There are some really sad places on earth. Countries torn by war and violence. Countries reeling under poverty. Those places are truly depressing. But there are also places stuck in perpetual despair, but only by name. A new Instagram account called Sad Topographies by Australian artist Damien Rudd is dedicated to showcasing these places.
“I initially came across a place in Australia … called Mount Hopeless. The name kind of caught me off guard and I decided to come back later and research it,” Damien Rudd told CBC. “I actually found that there were many more places that had surprisingly depressing names. That kind of got me started on the project.”
Many of these depressing place names are connected to the dark history of early colonialism, and the mishaps of explorers and settlers. Communities are hesitant to change the names of these places because of their historical context.
“I think once you become accustomed to a name, you don’t really hear it like an outsider would,” he says. “There’s a certain type of history that gets lost when you change names.”
Rudd finds these places by typing sad words into Google Maps.
Here is a short list of some of the places Rudd has found so far.
one of seven uninhabited islands in the Auckland Islands archipelago, near New Zealand
is a town in Sussex County, Delaware, United States.
an unincorporated community in Jackson County, Oregon, was named before 1883 for its poor and infertile soil, a granite-like mix which supported only scrub vegetation.
New Hampshire, United States
Wyoming, United States
Cook’s Harbor, Canada
Addington Highlands, Canada