Hungary's Red Sludge Disaster Zone Still Looks Apocalyptic Two Years Later

Illustration for article titled Hungary's Red Sludge Disaster Zone Still Looks Apocalyptic Two Years Later

In 2010, a lake of caustic, poison mud from an aluminum manufacturing operation spilled out and destroyed a nearby town, along with much of the native life. Humans were killed and burned, property destroyed. And it still looks like Mars.

Cleanup efforts have made some decontamination process, but much like Fukushima, it will be a long, long time before the marks of human negligence and manmade crisis can be wiped off.


Spanish photographer Palíndromo Mészáros traveled to the area for American Photo to document the permanent scorch left behind:

Officially, everything has gone back to normal, in that people have returned to their homes, and the government has constructed a number of public housing units for people whose homes were destroyed. Naturally, though, many of the residents still fear for their safety.

Mészáros' photographs don't show any of these residents, but instead focuses on the very visual effect that the spill has had on the landscape. It's quite clear to see exactly where the toxic sludge reached up the side of buildings, and even trees.

When it looks like part of your country is the result of a good Photoshop job, you know things are in terrible shape. [American Photo]

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Iron Oxide is what makes it red (in case I was the only one who didn't know that)