Can you imagine being out fishing and catching that bastard? With that face looking up at you? And it calls you "daddy"?
The Internet is full of hilarious and wacky Photoshopped images, but that's not what this list is about. Over the past six years, Cracked has collected some of the most insane real photographs of all time. Now we've gathered the very best images from all those articles and put them together, here, in one convenient package. None of these pictures has been manipulated in any way. All of them look crazier than a bag of balls.
Can you imagine being out fishing and catching that bastard? With that face looking up at you? And it calls you "daddy"?
Either these guys are living in that Robin Williams movie where he died and had to spend the afterlife inside an oil painting, or else the bottom of their boat is about to melt from toxic waste sludge.
Actually, that's algae that has overtaken Chaohu Lake in China. It's pretty, but it's also bad news for anyone relying on the lake for drinking water (as 300,000 people do). The Chinese government is spending billions trying to clean the stuff out of their rivers and lakes. According to the below photo, they do that by sending a dude out to scoop it off with a saucepan.
This real-life Flintstones house stands in Nas Montanhas de Fafe, Portugal. It was built in 1974 and is used as a family's rural retreat. Even though the house is next to several immense wind turbines, it has no running water or electricity. Instead, all of their appliances have been replaced by repurposed animals that spout smarmy one-liners like "It's a living" when in use.
Once the home started appearing on obnoxious "comedy" websites running lists of stupid crap like "weird houses," hundreds of tourists showed up at the remote location, some even trying to break in. Now all windows in the Boulder House have been converted to bulletproof glass, and the front door was replaced with a slab of solid steel. See? You really can have it both crazy ways: You can live like a character from The Lord of the Rings while still preparing for the zombie apocalypse.
Bullshit. That cannot be real. Evolution did not spawn a creature with a fucking yellow smiley face on its back. Science is lying to us.
This is Theridion grallatora, aka the Happy Face Spider, aka a sick joke somebody is playing on the world's spider experts. Some think the terrifying cartoon face somehow evolved to ward off predators, presumably by convincing them that instead of seeing a spider, they're merely having a bad acid trip. Best to abandon dinner and go lie down for a bit.
Let's play a game. We describe an animal and you picture it in your head, then we show you what it looks like and you shriek in horror, OK? OK, here we go. It's a reptilian predator, it only has to breathe twice every 24 hours, and it's 6 feet across, sucking in any animal that comes too close. What are you picturing? An alligator? Maybe some giant hideous snake?
How about a cow patty squished and formed into a turtle? Cantor's giant softshell turtles live in Asia and Indonesia, where they spend 95 percent of their lives lying in the mud with just their faces sticking out, eating whatever unfortunate fish happens by. It's like a giant alligator/snapping turtle.
This picture looks like a composite of a mountain lake and a mountain on Mars. It was actually taken just as the evening sun peeked through a hole in the clouds in Glacier National Park, Montana. Unless photographer Harry Litchman is just screwing with us.
At first glance, it would appear to be your 13-year-old brother's initial attempt at photo manipulation, but it is in fact an actual event from 2008 when Gary Kasparov (the chess dude) was attacked by a peniscopter during a press conference.
There is also video of the incident, which we understand is a traditional Russian debate technique.
We guess spiders are chronic terror overachievers, because that image is not bullshit. It is exactly what it looks like: a spider eating a fucking bird.
That's Nephila edulis, the giant golden orb weaver spider, and according to the head spider keeper of the New South Wales Australian Reptile Park (who must have murdered a convent full of puppies to get karma shitty enough for that job), this type of spider sometimes grows "as big as a human hand, but the northern species in tropical areas were known to grow larger."
Holy Shit! Is It Dangerous?
Look at that! It's eating a freaking bird! Birds can fly! Can you fly?! The bird literally had access to an entire axis that you don't, and the spider still got it. What chance is there for you?!
Although the poison this particular species makes is pretty much the same thing produced by black widows, it is much less concentrated and merely causes localized pain, swelling, and blisters. However, it should be noted that birds aren't a normal part of this spider's diet: These photos are of freak incidents.
Some might call that a comforting thought, but not us. We just see it as a sign of ambition.
This looks like four different Target ads pasted together in a flier to let the neighborhood know how terrible your personal taste is.
However, look at the spoon coming out of the coffee mug, and trace the arm of that desk lamp -- this is actually just a single photograph. Move the camera slightly and ...
The "edges" of the seemingly different pictures were all created using perspective tricks -- you can see the artist setting the whole thing up in this video, although they seem to have edited out the portion where Jimmy bumped into the table and they had to beat him to death.
For those of you who didn't see this when the video went viral, yes, that's a real cat. Yes, it has been converted into a remote control helicopter.
After his cat was killed by a car, artist Bart Jansen decided to turn its corpse into a flying machine, because there is no point in being insane if you can't use your insanity to give other people nightmares. This is one of those things that seems like it should be illegal somehow, but what law could it possibly be breaking? The animal was already dead, after all.
So, what would it cost to have this done to our bodies after we die? Screw it, it's going in the will either way.
This one looks less like Photoshop and more like bad MS Paint. But it's another one of those forced-perspective works of art where strategically placed lines give the illusion of a floating box (hint: it only works if you're standing in the right spot). In this case it's just bright green tape ...
... and the skill of street artist Aakash Nihilani, who randomly tapes misleading cubes in public spaces presumably for the sole purpose of freaking out passersby.
What appears to be some normal-size machine cropped and pasted onto a skyline is actually a gigantic mechanized 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.
This bicycle that has gotten swallowed by a tree is a fairly famous landmark on Vashon Island near Seattle. You can find numerous references to it, including multiple supposed backstories. One way or another, the story boils down to somebody left their bike next to a little tree years ago and the tree just swallowed that bastard up when it got big. Trees do that:
Trees are living things just like you and me, and if survival means growing right around whatever happens to be parked between them and the sun, they're going to do it, without a moment's hesitation. Trees don't give a shit.
