It's time again for another installment of our popular feature wherein we show you photographs that are 100 percent real, despite the fact that they all look 100 percent fake. In case you missed the previous installments, here are links to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, the gritty reboot that doesn't acknowledge the previous installments, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, and Part 12. Or you can just read this one on its own; we don't pretend to know how busy your schedule is.
#19. Your Artsy Photographer Friend Finally Learned Photoshop
The red symbolizes "color."
This looks like somebody decided to toy with mixing color with grayscale, maybe as an homage to the "girl in the red coat" from Schindler's List.
But it's actually an undoctored photo taken in the aftermath of a volcano eruption in Indonesia. When the eruption left a thin layer of ash over the landscape, the flower was still a bud. After the dust had settled, it bloomed to become a vivid splash of red in the ashy gray landscape. The result is a striking photo with an inspirational message for the ages: Sometimes success means being born at the right time.
#18. "I Wanted a House That Reflects What's in My Soul"
"I see a red door and I want it painted black ... then sometimes I go a little overboard."
This looks like somebody selected this house with the Magic Wand tool in Photoshop, then slid the brightness down to zero. That, or it's the house every 13-year-old goth kid swears he's going to live in when he grows up. But it's actually a very real home in Germany, or at least it was.
And, while we wish we could tell you that Glenn Danzig lives there, in reality it was painted like this as a farewell prior to demolition. Or maybe the house knew the demolition crew was going to show up at night and went into stealth mode.
Earlier, it looked like any other German house.
#17. No, This Isn't Man-Made
"I watch you change through your window. All of you."
At a glance, you'd say there are two options for this "man in the mountain" photo: It's either a very quick and simple Photoshop job or a very laborious and complex art project that spent months turning the mountainside into an image of a goateed giant who's about to burglarize the shit out of this town.
But it's neither -- it's a completely natural and coincidental formation on a mountainside near Alesund, Norway. Before you call bullshit, here's what it looks like up close, as seen in this photo by climber Arnt Flatmo:
So, not a man then. It's Satan.
The locals call the man in the mountainside "Sulamannen" (hint: The mountain itself is located in the town of Sula), and he only appears when it gets just the right amount of snow. The folklore goes that each winter, like magic, this man in the sock hat and goatee appears and, once everyone is asleep, swoops down and steals your television to sell it for meth money.
#16. Oh God, Please Tell Us He Cropped in That Background
Nothing about this looks real, for about a dozen different reasons. Obviously no human would suspend himself by his fingertips at what looks like 2,000 feet off the ground. And in general the cityscape below him looks like a bad CGI effect. For all the realism this guy achieved, he might as well have cropped himself into a photo of outer space.
But if you're scared of heights, get ready for your palms to start sweating: This is an undoctored photo of a real stunt, done with no safety harness, performed by a real idiot. He is a Ukrainian man who goes by the name Mustang Wanted, and if you want to see him taunt death in video form, have at it:
He doesn't reveal anything else about his identity or his motivation, but from the information available to us, we're going to assume he's trying to save up to buy a Mustang.
#15. Perhaps You Would Like to Upgrade to Our New Fourth-Dimensional Siding
Divide your time evenly between sunbathing and sweeping!
This looks like a clever photo project blending a before and an after view of a house in the desert by alternating the views with each board. Or something. But by now you know that this is exactly what you would see if you were standing in front of the house -- it just took some strategically placed mirrors.
The stripes give you the reflection of a fatty.
It wouldn't work if the desert wasn't so uniform that the reflection becomes indistinguishable from the landscape on the other side of the house, giving the illusion that you're looking straight through it. The house was part of an art installation by artist Phillip K. Smith III, and we're not sure how the photos were taken without capturing the photographer in the shot -- it probably has something to do with vampirism. Oh, and if you think the thing looks trippy during the day, it could double as a goddamned rave club at night.
Don't forget to hydrate when you're dropping E in the middle of the desert.
#14. From the LEGO School of Architecture
Everything is awesome. Except for the homeowner's association. They're dicks.
"So it's not a Photoshop, it's just a really shitty model of a housing development?" Nope, there's real, tiny people in them there houses. That is, depressingly, a real housing complex on the outskirts of Mexico City.
We can't give you an angle that doesn't make it look like a little LEGO village built by the world's most unimaginative child. The houses even come in gender-specific colors, the orange for boys and a lovely pink for the girls, complete with parking space for the LEGO Barbie dream car. In the wider view, you can even see primer-gray models in the background, presumably waiting to be painted:
Then a giant comes along and steps on one and starts screaming for us to clean up.
#13. Look Closely, You'll See a Face
via Design Taxi
Or possibly a butthole. Impressive either way.
OK, if that's not Photoshop, then it's some stupid stuffed animal, right? That's not, you know, some kind of living being ...
It sure is. That there is an actual Angora rabbit, and its fur is the result of carefully breeding only the fluffiest bunnies with each other over thousands of generations. This means that breeders have to take a male that looks exactly like that and a female that is exactly that fluffy, or fluffier, and make them fuck.
Are you picturing it? Or at least are you picturing the foreplay, when the male has to dig through there to figure out where the hell her genitals are?
#12. "Yeah, Man, You Can Really Feel the Bass"
"I warned you to get out of that goddamn tub."
We've got to admit, but for the first time ever, we were more focused on the rest of the picture, rather than the fact that the dude's balls are showing. What looks like a reflection in a fun house mirror is in fact a statue created using a 3D printer and a modified 3D scan of artist Richard Dupont's own body (or he was trying to create an exact replica and the printer fucked up).
We have to give him credit; a lot of artists couldn't have resisted the impulse to give themselves a little upgrade below the belt. Although we guess it's possible he did.
#11. It's a Stripper's Shoulder Tattoo Come to Life
Just with fewer waterborne diseases.
We're shocked there isn't a unicorn loping by in the background of this photo of a man gently casting a magic spell to the wonderment of his dolphin friend. Are there real people whose actual lives just ... look like this? All the time? Is that seaweed hiding a singing crab perched on his shoulder?
This photo was a finalist in a CBS sports photography competition taken by George Karbus. If you look close enough, it's easy to spot that the aquatic wizard's magic missile is actually just a well-placed jellyfish. Which, incidentally, makes the photo about 1 percent less weird. Is he, like, feeding it or something? Does he have jellyfish food on his finger? Do jellyfish allow you to just poke them like that? And are passing dolphins always that amused by it?
#10. "GAAAAHHH MY FUCKING ARM!"
"You should see the 'after-hours' exhibit."
What looks like a cruel booby trap intended to rip the tendons out of the elbows of unsuspecting tourists is actually just a perspective trick created by Jerry Andrus (that's not him in the photo), the world's king of creating apparently impossible objects. It's next to impossible to explain how it works in text (although if you stare at it long enough, you may eventually figure it out -- you're looking at the hollow back of the sculpture), so your best bet is to watch it in motion:
What's great about that video is that, when the illusion is viewed from the front, it still looks impossible when you pass something through it even in motion. Hell, even after you know how it works, the moment he turns it around, your brain just freezes up again. See, this is the kind of shit that used to get people put on trial for witchcraft.