Tree swallowing stone
In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight… Anyone remember that popular tune? Not sure if lions sleep in the jungles we visit around the world (in pictures at least), but the jungle itself is sure eating into everything in its way: cars, planes, statues, temples, churches. Nothing seems safe from the clutches of nature.
And what’s most surprising is that some jungles are not that far from home. Find out why some plants grow peacefully on the outside of buildings while others take over and speed up a structure’s decay in The Walls Are Alive.
Temples taken over by the jungle
1. Ta Prom in Cambodia
1. The Ta Prom temple complex in Angkor, Cambodia surely offers some astounding views of tree versus structure. On a closer look, this picture is even a bit scary, given how the trees are advancing from the top and from the ground.
Image: Lex Linghorn
2. Detail in Angkor Wat, Cambodia
This amazing detail was captured in Cambodia at the Angkor Wat temple complex. Notice how the tree has taken on the colour of the temple ruin (or is it the other way round?) and seems to be part of the structure, like a giant snake peeking down from the top. Don’t miss how the roots have pushed the stone blocks apart (top right).
3. Ta Pron, Cambodia
In this picture of another structure in Ta Prom, it looks like the tree first destroyed the temple and then changed its mind by deciding to form a second temple entrance.
Image: Kango Traveler
4. Kapok tree in Angkor, Cambodia
Here’s a beautiful example of the power of a kapok tree in Angkor, Cambodia. Doesn’t it look like a thin, white hand gripping the wall tightly?
5. Statues under tree, Cambodia
These statues are peeking out from under a tree in Wat, Cambodia.
Image: Unknown photographer
6. Buddha taken over by tree
Even this Buddha statue couldn’t escape the Banyan tree’s grip in Bangkok, Thailand. But being Buddha, he seems quite content with it.
Image: Raphael Bick
7. Temple ruins, Palenque, Mexico
And in Mexico, the Mayan ruins in Palenque have fared no better than the others: they are slowly being eaten up by the greedy jungle.
Image: Eve Margrett
Vehicles swallowed by the jungle
8. Jeep in the jungle
Vehicles are not safe from the clutches of the jungle either. This jeep looks like it’s been there a while. Notice how one tree root has grown around it.
9. Plane wreck in Belize
This plane, too, has seen better days. It is now a rotting attraction in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize.
10. Plane wreck in Guam
What looks like the skeleton of a truck was actually once a plane too. What we can see here are the tail, elevators, rudder and the tail gunner of a plane that was used in World War II and crashed in Guam.
Image: Steven House
11. Overgrown boat in Nicaragua
Even boats are devoured by the jungle like this one here in Nicaragua.
Image: Jack Anthony
Houses in the jungle
12. House in Georgia taken over by kudzu
Okay, this is technically not a jungle, though residents of Georgia, USA might know better. Here, a creeper called kudzu has taken over so completely that one can barely make out what the vegetation is covering (it was a house).
Image: Stephan Brumme
13. House in Cairns, Australia
This stone house in Cairns, Australia is still maintained by someone (notice the flower pots in the front), but don’t be fooled, the rainforest is approaching fast!
Image: Andy Brouwer
14. Jungle shelter in Cambodia
Someone got creative with this jungle shelter in Cambodia.
15. Wall taken over by roots, Argentina
This structure in Argentina could have been a house. Don’t the tree roots look like stick figures climbing up? Framed by these blue flowers, it looks more like art than a building now.
Image: Bobbie Nystrom
16. House in Bissau
Here’s a house in the city centre of Bissau, Guinea-Bissau. Are the roots trying to imitate the balcony design?
Image: Sunny and Vincent
17. Overgrown house
This house is not strictly in the jungle (more likely somewhere in Canada) but it just looks too picturesque. Must be good insulation, too.
18. Church on Ross Island
This church ruin can be found on Ross Island, part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The tree has taken over the church tower but also created a new roof.
Image: D. Seebeck
19. Church ruin in Corsica
Here’s a church ruin in a scenic spot in Corsica.
Image: Brian Micky
20. Overgrown church window
This overgrown church window is too picturesque to be missed.