Once more we are presented with a photo that appears to be not only a Photoshop, but a bad one.
But, no, ostrich racing is an all too real sport in several countries, though we admit these photos seem to portray frat guys enjoying the sport ironically.
Ostriches have a reputation for being ornery sons of bitches, so we're guessing that half of the excitement is watching to see which jockey gets his eyes pecked out mid-race.
This one looks like a bad Internet meme. You know, they take the lizard and they Photoshop various hats on it, maybe the next one has it in a little cowboy hat with a cigarette or something.
But no, this totally happened, in our world. It's a Komodo dragon at the St. Augustine alligator park, shown here happily celebrating his birthday in a SpongeBob SquarePants hat. Making the situation almost too surreal to not be made up, that's a birthday cake made of meat and dead mice. Look, kids -- the cute lizard has a birthday hat on! And he's eating the star of Ratatouille! How cute!
That car rendered from what looks like vector graphics from an old-school arcade game is a wire-frame sculpture by artist Benedict Radcliffe. And we mean an actual frame made of wires.
Reportedly it received a ticket for being illegally parked, but if we had been there, we'd have quickly gotten another ticket for climbing inside, picking it up, and running down the street making engine sounds.
It looks a little like seeing somebody's feet through a kaleidoscope, but it's the feet of a Chinese boy who was born with 15 fingers and 16 toes. Don't worry, he's fine (he since had surgery to remove the extra appendages).
Take the people out of this photo, and it looks like a bad painting. It's the wave rock formation in Arizona, formed out of ancient sand dunes and creating that crazy depth perception-destroying optical illusion.
We're not kidding, every damned picture of this thing looks fake. Including some that look like freaking finger paint.
We couldn't tell if this was the most horrifying or most adorable thing we'd ever seen, until we learned the backstory. First terrifying detail: It is real. There's even video. This species of giant gray bunnies are bred by a guy in Germany ... for food.
Look people, we're going to say it extra slow this time, and we're going to link every word to evidence: Germany. Is. Freaking. Weird. If you choose to travel there, please don't return with photographs.
At first glance this looks almost exactly like a techno artist's design made with USB connectors. It's actually a satellite photo of an Australian wind farm still under construction. The ends of the apparent connectors are the bases where the wind turbines will soon be attached:
Does it make us nerds to have first noticed what an inefficient use of space that would be in Sim City?
"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:
So ... a couple of tourists with a cardboard cutout of Sylvester Stallone? Two guys at a 75-percent-scale wax museum? A pair of brothers badly Photoshopping movie stars into their vacation photos to impress their Facebook friends?
Because that's just ... cartoonish. We mean, it's pretty common to find out that actors aren't all they're cracked up to be on the big screen, but Sylvester Stallone is 5 foot 9 inches or so in reality -- not exactly a munchkin.
But the monsters surrounding him there are the Klitschko brothers, heavyweight boxers in the 6 feet 7 inches neighborhood. Oh, and if you're trying to figure out what the backdrop behind them says, don't worry -- they're just advertising the live musical production of Rocky. We're not kidding.
OK, this one just looks like some joker practicing their reflection effects by cutting and pasting this ridiculous rubber ducky into a harbor full of boats. But, no, artist Florentijn Hofman did it the hard way, creating an actual 100-foot-long rubber ducky and sticking it in the water like God's bathtub.
Why? According to the artist, "The friendly, floating Rubber Duck has healing properties: it can relief mondial tensions as well as define them. The rubber duck is soft, friendly, and suitable for all ages!"
In other words, "To terrify children."
It looks like a still from Inception, but it's actually a photograph by French artist Philippe Ramette, and instead of spending $150 million, he just turned his camera sideways. We could've really chosen any of his pictures, because they're all beautifully surreal.
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.
What looks like a half-done attempt to edit a utility pole out of a landscape is in fact the aftermath of a brush fire in Russia. How exactly they managed to stop the fire right before it burned out the lines, we're not sure, but we're certainly glad it didn't shut down the market for international brides.
This photo has been bouncing around the Internet for years and simply looks like a semi-competent attempt to make a normal truckload of corn husks look ridiculous via Photoshop's Clone Tool.
But unless Reuters got really, really bored one day, it's a genuine pic from Somalia. They basically don't have a government there, so no traffic laws are enforced (you can seriously drive on whichever side of the road you want).
With the oppressive "limit how much corn you cram into your truck" regulations off the table, the locals cheered and said, "Yeah! Just cram all the corn on there! Keep going!"
Maybe it's one of those Magic Eye 3D pictures that were so popular in the '90s? Don't bother guessing -- you could probably stare at this all day and never deduce that what you're seeing is a satellite image of the Namib Desert, the red sands meeting the Tsauchab River.
And now let us blow your minds again: There is no water in this photo. At the bottom is a dry riverbed. The color comes from white salt deposits and vegetation (if you lean in real close, you'll see the highway that cuts down through the middle of it and a side road that splits off a little more than halfway through). Here's another image that makes it look exactly as strange as the last one:
This is a photo from an aerobatic performance by the Blue Angels, who, if you're not familiar, make their living by flying in mind-bogglingly close formation at terrifying speeds. We're not sure what use this would be in war -- maybe the planes eventually join together like Voltron.
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.
This would be an impressive feat even if this church was just a painting on the side of the cliff face. Then you find out it's a real church.
It's the Hermitage of St. Columban in Trentino, Italy, and this photo was taken by John McGregor. It gets even more impressive -- or insane -- when you realize the church was built in 1319. And it's only accessible by climbing 102 steps up the mountain.
So, yeah, good job to whoever hauled all those bricks up there.
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.
