These spectacular landscapes may look like something from another planet - but they are in fact colorful salt ponds which stretch for miles. Despite being better known for tech companies and expensive property - San Francisco, California is also home to this vibrant quilt of color spanning the South Bay Area. From eerie green pools to gothic shades of red the surreal landscapes are caused by the organisms or micro-algae living within them. Photographer Cris Benton, 62, has spent more than 10 years studying the region and amassed a whopping quarter of a million images so far. [18 photos total]

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Aerial view of the salt ponds in San Francisco, California. (Cris Benton/CATERS NEWS) #
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Aerial view of the salt ponds in San Francisco, California. (Cris Benton/CATERS NEWS) #
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Aerial view of the salt ponds in San Francisco, California. (Cris Benton/CATERS NEWS) #
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Aerial view of the salt ponds in San Francisco, California. (Cris Benton/CATERS NEWS) #
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Aerial view of the salt ponds in San Francisco, California. (Cris Benton/CATERS NEWS) #
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Aerial view of the salt ponds in San Francisco, California. (Cris Benton/CATERS NEWS) #
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Aerial view of the salt ponds in San Francisco, California. (Cris Benton/CATERS NEWS) #
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Aerial view of the salt ponds in San Francisco, California. (Cris Benton/CATERS NEWS) #
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Aerial view of the salt ponds in San Francisco, California. (Cris Benton/CATERS NEWS) #
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Aerial view of the salt ponds in San Francisco, California. (Cris Benton/CATERS NEWS) #
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Aerial view of the salt ponds in San Francisco, California. (Cris Benton/CATERS NEWS) #
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Aerial view of the salt ponds in San Francisco, California. (Cris Benton/CATERS NEWS) #
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Aerial view of the salt ponds in San Francisco, California. (Cris Benton/CATERS NEWS) #
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Aerial view of the salt ponds in San Francisco, California. (Cris Benton/CATERS NEWS) #
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Self portrait of photographer Cris Benton. (Cris Benton/CATERS NEWS) #
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Photographer Cris Benton with kite used to fly his camera rig above the salt ponds. (Cris Benton/CATERS NEWS) #
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Photographer Cris Benton's camera set-up with kite. (Cris Benton/CATERS NEWS) #
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Photographer Cris Benton's camera set-up with rig for kite. (Cris Benton/CATERS NEWS) #

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