This article was originally published on VisualChase
Nowadays, we can click a few buttons and see endless beautiful photos of the world and the people traveling throughout it. But with perfectly taken, filtered pictures of nature and tourist sites so readily available, we can't help but appreciate these raw, unedited snapshots even more. From chilling places to bizarre occurrences, come take a walk on the wild side and see a different side of our planet.
The African Fruit Bat and Yes, It's Real
This guy might look like something out of photoshop, but it's actually called a Buettikofer's epauletted fruit bat. The long-snouted bat is found along the coast of sub-Sahara Africa, and despite its look, the bats only eat fruit. They are also pretty common throughout their range, meaning that if you really want to see one, you likely can. However, like most bats, they are nocturnal and only come out at night.
Just don't be too afraid when you see that face flying towards yours in the middle of the night. And to be honest, the more we look at this photo, the more this little guy actually looks kind of cute.
Abandoned Silver Mine
No, this area wasn't damned or flooded; it actually used to be an underwater silver mine. These shafts located under Lake Superior were at one time the entrance to one of the richest silver deposits in the world. However, as you might imagine, it's not easy to mine underwater. The company that ran the mine had to build up a wall around the deposits and run a pump day and night to keep water out of the shafts.
Eventually, the whole ordeal just got too troublesome to be worth it, and the mine was abandoned. However, people suspect that there is probably still plenty of silver left in the area; it's just a case of not being able to mine it all out.
Standard Buildings Are Out, Human Towers Are in
The Iberian peninsula is home to some pretty crazy cultural traditions. In addition to running with the bulls, it also hosts this spectacle. The Catalonian tradition dated back to the early 18th century and started as a simple cultural activity. However, in the 1980s, the region began constructing these "castells" or human towers as part of competitions. Today, the tradition is listed under UNESCO, and the festivities are carried out every year in the region.
The groups often wear specially-colored costumes. In order to build them so tall, children are the ones who sit at the very top. Of course, helmets are worn, and anybody who falls is likely to be caught by the mass of people at the bottom.
Not Even Hollywood's Special Effects Could Make This Look Scarier
Seeing photos of nature in a rage hits different when it's right next to an everyday suburban house. This shot seems to have been taken in someone's yard and shows an incoming storm front. The way the clouds are swirling makes you think this place might be in for a tornado or at least some pretty heavy gusts. However, it's also pretty cool and gives the viewer a sense of scale. It also gives off a feeling of eery calm.
There probably wasn't a lot of noise when this photo was taken, besides probably the sound of thunder in the distance and the wind bearing down. Though simple, this photo manages to evoke the senses.
An Other-Worldly Coincidence
This photo is a pretty good reminder that sometimes the best shots aren't of gorgeous scenery or Instagram-worthy waterfalls but, instead, tiny details found all around us. If you have some trees around you, it's likely you could find a leaf with similar matching veins to the ones on your hand. Of course, it might take a couple of hours of searching, but it honestly sounds like a unique and beautiful way to connect with nature.
This photo is also a good reminder that you don't always have to travel to some far-off place or scenic retreat for some decent nature photographs. If you're creative enough, it can be done in your own backyard.
This Snake Dress Is Made Out of Palm Leaves
Artists aren't the only people who are known to take their creations to the extremes, and fashion designers are known for creating some pretty outlandish costumes. This snake dress, while incredible, also looks like it took days and possibly weeks to create. Made from leaves, someone had to weave every little detail by hand, and then this model had to somehow put it on. Like seriously, how does this thing unzip?
Apart from that, this is a pretty cool work of art that is probably on display in a museum or fashion house somewhere today. It's certainly not sitting in a closet.
Mt. Fuji From a Different Perspective
We all know that nothing beats the views from the window of an airplane, but it can sometimes be tricky to know just when something worth looking at is within view. This passenger had no so problem and managed to take a snapshot of Japan's Mt. Fuji at the perfect time. What makes this photo especially appealing is the way the mountain seems to be cutting through the clouds.
It's almost like looking at water cutting across a rock. Nature really is pretty amazing, and this photograph demonstrates just that. We just wish we were on this same flight.
Over Three Decades Later
Whales are amazing creatures. Not only are they absolutely huge and intelligent animals, but compared to other creatures in the wild, they actually have pretty long lifespans. Whales can live anywhere from 10 to more than 70 years, depending on the species. The shape and patterns of their fins can also be distinguishing features, which is what this photographer(s) captured. Someone took a picture of this whale in 1985 and again in 2020.
The patterns on the whale's tail match up perfectly, meaning this guy or girl has been around for quite a while. This makes you wonder what the whale has been up to all those years and how old it actually is.