We present the Alpine ibex, seen here casually scaling the Cingino Dam in Italy and openly defying all laws of physics.
The only thing these goats give less of a shit about than gravity are the fences you build to try to keep them in. Among their other superpowers are growing giant horns and being the only animal as likely to crap on your shoulder as seagulls.
This looks like a bank of escalators seconds before they were buried under a lava flow, but it's actually one of about a hundred decorated subway stations under Stockholm, Sweden, where the natural bedrock ceiling has been painted. Each station has its own design, earning them the title of world's longest art gallery.
If nothing else, it has to make it a hell of a lot easier to figure out if you're at the right stop.
This Samus costume was probably really simple to make, but it still plays tricks with our eyes seeing it up against the background of a convention hall. That's the work of Daniel Cattell, who has also got a Chozo statue. It's great to see someone going totally old school on the cosplay, and we're hoping he figured out how to make it walk like it only had three frames of animation.
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.
Also known as the fish of the damned, it appears the only reason we don't hear their curse-filled lamentations is because they're underwater. Fill your aquarium with these fuckers and you'll fall asleep every night watching them silently proclaim your impending damnation.
They only grow to be about four and a half inches long, but their bite-size terror is potent -- they hide in the deep during the day, then rise up at night, returning once more to the abyss as day breaks. We believe they're called hatchetfish because that's what you'll wish you had in your hand if you saw one.
OK, that doesn't even look like a good Photoshop, yet it's a real photo, taken in the Cave of Crystals in Mexico.
It's believed that the combination of mineral-rich water and high temperatures resulted in supercharged growth of the crystals. So Lex Luthor's plan in Superman Returns wasn't retarded after all.
If you're arachnophobic and are getting short of breath looking at what appears to be 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.
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:
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.
Looking at this picture, we immediately became certain of two things: 1) whoever stumbled across this skull is probably very rich now, and 2) that skull isn't fossilized, so we are all fucking doomed.
Sadly, that very fake dragon skull was just a promo for the third season of Game of Thrones, despite the fact that absolutely nothing about the skull's appearance would suggest as much to casual human beings. So, you just get passing townsfolk on the beach saying, "Eh, I'll just let my dog pee on it."
It's the end of the rainbow! Wow!
The above photo got spread around the Internet with that same 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.
The Deep Sea Holothurian, better known as an abyssal sea cucumber, sounds like a boss from Final Fantasy and looks like something Khan would attach to the brain of a Starfleet officer.
It is only a few inches long, has no face, and eats mud, which is exactly how we described our genitalia on Match.com. Somehow, the abyssal sea cucumber is one of the most successful ocean-dwelling species, presumably because any predator would take one look at this thing and run home to sleep with the lights on in their parents' room.
What looks like a screen cap from a CGI-heavy Super Bowl commercial is actually a real, not-manipulated photograph. And no, those aren't posed ant corpses with a bottle cap hot glued to their tiny hands, if that's what you think, Professor Coldheart. It's from a series of images that photographer Andrey Pavlov took outside his house, after studying and then making an art project out of a real live ant colony. He's a former set designer, which allowed him to make some pretty incredible sets for the ants to interact with in the most stereotypically industrious ways possible.
Seeing ants get things done at this scale is inspiring, but if you're anything like us, that sensation quickly turns to a sense of foreboding for the day when they finally decide to rise up and take humanity down.
Seriously, we don't even know what to say. Look at it. That is some hostile alien landscape shit right there. Imagine seeing that pool of glowing wizard fire rolling down toward your village. It'd immediately be followed by your very own eruption of brown lava into your pants.
That is, in fact, not a volcano, but a sulfur mine, and blue flames are what you get when the sulfur combusts.
The sulfur isn't burning when it comes out of the ground -- the surreal blue fires erupt when miners "accidentally" ignite it with their torches. We put "accidentally" in sarcasm quotes there because you just know they're lighting that shit all the time, just to watch it burn (we're thinking seeing this is literally the only perk of working in a sulfur mine). By the way, try to imagine being the first guy to accidentally drop his torch in there, only to see that happen as a result.
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.
Texas may boast about their longhorn steer, and we're inclined to agree that the Lone Star State has some impressive cows with impressive horns. On the other hand, the only things those cows have to contend with are lonely cowboys and an industrial mincer at the end of their days. Now, put good ol' American steer in a land filled with Ebola and lions, and the stakes get higher.
In Africa, Ankole-Watusi cows need to carry a pair of Conan's swords on their heads just to make sure they don't wind up as hyena food. Their horns can be anywhere from 8 to 12 feet between the tips and are the result of several different breeds of cattle being mixed across Africa.
They are considered "medium" in size as far as cattle are concerned, probably by a bull with smaller horns and a bigger truck.
As much as we wish we could tell you that this is the world's only double rhino, we cannot. It's just a convenient shot of a rhino standing in front of another one. Still, if you look away from the picture, then look back, your brain will tell you it's a two-headed rhino again. We just want it to be true so badly, even though deep down we know that if a zoo had such a creature, it would be world famous by now.
Seriously, that looks like the frosty cap of King Neptune's Atlantean beer stein. It isn't even a good Photoshop, either -- that mess was clearly cropped in from a close-up shot of Sam Adams from someone's Instagram account.
In reality, what you're looking at is a dust storm developing near Onslow, Australia. Of course it's Australia.
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.
It turns out that with carefully controlled conditions, you can create an actual indoor cloud. Artist Berndnaut Smilde creates the clouds with a fog machine and then carefully monitors the temperature and humidity of the room to get his artificial cloud to hang there long enough to snap a picture. We have to assume he couldn't get it to last long enough to bring his stoned friends in and start commanding them to run his errands in a deep booming voice.
This quite frankly tacky landscape is the Danxia Landform, located in southeast China and widely known as the world's largest naturally formed acid flashback.
