19 Stunning Photos of Nature Transforming Abandoned Wastelands

Humans love to marvel over our mastery of nature. We've built skyscrapers and fortresses, canals and highways, museums and schools. We've bent the natural world to our whims — often at the expense of the environment. 

But civilization is a fragile creation. As everlasting and unshakable as we think our modern buildings and cities are, Mother Nature always finds away to persevere, to expand and to thrive. As we abandon our buildings or leave them in disrepair, nature is quick to move in and assert itself. 

Below, these vivid photos capture the unstoppable force of nature — and how the natural world continues to survive and thrive in the face of concrete and steel.

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The city of Pripyat, Ukraine, abandoned after the Chernobyl disaster.
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