Dean M. Chriss
Remote Beach, Borneo

Remote Beach, Borneo

(Click image to enlarge)

When I was a child all I knew about Borneo came from old black and white movies. It seemed like a distant, mysterious and exotic land; a place of legends. What an adventure it would be to go there! I did not manage to set foot on the world's third largest island until I was well into adulthood, and I returned a number of times. Much of Borneo has been developed out of existence, but if you put in the effort to find the remote and untouched parts it is still an amazing place.

Most of the world's rainforests had to wait until after the last ice age to develop. Because of Borneo's location on the planet, these forests did not have to wait. Having remained untouched for more than 130 million years, these are the oldest and most diverse forests in the world. A twenty-five acre plot of rainforest in Borneo may contain over seven hundred species of trees. That is equal to the total tree diversity of the entire North American continent. In spite of the hardships required, it is a rare privilege to set foot in a place like this. When you are there all you need to do is look around to realize it.

This image shows a very remote beach. Fierce head hunters once lived in the jungles beyond and their descendants still do. Skulls collected by ancestors still adorn their tribal homes. Rare creatures like proboscis monkeys still live here too, and macaques still hunt for crabs in the South China Sea from these beaches. This photograph is not spectacular, but I think it will eventually be a curious souvenir showing that places like this actually existed, untouched by time for as long as anything can be.