Western Australia Is Basically Future Mars

Image Cache: When you capture Australia at just the right angle, it can look more than foreign — it can look properly alien. That's the end result of these photos from Canon's 'Down Under From Above' aerial photography project, which turn Shark Bay on the WA coast into an orange and teal masterpiece that looks like something out of The Martian.

Browse through the cool photos, animations and diagrams in Gizmodo's Image Cache here.

The World Heritage-listed Shark Bay is responsible for some of the purest salt in the world (...same) but it takes a while to get there. Seven hours' drive north from Perth, Canon says, then hang a left and keep going for another two until you hit the coast. Then you're smack bang in the middle of the heritage area, at a little town called Useless Loop.

70 square kilometres of evaporation ponds at Useless Loop produce 1.4 million tonnes of the highest quality salt every year, and Canon alumni photographer Peter Franc traveled to the area to photograph its remote alien beauty. From a rented Cessna 206 with no side door, Franc captured these stunning shots on Canon gear.

The landscape looks like Mars, 100 years into the future — water, a few scarce buildings, and a whole lot of red dust. We're still playing Where's Mark Watney on these photos — if you see him, let us know. [Canon]

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