#9. The Rise of the Machines
Here's one that looks like somebody ported props from Terminator: Salvation onto an old-timey photograph. They didn't have tiny little robot tanks back then, did they? Shit, they barely have that now.
But, as with all terrifyingly futuristic war machines from back in the day, we can thank the Nazis for this one. The above picture was taken shortly after the D-Day invasion and shows four British soldiers alongside three captured German Goliath tracked mines: killer robots capable of delivering 75 to 100 kilograms of high explosives.
OK, so they were remote-controlled instead of robotic. So instead of a Skynet AI, they were merely controlled by a nearby Nazi with a joystick. That's much less terrifying!
#8. Pony Rides Were for Pussies
Wait, did we say Teddy Roosevelt was a badass for riding a moose earlier? In 1920s Louisiana, if you weren't standing on an alligator by age 3, you got sent to a special school.
#7. A scene from D.W. Griffith's Cloverfield
While a cursory glance would suggest foreigners like King Kong, the above is an actual photo from a calamity that befell the Empire State Building on July 28, 1945, at the hands of an American airplane. At 9:49 a.m., Lt. Col. William Smith mistook the tallest man-made structure on the planet for nothing when he banked his B-25 bomber into it.
The plane hit so hard that one engine shot all the way through the building, out the other side, and landed on the roof of another building the next block over. Still, that happened on Saturday and the building was open again on Monday. People were probably sitting at their desks, smoking cigarettes and doing paperwork with smoldering hunks of plane laying all around them.
#6. And It Was the Least-Manly Piece of Grandma's Furniture
This chair, apparently created from a mutated six-footed monstrosity, was a gift to President Andrew Johnson. The grizzly chair was the creation of an admirer named Seth Kinman, who apparently had this much badass to spare.
#5. Back in Those Days, an Oil Spill Went Completely Unnoticed
That ain't Texas, and it sure as hell isn't Saudi Arabia. That's the modern home of hippies and Priuses -- California, as it looked in 1928 (specifically, Huntington Beach). Back in those days if you ran across an otter that wasn't covered in oil, it was considered a source of shame for the community.
#4. How Did It Wind Up on the Second Floor in the First Place?
Here's one you may have seen floating around the Internet. This seemingly impossible shot of a train exploding out of the second floor of a train station is the great derailment of the Granville-Paris Express at Gare Montparnasse on Oct. 22, 1895.
Despite the fact that the train carried more than a hundred passengers and plowed through a goddamn train station, only one person was killed: a woman outside. The image went on to play a direct role in surrealist artwork, inspire countless imitators and ultimately serve as a reminder to humanity just how much the world looks like a freaking toy if you zoom back far enough.
At least it was on time.
#3. Those Are Not Stilts
If you think they just paired that guy up with a couple of tiny women, you're wrong. Shaquille O'Neal would only come up to his chest.
That's Robert Wadlow of Alton, Illinois, widely believed to be the tallest man who ever lived, at 8 feet 11 inches. He weighed almost 500 pounds and had size 37AA shoes.
In answer to your next question, no, it's not normal for a person to get that size, and he only lived to be 22. Still, he's making people say, "Holy shit, look at that guy!" 70 years after he passed away. Will you be able to say that?
#2. No! The Airplane's Natural Enemy!
It is difficult to discern what is more embarrassing about this picture from 1915 Brussels: The fact that this pilot just lost a fight against a zeppelin, or that he subsequently lost a second fight against a tree?
Ah, well. At least he's in good company:
Yeah, aviation has come a ways since then. Kind of puts those tennis players earlier in another light.
#1. Salvador Dali Hated Cats
That is not a photoshop or otherwise manipulated. The guy standing in front of the easel, as many of you already know, is surrealist Salvador Dali. The photo is the work of photographer Philippe Halsman.
If you're wondering how they came up with this, here's the actual exchange between the two men:
Dali: "I know what the picture should be ... We take a duck and put some dynamite in its derriere. When the duck explodes, I jump and you take the picture."
Halsman: "Don't forget that we are in America. We will be put in prison if we start exploding ducks."
Dali: "You're right. Let's take some cats and splash them with water."
It only took them 26 takes!
There's plenty of more badass imagery in our our new book.
And stop by Linkstorm where you can scream "FAKE" to your heart's content.
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