You know what they say, it's a wild world out there. And sometimes, fact turns out to be so much weirder than fiction, and in ways that you'd never expect. Some real phenomena are just so weird that they look like something right out of a sci-fi novel. Ready for some of the weirdest, most disturbing, and incredibly eye-opening things that could potentially transform how you view the world we all live in? Buckle up and have a look.
One Breath Per Nap
Whales and dolphins are like little (or big) sea humans. They're mammals after all. They have complex communication patterns, live in families, and have certain incredible abilities that no other animal can replicate. For example, did you know that sperm whales take naps by holding their breath and diving down about 45 feet? They arrange themselves into a little minefield of napping sperm whales, and only come up a few hours later when they wake up and need a breath.
These whales may look cute and cuddly while they're sleeping, but do you know what a sperm whale's favorite food is? They love diving down deep and hunting giant squids! How hardcore is that?
That's A Thunderstorm, Not A Sci-Fi Movie
Even though this picture looks like a screenshot from War of the Worlds or another alien movie, it's actually a real picture of a thunderstorm here on earth. These phenomena are called sprites, and they occur when lightning strikes above thunderstorm clouds in the sky. The resulting discharge of electricity gives us visuals like this down on the ground. Still, that's definitely not something we want to be caught outside during.
The planet earth is such a crazy place on its own, that it's no wonder people want to blame aliens for everything. If you were walking around and saw those red lightning jellyfish coming out of the sky, what would you think it was?
That's Not Photoshop, Just Paint
There's a special chemical compound called Vantablack, and it's widely agreed to be the darkest substance in the world. This Vantablack is such crazy stuff, that when items are painted with it, they almost look as if they don't exist. We know it sounds crazy, but in the picture below, this scientist is actually holding a basketball painted with the stuff. But, instead of a ball, it looks like an editing trick or an ink stain.
Vantablack substances reflect less than 1.5% of light in the visible spectrum. Interestingly enough though, the visible spectrum doesn't make up a whole percentage point of all the existing forms of light and radiation.
That's One Big Bird
We're not usually afraid of much, but this feels like unlocking a new fear, don't you agree? The harpy eagle is the largest eagle in the world, even larger than the bald eagle and the golden eagle. With a wingspan that's two meters across (almost six and a half feet), we don't think we'll be letting our chihuahua out around these guys anytime soon. Plus, it looks like that bird can see all the way into our souls, no?
Unfortunately, the harpy eagle is one of many animals whose habitat is being destroyed by deforestation. It is estimated that there are less than 50,000 left in the wild.
An Intact Human Nervous System
The nervous system is one of the most complex parts of the human body, and one that scientists are still struggling to understand. This complex network of nerves and receptors running back to the body's control center– the brain– spans some 45 miles (or 72 kilometers) if you spread it out. This intact dissection was completed by two medical students in 1925, took more than 1500 hours, and is one of only four models like it in the world.
The nervous system not only controls your thoughts but also your movements and reactions. There are two parts of the nervous system, the central nervous system which contains the brain and spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system which contains everything else.
Mid-Air Thunderstorms Are Pretty Freaky
Imagine you're on a plane flying over the ocean and you see this out the window. Do you faint, poop your pants, or both? Wouldn't that be scary? However, planes are thankfully designed so they can withstand a lightning strike or some general thunderstorm-related turbulence. So if you see this, you don't have to worry about it. Just try to get a good picture while you're up that close.
If an airplane is struck by lightning, it is designed so that the charge will be redistributed across the body of the aircraft, preventing any passengers inside from feeling the effects.
A Hebridean Sheep Has Four Horns
Most farm animals don't have horns and the ones that do usually only have two. But, there's a popular breed of sheep from Scotland that's a little different, since many of them are born with four horns instead of two. The Hebridean sheep is a bit smaller than other typical sheep breeds and has thick, coarse, black wool. Their numbers actually used to be in decline, but thanks to careful conservation efforts the species has rebounded.
Hebridean sheep are sometimes born with four horns, as you see here. However, they also can be born with three horns, two, or even one!