WWII Pilot Reunites With His Plane
This is a pretty cool story. Apparently, this man was a pilot during World War II, and that plane in the background was one that he piloted during the war some 97 years ago. The look on his face says it all, and we would be just as proud if a warplane we piloted was being displayed in a museum somewhere in the world. It's kind of hard to believe this plane was once flying through the skies and could've even been involved in a dogfight or two.
This just goes to show that the world is a pretty small place, and some things just have a way of coming full circle. We would love to know more about his guy's story.
The World's Largest Flower Smells Bad and Only Blooms for a Day
This gigantic flower has a reputation that matches its size, but it's not for being particularly lovely. The corpse flower unleashes a pretty pungent smell whenever it blooms, which is only about once every eight years. It also only opens up for a day, which attracts visitors who aren't afraid to brave the smell and snap a photo. These flowers are present in a number of botanical gardens all over the world.
The flower's unpleasant smell is actually an evolutionary trait meant to attract pollinators. The chemicals in the flower mimic the smell of decaying meat to attract things like flies and other insects.
Peep the Tiny Human Next to Germany's Konigstein Castle
Unless you happen to live somewhere in Europe, chances are you've never seen a castle up close and personal. Many times the photos just don't do them justice. These massive structures were made to be impenetrable, and this is a good example of conveying scale that is often missing from travel photography. If you look towards the bottom right, you can get a sense of how tall these walls actually are.
As one might suspect, the fortress in this photo was never occupied. Funnily enough, a chimney sweeper did manage to scale the walls once. However, he was promptly detained by guards after he reached the top.
Bulgaria's Unique Babugeri Tradition
Taken in Bulgaria, these costumes are part of a pagan tradition that's still practiced in the country. The costumes are mainly worn by men and made out of leather. The men used to wear these costumes and dance in order to ward off evil spirits. Today, it's mostly performed in Bulgaria as a way to practice the local culture. However, this is a pretty cool local tradition that has endured and still hasn't been covered very heavily by major media outlets.
The costumes are pretty freaky looking as well, especially without any context. For anyone wanting to see this in person, the tradition is practiced on New Year's Eve.
His Mom Never Got Him off the Bottle
While spilled drinks just come with the territory at bars and restaurants, this establishment found a pretty hilarious way of dealing with people who aren't careful with their alcohol. This unfortunate guy found himself sipping his beverage from a baby bottle after he spilled a drink. We can't really blame the bar; there's nothing worse than someone who's had a bit too much and then proceeds to be careless with their glass.
With that said, this guy doesn't look too intoxicated, and it was likely just an accident. Still, this is a clever and hilarious way to encourage people to be a bit more careful.
Nature isn't always serious, and sometimes it can be downright weird. We aren't sure what went into turning this pumpkin into its, well, odd shape, but we're certainly curious after seeing this photo. The octopumpkin in this photo looks like something an artist spent hours carving out, but this pumpkin apparently grew into this shape all on its own. It certainly makes carving for Halloween all the more easy.
It even looks like the pumpkin grew suction cups on its tentacles. Of course, it's all just a coincidence, but it's a strange and somewhat funny one that had us chuckling a bit.
This Ancient-Looking Lizard Still Exists Today
You don't have to go back in time or delve into a fantasy TV drama to see dinosaurs or dragons. This little guy could be either, and it's alive and well today on Africa's southwestern coast. These are called armadillo girdled lizards, and while they're quite small, they still look frighteningly like their ancient relatives. The reason this guy is biting his tail is that he's trying to protect his soft underbelly.
This little lizard closely resembles another spiny reptilian called an Ouroborus, which is known to curl up in a defensive posture to protect its underbelly in the same way.
A Melting Beehive
This photo is just another example of nature being absolutely weird and wonderful. The beehive pictured here looks like it's melting and falling to the ground, but it's actually perfectly fine and stable. Some bees have probably been making their hives this way for thousands of years, but it's kind of cool to note that this also looks like some kind of futuristic building out of a sci-fi TV show.
It also makes us wonder how these bees just instinctively know how to make a stable structure that's hundreds of times bigger than they are without any blueprints. Either way, this is another example of art imitating nature, as we're sure at least some architects have taken inspiration from beehives.
The Four Seasons All in One Yard
Despite the way it looks, this photo was not altered. This person's window panes make it look like a different time of year is happening in each pane. Of course, this is just a coincidence, and the trees pictured here just have different types of foliage, but it's still pretty cool. The shot also makes for some pretty great nature photography inspiration. The only thing that could make it better would be some snow in one of the panes, but that's bordering on the fantastical.
