The power of nature is never more pronounced than when it meets man-made structures. Hurricanes fell concrete, waves wash out bridges, and tornadoes pluck up trucks. There are quieter takeovers, too. People are notorious for leaving things behind, but when communities move on, nature moves in, reclaiming the land when no one is looking. These eight places are perfect examples of the slow and steady influence of Mother Earth, and a good reminder that change is inevitable.

Abandoned Fishing Villages, Gouqi Island, China


Gouqi Island was once the center of a flourishing fishing industry, but as focus shifted to other trades, populations moved and the villages were left behind to weather the elements. The grassy terrain has grown over the modest structures, and now the neighbourhoods look like something out of a forest fairy tale: vines crawl through windows, shrubs tumble along streets, and houses blend with their hilly backdrop.