Here’s an incredible series of underwater photos showing a diver being dwarfed by the gigantic structure of an oil rig. They were shot by award-winning Mexican photographer Anuar Patjane Floriuk.
Floriuk shot this series of black-and-white photos at the Tiburon oil platform, which sits abandoned 12 miles east of Tamiahua, Mexico, in the Gulf of Mexico.
“A few good friends and I have been exploring two platforms in that area,” Floriuk tells PetaPixel. “We are diving these platforms to see what kind of ecosystems are being created thanks to these man-made structures.
“The irony is that the oil industry is the worst and most devastating industry in terms of ocean health in the Gulf, but just in this exceptional cases, their abandoned structures help create an artificial vertical environment for thousands of different species.”
“Photographing this structures can be quite technical but exploring them and getting the right shot can be very fulfilling and very fun,” the photographer continues. “Many of the photographs were taken at more than 50 meters deep, and at those depths the camera and the housing are on their limit, mechanically and optically speaking.
“Add that to composing with very limited light and a total lack of color, while you are trying to stay stable against four knots of current, a current so strong that your diving mask and regulator could easily be ripped off your face in a blink. And don’t forget the narcosis you get by breathing air at those depths, that is probably the most tricky thing to manage down there.”
Floriuk won grand prize in the 2015 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest for his photo titled “Whale Whisperers,” which also won a top prize in the 2016 World Press Photo contest. You can find more of his work on his website.
Update on 8/16/17: Here’s some extra clarification/information by Floriuk:
Although in the Mexican side of the Gulf the oil industry still remains the biggest source of pollutants, in the northern part of the Gulf the main factor is now the massive amounts of contaminants pouring into it every day via the Mississippi River. Much of the pollutants are from the agriculture and livestock farming industry in the Midwest United States, and this has created an immense dead zone that has triggered algae bloom that chokes off oxygen in water and make it almost impossible for marine life to survive.
Image credits: Photographs by Anuar Patjane Floriuk and used with permission