back to top

These Pictures Of Delhi's Toxic Smog Are Surreal And Troubling

According to experts, breathing the air in Delhi is equivalent to smoking 44 cigarettes a day.

Posted on

This week, thick and toxic smog engulfed India's capital, New Delhi, a city of more than 21 million residents. According to the US embassy, air quality levels have risen to over 10 times the accepted limit. The index used to rate the quality of air is known as PM 2.5, or particulate matter, which this week measured 451 — this is over the standard of 50 for heathy and breathable air.

These pictures capture the surreal scene as the city's residents go about their daily lives amid the toxic environment.

R S Iyer / AP

In this Nov. 9 photo, an Indian boy uses a handkerchief to protect his face as school children and parents await transportation while surrounded by morning smog on the outskirts of New Delhi.

Nurphoto / Getty Images

Air pollution levels in the national capital of New Delhi, continued to rise on Nov. 8, as dense smog engulfed the city and neighboring areas, causing delays in flight and train services, even as the health ministry issued an advisory asking people to stay indoors.

BuzzFeed's resident photo geek.

Contact Gabriel H. Sanchez at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.