That eruption of color is what you get when you have layers of mineral-rich red sandstone and other layers of sediment that were formed over millions of years, then tossed around by shifting tectonic plates and finally eroded by wind and water. So stop and appreciate it, that shit took a lot of work.
Everyone's reaction to this one can be summed up as "What's the big deal? It's just two pics, one of a giant oil tanker and one of a peaceful little town- OH HOLY FUCK THOSE PEOPLE ARE ABOUT TO BE CRUSHED."
That is in fact one photo, of the the Pasha Bulker, a ship that famously ran aground in 2007 within spitting distance of that little Australian community there. The accident was due to bad weather while the captain was "eating breakfast." Apparently it became quite a tourist attraction, with people traveling from all over to see the massive stuck ship and perhaps hoping it was about to spill several million gallons of Fosters.
That's the giraffe weevil, and never has something so unsettling gotten such a cute name. It hails from Madagascar, and apparently the long freak neck is an adaption to help male weevils roll leaves into tubes for keeping their eggs.
All we know is that before today we thought giant-ass insects were about the worst thing you could find in your house. Now we know it's quite a bit weirder if you just take one part of the insect and grow one part of its body to freakishly huge proportions.
This melting building is actually just a regular building covered in a huge tarp with the Dali-esque design painted on it. It's covering an apartment building undergoing renovation in Paris.
Hats off to the French. In a single stroke, they hide unsightly construction and fool all passersby into thinking someone spiked their espresso. Now if they could only figure out why people keep plowing their cars into buildings undergoing renovation in Paris.
Even though it looks like a still from some goofy CGI ad (maybe the cool fly is about to drink a tiny bottle of Pepsi), this is an actual photograph of a set of 2-millimeter-wide sunglasses being worn by a common housefly. Because sometimes scientists just get incredibly bored and/or high.
The picture was submitted to a science photo competition back in 2005 to promote advances in laser machining (you can make things ridiculously tiny now!). It seems a little lazy that they didn't also make him a tiny little hat to wear, but whatever.
This spontaneous tornado photo looks like the kind of CGI you see in made-for-TV movies. But if it's fake, then National Geographic is lying to us. They say it's a 4,000-foot-tall twister in Kansas. We think it looks like that bank of clouds ate a bit of bad Mexican last night, in which case we're really glad not to be that Weather Tracker guy. Cracked meteorology tip: When you're within sighting distance of a bout of meteorological diarrhea, it's good not to wear your Sunday best.
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.
This is one of those in the "not just fake but a bad fake" category, looking like something from some magazine ad selling ... bear insurance or something. But in fact it's one of several pics of Brutus the Bear and the family who's keeping him as a pet.
Brutus was raised in captivity and serves as a pet/family friend to Casey Anderson, star of Expedition Grizzly. One of Casey's major goals is to use Brutus to show that giant bears aren't the dangerous man-eating monsters that we think they are. That's a brave mission he's on, considering the previous attempt to prove that resulted in the guy getting eaten.
This strung-out-looking thing is the aye-aye lemur, which appears to have crawled its way out of the rancid vagina of a Victorian prostitute and went straight to work hiding in children's bedrooms to steal their dreams.
Actually, it lives in trees in Madagascar and uses its freakishly oversized fingers to find grubs (the exact purpose of its goblin hair has yet to be determined). It's basically the terrifying version of a woodpecker. Unsurprisingly, Madagascan natives regard the aye-aye as an unholy terror. Consequently, the damn thing is endangered and we're legally required to give a shit about it. But fuck it, the Rancor was probably endangered too.
This billboard from Indonesia is a creative effort by the Formula Toothcare company to illustrate the fact that their toothpaste builds strong teeth, though there's a special bonus message for very young children: People in pictures can only come alive if they're very big and hungry enough to eat you.
Even knowing that it's not Photoshopped, it takes a few minutes to figure out what's going on in this photo from the Sports Illustrated archive. And judging from the amazed look on the face of the kid at the right edge of the photo, it wasn't any easier in person.
Unfortunately for Norway's hockey team, #55 Ole-Kristian Tollefsen does not possess Nightcrawler's ability to magically disappear out of a sticky situation. If you look at his left armpit, you can just see his hair peeking out where his head is being held down. We'd like to think the little ginger-haired kid was a fan of X-Men and left the game telling his dad, "I know what I saw, OK?"
The Internet is lousy with mind-bending images of street art that turns a few panels of sidewalk into a swimming hole or a terrifying pedestrian hazard, but Edgar Mueller's neighborhood-swallowing painting makes that shit look like hopscotch.
With most sidewalk art, you can wrap your head around the illusion if you look at it long enough. But this one just gets more insane the longer you think about it. Especially when you take into account his contingency plan for rain is "leave and paint a new picture tomorrow." So while the dog perched precariously out on the ledge of the literal floating buttress might look like it's in danger of starring in the Disney version of Drag Me to Hell, it could actually ruin the whole week-long project with a territory-marking stream of piss.
Ah! Where's its face?! Is that its face?
The star-nosed mole, aka "the creature with another bullshit name because it should be called 'the tentacle-faced digbeast,'" looks like it should come bursting out of the boiler room of an old church to kill every orphan in the city, only to eventually be cast back into hell by a retired priest struggling with his own faith played by Lance Henriksen.
In reality, they're only about 8 inches long and are mostly blind (its titular star nose is a sensory organ), which we argue takes nothing away from its orphan-eating potential.
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.
Proving that global economic crises mean nothing to the Japanese, they've built a full-scale Gundam statue, just for the hell of it.
It's a real iceberg shaped like a pecker. We're going to leave it at that.
This looks like an entry in a "what if advertisements came to life and fucked up your car" Photoshop contest, but it is an actual photo of an actual ad in Columbus, Ohio.
