Photo editing is a common practice these days. It’s used for everything from making celebrities prettier to creating comedic images involving cats. Even if you have a pretty rudimentary background in software, you can download a program and fiddle around with it. Want a picture of yourself with your favorite actor? Done. Jet-skiing on a shark down a lava flow while battling aliens? Done.
Anymore, we’re all a little jaded. When you see a cool photo, you may wonder how it was edited. But the incredible pictures you see below? Someone was just in the right place at the right time and took an incredible picture that no one will believe.
The red-object-in-black-and-white has become the cheesy, art-school staple of Photoshop jobs. This is not one of those. This hibiscus bloomed after its surroundings were coated in ash following a volcanic eruption in Indonesia.
Like the hibiscus, this image was taken after the eruption of Japan’s Mt. Ontake in September 2014, which killed at least 50 people and trapped others under rock and ash. These are rescue workers arriving on the scene.
Artist Felice Varini is known for creating optical illusions with perspective art, making concentric circles and swooping lines across buildings and cityscapes, as well as (relatively) smaller pieces like this.
The Radisson Blu Hotel in Berlin offers visitors the chance to take and elevator ride through its two-story cylindrical aquarium, which is home to more than 1,500 fish. Scuba diving for aquarium personnel only. (Sorry)
This is a sculpture called “Maya” in the Bristol Temple Meads station in England. It was created by Luke Jerram, and was created using 5,000 12-mm square stickers on water-cut aluminum sheets. It’s three-dimensional
Someone in Beijing got sick of city life and constructed this mountainous oasis on the roof of their building. Of course, it’s not exactly legal, or safe, to do this, and the structure gained some notoriety.
This is an actual weather phenomenon known as a shelf cloud, which happens when warm and cool air collide, forming a weirdly regular barrier, and they’re usually followed by a storm. This one may have picked up some dust, or is filtering the light at a certain angle, accounting for the color.
These low-lying clouds swept over the Florida coast in 2012. This happens when air holding a lot of moisture experiences a drop in temperature. Cooler air can hold less moisture, so all the water condenses and forms a mist. These mist clouds evaporated again when they fell over the buildings and came into contact with warmer air again.
Lucid Stead is an art installation project by Phillip K. Smith. This 70-year-old homesteader’s shack was given a makeover with mirrored slats that make it appear to disappear into the landscape. It also lights up at night.
This was actually an abandoned–and condemned–house in Germany. It was a popular spot for graffiti artists and could be seen covered in bright pieces of art. However, it was slated for demolition, and, as a farewell, artists Erik Sturm and Simon Jung painted it all black. The house was demolished, but you can still see it on Google Maps.
The Sagrada Família Cathedral in Barcelona was designed by Antoni Gaudi, who designed a lot of the city’s famous buildings. Construction on the church began in 1882, and is still not complete. It’s projected completion is in 2026, a century after Gaudi’s death.
We’re sure Matthias Schlitte has heard all the jokes before; he even has the nickname “Hellboy.” He was actually born with a genetic defect that resulted in his right forearm bone 33% larger than his typically-proportioned left one. Which makes for good arm wrestling.
Now if those aren’t notable, I don’t know what is. You can chalk these up to deliberate creativity, being in the right place at the right time, or just plain weirdness. However they happened, it’s amazing what really goes on in the world!