Homebush Bay, just west of Sydney, is a ship graveyard, a home for abandoned vessels. There, ships that had outlived their usefulness have been stripped for parts. But somehow a few of these hundred-year-old wrecks remain un-scavenged. In one case, the forest actually came on board, creating a floating beacon of green in the water. In a fascinating example of the resiliency of nature, the forest took root in the ship.
The decommissioned ship floating in the bay, the SS Ayrfield, was originally launched as the SS Corrimal. It’s massive at 1,140 tons. The ship was built in the UK in the early 20th century and registered in a Sydney in 1912 as a “steam collier.” According to My Modern Met, the ship was later used to transport supplies to American troops stationed in the Pacific during World War II. By the 1970s, the SS Ayrfield was retired and sent to the bay.
My Modern Net writes that four iron-hulled vessels over 75 years old currently float in the bay, “though none are enveloped by nature quite like the Ayrfield.” Indeed, SS Ayrfield’s container of nature seems as dense as the surrounding forest.
This Is Colossal writes that the area has been the focus of intensive environmental remediation over the past few years. “Not far away is the Brickpit Ring Walk, a former industrial site where nearly three billion bricks were made from 1911 through the 1980s that is now a carefully protected natural habitat.” The ship can then also be seen as a symbol of that effort to undo the toxic damage from the area’s industrial past (see more images).
Another fascinating work of natural art worth checking out: Fire flies. Here on the east coast of the U.S., fire flies are definitely out, but only very briefly. In Japan, one photographer used long exposure times to capture their bioluminescent travels through the night.
Image credits: (1) Floating Forest / Louis Evangelique from My Modern Met, (2) Floating Forest / Andy Brill from My Modern Met, (3) Floating Forest / Louise Evangelique from My Modern Met, (4-5) Fire flies / Yume Cyan from This Is Colossal.