The Stone Forest of Madagascar
August 23, 2010 8:12 AM   Subscribe

The Stone Forest of Madagascar: Huge, spectacular pictures of another world by National Geographic photographer Stephen Alvarez. A non-Flash version of the site is also available.
posted by Gator (22 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
None of those links seem to do what they are supposed to do.
posted by oulipian at 8:18 AM on August 23, 2010

Wowza. This planet is one amazing fucking place. Gorgeous and breathtaking photos there. And how 'bout those little white monkeys? Whoa! Thanks for the post, Gator.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:26 AM on August 23, 2010

Cavers who have been to Madagascar say that even in areas not as extreme as that (which is a relatively small area -- a few hundred or thousand acres) say that moving across the razor karst landscape is torturous. They'll set out in the morning to look for caves and not get 1000 feet from camp in the course of a day's clambering about on that stuff.

I loved the NG print edition with that article, but it's great to see them nice and big.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:34 AM on August 23, 2010

That non-Flash version seems awfully Flash-y to me.
posted by amro at 8:35 AM on August 23, 2010

Very cool. Original National Geographic article and UNESCO World Heritage web page for the park.
posted by aught at 8:36 AM on August 23, 2010

The pictures are gorgeous but that web interface is scaring me.
posted by iamkimiam at 8:39 AM on August 23, 2010

Thank goodness the web designer is clicking past the pictures for me. Who knows what might happen if I were in control of my computer.
posted by DU at 8:41 AM on August 23, 2010 [3 favorites]

Wow, incredible.
posted by gwint at 8:43 AM on August 23, 2010

I really really really wanted to go to Madgascar for my honeymoon. Then someone started telling my wife about the leeches. We didn't go.
posted by JPD at 8:46 AM on August 23, 2010

Thanks for the link to the non-flash version.
posted by crunchland at 8:53 AM on August 23, 2010

That landscape is like something that appears when a flying dream morphs into a nightmare.

Beautiful razor-sharp nightmare.
posted by CynicalKnight at 9:02 AM on August 23, 2010

I spent some time in Mada last year, mostly in the Hauts Plateaux region. Very different topography, of course, as Tsingy de Bemaraha was very far from us, and has really bad roads on the way.

We did make it to Ranomafana National Park, and saw similar formations in canyons. Really lovely park, with baobabs, lemurs, rare birds, and several hundred crocs that lived about 7 feet from our bungalow. Which was somewhat intimidating. The picture is of an immature croc; if we ever ended up closer to a croc, I was too busy suppressing panic to photograph.

The area we lived in looked more like this. It was the middle of winter, though; it is more green during the rainy season.

Madagascar is like no other place on earth - and I'm sure one can say that about anywhere, but Madagascar's isolation means it has an incredible, unique ecology, as well as a political isolation.
posted by quadrilaterals at 9:14 AM on August 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

It's a right pointy place innit?
posted by Mister_A at 9:37 AM on August 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Very awesome.
posted by Liquidwolf at 9:40 AM on August 23, 2010

Not only do they have this awesome stone forest, but they also have this string instrument which is like, totally tubular, dude.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:45 AM on August 23, 2010

Stephen Alvarez is a true master. I've mentioned him a few times on MeFi - he is the rare photographer who will always have a job, not many people can do what he does at that level. His specialty is underground work, shooting in caves that require not just specific skills to get there, but a real knowledge of lighting in places that never see any light and making it look good.

He just finished shooting a story on the Paris underground. Last I heard he was editing over 18,000 pictures of things like - diving in a well under the Opera building, exploring hidden Metro tunnels, the Catacombes, networks of clandestine tunnels under the city, anything and everything about the Paris you never see. Cannot wait for that story - even more proof that National Geographic is the last great magazine for investigative journalism and photo essays.
posted by infinitefloatingbrains at 10:13 AM on August 23, 2010

Amazing place; great photos! This one gave me vertigo; this made me claustrophobic.
posted by TedW at 10:23 AM on August 23, 2010

Here's a video of the Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve from UNESCO with some more info, plus awesome footage of Decken’s sifaka (Propithecus deckenii) leaping through the rocks.
posted by bergeycm at 10:34 AM on August 23, 2010

Wow. Amazing stuff. I hope Alvarez didn't pay much for his website-the interface is pretty obnoxious. Still those photos are breathtaking, and the site was well worth the visit. Good find, Gator.
posted by HighTechUnderpants at 10:36 AM on August 23, 2010

I like the part where the photos run away as I try to click on them to view them.
posted by Nelson at 10:44 AM on August 23, 2010

Beautiful photos.

Thanks to Risk, I know where this is on a map!
posted by NoraCharles at 5:36 PM on August 23, 2010

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