The tree on the far right already does a pretty good job of selling the photo anyway. Hopefully, that's just a result of the natural time of the year and not climate change.
A Girl Was Buried With Ceramic Flower Crown
Artifacts found in burials can often give researchers clues and looks into the past that otherwise wouldn't be apparent. The remains of this young girl were discovered buried with this ceramic crown of flowers. Researchers have found similar wreaths near where this burial was uncovered, near Patras in Greece, and thought that they might come from wealthy aristocratic families. Either way, they definitely show the love and care people had for each other even back then.
The remains and burial artifacts are still on display in the museum in Patra, and they date from around the 3rd or 4th century. While fascinating, this photo is also a bit sad.
When You Catch Wild Salmon and Accidentally Interfere With Science
Someone caught a wild salmon, and when they went to fillet it, they found that they caught more than bargained for. The fish had a tracking chip in it that researchers were probably using to study the fish's migration patterns. It's a good thing this person decided to fillet the fish instead of cooking it whole. Otherwise, they might have ended up being the ones tracked.
These trackers are similar to the ones you might get for your dog or cat to ensure they don't wander off and get lost, but you know, used for science and stuff.
Can You Guess What This Is?
This might look like something out of a horror movie, but it's actually just a close-up view of some pizza dough. The details in the stringy dough are easy to see at this magnification, and it's no wonder dough can often feel bouncy and stringy when you hold it in your hand. This photo reminds us of a pile of spider webs all stuck together, though, and now we're not sure we can ever look at pizza dough the same.
It's also possible that this person just completely messed up their dough, and it turned out like this, but we're no experts, and either way, this is a fascinating and rare look at an otherwise mundane object.
These Are Stone Sculptures
We've already seen a few artists who went pretty above and beyond with their pieces, but this one might just be our favorite of the bunch. An artist named Jose Manuel Lopez Castro created these sculptures made out of stone. We're not sure exactly how he managed to do it, but they're pretty mesmerizing to look at. According to his biography, he tries to erase any trace of human intervention before he finishes each piece.
The artist tries to make it look as if the stone was shaped the way it is by natural processes, which is pretty easy to see when looking at these photos.
The Longest Conveyer Belt in the World
This long, long platform is actually a conveyor belt that's situated in Western Sahara. It's the world's longest, and it's used to carry phosphate from a Moroccan mine all the way to the ocean some 61 miles away. We're not sure why they just don't transport the phosphate using vehicles, but the belt makes for some good travel photography. It also raises a lot of different questions.
For example, what happens if an animal decides to climb on the belt, or what if a simple part breaks down somewhere in the middle? Wouldn't it just make more sense to use a small train or carts?
Launch Pads From a Bird's Eye View
This photo is actually of the Kennedy Space Center and NASA's vehicle assembly building in Florida. Apart from being pretty isolated, the photo is striking for the distance between the main building and the two launch pads pictured towards the bottom of the photo. The center is where astronauts first launched off and eventually touched down on the moon and where today, companies like SpaceX are vying to lead the way in commercial space flight.
While travelers can visit the center to this day, they can also watch launches and take photos as the spaceport has been particularly busy during the last five years or so.
A Crow Being A Crow
It might come as a surprise to some out there, but crows and ravens are actually very intelligent creatures. They've been documented dropping seeds into oncoming traffic in order to break them open, and their problem-solving skills are among the best in the animal kingdom. They also like to annoy people and other animals. This photo shows a crow nagging a much larger hawk or eagle, who could turn around at any moment and take this fearless crow out.
Scientists also think crows mess and attack hawks in order to deter them. In other words, the best defense is a strong offense, so these little guys are known to team up on much larger predators.
Tracking Fireflies Makes for a Gorgeous Shot
Another simple photo idea just about anyone can do at home; the lights in this photo are simply the trails of fireflies. Someone probably used a long exposure to capture this image, and it's really quite amazing. It looks kind of like someone has strewed lights all along the forest floor. The fireflies, or lighting bugs depending on your vernacular, simply do their thing while the exposure captures their flight paths.
It also kind of reminds us of those travel photos that capture the flow of traffic within a city or along a highway. Either way, this is an inventive way to capture something pretty common.
Traditional Razors Vs. Electric Razors
Electric shavers might be the more convenient option, but there's no beating the clean cut of traditional razors. And you don't have to take our word for it either; just look at these two photos. The one on the left shows hair that has been cut using a traditional razor. The one on the right shows hair after it's been cut using an electric razor. Yeah, that's a pretty stark difference.
We're not sure if there is any actual medical benefit to using a traditional razor, but you have to admit the hair on the right looks mangled and not in a healthy state.