That's Actually A Rare Slug
When we think of slugs, we usually think of regular old land slugs. But, there are a number of aquatic slug species that are even more interesting, like the Spanish Dancer sea slug seen here. These giant, colorful water bugs actually feed at night and hide during the day in crevices in rock formations. They can be found all throughout the Indo-Pacific, from Australia, to Japan and Hawaii, and even on the Eastern coasts of Africa.
The Spanish Dancer has also been known to have a symbiotic relationship with and play host to emperor shrimp fairly often! Just don't try eating them, they're poisonous!
That's An Amoeba, Not A Smiley Face
It's crazy when different forms of life imitate human society. For example, when we observe dolphins or monkeys working in a family group, it cracks us up, even if that is probably just mammal genetics at work. Still though, when something like this happens, it makes us laugh even more. This little amoeba was observed through a microscope, and we know it's probably just a really strange coincidence, but doesn't it look like he's got a little face?
Art imitates life in the same way life imitates life, and in this case, this amoeba seems to be imitating an emoji.
Some Fancy, But Creepy, Engineering
We love when people customize their vehicles, and we don't just mean by adding a pair of fuzzy dice in the window. This rat-rodder had an even better idea when they decided to make custom mounts for their side-view mirrors. But, instead of a typical, boring, plastic mirror arm, this guy decided to go all out. He wound up welding together a set of pipes so it looks like a skeleton's hand, and this was the end result.
That's got to be a pretty scary sight if he's coming driving up alongside you on the road. Although, maybe it's not so bad and it just looks like the car has really tiny hands.
A Graphic Portrayal of Michael Jackson's Real Face
The King of Pop was a controversial figure for a number of reasons. One of those reasons, perhaps the least controversial of them all, was his reliance on cosmetic surgery throughout his career. Jackson changed the way he looked time and time again, and between his skin lightening treatments and plastic surgeries, he had well over 100 procedures performed on his face. But, people got to wondering what he would've looked like without all of that.
The image on the right shows what Jackson would have supposedly looked like if he hadn't gone overboard with the surgeries. However, it fails to account for his vitiligo.
Buddhist Monk Skeleton Discovered Inside Statue
In ancient Buddhist traditions, some monks would pursue a practice called self-mummification. They would eat a special diet to expel moisture from their bodies over a span of some ten years, and then eventually, would bury themselves alive in an underground chamber, hoping their corpses would mummify. In this case, the monk was then interned inside a statue of the Buddha, only to be found hundreds of years after the fact!
This mummy is believed to be of Chinese Buddhist master Liquan, who died around A.D. 1100. Since he was discovered, he's been going on exhibitions around the globe.
This Look's Way Creepier Than It Actually Is
Alright, what do you see in these pictures? Are those giant cats? Little creepy demon hands? Is this a scene out of a horror movie? If you guessed any of the above, you're wrong. This is just a regular day in the park gone wild when two raccoons came up and tried to steal food from a couple of kittens. Still though, don't the kittens look just as confused as the rest of us were?
In this situation, we probably would've just given up some cat food and taken the pets home. A racoon brave enough to try that with people around might be rabid.
Pregnant Skeletons Somehow Look Even Creepier
Unless it's Halloween, or we're in a biology class, seeing skeletons really freaks us out. Even if it's just roadkill sitting there, the bones are supposed to go on the inside of the body, and we don't want to hear otherwise. So, imagine how shocked we were when we saw this picture. It's not just one skeleton, but two! Still, this pregnant fruit bat can show us plenty about mammalian reproduction we might not have known before.
Even though we know this is just a bat, and that they're mammals just like we are, this still creeps us out. It looks like a little alien– and they're multiplying!
Well, That Could Be A Problem
Everyone loves a historic building, and it's always neat to think of the different ways that people must've lived in a place before you arrived there. But, nowhere is that more evident than in this person's kitchen, where they've got a glassed-over well from the 1700s just sitting in the middle of the floor. The owner claims the glass is stable, but we figure this is just an episode of Lassie waiting to happen.
