THUMS Island

“The palm-tree-covered THUMS Islands were constructed in the 1960s by a consortium of oil companies–Texaco, Humble, Union, Mobil and Shell (THUMS)–and contain 1,100 oil wells that extract thousands of tons of asphalt from beneath the ocean floor for delivery throughout Southern California and beyond. The island closest to the shore is masked by a large wall on the shore-facing side, and it is covered with a sculpture of sorts in a modernist style that ingeniously includes a waterfall (to mask the machinery sounds) and colored lights (as a warning for boaters) that echo the sunset at dusk and through the night hours.” The landscaping and sculpture were done by the firm Linesch & Reynolds, whose principal, Joseph Linesch, was one of the designers of Disneyland. Source: Corrina Peipon, “Urban Crude: Touring the Oil Fields of Los Angeles with Drew Heitzler and the Center for Land Use Interpretation.” Photo courtesy of The Center for Land Use Interpretation.

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East of Borneo on July 27, 2011