Ancient Greek Armbands
Even though we have paintings and actual relics depicting what ancient peoples actually wore, it's hard to visualize and appreciate just how that would've looked. Most artifacts on display in museums are way past their prime and don't do themselves justice. The truth is that despite limited technology, craftsmen were extremely skilled in the ancient world, and these 2,500-year-old Greek armbands are a good example of that.
Whoever owned these was probably living a life of luxury, but it's crazy to think people back then were obviously just as concerned with fashion as we are today.
A Rainbow-Speckled Bird
Bird watchers already know this, but nature photographers take note that our flying friends make for excellent portrait subjects. This white-browed tit-warbler is a good example of the fascinating diversity within the bird kingdom. The odd little bird is native to the Tibetan Plateau and is incredibly small. But, it's also incredibly unique. We mean, just look at those colors. This little guy likely uses its rainbow-colored feathers to attract mates since it doesn't seem like they would make good camouflage.
Another interesting fact about these little guys is that they usually mate for life. If there's another bird out there that's more adorable than these guys, then we'd like to see it.
This Gorilla Sculpture Is Made of Old Tires
This bizarre sculpture of a gorilla might look like it's made out of metal, but it's actually made from old tires. We're not sure who the artist was or what the point of the sculpture is, but apparently, it's located in Bangkok, Thailand. It also must've taken ages to cut up all of that rubber and then piece it all together as one giant gorilla statue.
Apart from probably being very tedious, the sculpture is also incredibly detailed and a bit terrifying, if we're being honest. The sight of this guy in a park or on the street at night would be enough to give us a scare.
Watermelons In The Sky
Your eyes do not deceive you; that's a watermelon growing from a tree. But there's actually a simple explanation for it. Apparently, a watermelon vine weaved its way up this tree and suddenly started growing a watermelon all the way up there. It's not every day you see a watermelon growing from a tree, which makes us wonder if it actually tastes any different from one grown the old-fashioned way.
That thing is also probably pretty dangerous. It's only a matter of time before the watermelon gets too big and comes crashing down, hopefully not on a passing bystander's head.
Blue Tomatoes Exist
These tomatoes, called different names depending on what seeds are used to grow them, are actually a variety of blue tomatoes you can plant and grow yourself. The inside is usually a deep red or pink color, and some sources say they taste "clear" and a bit sweet. These particular tomatoes are called "indigo rose," but there are different varieties that were created using different methods. However, even though they are purple, they don't contain as many antioxidants as you might find in other purple fruits.
While these were created at a university, other varieties have been created using traditional growing techniques. We know it probably wouldn't be a very good idea, but the color makes us want to bite right into these tomatoes.
Romania's Painted Houses: A Continued Tradition
These houses are part of a village in Romania where everyone is required to paint their houses. This tradition dated back to the 1950s and was apparently started by one family that decided to paint their house. This soon set off an arms race of sorts, and before long, almost everyone was trying to one-up their neighbor for the best-painted house in the village.
The village decided to make house painting mandatory, and now visitors can take a stroll and marvel at each family's unique designs and work in the village, according to Romania Journal. The town is also known for its painted eggs.
When the Pizza and the Counter Are Twinning
Okay, this might not be the most profound or dazzling photo on this list, but who doesn't want to see a camouflaged pizza? We mean, what are the odds? Someone made this alfredo pizza, and when they brought it out of the oven, they noticed that it almost matched their countertops perfectly. Besides making us really crave some pizza, this photo makes us raise an eyebrow or two at those countertops.
We mean, they're not exactly the prettiest countertops out there, but we guess if they look like pizza, then all can be forgiven. A countertop made out of pizza actually sounds pretty good right about now.
A Better Way To Pave
Have you ever found yourself walking down a sidewalk or paved path and wondered why someone chose to pave that specific walking area? Well, so did the people at The University of Ohio. So much so, in fact, that they allowed their students and faculty to determine their own paved paths. Before laying down cement, they allowed people to walk on the grass. After a trail had been carved, they simply paved over the most used paths.
This might either be the most ingenious way to lay down a path or a waste of cement. However, after looking at it, it certainly makes more sense than a square grid would.
A Special Signature
Glassblowers will often sign their pieces like any other artist would, but sometimes they find inventive ways of doing so. This artist signed his piece using braille, which shows their dedication to being accessible. The piece is pretty good as well, as it's quite hard to make glass as thin and hollow as what's shown on the piece here. Now we just wish that we could read braille.
Artists have also been known to incorporate braille into the pieces they create, with some employing what has been called a "double vision" technique. An obvious reference to being able to see a piece in two different ways.