Photos show us that the world can be a weird and wonderful place. Every day, we can capture more natural photos through our smartphones or cameras. What was once nearly impossible to see can now be captured and preserved for years. We’ve never had such an amazing chance to photograph the world.
Amazingly, these photos are completely real – showing us just how strange life can be. Check out these photographs that are undoctored and show us just how incredible Earth can be. You won’t believe some of them…
This picture was taken before the beautiful thylacine went extinct. Also called a Tasmanian tiger, this species wasn’t actually a tiger, nor a canine. This was deemed the largest carnivorous marsupial on Earth. That is until the International Union for Conversation of Nature announced it was extinct in 1982.
The Tasmanian parliament did the same four years later. However, many stories come in of sightings in the wild, increasing the likelihood that a group of these animals is still living somewhere in the wild.
Look Behind You!
The view of this is enough to send most people scrambling to their basement. Yet this girl was confident enough to pose for a picture with this massive tornado behind her. You would assume her mother would come yelling after her to stop playing around and to get indoors, but her mother is the one who took the photo!
Marilee Thomas took the photo of her daughter, Audra, in 1989 on their land in the USA. A barn was unfortunately destroyed but no lives were lost, thankfully.
This photo was taken by a woman who was woken up in the middle of the night while she was camping. She heard unusual noises and poked her head out of her tent to see what was going on. Raccoons generally stay alone and not in groups, but tonight something drew them all to her campground.
As you can imagine, this scared outdoorswoman didn’t properly seal her food before going to bed! This is what attracted these forest critters to her site to have dinner. Who knows, there were probably many more that aren’t in the image…
Electricity Meet Water…
Water and electricity, when placed together, are so serious that everyone should be careful when using electric appliances near water. If only Mother Nature took that advice! Just one bolt can send 300 million volts into the sea, killing all nearby fish.
This bolt is more than enough voltage to kill a human, so the photographer had a lucky escape here. If you are ever caught swimming and hear thunder or see lightning, it is strongly recommended to leave the water and get dry!
The Endurance Ship
This old photo shows the Endurance, a ship that got trapped in ice during a 1914 trip to Antarctica. The ship was incapable of moving, and the crew thought they would eventually be released by the thaw when spring came.
Instead, the weather change caused the ice to exert so much pressure that the ice cracked the hull, prompting the ship to sink into the water. Forced to abandon the ship, they made their way to Elephant Island. Most of the sailors waited there while some comrades left for South Georgia Island to call to rescue them.
Riding A (Frozen) Wave
While this photo may look photoshopped, it’s completely real. Weirdly, it looks like a tsunami was flash-frozen, but the truth is more interesting. The photographer simply captured a phenomenon known as ‘blue ice’. Blue ice is when snowfall gets so crowded on a glacier that it ultimately becomes part of the glacier.
The main cause to make it blue is that the ice consumes lower light frequencies while reflecting the higher ones. This results in colors like orange, red, green, and yellow getting absorbed, but blue and violet are reflected for us to see.
Sly, Cuff, and Link
Rocky fans, rejoice! These turtles, named Cuff and Link, are the same turtles that are featured in the 1976 film. Today, this makes the famous turtles over 40 years old! In the movie, Rocky gives the turtles to his girlfriend, Adrian.
This photo was posted on Sylvester Stallone’s public Twitter account. “In CREED 2 with my original buddies from the first Rocky,” Stallone posted to his millions of fans. Did you spot their cameo in the film?
‘Can You Hear Me Now?’
Careful up there! This brave man has climbed a cell phone tower to do maintenance after a massive storm caused ice to form. When compressed water droplets freeze on surfaces, this is known as ‘hard rime’.
These form as ice in the direction of the wind, and can often be seen on trees, planes, towers, and other types of structures that are exposed to Mother Nature. It looks like it’s pretty slippery up there, so we hope this guy was clever enough to ascend the tower with the right climbing equipment.
The megalodon, translated as “big tooth,” is actually an extinct shark species that was once four times longer than a great white. These terrifying marine predators would crush sharks’ bone and tendons with their powerful teeth in one bite!
In total, they measured up to 60 feet long. This photo depicts a reconstruction of this monster’s giant jaws next to a life-sized model of a great white shark. It is recognized by paleontologists as one of the largest, most powerful predators that ever existed.
Clouds That Look Like Marshmallows
At a first look, it seems as if someone experienced with photoshop produced this photograph of marshmallow-like clouds. Scientists call these clouds ‘Mammatus clouds’, or mammary clouds due to their peculiar shape.
These clouds usually appear along with extreme stormy weather or tornados, forcing pilots to avoid them due to disturbance. They are formed by cold air dropping in pockets, which creates the puffy shape as hot air rises in tandem. If you see them, best get indoors!
The Goats They Are A-Climbin’
We promise you, this picture is real! It goes to show that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. These goats are seen here climbing an argan tree, native only to Morocco. These trees are appreciated for their oil, timber, and fruits. The resources are sought out by these goats, bringing them to these strange heights high up in the branches.
