The Fake Mountain Range That Appeared On Maps For A Century

THE MOUNTAINS OF KONG form a magnificent, impassable mountain range in West Africa. It’s not real. But that didn’t stop 19th-century writers from waxing poetic about its formidable, snow-capped peaks. Or illustrious cartographers from including it in historical maps. Or Jim Naughten from photographing it.

The British photographer pretends the legend’s true for the ongoing series The Mountains of Kong. He acts the part of an adventurer on a scientific expedition documenting Kong’s flora and fauna. He “returns” with implausible images of candy-pink mountains, exotic forests and wild beasts of every kind. “It’s a sort of Shangri-La ruled by the animals,” Naughten says.

The Mountains of Kong is on view at Michael Hoppen Gallery in London from September 13 through October 21.