With an interest growing in Photography and Videography I also enjoyed the ideas around Urbex. Urbex refers to urban exploration and the hobby is based around exploring places. Old, disused and abandoned places are very interesting most of the time its like a time machine, a real world example of the days gone by.
The hobby most part gets a bad rap in the media, from dangerous acts like climbing skyscrapers and hanging over the edge or trespass. Urbex can also feel the grunt of vandals when in fact true Urbex goers leave nothing and take nothing at locations.
Shark in a tank
An abandoned location had a tank displaying a large dead shark named “Rosie” in it, this location had been featured in online pieces and the odd post on Reddit before but things change when u/Lukiemc gets a video viral on Reddit of him exploring the site. It started out with an image of the shark silhouetted in the blue water, this spread around various subreddits as well as the video.
As you would know what gets popular on Reddit heads over to Facebook and other sites. It didn’t take long before location was made known and aware to thousands. You know what happens next, vandals come and smash the glass which is dangerous because the tank was filled with formaldehyde (dangerous chemical) to help keep Rosie the shark from rotting away.
Moving past the location being busier than Bourke Street, the place being trashed and the tank broken Rosie finally got a new home, Happy times right?! Not quite, whilst online comments point the finger at vandals for doing the damage the real damage sits with u/Lukiemc and what he is doing to Urbex.
Looking through u/Lukiemc post and comments history plus his YouTube you can quickly notice that this man is on the hunt for internet points and attention, the self promotion is real. Further pushing this self driven agenda is not a desirable trait for urban exploration as you will read later on.
Setting up a merch store to sell “Rosie” apparel gives an enormous whiff of selfishness. Not that anyone wants that nor should they considering u/Lukiemc put the situation into the spotlight, causing vandalism to the site. You shouldnt go trying make a quick buck hand in hand for attention seeking. This downfall of the abandoned site also appeared as a way to make some income for u/Lukiemc.
I wanted to see more on how those in urban exploration big time thought of the situation, I sensed they wouldn’t be pleased but was there blame for what happened?
Attention seeking isnt urban exploration
After being manually verified onto hard to find Urban Exploration forum (think back pages of the internet) it was easy to see what those who have been doing urban exploration for years thought of the situation. There was a lot of anger and discussion that urban exploration isn’t about looking for internet fame rather the experience and ensuring others in the hobby can to enjoy the location.
After all imagine if everyone, real urban explorers or ponies decided to hit up social media with video and images each location they went to. The locations would dry up real quick. You will see those dedicated to the hobby battle to keep the locations secret and make sure any images posted on a public space are hard to pin point to a spot.
It’s this ease of spreading locations that make the real Urbex groups hidden, hard to join and basically unresponsive to outside communication. Once in you don’t talk to outsiders about the spots and you certainly don’t post videos looking for attention.
u/Lukiemc causing downfall to an urbex site, bringing media attention and awareness to other potential sites was not amusing and certainly something that the “veterans” in urban exploration were riled up with.
It is fine to post pictures and videos of explores but pushing the location and driving the spot to be ruined/destroyed is seen as an outright shame to urban exploration.