It's hard to be amazed by anything you see online, when you know any teenager with a computer and a pirated copy of Photoshop can cobble together a fake photograph in minutes.
Unfortunately this means there's a whole bunch of jaw-dropping yet real pics that the internet declared "FAKE!" the moment they appeared. A couple of times a year we collect the most amazing/ridiculous examples. Enjoy the first 15 images below, be sure to follow the link at the end for the rest of our mind-boggling library.
#15. The Machine Apparently Made to Saw the World in Half
What appears to be some normal-sized machine cropped and pasted onto a skyline is actually a gigantic machinized monstrosity designed for excavation by some Germans. Those things that look like saw teeth big enough to cut down the Empire State Building are actually buckets, each of which could pretty much scoop up your whole house.
If this thing's secretly a transformer, we're screwed.
#14. Macaroni Push-Pop
Yes, this push-pop made of "Macaroni & Cheese in Chili Sauce With Beef" is very real, part of a "convenience meets nausea" movement to provide your favorite foods on the go in a microwaveable, cardboard tube. Scrambled eggs are also available.
Here's a tip for all you potential consumers: if you want macaroni and cheese so badly that you're willing to eat it in a push pop, you have an illness and need to reach out to a professional.
#13. "AAAAARRGGHH! EDDIE MURPHY HEAD!"
This giant, terrifying Eddie Murphy head that looks like a badly photoshopped and probably racist 4chan meme, was actually part of an enormous bust they were building to promote the movie, Meet Dave.
Incidentally, the only thing that would scare us more than driving next to Axl Foley's humongous noggin on the highway is being forced to see the movie.
#12. Giant Table or Tiny Bicyclist?
This humongous table and chair is a sculpture in England. The artist wanted to build a monument to the privacy and loneliness of writing. And by that we assume he means the loneliness of being a writer who is also a giant that eats passing bicyclists.
#11. "Do You See Those Letters, Uh, Floating There?"
Yes, if you stand in this spot in the parking garage shown in the photo, the word "DOWN" is just floating there. The sign was designed by an artist who won an award for it, because there are apparently awards for making innovative signage in parking garages.
He created the effect of continuous letters by adjusting the angles for appropriate perspective as they reached walls, just like in those incredible chalk sidewalk drawings that are all over the web.
These sorts of illusions are great when they appear on sidewalks, and probably much less entertaining when you ram straight into the wall of this Wile E. Coyote-inspired parking garage after swerving to avoid the giant DOWN sign that materialized in midair in front of your car.
#10. If You Look Past The Unsettlingly Tiny Speedo, You'll See a Huge Freaking Airliner
This apparent disaster-waiting-to-happen is on the Island of St. Maarten. The airport has a particularly short runway that ends just 40 feet from beach, leaving large planes just barely enough room to land. So they have to come in low, directly over the beach, making it a prime destination for an afternoon of quiet, relaxing sunbathing.
Cracked Travel Tip: In St. Maarten you should always give a nice gratuity to the guy driving the boat before he takes you parasailing.
#9. "We're Moving. It's the Crab's House, Now."
Holy crap, look at that thing. We were hoping that was just a tiny trash can but, no, it's a coconut crab, which is the biggest arthropod that lives on land.
We like how they chose the innocuous name "coconut crab" to describe something that can only be killed with a flamethrower. If these things were called "Skull Crabs" or "Under Your Bed Crabs" mankind would have declared war on them long ago.
#8. A Splotch From God's Paintbrush
This Mark Rothko-looking blotch of color is the Grand Prismatic Spring, which supposedly gets its colors from bacteria that grow around the water.
Since this explanation seems far too simple for something so brilliant, we'll go ahead and assume it's really an alien spacecraft landing site being covered up by the government.
#7. If Dogs Played Major League Baseball
This cartoonish muscle-dog is Wendy, a whippet with a genetic disorder causing ridiculous muscular growth.
While Wendy's condition is sure to have many medical applications to various muscle development disorders, we're still hoping Disney casts her as the bad guy in Air Bud 4.
#6. "Damn Kids!"
Taken by Kevin O'Mara
At first sight, this appears to be a home improvement project that accidentally tapped into Stephen Hawkings' most abstract theories on space and time. But then you notice that the kid who is right next to the portal to another dimension isn't disintegrating into millions of pieces, or even looking up from his goddamn cellphone.
So it must be a photoshop right? Wrong again. The Inversion House is an art project that answers the pressing question: what would your neighbor's place look like if it was sucked through a straw in the Looney Tunes universe? The answer is pretty cool, though apparently not nearly as cool as whatever 13 year-olds are texting each other these days.