The ad isn't for a paint brand, but rather Nationwide Insurance. So how did they achieve the illusion that paint had spilled down the building and onto the parking lot? By, uh, spilling a bunch of paint on the building and parking lot.
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.
This comic book-style drawing is actually a huge metal sculpture in New Zealand, by artist Neil Dawson. The great thing about this 45-foot-high structure is that it pretty much looks fake from any angle.
What sucks about magic is the tricks are always incredibly lame once you know how they're done. This one is no different: It's supported by a pipe running up through the water.
... until you see the microscopic little spelunker standing there. And then it looks like bullshit.
That's Hang Son Doong cave in Vietnam, which is thought to be the largest in the world. This discovery pretty much makes Journey to the Center of the Earth obsolete. Anything less than Journey 97 Percent of the Way Through the Earth isn't impressive anymore.
This too-out-of-place-to-be-true Santa is actually just a woman in costume and makeup (if you look close, you can see where some rubbed off around her neck). Otherwise, holy shit, we're thinking we'd call this fake even if it happened right in front of us.
The greyscale Santa herself actually showed up in our forums to explain how she did it. We're predicting there will be half a dozen "Black and White _______" costumes at every Halloween party you attend this year. And we won't complain, because it's really freaking cool.
Sadly, rhino mice do not have tiny nose horns that they use to shank Tonka trucks. Rather, they're mutated mice afflicted with a range of skin and nail disorders and glandular problems. Their condition leaves them looking like a mouse bred with a raisin. Or if Master Splinter had a baby with Krang. Here's a picture of either two rhino mice from a scientific study or Edward James Olmos hanging out with Keith Richards.
Just one more: Rhino mice look like God said, "Sure, mice are OK, but what if I made them out of scrotum?"
Yes, the proportions are correct. The tiny man is Aditya "Romeo" Dev, the world's smallest bodybuilder. He stands a towering 2 feet 9 inches tall and weighs in at a whopping 20 pounds.
We'd love to see him and Vern Troyer go at it in a no-holds-barred cage match. Or see two huge men get into a cage match using this guy and Vern Troyer as weapons.
The Internet has driven one lesson home to us repeatedly: Anything that comes from the deep sea is pure evil. This one appears to have been dreamed up as a children's learning tool by Satan's kindergarten teacher.
It's a barreleye fish, and you can see through its head. The weird green balls inside are its eyes, and they are frozen staring upward to find fish.
That's right: Rather than giving it a great sense of smell or touch or superior electromagnetic senses to help it hunt in the darkness of the deep sea, nature saw fit to glue eyes on the top of its brain and give it an invisible skull. Why not?
OK, if that isn't a terrible Photoshop crop job, then it's time to play a game of "Giant Head Sculpture or Tiny Cars?"
It's the second one. Michael Paul Smith is not a city-size monster, he's just an extreme modeling enthusiast. We're not sure which is scarier. It reminds us a little bit of those Calvin and Hobbes strips where Calvin builds little sandcastle worlds to destroy. Only these worlds took thousands of hours of painstaking, meticulous detailing. Either way, we're certain one day he'll get drunk and stomp around on that shit like Godzilla.
From the "holy shit that must have taken forever" category, this sculpture is by some inventive artists making shadow art using garbage carefully positioned to form the silhouette. We're sure the rats living in the pile see the whole thing as evidence of intelligent design.
Yep, those are tiny rowboats, and that is water. But it's not the result of a horrific spill from the dye tanks at a bubblegum factory -- this one is all-natural.
This lake in Africa is colored pink as a result of absurdly high salt concentrations, which attracts massive hordes of salt-loving bacteria called Dunaliella salina. We know what you're thinking -- so that pink color is the bacteria's shit, right? Because all those trillions of D. salina are just taking constant, tiny, bloody shits in the lake? Unfortunately, no. The bacteria are full of the red-orange pigment beta-carotene, the same stuff that gives carrots their color. Still, don't drink that shit.
Nature pulled a dick move on the butterfly. Before you earn your wings, you have to spend your infancy as a slow-moving tube of meat in a world crawling with meat-loving predators. So, how can an enterprising caterpillar discourage the hordes? By masquerading as something that's actually dangerous.
Yes, all of those are caterpillars. When they become frightened, they retract their heads backward into themselves, causing that bulge that looks like the head of a snake. The snake "eyes" are just spots on the caterpillar's sides. So when a predator has a taste for this:
They get fooled into thinking they're looking at this:
Some caterpillars even go the extra mile by extending appendages from the top of their head to mimic a forked snake tongue, making it look like a snake that's about to strike ...
... in the most adorable way possible. Man, that guy just better hope he doesn't run into any creatures who prey on Yoshis.
This totally looks like an alien egg about to hatch in the middle of Yosemite and lay waste to California. It looks too much like something from that Ivan Reitman tax write-off Evolution to be a real thing.
Surprisingly, this is just an incredibly well-timed photo of a geyser in Strokkur, Iceland, taken right as the geyser is about to erupt. If you watch the video, you can see a split second before eruption where all of the bubbles gather below the surface, catching the light just before it blows:
Holy crap. This is the fakest looking photo we've come across in all the work we've done for these articles. It looks like a bad video game cut-scene back from the days when they first had CD-ROMs.
This is a photo from a Scottish festival to honor St. Anthony, which apparently involves riding horses through bonfires. We don't quite know who St. Anthony is, but based on some of these pictures, we're guessing he's the patron of badassery.
It looks like a city about to get drained out of a giant's bathtub, but it's actually a picture of the world's largest diamond mine outside of Mirny, Russia.
This mine is so large that air currents prevent helicopters from flying over it. By the way, the title of World's Second Largest Hole still belongs to your mom.
