In the post-apocalyptic films when the camera pans down the abandoned streets of Tokyo or New York long after people have disappeared and the buildings have fallen into shabbiness, we see nature thriving. Like trees and plants take hold in the sidewalks and wild animals like deer, bears, and lions stalk the ruins left behind by humans. But after descending the staircase at a vacant shopping mall in Bangkok, professional cook and photographer Jesse Rockwell discovered a wholly different take on beasts inheriting the Earth, specifically exotic koi and catfish teeming by the thousands in a secret subterranean aquarium.
A former 4 storey shopping mall, originally constructed as an 11 storey building found to be in breach of old town Bangkok’s 4 storey limits on building heights. The top 7 floors were smashed to adhere to building codes in 1997. However in 1999 the mall burned due to suspected arson committed by a competitor in the area. The disaster resulted in numerous casualties, and the building has remained abandoned ever since. Amazingly not having a roof, the basement floor remains under quite a lot of feet of water year round. In the early of year 2000s an unidentified person starts introducing a small population of exotic Koi and Catfish species. The small population of fish starts to thrive and the result is now a self-sustained and astonishingly populated urban aquarium. What a remarkable discovery it makes you surprise what else lurks in abandoned places around the world? You can see more of Rockwell’s photography over on 500px and on his website, Taste of the Road.