Slaughter Beach Is Way Less Slaughter-y Than You’d Expect
If you’ve ever wanted to take the most depressing road trip ever, check out @sadtopographies. There you can visit Dead Dog Island in Killarney, Ontario; Cape Disappointment in Washington; and then swing around to Crazy Woman Creek in Wyoming.
The Instragram account by Damien Rudd catalogs some of the most, er, unfortunately named geographic landmarks in the world. It started when Rudd, an Australian artist living in Amsterdam, came across Mount Hopeless while doing a little online research for another project. He couldn’t stop thinking about that crazy name, and started searching for other mopey locations. Searching Google Maps for synonyms of “sad” has uncovered a raft of locations with names like Depression Pond, Melancholy Waterhole and Disappointment Island.
“They appealed to my bleak sense of humor, but I am also fascinated at the stories behind them, most of which originated from European explorers and settlers,” Rudd says.
Some of these woebegone names were a way of telling settlers about the place, or as a historical marker of past events. For example, French explorers Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville and Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, named what is now Dauphin Island, Alabama, Île du Massacre (Massacre Island) after finding some 60 human skeletons there in 1699.
Other names are far more perplexing in nature – like Grandmother’s Hole Beach in Goa, India; What Cheer, Iowa; Why, Arizona. But these haven’t yet made it onto Rudd’s Instagram. “I tend to go for the ones that have a certain dreamy quality to them, that make me think of an old man, perhaps a poet, weary from the profound melancholy of life, drowning himself in a remote waterhole. Then someone later naming the place appropriately,” Rudd says.
We were curious to see what these places actually look like, so we searched Instagram—and were pleasantly surprised. Despite their morbid and morose names, many of these locations are utterly ordinary, and some are gorgeous. Slaughter Beach, Delaware is quite peaceful, and Point No Point, Washington is beautiful. “I haven’t actually been to any of the places, and probably never will,” Rudd says. “I’m quite content just knowing they exist. I have checked some images of a few places, and generally they contradict their names as bleak and depressing, on the contrary they tend to be quite picturesque.”
Rudd has amassed nearly 24,000 followers since launching @sadtopographies less than a month ago. “I’m completely amazed at the popularity,” he says. “I basically just made it for myself and to amuse some friends, but it seems that the great appeal of dark humor is not to be underestimated.”
A photo posted by @sadtopographies on
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