If you're thinking that looks like somebody pulled the plug on a huge cartoonish bathtub drain under a lake ... well, that's exactly what it is. That's Lake Berryessa in California, and the "drain" controls the water levels in the lake. According to the site the photograph is from, the drain is big enough to swallow your house (about 70 feet across) and it goes down almost 300 feet.
Then it all empties out into another lake full of incredibly confused fish.
Pill bugs, potato bugs, roly-polies ... whatever you call them, you have to admit that, for insects, they're pretty damn cute. Look at it. Isn't that adorable? It's like a little Extra-Strength Tylenol that's trying to cuddle with itself. Awww ...
The Horror, Oh God the Horror:
... wwwwWOH CHRIST WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?
The giant marine isopod, like pretty much everything else we wish we didn't know about, comes to us from the deep sea. They're usually scavengers, but do sometimes hunt slow-moving creatures, and much like horrible, alien, insectile guinea pigs, they're known to eat so much in one meal that they become bloated and unable to move.
Holy Shit! Is It Dangerous?
They're not going to be a threat unless you're already immobile and trapped on the floor of the deep sea (say, from a cramp-inducing jellyfish sting), but if that is the case, they'll likely swarm over your motionless body and feast on your soon-to-be corpse until they're bursting at the seams.
There's no record of anything like that ever happening, of course, but then again, there's no record of it not happening, and looking at this thing's smug horrible "face," we're ready to assume the worst.
This undoctored photo is part of an art project (and possibly also an awesome assassination scheme) where they meticulously paint clothing to match the surroundings.
We can't imagine how much time they must have put into creating photos that, after all that effort, will be dismissed as Photoshop by nearly every single viewer.
Some of you are going to point out that they're doing a tricky thing with the depth up there (that is, the guy's feet in the foreground are huge compared to his head), but this is a huge fucking dog from any angle.
That's George, the 4-year-old Great Dane. He weighs 245 freaking pounds, and if you could stand him up vertically, he'd be taller than Shaquille O'Neal (he's 7 feet 3 inches long from nose to tail).
Are you all imagining how huge his poops must be? Because we're picturing entire cats lodged in there.
This house is cutely titled Just Room Enough. At first sight, it looks like a picture taken 30 seconds before somebody died in a flood, but the structure is actually built on an island exactly the size of the house. Located between Canada and America on the St. Lawrence River, Just Room Enough was bought by the Sizeland family in the 1950s. They purchased the little parcel of land in the hopes of having somewhere to go to to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and they figured an inaccessible island fortress with literally no earth around it on which strangers could stand would work nicely. Instead, due to the novelty of the house, the island quickly became a tourist magnet.
Somewhere in the river, irony is giggling in its tiny rowboat.
This looks more like a painting than Photoshop, but it's actually an enormous, elaborate set from the opera Ein Maskenball with a scene depicting Death reading from the book of life.
Have you seen Quantum of Solace? Remember the opera scene where they're on that huge set shaped like an eyeball? That's from the same opera. So is this inexplicable image of naked, fat, very old actors in Mickey Mouse masks.
Man, why couldn't they have shown Bond chasing bad guys through that?
In Chinese zoos, they do things just a bit differently from here in the states. For example, the flow of foot traffic is typically reversed, in place of popcorn and hot dogs you may find more traditional Chinese fare such as fish balls or steamed buns -- oh, and also you may notice some of their exhibits mounting the other exhibits and racing them around while roaring, frothing at the mouth, and just generally scaring the holy shit out of everybody forever.
In this particular exhibit, an adult lion is trained to climb onto a waiting horse, which then jogs about the ring while the bravest, cruelest, or perhaps the most dangerously suicidal man in all of China provides incentive by cracking his whip at them. Yes, in Chinese zoos there is a man whose sole duty is to make sudden movements and loud noises in order to frighten and aggravate the Horse-Mounted Lion Cavalry. A ticket buys you the whole seat, but you'll only need the edge -- no, seriously, you shouldn't get too comfortable here. You're gonna want all the headstart you can get when they bust out the Flying Motorcycle Bear.
This is a flock of starlings giving you the finger. We're still holding out hope that somewhere there's a bird trainer who has devoted his life to teaching huge flocks to do nothing but this.
We'd like to think that if you were in a speed boat race and Jesus called you to walk out on the water, he'd be cool with you slowing down first. At least for the safety of the other drivers.
Of course, in reality, the photo just captured this guy a split second before tumbling horribly into the water at inhuman speeds. According to a source that talked to the dude in the hospital afterward, all he was concerned about during his recovery was how to make his friend's speed boats go faster. Way to learn from your mistakes there, buddy.
Remember that famous face on Mars that turned out to be a big, fat nothing?
Why have we never seen this before? That visage is way more compelling than the crude scrawl of the happy face or the expressionless mask of Martian Andre the Giant up there. You can actually make out details on this one: those full lips, big, round eyes, perky little nose -- hell, we don't just see a face there; we can actually make out enough detail to definitively state whether or not we'd bone the model who sat for it.
(We would, obviously.)
Obviously, somebody just took a photo of a little girl and garbled it up with a pixelation effect. Either that or she's a ghost from a Japanese horror movie about a haunted video game.
Nope. Wrong again, Cracked. What we're looking at here is a pixelated sculpture that an artist built using thousands of square stickers and aluminum and left on a train station to confuse the shit out of people.
What's the point of art if it doesn't make the passersby think their eyes are broken somehow?
This looks like a sarcastic print ad for a car wash, but that is a real car and that is real dirt and a real detailed landscape smeared into it. It's the work of artist Scott Wade, and to be fair to the car's owner, Wade added the dirt himself.
This doesn't just look like a Photoshop; it looks like a shitty Photoshop. It appears some lazy hoaxer spent about 10 minutes cropping and pasting the face of a black cat onto this orange tabby. They didn't even bother to make the eyes match!