This just looks like the kind of thing horror films are made out of. Can't you imagine standing there late at night, trying to get a glass of water, and seeing a pair of eyes shining back from the dark?
Vivipary In A Tomato
If this image disturbs you, don't worry, you're not alone. Our fruits and vegetables aren't supposed to have separate fruits and vegetables growing out of them, so this image is understandably offputting. The sprouts look like ingrown hairs! What you're seeing here is something called vivipary, or when a seed starts to sprout before shedding its parent plant. It happens more frequently than you'd imagine, and is pretty prevalent in tomatoes, peppers, corn, pears, and many citrus fruits.
If you've ever cut into a bell pepper before and found a second, tiny bell pepper there inside, this could be a case of vivipary.
Why Would You Even Build This?
It's well documented that Mother Nature is pretty hardcore. The amount of toxic and poisonous creatures in nature alone is enough to make anyone pause. So, we were shocked when we found out there's a whole subset of people who like collecting and cultivating poisonous plants. If you know one of those people, bring them on down to Alnwick Graden in the UK, where this section of garden contains more than 100 different species of poisonous plants!
The prevalence of poison in wild plants, even today, is why we're cautioned against eating random plants we find in the woods. One of the most poisonous plants out there, Water Hemlock, closely resembles a wild carrot.
The Brutal Reality of War
WWII was supposed to be the last war ever fought on this planet, and after the horrors that it produced, it mighty well should have been. Here, we see a reminder of one of the most horrifying parts of the war, the US decision to drop atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This shadow was all that was left of a Japanese citizen after the flash of the atomic bomb ripped through the city in 1945.
This picture is probably less creepy, and more just sad, but we still felt it would be important to include it.
A Child's Grave From The 1800s
We live in tumultuous times, but if there's one thing we're glad for, it's the advances that modern medicine continues to make. Compared to 100 years ago, global infant mortality rates look outstanding. So, while there's still work to be done, we're not seeing the mass of child deaths that we used to, thankfully. This 1800s child's grave was built with easy access stairs so her mother could go down and comfort her during thunderstorms, which is truly sad.
There are a number of graves like this to be found across the United States. The stairs go down to a small chamber, with a window into the burial chamber. That way, loved ones can look in and check on their deceased relatives from time to time.
Fake Dinosaur Feet Cause A Stir
In the late 40s and early 50s, Clearwater, Florida was plagued by a mystery that haunted residents for almost ten years. Every night, a giant penguin seemed to be roaming Clearwater's beaches and leaving footprints. But, no one ever spotted the animal or knew where it came from. The footprints stopped after a while (almost ten years), but residents didn't learn the truth about the mystery beast until almost forty years after the fact!
The beast was none other than Tony Signorini, a local prankster who came up with the idea after his friend took a picture with a fossil of a big old dinosaur footprint.
The Oldest Existing Dive Suit Left
Early naval technology was a trip. They were just getting used to this new underwater world, and were using any technological advancement they could find to research it more. So, these original dive suits may have been useful, but they didn't spend much time focused on the aesthetics of the things. Pretty horrifying, don't you think? It's like something out of a horror movie, combined with something out of Spongebob.
Early dive suit technology was developed to aid sailors on recovery missions after shipwrecks. Since boats were going down loaded with gold and treasure, the world's navies wanted a way to go down and retrieve all that material.
A Really Close Up Picture Of An Ant
Whether you like them or not, ants are one of the most incredible creatures on the planet. They work as a team, and can carry items much heavier than their own body weight in order to bring food home and feed the colony. Still, these little creatures aren't as cute and cuddly from close up as the Disney and Pixar movies would make you believe. They look almost evil from this angle, don't you agree?
The most dangerous subspecies of ant in the world is the bulldog ant, found in coastal regions of Australia. This ant's venom can kill a human being in some rare cases.
One Window Lit In An Abandoned Hospital Building
Abandoned places are creepy for a reason. When we're used to seeing people inhabiting a place, there's something offputting about returning only to find the place deserted. But, what's even creepier is when a place that's supposed to be deserted winds up inhabited. For example, here we see a long-abandoned hospital (there doesn't even seem to be glass in most of the windows), but in the middle of the building, there's a singular room with a light still on.
