For a number of reasons, natural and human, people have recently evacuated or otherwise abandoned a number of places around the world — large and small, old and new. Gathering images of deserted areas into a single photo essay, one can get a sense of what the world might look like if humans were to vanish from the planet altogether. Collected here are recent scenes from nuclear-exclusion zones, blighted urban neighborhoods, towns where residents left to escape violence, unsold developments built during the real estate boom, ghost towns, and more.
See more. [Images: AP, Reuters]
Today, the leaders of the 2012 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race will depart White Mountain for a 77-mile sprint to Nome, Alaska, the final leg of the 975-mile event called “The Last Great Race on Earth”. Dallas Seavey, 25, is currently in the lead, poised to become the youngest Iditarod winner ever. An hour behind is Aliy Zirkle, who, if she can catch Seavey, would become the third woman to win the race (the first was Libby Riddles in 1985.) Sixty-six mushers started the race in Anchorage back on March 4, eight have scratched from the race so far, and one has withdrawn because of injuries. The winner will receive a prize of $50,400 and a new truck, with a total purse of $550,000 to be shared by the first 30 finishers.
See more. [Images: AP and Reuters]
In Kenya, a group of young Maasai warriors from the Laikipia region formed a cricket team with big hopes: to promote healthy living, to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS and women’s issues, and ultimately to become role models in their community and ambassadors for both the Maasai and Kenya. The Maasai Cricket Warriors have been training hard, having recently left their village for the city of Mombasa to attend the Legends Cricket Nursery for further coaching. Their next goal is to travel to South Africa to take part in the Last Man Stands World Championships. The team has an open invitation and is now raising funds to make the trip.
See more. [Images: AFP/Getty]
This Sunday, March 11, will mark the one-year anniversary of the horrific earthquake that struck northeastern Japan, spawning an incredibly destructive tsunami that crippled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In the year that has passed, much has changed. Mountains of rubble have been cleared, but not fully disposed of yet. Nuclear power has fallen out of favor, and confidence in the government has been shaken. Japan mourns the confirmed deaths of more than 15,850 people, and still lists 3,287 as missing 12 months later. Questions remain about rebuilding villages, cleaning up the nuclear exclusion zone, and deciding the future of nuclear power in Japan. Collected here are recent images of those affected by the disaster, coping and moving on one year later.
From A Trip Across the Solar System, one of 34 photos. Here, a view of the Sun on March 7, 2012, seen in extreme ultraviolet wavelengths by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly aboard NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. Looping lines reveal solar plasma that is rising and falling along magnetic field lines in the solar atmosphere, or corona. The brighter prominence at upper left is named solar active region 1429, which has already released several large solar flares, some accompanied by large explosions of solar plasma known as coronal mass ejections. (NASA/SDO)
In Focus, our news photography blog, is on Tumblr. Instafollow!
Men of 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, during an operation near the end of their third deployment in three years in Afghanistan. They were securing route 611, which runs Kajaki Sofla, an area that had long been a safe haven for insurgent sub-commanders and for arms and drug trafficking. See more.
[Image: Cpl. James Clark/USMC]
Like father, like son. Since the recent death of Kim Jong Il, North Korean state-run media has been releasing a series of images of the “Great Successor,” Kim Jong Un, visiting schools, factories, and military facilities. These visits, which were frequently publicized by his father and his grandfather Kim Il Sung, are called “field guidance” trips — opportunities for the supreme leader to give on-the-spot advice. Based on the state-released photos in this collection, he is following closely in his father’s footsteps, albeit with a touch more visible affection. See more.
Billed as “the toughest race in the world,” the Tough Guy 2012 competition took place yesterday in Perton, England. Every year, thousands of men and women tackle the course, which is described on the Tough Guy website as eight country miles filled with freezing mud and “barbed wire, cuts, scrapes, burns, dehydration, hypothermia, acrophobia, claustrophobia, electric shocks, sprains, twists, joint dislocation and broken bones.” See more.
[Image: Michael Regan/Getty]
Yesterday our resident photography whiz, Alan Taylor, decided to try an experiment: he solicited reader requests for news photos. The response was great, the subject matter varied, and he says the task of finding the images and composing the entry was great fun — images ranged from massive solar flares to tiny insects, taken in places from Thailand to outer space, and much more. Read more.
[Image: Alik Keplicz/AP]
The 100th edition of the Australian Open tennis tournament is currently underway in Melbourne. Players from all over the world have been competing in the heat of the Australian summer, hoping for a win — this year’s singles champions will take home $2.4 million dollars (U.S.). Matches are progressing today into the semifinals, with the final matches to be played on January 29. Collected here are some colorful glimpses of the 2012 Australian Open.
Above: Roger Federer of Switzerland serves to Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina during their men’s singles quarter-finals match on January 24, 2012. (Reuters/Mark Blinch)
See more at The Atlantic