Photographer Finds Galaxies and Stars in Swirling Reflection of Gasoline Puddles

Gasoline Space Photos by Juha Tanhua

When we want to gaze at stars, our first instinct is to look up, not down. However, it was on the ground that Finnish photographer Juhua Tanhua discovered an interesting phenomenon that resembled a galaxy from above. He takes innovative photos of gasoline puddles on asphalt, which mimic the lights, colors, and forms of space.

“When I was parking my car in Fellman Park in Lahti City to take some photos to the newspaper, I noticed that next to my car there was an oil spill on the asphalt and it looked a little bit like northern lights,” Tanhua tells My Modern Met. “I took a couple of photos and forgot the whole thing. Months later, I found that photo again and began walking in parking lots after rain to take pictures of these oil spills.”

Tanhua has been capturing gasoline puddle galaxies for 17 years now and continues to be fascinated by the unpredictability of his subject and the ways it can be interpreted. “I don't point my camera up to the sky, but down to the asphalt in broad daylight,” he says. “It's not space above us, it's space under our feet. Oil and gasoline and maybe even windshield washer fluid mix with rain to create ‘oil paintings' under cars.”

Scroll down to see more exquisite photographs by Tanhua.

Finnish photographer Juha Tanhua takes photos of gasoline and oil puddles on asphalt.

Gasoline Space Photos by Juha Tanhua

He discovered that these images resemble photographs of galaxies and stars.

Gasoline Space Photos by Juha TanhuaGasoline Space Photos by Juha TanhuaGasoline Space Photos by Juha TanhuaGasoline Space Photos by Juha TanhuaGasoline Space Photos by Juha TanhuaGasoline Space Photos by Juha TanhuaJuha Tanhua: Website

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Juha Tanhua.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. When she’s not writing, Margherita continues to develop her creative practice in sequential art.
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