Hopefully, this was just a little light trick happening with the reflection of the moon. But, we still probably wouldn't hang around to find out.
Golf Ball In Slow Mo
This phantom camera footage shows us what happens when a golf ball is launched at a high speed directly at a plastic doll's head. We're not sure if the scientists were surprised with the results of this experiment, but we're not. A golf ball is extremely hard, and travels extremely fast! What were they expecting to happen? The doll got its face obliterated, and now we're just left feeling a little creeped out.
The full video of this is actually pretty miraculous. A few frames after that bottom picture, the doll's head pops off, and flies out of frame to the right, following the still speeding golf ball.
A Very Weird, But Very Real, Human Eye
Down below we see someone with an eye condition called Coloboma. The term itself is derived from Greek, and just means that a person has an ocular defect, but in this case, the person has an incredibly small pupil located at the bottom portion of their iris. Apparently, their vision isn't impaired, but in low-light situations such as night driving, seeing can become a bit more difficult. Also, don't they look like a cat?
Coloboma is a congenital condition and can affect neither, either, or both of a person's eyes to varying degrees. However, the condition is fairly rare, and only occurs in every 1 out of 10,000 people.
It's Just Lava, What Are You Worried About
When we were little kids, we figured volcanic eruptions were going to play a much bigger part on our lives. Although, the same could probably be said for quicksand, the Bermuda Triangle... a lot of things. Anyway, volcanic eruptions are actually just tons of superhot molten rock pouring out of the earth's core. Then, when that rock cools, it becomes solid, like in the picture below. But, it doesn't always make the most pleasing shapes.
This looks more like a mountain of dead bodies in a horror film than it does a natural phenomenon. It also looks exactly like Rodin's famous sculpture, titled "The Gates Of Hell."
This Hallway Is Perfectly Straight
The human eye, as powerful as it is, can be deceived more easily than you'd believe. Those illusion museums they keep opening up are a great place to see that for yourself. Or, you can just take a look at the picture below, and tell us how straight you think that hallway looks. If it looks a little crooked, you're not seeing things, that's just the optical illusion created by this wallpaper at work.
By changing the weight of the lines, as well as the distance between them, this interior designer created a disorienting experience for anyone trying to walk down this hallway.
A Lethal Dose Of Fentanyl, Coin For Scale
The United States has a major drug issue right now. Every year, thousands of people needlessly die of drug overdoses, and a lot of these deaths are due to tainted product. The newest culprit, Fentanyl, is a drug that's used as a replacement in batches of heroin and other opiods. But, just the tiniest bit, as you see in the picture below, can be fatal. So, everyone from users to the police to first responders need to be extremely careful not to touch the stuff.
Thankfully, there's a drug on the market called Narcan that can counteract the effects of fentanyl. But, it needs to be administered very quickly after a person starts to overdose to have any effectiveness.
St. Mary's Chapel, Natchez, Mississippi
There's something angelic about most church buildings, with their spires reaching towards heaven and their bright, white facades. This church however looks more demonic. Seen below is St. Mary's Chapel, of Natchez, Mississippi, which was a fixture on the Ellis family plantation for a number of years. This gothic structure is uniquely adorned compared to other churches in the area, and mostly worked to provide for slaves on the plantation.
Since the church was located deep back into the Ellis's private property, and the freeing of the slaves meant less people would be calling the plantation home, this building largely fell into disrepair in the second half of the 19th century.
Always Follow Instructions From The Grim Reaper
If you're driving along the road, you're obviously expecting to see signs every few meters telling you what to do and where to go. But, deep underwater while on a scuba exhibition, you're probably not expecting to see printed directions and indicators. Still, that's exactly what happened here, as some cautious instructors decided to try to protect the lives of overly adventerous divers by warning them to stay out of this sea cave!
We think the most important addition on this sign is the fact that there's nothing in the cave worth dying for. We all grew up watching too many pirate movies, and we could definitely see some boneheaded divers going ahead into this cave expecting to find Goonie Gold.
