Green water was slightly disconcerting, but green and blue are only a step apart on the color wheel. This leap clear across it made discolored water go from "a little off-putting" to "downright terrifying."
Just as disconcerting as things in nature being the wrong color is things that used to have people not having any people. The hallway is bad enough, but it's the empty wheelchair that makes you feel like whatever happened must've been truly terrible if someone had to get away from the thing that helped them get away.
At least with the abandoned hospital, the backstory could be that that the hospital closed down and it wasn't anything insidious. When the remains of humanity are of lives forced out, it's especially chilling.
People complain about CGI not looking like real life, but we're usually CGIing things that we never see in real life, so how would we know? Case in point: This is real, but looks like CGI, because we normally don't see cars covered in ice. When the apocalypse happens and it looks exactly like The Day After Tomorrow, all the people who made that movie are going to feel real smug. If they're not dead, of course.
If Stephen Spielberg directed the world's apocalypse, he'd put those deer right where they are to remind us that this fire isn't merely destructive, it's deadly. But the difference between a movie and this photo is that, if this were a movie, you'd know those deer ended up all right.
If I told you that this was the last scene in a movie where an asteroid hit New York City causing a dust cloud that killed everyone and this was the last woman on Earth whose lover just jumped into the fire because he couldn't bear the thought of going on, you would totally believe it. I'm not sure if it's better or worse that the truth is that it's a human-created fire created to cover up a mistake and it's been burning for over 40 years.
Sometimes the Earth opens up and swallows everything above it, leaving a gaping hole behind and a constant reminder that death is not only around every corner, but constantly lurking beneath you and everyone you love.
10. People Wearing Masks In Air Pollution In Beijing
People having to wear masks in order to go outside because the air isn't breathable isn't a key detail in a post-apocalyptic short story that's an allegory for the consequences of climate change; it's a real thing, happening right now.
This photo was taken during Hurricane Sandy. To show a subway station, that is part of a system that moves millions of people each day, totally empty, would be one thing. That could be simply due to repairs. But to show it full of water, unusable, shows how fragile all of the systems we've built are.
Nature being where nature isn't supposed to be isn't just about weeds growing out of sidewalk cracks or vines growing over abandoned buildings. Sometimes, it's the thing we count on to sustain life destroying everything in its path.