But this is an unaltered photo of a cat named Venus. (There are videos embedded there, if you still think it's fake.)
She has her own Facebook fan page (with over 100,000 fans, because of course she does). It's the two different colored eyes that make you realize this isn't just an unusual fur pattern -- experts think she's a chimera, a merger of cells from two different zygotes (i.e., the thing that sometimes results in horrific, two-headed freak show animals). This appears to just be a one-in-a-billion case where the two halves lined up perfectly to create something that would clearly be a supervillain in the kitty world.
No, that's not a taffy floor painted to look like wood grain, and it's not the work of one man and a chisel. These footprints were actually worn into the wood by a Buddhist monk who stood in that spot to pray every day for 20 years ... up to 3,000 times a day, he claims (though we think he's exaggerating, since there are only about 1,000 waking minutes in a day).
Still, it's an inspiring thought, especially considering how many splinters he must have had to dig out of his feet.
Dr. Bruce J. Hayward, Western New Mexico University
There's a multitude of things that spring to mind upon seeing the hammer-headed bat, and all of them are variations of "WHAT THE SHIT IS THAT?" That animal is to the generally accepted natural order of things like fingernails are to chalkboards. It scoffs at everything you hold dear and beautiful with its never-ending face that looks like it was designed by a toddler who ransacked his mom's medicine cabinet.
Of course, the absurdity of a face that just begs for a special-needs helmet becomes horror incarnate when you see the body it's attached to:
Holy shit, that's the spitting image of a devil in at least half of the world's belief systems. You could show a picture of that bastard to us in a cryptozoology book between "photos" of Nessie and Bigfoot, and we'd think it was the worst designed of the three.
Thank goodness, then, that the hammer-headed bat is just a tiny, goofy herbivore. Right? Please?
But of course not! The hammer-headed bat is a bona fide, grade-A bloodsucker of the worst kind. What's more, it just so happens to be easily the largest bat in its native continent of Africa. With a wingspan that reaches over 3 feet, they meet the qualification of "megabats." These guys are scientifically supersized.
This mile-high tennis match looks like some cheesy special effect from a Nike commercial. But no, it's just Dubai, whose entire economy seems to be based on building enormous things that exist only for the purpose of not making any goddamn sense. In that spirit, they hosted a tennis match between Andre Agassi and Roger Federer on a helipad located on top of the Burj Al Arab skyscraper.
Hopefully they brought more than just that one ball.
This shot doesn't look so much like a Photoshop as it does a painting. It generated so much buzz that National Geographic actually had to track down photographer Frans Lanting in Africa to explain what's going on in his photo for the people calling bullshit.
Basically what you're seeing behind the trees isn't the sky, it's a sand dune (the white blotches are patches of white grass). The colors look off because the photo was taken at dawn, so the orange dune itself was bathed in light, while the foreground was still in shadow (that's why the white clay of the foreground winds up looking blue, and the trees look like terrifying silhouettes).
What's so impressive about this? Every Nintendo 64 owner has seen dudes like this in every first-person shooter they played.
However, this is real life, and the low-polygon head is made of paper. That's the work of artist Eric Testroete, who made it for a Halloween costume, at the risk of a whole bunch of GoldenEye veterans suddenly having an urge to shoot him in the crotch. As far as video game papercraft goes, nobody will ever top ...
It looks like somebody wasn't satisfied with this waterfall being a perfectly beautiful piece of scenery in its completely unaltered state and decided to add some "flair" in the form of rainbow colors in the mist.
But it really happened -- it's a perfectly timed photograph taken at Yosemite National Park. The rainbow is just the result of lucky positioning of the sun in relation to the mist of the falls, as opposed to, say, an explosion at the Skittles factory.
It probably isn't clear what this one does if you've never seen it before. For all we know, it could be Voltron's penis, horribly dissected for all the world to see. Whatever the hell it is, those guys in front are really, really proud of it.
What It Is:
That is a TBM, or tunnel boring machine, and as its name indicates, it's a machine used for boring holes through solid ground, or even rock in some cases, to create tunnels.
The one pictured above is one of the largest in existence, with a diameter of about 47 feet. There is currently talk of a bigger one being built to bore a tunnel under the Bering Strait. This could potentially link Russia with Alaska via a rail and pipeline system, opening up a whole new world of commerce between the U.S. and Russia, which for some reason is a good thing. Here's a video of a TBM in action:
When the TBM breaks through at about 1:20, it looks so otherworldly that we half expected a hatch to open to allow a swarm of aliens to come pouring out and start vaporizing everyone. That TBM was just finishing boring one of two mile-long tunnels in the Netherlands for the construction of a four-lane highway. The tunnels took just under four months to drill. Before TBMs, it could take years to excavate tunnels that long.
This looks like some comical magazine advertisement for all-weather tires, in some magical land where the snow gets to be three times as high as a house.
But, no, we are in Japan, where the laws of physics do not apply. Specifically, it's Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, where they receive up to 20 meters of snow a year.
If you're wondering how in the world they dig out those perfect lanes, it takes a backhoe, a giant snow blower, and patience. Here's a video:
This is what they call a dirty thunderstorm, and it occurs whenever the ash plume from an erupting volcano generates enough static electricity, or whenever you finally hurl Sauron's accursed ring into the fires of Mount Doom. It is seen here above the Chaiten volcano in Chile. And just ... holy shit, look at it:
It's the only thing on Earth that gives the devil nightmares. It's what would happen if natural disasters could bolt together Voltron-style. It's the single best way that nature can give you the finger. It's like every single AC/DC album cover came to life and punched your eyeballs right in the dick.
Over 4,000 local inhabitants living in the area were forced to flee in the wake of this eruption, which is truly admirable -- personally, we would have been too busy alternately flashing horns at it, holding our lighters aloft, and intermittently soiling ourselves to do much in the way of successful fleeing.
