Let’s face it, there hasn’t been much good news to come out of the ongoing public health crisis and its consequent lockdown. What it has done, however, is give many a new perspective on the importance of the natural world.

As a result, stories of nature blooming in the absence of man-made pollution continue to dominate the internet – and now we have some striking new pictures of the rejuvenated British coastline.

In images taken by photographer Mike Woods, who used a drone for these remarkable aerial views, the Atlantic looks positively tropical due to a steep decline in recreational and industrial sea travel.

Said Woods, “It’s beautiful to see it and it looks like you are in a different country down there, it really does. It’s phenomenal. We’ve never, ever seen the water look this clear before, it’s lovely.”

While the pictures are indeed beautiful, there may be more to this internet sensation than meets the eye. The water may in fact not be cleaner at all, but appears so due to not being disturbed as frequently by marine traffic.

Silt and pollutants sink to the seafloor until they’re kicked up by man-made currents; without human activity, the water may always appear as it does in Woods’ photographs.

These pictures were taken off the coast of Portsmouth, which has been a historical fishing and shipbuilding city for hundreds of years.

Prior to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Portsmouth welcomed hundreds of thousands of industrial workers and cruise ship passengers through Portsmouth Harbour each year.