#8. It's Raining Asses
These are Mammatus clouds, aptly named for their resemblance to udders.
It's still not well understood how they actually form, so in a sense, these sky-butts (as we like to call them) represent the cutting edge in our meteorological knowledge.
#7. Documentation of Man's First Attempts to Win a Penis-Measuring Contest
Hey, remember that news story from a while ago where that kid drew a giant penis on his parents' roof so it'd be captured on Google Earth? Well, it turns out that tradition goes back a long way.
The Cerne Abbas giant for instance has been around for centuries (nobody is sure who made it). It's formed out of a trench that uncovers the chalk under the soil, creating a permanent drawing of a dude with a huge dong. Wikipedia thoughtfully includes a close-up of his nuts.
It's common to catch sight of couples fucking, as doing so is rumored to prevent infertility. We'd prefer to think the drawing is less about fertility and more about the medieval custom of going into battle with a huge boner.
#6. That Thing That Nobody Understood in the Ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey
In a classic example of "You won't believe it's not Photoshopped," this 1965 cover to LIFE magazine was initially doubted as fake by the Editors.
It's one of the first pictures ever taken with an endoscope and is of a living fetus inside the uterus. It's really amazing to realize that the beginning of every human life starts with a swim for your life to escape from an interstellar jellyfish.
#5. The Ent Nursery
These laughably fake-looking tree men are in fact made using a technique called tree shaping. The trees are bound and grafted as they grow, forming them into all kinds of ridiculous shapes. If you're curious what a typical day looks like for the guy behind these painstaking sculptures, the answer is: exactly what you think.
This image is a message board staple and easy to confuse with something that's been manipulated lolcat-style. But it is in fact just a cheerleader at the University of South Carolina, home of the the Gamecocks. The girl is leading the crowd in the official school cheer of "GAME!-COCKS!" with each word printed on one side of the card.
We would say here that they named the team during a more innocent time, but we're having trouble believing such a time ever existed. And you'd think after discovering their faux pas, they'd find a cheer that didn't require a young girl in a skirt to carry around a foot-tall dick euphemism on a sign.
#3. "What's that White Stuff on the Trees? It Almost Looks Like Some Kind of Web... OH SHIT-"
If you're arachnophobic and are getting short of breath looking at what looks like the work of a giant spider, don't worry. It's actually a freak massive spider web created by millions of spiders working together in ways science previously did not think was possible.
#2. "Hey Steve, You Remember That Scene in Independence Day..."
Come on! Look at the way the ground is perfectly cropped out at the horizon, so that stupid cotton candy-looking stuff could be pasted in! This isn't Photoshop, it's MS Paint!
Actually it's one of a series of real photos from Iraq, taken during a sandstorm in 2005 (the photographer says it took about three minutes from spotting it on the horizon to engulf him completely).
So parts of Iraq apparently look a lot like some crappy pre-CGI shot from the latest Mummy sequel.
#1. God Declares the SUV to be Gay
It's the end of the rainbow! Wow!
The above photo got spread around the Internet earlier this year with that exact title, claiming the photographer had found the exact spot the rainbow "landed" on the highway, as if it's a goddamned stationary structure rather than a play of light and water particles that changes depending on where you're standing.
Go ahead and read the countless infuriating comments from dumbasses confirming it and talking about the time they also found a rainbow ending in their back yard, with the few dissenters screaming "Photoshop!"
It's neither, of course, since the rainbow exists only from the driver's point of view and here is just continuing down through the mist coming off the street (you can kind of see the arc continuing down through the pavement). But don't let us ruin the illusion! Come back with a jackhammer and dig up your pot of gold!
When you've finished wrapping your brain around those images, prepare to have it blown again in 6 Insane Sports Stories That Will Make You Believe In Curses. Or find out about some fake science that people passed off as real in The 6 Ballsiest Scientific Frauds (People Actually Fell For).