Your average earthworm is about as threatening as cooked spaghetti, and they basically exist as either bait or the official courting gift of 8-year-old boys who don't know how to like girls yet. They eat dirt and dead leaves, and are basically little more than slimy rice noodles that shit mud.
The Horror, Oh God the Horror:
The biggest earthworm on, well, Earth is the giant South African earthworm, pictured above, which can reach over 20 feet in length. And their campaign of weirdness doesn't stop with looking like monsters from a '50s sci-fi movie.
The giant Gippsland worm (following the South African earthworm at a monstrous 10 feet in length) can be heard gurgling as it burrows through the ground. And Terriswalkeris terraereginae, from Australia and measuring a meager 3 feet in length, is bright blue and glows in the fucking dark:
And, because New Zealand is close enough to Australia to absorb horror by proxy, New Zealanders have upped the bizarre threshold even further with the North Auckland worm, a 4-and-a-half-foot-long monster that glows so brightly, you can read by wormlight.
Holy Shit! Is It Dangerous?
Well no, they can't harm you physically, but try telling that to your therapist when you innocently fall asleep in a South African meadow and wake to find yourself coiled in a two-story length of slithering, segmented penis rope.
We're sure you're just aching with questions about what's going on here. But really, think for a minute: Could any real answer add to the majesty of what you're seeing here? This is a bear riding across a tightrope pulling an elegantly dressed woman in a swing chair. And that's all it needs to be.
We're used to painters portraying the world around them with less and less photo-realistic precision, but it would appear that no one told the real world that it doesn't get to use artistic license, too. Australian photographer Ken Prior snapped the nearly visible brushstrokes in the above sky over Scotland. The photo is the result of a mysterious, as yet unclassified cloud type that's been showing up all over the United Kingdom and New Zealand, and wherever else Prior happens to have his camera pointed at the sky.
Meteorologists are calling them asperatus clouds, while people who aren't insecure about being confused with the weatherman are using the more straightforward Jacques Cousteau clouds. The names all focus on the fact that they make the sky look like an upside down ocean during a storm, although, looking at some of Prior's other shots, the only common thread is that they all look like the sky in Ghostbusters.
If they ever attempt an Odd Couple reboot starring Busta Rhymes and Martha Stewart, the set has already been created. This photo is of a real room in a French hotel, which offers the world's best or worst night's sleep, depending on which side of your body you sleep on.
Looking like a human mouth surrounded by tentacles, this thing could have come straight out of bad horror anime. Or possibly the final level of a Gradius game.
That is Promachoteuthis sulcus, an extremely rare deep sea squid known only from a single specimen. Researchers have a science boner over the fact that these things have weird tentacle proportions, but the rest of us are just freaked out by the teeth, which we're told is an illusion: What appear to be teeth are actually lips that cover the more normal squid beak. This is the equivalent of buying novelty hillbilly teeth and wearing them all the time for no reason.
Still, we're not sticking our fucking finger in there.
This photo isn't terrifying as long as you think it's just the bottom half of one postcard glued to the top half of another one. Or maybe it's an indoor swimming pool and the skyline is just a mural on the wall? Nope, that's a guy swimming to the edge of a pool on top of a skyscraper.
It's the Marina Bay Sands Skypark, and it's 55 stories (and 600 feet) above street level. If you're wondering where the edge of the pool is, and what keeps the guy from swimming right off the end and splattering to the pavement below, the answer to both is in the design. It's an "infinity pool" that has a lip under the water level, and over the side is a sort of gutter that catches both the water that runs off the side and any drunken humans who drift over.
Yes, an actual living dog. The above monstrosity is from the Super Groom competition, where the boundaries of animal abuse get relaxed, if only for a day. It's basically the Ace of Cakes of dog grooming, complete with what appears to be an airbrush paint job.
These pictures aren't from some sci-fi movie, and they're not some wishful-thinking mockup from one of those bullshit futuristic issues of Popular Science. This is an actual 20-story car storage facility for Volkswagens at a factory in Germany.
Are you thinking what we're thinking? That there should be a game show where you get to operate that thing like a giant claw machine and you win whatever car you can grab without dropping it?
Even after years of this, we almost deleted this one as a particularly lazy fake (open Photoshop, select bottom half of picture, move some saturation sliders around, done). Where the hell do you find perfectly horizontal lines in nature? But what you're seeing is actually the aftereffects of a toxic chemical spill in Hungary, and the exact line where the sludge rose to before receding (click that link for more pics from different areas, if you're still not convinced).
The red stuff in the sludge is iron oxide (the stuff that gives rust its color), and the sludge is usually kept in a reservoir ...
... until suddenly it's not. The official government stance on the incident is that "Everything has returned to normal." Sure, guys. We'll give you five bucks to go lick one of those trees. On a similar note ...
This fever dream of a hallucination is in reality a photo of a giant float in a carnival parade in Rio de Janiero. It would be easy to question why those chorus girls are being fed to the henna tattooed head of Mr. Freeze, but we prefer to respect other cultures. The picture was taken at something called the Sambadrome, which perfectly combines the glamour and terrifying apocalyptic terror on display, and which we have to assume the dancers misheard as "The Samba Dome" when agreeing to the gig.
Yes, that's a satellite photo, and yes, there really is a gigantic set of connecting canals spelling "HAMAD" in Abu Dhabi.
Oil sheik Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi is the douchebag who paid to have his name etched into the sand so that it would be visible from space. At least we know all that $4 per gallon gasoline we're buying is helping to support a good cause.
Though maybe the biggest takeaway from this is realizing that at least one super wealthy oil sheik is a huge fan of The Tick.
Let us pitch you a sitcom ...
Sometimes the follow-up is worse than original headline-grabbing story.
Some people in entertainment don't even bother trying to come up with fresh ideas.