William Miller photographed the waterway in Brooklyn to highlight the industrial runoff that has ravaged it.

When you look at the photographs in the gallery below by William Miller, it may not be clear what exactly they are of. They look like the surface of another planet, until you notice in one shot, something floating – it is a rat…a dead rat, floating in Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal, America’s most contaminated waterway.

Miller’s shots of the canal are both beautiful and eerie, a poignant study of the way human activity in the past 100 years has completely destroyed the canal. Since the 19th century, the canal has seen the runoff of coal tar yards, tanneries and ink factories to create a stream of sludge.

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