Artists connect the dots to reveal animal shapes on the city's subway map.

Animals on the Underground is an ongoing project that casts the London Underground as a wild menagerie of elusive animals, who disappear in and out the thicket of abstract lines which comprise the map of the Tube.

The project began in 1988, when the first animal, the elephant, was spotted. Since then a vast array of critters, both wild and domesticated, has been added to the roster of subterranean animals, from playful dogs and soaring pigeons to strutting baby rhinos and quiescent sperm whales.

Their form and features are determined by the strokes and folds of the map’s meandering beveled-edge lines, with the creatures sometimes fitting snugly within the Underground’s negative spaces but more frequently extending across the city’s skewed geography to encompass a whole series of train lines. New animals are constantly revealing themselves, so one must be always on the lookout.

 

This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A toxic site in Niagara Falls, New York, seen from above.
    Environment

    The Toxic 'Blank Spots' of Niagara Falls

    The region’s “chemical genies” of the early 20th century were heralded as reaching into the future to create a more abundant life for all. Instead, they deprived future generations of their health and well-being.

  2. A Soviet map of London, labeled in Russian.
    Maps

    The Soviet Military Secretly Mapped the Entire World

    These intricate, curious maps were supposed to be destroyed. The ones that remain reveal a fascinating portrait of how the U.S.S.R. monitored the world.

  3. MapLab

    Introducing MapLab

    A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

  4. Maps

    Mapping Where Europe's Population Is Moving, Aging, and Finding Work

    Younger people are fleeing rural areas, migrating northward, and having fewer children. Here’s how that’s changing the region.

  5. Equity

    Vandals Are Attacking Berlin's Powerful Citywide Holocaust Memorial

    Germany’s Stolpersteine monuments show how a historic force of terror unfurled on the same streets people walk down today. Their disappearance is cause for concern.