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Salton Sea, California

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The Beauty of Decay: The Salton Sea Niland California United States

The Beauty of Decay: The Salton Sea

Part ghost town, part snowbird retreat, the Salton Sea is a decaying paradise just west of Anza-Borrego Desert in Imperial County. Developed as a resort community in the late 1950s, the Salton Sea drew its fair share of celebrities, including The Rat Pack and The Beach Boys, before its untimely demise in the 1970s due to rising sea and salinity levels. Developers abandoned once budding and/or uncompleted shoreline communities, and recreational activities diminished.

Despite being California’s largest lake and having a salinity level higher than the Pacific Ocean, the Salton Sea is rarely used for water activities or boating, mainly due to confusion about sea pollution levels. Today it’s more popular with bird watchers more than 400 species have been documented in the area and photographers drawn to the post-apocalyptic feel of the once flourishing resort communities—Salton Sea City, Bombay Beach, North Shore—situated along the sea’s salt-encrusted shoreline.

Life in Bombay Beach is basically dead. Among the pebbles are the numerous bodies of dead and decaying wildlife. The stench, especially in the summer is out of control. Yet I love the Salton Sea.

All that aside this place strange, repulsive and beautiful at the same time.

It's a place where time has stopped and being there for a quick visit is like visiting another world.

The photo ops are endless.