What terrifying swirl of chemicals created this dark tornado over an alien plain? Cotton and steel wool, mixed with parsley and moss. If those ingredients can make a storm, imagine what's required to recreate the plains of Mars.


Matthew Albanese builds model landscapes out of ordinary materials, from spices to cotton, and then photographs (and photoshops) them to look like what he calls "strange worlds."

See more on Matthew Albanese's site.

This scary tornado is made from parsley and cotton.

This storm is made of cotton, fur, and powdered grout.

This Martian landscape is made from cinnamon, paprika, charcoal, and chili powder.

More spice-laden Martian landscapes.

This place, called Sugarland, is made from sugar, jello, and corn syrup. The crystals were grown over a period of weeks in Albanese's studio.