Earth & Conservation

A Village Made Out Of Bombs

See why this village in Laos is using bomb parts from The Secret War to build their community.

Laos is the most heavily bombed nation per capita in the world. During the country's civil war, which lasted from 1953 to 1975, the U.S. dropped more than 2 million tons of ammunition on the ground over a period of nine years. This contaminated Laos with unexploded bombs in the years to come and has resulted in over 20,000 deaths to date.

RELATED: Why U.S. Bombs are Still Killing People in Laos

Many people in Laos have tried to take advantage of this devastating situation by using scrap metal from the bombs and weapons to build useful items. Planters, canoes, and even house foundations have all been built from this artillery refuse metal. There are several non-profits working to clean up the rest of the unexploded weapons, but they say it could take up to 100 years to get all of it if they continue at this rate.

Check out more of Mark Watson's photography

Read more about Laos' civil war:

Legacies of War: The Secret War in Laos

CIA: Air Operations in Laos 1955 - 1974