumberland County, North Carolina puts a new twist on the term “green house.” That’s because a series of trees have reclaimed the exterior and some of the interior of the building. Now imagine just how fresh the air inside must be indoors.
An Abandoned Ride in Chernobyl
The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident that left a huge portion of the Soviet Union in shambles. That included the Pripyat amusement park, which sadly never officially opened due to the disaster that occurred just a few miles away. The park included iconic rides such as an 85-foot Ferris wheel, bumper cars and swing boats that sadly, no one ever got to ride.
Life Erupts From Lava
For most people, lava symbolizes the end as its extreme heat flows through and destroys anything in its path. But there is a silver lining, so to speak. In this photo, we see a plant called Metrosideros polymorpha growing from lava that’s hardened in Hawaii’s Mount Kilauea.
Rolling Acres Mall in Ohio
The Rolling Acres Mall opened its doors in 1975, and it was a very successful shopping location for many years. But it has now been closed since 2013, and in its final years there were only a handful of stores that were still operational. The harsh Ohio weather has lead to breaking of the glass ceiling above the mall’s escalators, leading to this incredible snowy scene inside.
The Forest Boat
On the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, the cargo ship S.S. Ayrfield has been marooned in Hoembush Bay. And over time, a series of trees have started to grow in and around the vessel’s remains, essentially turning it into a forest boat.
Roots in the Pavement
This tree was planted on the town’s sidewalk for decorative purposes. Miraculously, the tree’s branches continued to expand inside the pavement’s crevices, creating this terrifying and creepy series of tendrils that looks like something one would expect to see in a Sci-Fi movie.
A Lighthouse Buried by Sand
The Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse on the Danish coast is a wonder on its own but not because of its design. The wind blowing from the North Sea has blanketed most of the structure with sand, essentially burying over half of it.
New Life From an Old Trunk
What used to be a vibrant tree became nothing more than a stump after it was cut down. But like the phoenix, something rose from the proverbial ashes—a new tree. But is it brand new or did the old tree simply reincarnate itself?
A Factory Gone Wild
It’s hard to imagine that this factory once housed a bunch of workers, but those days are long gone. So, in place of humans, the otherwise empty building has moss growing on the floor and shrubs growing from the walls.
Nature’s Green Tunnel
In the Ukrainian city of Klevan, nature has created a tunnel made out of shrubs and trees around this train track, where a train continues to pass through on a regular basis. Couples have also been known to walk through this area which is why it has been dubbed the Tunnel of Love.
Abandoned Amusement Park in Yangon, Myanmar
Amusement parks are expensive to maintain and just as expensive to tear down, which is why there are so many abandoned theme parks in the world. This park in Asia is very eerie because anyone can open the gates and have a stroll down the rollercoaster in the morning to catch a beautiful glimpse of the out of date monorail system.
The Sea Reclaimed This Old Warship
In 1941, the British vessel S.S. Thistlegorm suffered heavy damage by a German aircraft during WWII and the ship sank. Decades later, coral has integrated into the remains of the hull and this old motorcycle that was left onboard, and fish can be seen weaving in and out of the wreckage.
This Former Lab
In the 19th century, an inventor named Thomas Willson built this lab in Quebec, Canada, away from the prying eyes of his rivals. Sadly, nothing he came up with allowed him to make enough money to stay here, so the structure was eventually abandoned and nature reclaimed it as its own.
Not Today, Rusty Truck
This truck in Bladen County, North Carolina, was abandoned here and fell victim to the elements. But even this heavy piece of rusty junk wasn’t powerful enough to prevent a bunch of trees from growing around it and through it.
This Mossy Shoe
Moss can pretty much grow anywhere and around anything. So, whoever lost this shoe will have a hard time getting it back or even finding it in the wilderness now that it’s covered in green moss, which is likely due to the humidity level of the area.
The Mysterious Land of Oz
Another closed theme park that has been overtaken by the nature around it is North Carolina’s Land of Oz, which opened to the public in 1970. Thousands of guests visited the park based on L. Frank Baum’s classic tale, including actresses Debbie Reynolds and her daughter Carrie Fisher!
Oz is Now Reopened For a Limited Time
After a fire devastated the park, it was closed in 1980, but after renovations in the ‘90s, the park was able to repair and recover. The movie themed wonderland is currently open for business once a year, and the low fog in the area still leads to some pretty creepy photos.