What’s remarkable is the fact that the tree is holding so many goats at the same time! Sadly, the area covered by argan forests has been halved in the past 100 years. Although goats help in spreading the seeds, they also stunt the growth of them.
These cute bats are also known as Carribean White Tent-making bats. Honduran white bats eat only one type of fig, but that’s not all! They then build ‘tents’ out of leaves that they ultimately cut and fold down to make their own shelter.
If you want to track down these cute animals, you would have to go out in the wild searching for them. They are only in a few countries: Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Paraguay. A female bat can give birth a few times a year, but only to one baby bat at once.
‘Um, Karen? I’ll Have To Call You Back!’
Here is an incredible picture that is actually a shot from the 1981 film, Roar. At least 70 cast and crew members were hurt by predatory animals during production. In total, the shoot ran for more than 11 years.
Even though this was used to try to garner an audience, the film was a financial failure. Actress Tippy Hedren insisted later the number of people harmed was actually over 100. She explained: “If we wanna make a movie with lions, people are gonna get bitten. We just hope that nobody dies.”
In this old photo from May 4, 1922, we can see twin twisters roar together over Austin, Texas. The building in the shot is actually the Texas state capitol building. It is considered by historians to be one of the worst disasters caused by tornados in Austin.
These tornados were first one twister, but that split to cause chaos throughout the city. When the storm finally passed, 13 people were killed and at least 50 others were wounded. Some $400,000 in destruction was done to the property, according to estimates at the time.
Black Spotted Jaguar
This spotted black jaguar is not an animal you’re likely to see, even if you live in the South American and Central America region. At first, the natives considered them separate animals from their lightly-colored spotted siblings. But now, taxonomists can confirm that they are the same species as the jaguar.
These unusual animals have what’s called a dominant melanistic allele. This gives them their dark color. It means that a pair of black jaguars can have both black and spotted children, but two spotted jaguars will birth spotted jaguars only.
How Many Photos Is This?
This incredible picture appears to be two entirely different shots that were placed one on the other. If you look closely, you’ll notice how the ‘sky’ in the bottom picture is actually the water dividing the mountain and the land. The photo was taken in Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada.
Opening in 1855, it is Canada’s oldest national park. Every year, the park draws over three million visitors to its area in the Rocky Mountains. We can see why from the gorgeous view!
Bears That Barter
If you’re ever walking through the tundra and meet a polar bear mother with a cub, don’t interrupt them! This Soviet soldier didn’t take such advice and offered this bear some condensed milk. Fortunately, things seem to have turned out ok in the end, and it looks like the Cubs just wanted to play with him.
Polar bears will usually avoid humans in the wild unless they are especially hungry and desperately needing food. This Soviet-era photo was taken near the Chukchi Peninsula a few decades ago, in the eastern-most part of Russia.
This dog looks quite upset to see his lunch confiscated by this cheeky skunk! Fortunately, this fella knows not to pick on with a skunk – unless he wants to get sprayed! Maybe he’s assuming his owner will do something, but his human is just as sensitive to the skunk’s smell as the dog is.
Also, it’s quite clear that the human here wanted to catch this funny photo for the future. As far as we know, no one was hurt (or sprayed) during this ‘photoshoot’.
This photo looks as though it was taken in the middle of winter after a snow storm. In fact, you’re looking at a farm in Australia covered in spiderwebs. Intense flooding caused these spiders to climb to higher ground. Now, they used their webs as hot air balloons to get them to a safe height.
Generally, the spiders will climb up as high as they can before sending silk webs that are carried by air currents. Obviously, people suffering from arachnophobia are recommended to avoid these areas. Overall, the webbing covered about a mile and a half of land!
Run And Hide!
This photographer caught a hilarious moment here, with a white cat hiding to avoid a pair of black Doberman pinschers. If there’s anything we love, it’s when animals act like humans. It’s even funnier that the cat is standing on his hind legs with his eyes wide open.
These dogs are unaware of what’s going on. They are simply walking by and enjoying their day in the sun. Thankfully, this cat got a lucky escape from a potential conflict.
You think these are snowballs? Well, take a closer look. These creatures are actually Arctic hares – also known as polar rabbits. For thousands of years, these animals have survived the harsh weather of frozen Arctic regions and live happily in Greenland.
Don’t let their shape and size fool you: these hares can reach speeds of up to 40 miles an hour. Amazingly, someone managed to catch a snap of a group of these fellas for proof that they exist. Would you like one as a pet? We would!
These salty icicles look like alien tentacles penetrating our planet and stealing our resources. This cave, called N3, rests in Qeshm, Iran. Amazingly, there is so much salt dripping from the tops of this mountain cave that it now looks like an animal lifeform.
You might be wondering where the name ‘N3’ comes from. Well, it actually is an abbreviation for the three men who discovered the cave. They undressed and swam in one of the salt pools and emerged from the cave, for some reason, completely naked.
A Perfect Snowflake
They say no snowflake is the same. Well, all we need to do is look at this masterpiece and see the value in such natural beauties. Eager sci-fi fans have noticed how this particular snowflake resembles the Imperial Crest from Star Wars.
