Have You Been Contaminated by Area X?

The borders surrounding Area X might be expanding more rapidly than we’d thought—already there are signs of it here in Manhattan: vines creeping up the Flatiron building, strange vegetation sprouting through the asphalt. It looks like Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation might not be fiction, but prophesy: Area X seems to be infecting the real world.

If you can Google it, it must be true! We’re certainly not going outside to find out—we’ve read about what happens to people in Area X.

To investigate the changes afoot on 5th avenue or, perhaps more urgently, to see if your neighborhood has been affected too, plug your coordinates into this street view. Go on, go and do it, it’s worth it. At least for now, New York, San Francisco, and Stockholm seem to be at the highest risk for contamination. It may just be coincidence, but that seems to track with Jeff VanderMeer’s tour schedule.

Swedish computer genius Einar Öberg has claimed responsibility for the Urban Jungle Street View. As if the umlaut weren’t enough to raise suspicions of his supervillain powers, the conspicuous absence of any mention of The Southern Reach obviously makes us even more wary. But judge for yourself: Öberg’s statement is available on his website

And before you write this all off as just another hacker hoax perpetrated on the gullible, remember how everyone scorned Roland Emmerich’s powers of prognostication when these images emerged—and now, let us tell you, the Polar Vortex just won’t quit. It makes those tropical vines coursing up the side of the building look downright inviting . . . have we already been infected?

Posted 03/24/14 Posted March 24, 2014