A Lemon Clover in a Shovel Handle
Most people use shovels to make holes in the ground to plant things and hide foreign objects from view. But in this situation, nature gave the handle of a shovel a makeover by causing a lemon clover to sprout. Now isn’t that beautiful?
This Amusement Park’s Been Taken Over
Berlin’s Spreepark was once filled with tons of people all eager to enjoy the various rides that the park had to offer. But in the early 2000s, it shut down. And since no one was around to look after the property, trees and shrubs started to grow and hide the park’s true nature from the world outside.
The Forest Reclaimed The Hermitage
The Hermitage is a stone structure in the Tollymore Forest in Ireland. It was built in the 1770s along the canyon and was intended for wealthy women to watch their men fishing. But today, nature has reclaimed The Hermitage and its walls are covered with leaves and moss.
Garden Cress Sprouted From This Keyboard
A great way to recycle old tech is to turn it into a makeshift vase, like in this instance where garden cress has sprouted underneath the keys. It’s actually a pretty nifty indoor decoration idea and it sure beats throwing that old keyboard in the trash.
This Buddha Carving Is So Rooted
This stone carving of Buddha is located in the Wat Mahathat temple in the region of Ayutthaya in Thailand. When the building was abandoned long ago, a tree started growing around the carving. Today, people come from far and wide to get a peek at this unique combination of tree and stone.
This Bike Has Gone Green
We’ve all heard that riding a bike is the best mode of green transportation, but this bike has literally gone green as nature has intertwined its leaves around its wheels. This is what happens when people leave their bikes outside for too long without using them.
This Phone Box is Covered in Greenery
It’s probably a good thing that everyone who comes to Washington State’s Hoh Rain Forest has cellphones because this old phone box is covered in greenery. Then again, the same has happened to just about everything that is manmade that exists within the forest.
Nature’s Showing Through the Cracks
It’s difficult to imagine this being a parking lot, but it is, or rather it was. Grass and plants have started breaking through the cracks on the concrete outside of these school buildings now that the space is no longer being used to park cars.
An Amusement Park That’s Been Empty for a Decade
A TikTok user named Carter Banks captured this footage of abandoned amusement park Celebration City, which is located in Branson, Missouri. The park opened to the public in 1999, but was shut down in 2008 due to financial difficulties. But the park that has been closed for over a decade hasn’t really been touched since its closure, leading to overgrown nature taking over the rides, concession stands and other fixtures.
North Carolina Ferris Wheel Covered in Ivy
The person who took this photograph found the abandoned Ferris wheel off of a highway in North Carolina. The site has been abandoned for so long that the ivy leaves growing on the towering structure have made their way to the top seats of the wheel, which would make removing the structure a very difficult job for any team.
Abandoned Roller Coaster in Japan
Nara Dreamland opened to the public in 1961 and thanks to the help of Disneyland’s engineering team, the park looked very similar to the famous Disney attraction. But with the opening of Tokyo Disneyland, the Japanese amusement park declined in popularity, leading to its closure in 2006. It was not until 2016 that the park and its rides were demolished, including this massive rollercoaster.
Disney Shut Down Another Water Park
Another Disney park that has been closed permanently is Discovery Island. This park was opened in 1974 and closed for good in 1999. All of the animals that were in the park were relocated to other places on Disney property and the entertainment company never stated an official reason for the park’s closure, but it’s clear to see that the park won’t be reopened until some serious clean up has been done.
Several People Have Been Arrested For Visiting
In 2020 a man was arrested for visiting the island, which is only accessible by boat, and this wasn’t the only time that someone got in big trouble for visiting the closed theme park. Photographer Shane Perez took some photos when he visited the park in 2009 by swimming across a lake which is known to have alligators in it to get to the island, and he found a world that had been untouched for years.
Personal Items Were Left Behind
Not only were the rides at Discovery Island totally in disrepair, but it looked like the employees had left in a serious hurry. There were official papers like time cards and work schedules strewn about the floor and there were even personal photographs left out in the open. And that wasn’t all that the photographer saw…
The Kitchen Was Full of Leaves
Some of the other things that Perez and his friends found while on the island included things you’d see in any functional theme park. The kitchen inside one of the abandoned buildings was in serious disrepair, but it was easy to see how it had once been a fun place to spend the day. That is, until he got a closer look.
The Park Had Vintage Flair
In some places, the park really showed its age, considering that nothing had changed in the location since 1999. Some of the vintage soda choices brought on a wave of nostalgia for the trespassers, which is exactly what Disney aims to give their guests every day.