Amazingly, this photo does show a real snowflake that hasn’t been photoshopped or modeled in any way. Next time it snows near you, try to catch a photo like this. It’s absolutely magical! What do you think?
No, this isn’t a picture of Mars! This unique saline lake rests in a country in Africa and has a pretty amazing origin. After the incredible heat it faces each day, most of the water evaporates into the sky leaving nothing but the salts at the bottom.
As well as salts, the bottom on this African lake also has minerals and micro-organisms. It’s the organisms that live here that turn the remaining water red. Therefore, the remaining image of the red lake makes for a perfect photo.
This lake is unique to other lakes, and not because of the reasons we listed previously. Unlike Lake Natron, this Canadian lake forms amazing spots across the bed for the same reason. Salts and minerals form in a certain way to produce the look of these incredible holes in the lake.
Each year, thousands of people travel to this alkali lake in Osoyoos, British Columbia. If the weather is right, you can snap the most amazing and unique images just like this one.
Guatemala City’s Mysterious Hole
What possibly happened in Guatemala to create this sinkhole? It looks like something out of War of the Worlds, where aliens have finally colonized Earth. Thankfully, this was caused by nothing more than Mother Nature and poor city planning.
This photo is from 2010 after Hurricane Agatha. Due to the bad weather and faulty pipes, Agatha tore a hole in the road causing the sinkhole to appear. We can’t help but think it looks fake, like a scene from a superhero film.
These perfect rectangle shapes appearing on the floor look as though they must be manmade. However, you might be amazed to know that these are actually created by Mother Nature herself. The phenomenon is known as a ‘tessellated pavement’. It shows us what happens when Geology takes a role in architecture.
The resulting picture is an amazing view that highlights these cracks in the pavement under a colorful sunset. We can’t imagine how tremendous this must have looked in real life. Sadly, we have to settle for the photograph for now.
San Francisco’s Flying Dutchman
There are a lot of things high in the sky in San Francisco. But one thing is for sure: we’ve never seen a floating boat before? Is it possible that this boat is off to Neverland, or are we simply dreaming?
It turns out that this isn’t actually a boat at all! It is simply a radio tower at the top of Twin Peaks. Due to some particularly foggy weather, it looks as though the top of the towers is a floating ship in the sky. One eager-eyed photographer was quick to capture the moment at the perfect time.
A Tear In The Fabric
At first look, this photo shows a rip in the fabric of space and time. Can’t you imagine a portal being opened into a multiverse? Could it be that this photo is real? Well, of course it is and here’s how the photographer captured this moment:
This phenomenon is called a Fallstreak Hole, or Hole Punch Cloud. It occurs when water molecules are cooled but don’t yet have anything solid to cling to, like a cloud. Suddenly, the molecules freeze and a hole is formed in the clouds.
These floating stacks of snow are something to marvel at. It looks as if someone has come and wrapped some plastic snow designs around a bunch of trees. But no – these stacked ice plates are completely real!
The photo exists because of a unique set of circumstances. First, flooding caused the water to rise up to higher levels than normal. Then, snow fell and settled on to the water and merged to the tree trunks. Therefore, when the water reduced to normal levels, the ice remained where it was placed. Truly amazing!
Upon a first look, you might think that this boat is floating high above the water. Actually, it’s just a testament to how clean the water is in this part of the world. Yes, that’s the shadow of the boat below it, but it’s from meters underwater. The boat is sitting comfortably on the surface of the sea.
Of course, we never doubted that the boat was sitting on the surface. Still, it caught our attention since we so rarely see water this clean anymore. We would love to take a dive in these waters! Let’s hope it’s as warm as it is clean!
Here’s a photo of one of the rarest animals ever caught on camera. This brown panda is the only known one of its kind in the world. He’s called Qizai and he lives with his fellow pandas in Foping Panda Valley, China.
Scientists believe that Qizai earned his brown skin due to a genetic mutation at birth. If we look closely we can see the color shading on his eyes and ears, resembling a ‘normal’ panda look. Sadly, his mother abandoned him, now cared for by rangers in the Valley. Read more about dangerous animals here.
Lightning vs. Volcano
Imagine the two strongest forces from Mother Nature and now put them in the same photograph. That’s exactly what’s happened here: meet lightning vs. volcano! Forget Batman vs. Superman or King Kong vs. Godzilla: here is the ultimate battle!
Apparently, lightning appearing within erupting volcanos isn’t totally unheard of. In 79AD, Pliny the Younger would monitor Mount Vesuvius and frequently record ‘a transient blaze of lightning’ coming from its core. Intense.
This photo was taken during a storm with extra long exposure time. Taken at the perfect moment, we can see how the electricity is running through the wood in the tree and straight into the ground.
The mixture of pink and blue is an amazing touch to nature as it strikes. Remember, lightning rarely strikes in the same place twice. This means this photo is particularly special. If you don’t take a photo like this, it will be best to stay indoors during a storm!