An iceberg glides silently past alarmed beachgoers on a sunny day. A massive swarm of birds rains down on an intersection in Milton, Pennsylvania. From a cable car in the Alps, you can see that the snow has all melted. Is this the latest terrifying news in the steady march of climate change? Is it a trailer for the latest summer disaster movie?
No. It's the digital photo manipulations of Russian designer and digital artist Evgeny Kazantsev. Kazantsev's series, Cataclysm Happens, was made for Gefest Insurance Company through the Burjui Design Bureau and Bang! Bang! design agencies. In the series, the artist creates depictions of large-scale natural disasters that show us what at first appear to be worst-case scenarios, but are actually completely possible situations.
Not only are these highly unusual occurrences possible, but some of them have actually happened, including sandstorms in Barcelona and the canals of Venice running dry. The real-life instances weren't quite as dramatic as Kazantsev depicts, but the message comes through: anything can happen.
Created for an insurance company, the images are at once cheekily hyperbolic and eerily ominous, warning people that the unexpected really can happen — and to be prepared for anything.