The moon is a terrifyingly beautiful place. These 13 photos capture it perfectly.

There's a reason that so many horror movies are set in outer space, and it's not just the aliens.

Though there are some who would argue otherwise. GIF via "Ancient Aliens."


It's probably the lack of oxygen or the vast and soul-crushingly empty blackness that seems to stretch on for eternity. The final frontier basically combines every fear of the unknown that has ever plagued mankind, then takes away gravity just to screw with us even more.

And yet, outer space is just so damn pretty.

In our humble little solar system, there are few places that capture the haunting beauty of space better than the moon. And with NASA's Project Apollo Archive releasing over 8,000 photos of their journeys to the moon via Flickr, now is as good a time as any to sit back and reflect on the terrifying awesomeness of our nightly neighbor.

Here are 13 photos of the darkest sides of the moon:

1. Hiding in the shadows

All photos via the Project Apollo Archive/Flickr.

Look at the moon, just peeking out of the darkness all by itself, nefariously plotting against its more successful, better-looking sibling (us). The Earth is truly the Marsha to the moon's Jan, and you just know that she's getting a little fed up with all the attention we're getting.

2. Looking like the Death Star

Sure, the moon may enchant you with its brilliant luminescence, reeling you in like the song of a siren from mythological times, but once you get closer...

3. The ugly truth

... the moon's smooth, shiny veil dissipates and reveals its true form: a cold, ash-covered rock pockmarked by shadow-filled craters and death.

4. Alone in the dark

Really, what's so scary about this, though? So what if it's a dark, silent, completely desolate piece of rock on which no life can grow... So what if it looks like the beginning of every movie in the "Alien" franchise...

5. Doom around every corner

Nope, nothing to be afraid of here. There definitely probably isn't something waiting to pounce on you right behind that rock...

6. Stretching for miles and miles

And there certainly isn't some giant, Graboid-like creature waiting to pull you beneath the surface...

7. No one can hear you scream

And even if there were, what are you going to do? You're 238,900 miles away from the nearest police station!

8. Goodbye, Earth

On the moon, you're also 238,900 miles away from the nearest cellphone, and 238,900 miles away from Facebook, Twitter, your favorite coffee shop, Donald Trump...

...hey, it's not all bad.

9. Johnny 5 would be sooooooo jealous

And besides, if anything goes wrong, you've got your buddy and a robot car as backup!

10. The X(traterrestrial)-Games

That robot car would look totally sweet catching some hang time off that hill over there!

11. Man 1, gravity 0

And if worse comes to worst and you happen to wreck your robot car while fighting off whatever otherwordly being that was waiting for you behind that hill, you can always just hightail it outta there on your kickass spacecraft!!!

12. To the skies!

Yeah, peace out, moon! You ain't so scary! Come to think of it, you're actually kinda...

13. Magnificent

I'm sorry I ever disparaged you, moon. Why have we not invented the technology that makes living on your gray-tness possible? You're pretty damn beautiful.

Beauty can be found in everything — even the stuff that scares you — and definitely on the moon.

To check out the Project Apollo Archive's entire collection of awe-inspiring photos, head over to their Flickr page.

And after you do that, maybe send some support your local space program's way. Because the fear of the unknown can only stay that way until we shine the light of discovery upon it.

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