Eerie Pyramids In NYC: Amazing Photos From The Rockaways After Hurricane Sandy [PHOTOS]

By Danny Choy on January 3, 2013 11:25 AM EST

Eerie lunar landscape captured in Queens, NYC (Photo: Sephane Missier aka Charles le Brigand)
Eerie lunar landscape captured in Queens, NYC (Photo: Sephane Missier aka Charles le Brigand)

At first glance, the image above looks like an artist's rendering, an illustration from the book cover of a sci-fi novel, or an alien surface captured by NASA's lunar probe. It's none of these -- the eerie image of a cluster of pyramids is actually a photo captured by Stéphane Missier during a recent bike ride through The Rockaways, Queens, New York City.

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Following the devastating Hurricane Sandy that struck the Eastern seaboard, Missier, who also goes by the alias Charles le Brigand, began to heavily document the Rockaways, the southern region of NYC's Queens borough that was severely hit by the epic storm. Surveying the region on his bicycle, Stéphane Missier found the incredible composition on the parking lot of The Rockaway's Jacob Riis Park. The pictures were promptly uploaded on his personal photography website on December 30th.

According to Missier, the pyramids are in fact dunes made out of sifted sand from the Rockaway area. The parking lot is a debris transfer site and workers would shovel sand from the streets and bring it to the site throughout the post-Sandy recovery efforts. Speaking with TheBlaze, Missier explained, "I knew the city was using the parking lot as a debris transfer site but I wasn’t expecting such an eerie landscape."

Missier further reveals the secrets behind the captivating shapes that form the bizarre scenery: "Polished by the cold winter wind, these artificial cones formed an eerie lunar landscape. The presence of all kinds of construction and hauling trucks on the site as well as conveyor belts, generators, watch towers, and pole lights, gave me the impression of being on another some kind of a spatial station. The wind was pretty strong too and really accentuated that lunar feel. I managed to take a couple of shots before getting kicked out by a courteous Sanitation Police officer."

All in all, there are 18 sand pyramids, each standing approximately 30 feet tall. Each pyramid was formed entirely by the relocation of sand removed from Rockaway streets. In an e-mail we received from Missier, he emphasized, "These cones/pyramids are artificial and were not created or directly caused by Sandy."

Finally, after sharing his photographs, the Moriche Daily asked Stéphane Missier for his opinion on the city's recovery efforts. Missier answered, "The streets are clear, but that doesn’t mean people are OK."

For the curious urban adventurers, visit the Jacob Riis Park parking lot to see the Sandy debris pyramids for yourself.

Stéphane Missier is an active photographer with a very extensive portfolio of powerful images. Pictures taken by Missier have been featured in a number of media outlets including Daily Mail, Wired, The Gothamist, and Complex. Check out more photographs from Missier on his website here. Also be sure to check out his Flickr stream.

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