Pictures From The Surface of Venus
See those plates of shale on the ground? And the thick yellow smog floating through the air. Doesn't this look like early morning in a park in a big city or something? Apparently, it's not. It's actually a picture from the planet Venus! We don't think about since they're floating there in space so many millions of miles away, but some of the other planets in our solar system look a lot like Earth on the surface!
Despite looking a bit like Earth, Venus is nowhere near as hospitable as our mother planet. The air is incredibly acidic, and the temperature is too hot to support life.
Cave Systems Versus Missing Persons
We're not saying that the correlation here implies causation, but it has been known that exploring unknown caves can lead to disaster. Do you all remember a few years ago when that boys' soccer team from Thailand wound up trapped, and a team of scuba divers had to go in and get the kids out? These two maps attempt to illustrate just how often that could be happening in the United States without us realizing it.
Of course, this is not an exact science. There are also (we assume) a number of undiscovered or unreported caves across the country, so there's no telling just how much these two topics are correlated.
A Mickey Mouse Gas Mask For Kids
At the height of World War II, children in schools were practicing shelter-in-place drills and learning how to get to bomb shelters and put on gas masks. Now, we just ask that our kids be ready to fight off active shooters if they enter the building, but that's a whole other thing. Still, just in case children were scared by all these wartime maneuvers, the Disney corporation tried to help families by creating this functional but kid-friendly product.
The Mouse mask isn't the scariest thing we've seen on the internet, but it's definitely not the least scary either. Can you imagine running into a kid wearing one of these things?
The Disappearance of Jim Sullivan
Jim Sullivan is a little-known name in many musical circles, but for those that are familiar with his music, he's a cult figure. The California native released his first album in 1969, a project titled U.F.O. He enjoyed on and off success over the next five years but never broke out big. Then, all of a sudden in 1975, Sullivan vanished. For many, this was proof that his album U.F.O. had been heard by someone from up above.
We're not sure if we believe all that Alien mumbo jumbo, but it is pretty strange how Sullivan disappeared. His car was found in the desert and he was nowhere to be found. To this day, very little information is available regarding his dissaperance.
Have You Seen This Child?
If you've never seen the poster down below, consider yourself lucky. This famous hoax has been running all across the globe for years now and is basically a cousin of the internet, clickbait, and chain email scams. Essentially, by making up a story and creeping people out, whoever created this poster ensures that the snowball will roll and people will continue talking about this fake happening until it becomes a real, accepted event in time.
All in all, it's a pretty funny prank if you know what's going on. But, if you don't, you might just be stuck wondering when that little boy is going to come and start looking into your apartment, and that's just creepy.
Who Forgot To Clean The Warehouse?
At some jobs, you have to clean every single day. For something like a restaurant, or a department store, you want your customers to have a clean, welcoming experience. But, if you work in a warehouse, cleanliness is less important. That's probably why dusting above the light fixtures slipped through the cracks so many weeks in a row, and probably how they wound up with a spider web this big hanging from the ceiling!
This looks like something that would've had to be made by the giant spider in the second Harry Potter movie. It must be like a spider metropolis up there.
This Spanish Castle Has Seen Better Days
It always kind of gives us the heebie-jeebies to look at a giant structure, or marvel of engineering, and see it abandoned and in decay. If that can happen to something so majestic, what will happen to us when we're gone? Still though, as creepy as it is, this Spanish castle is also a marvel for the eye. Butrón, in the town of Gatika, was inspired by classic Bavarian castles, even if some of those designs made this castle unsuited for the Basque environment.
The building was bought recently, in 2015, but renovations haven't started yet. A Spanish company apparently plans to fix things up and then open the castle to visitors in the future.
We All Know Her, We Just Didn't Know From Where
Most prosthetic dolls and Halloween costumes today come from the same factories, and use the same molds. So, if you've ever bought a generic mask, it probably looked something like this and was based on this model from the mid-19th century. Also, she incidentally wasn't a model at all, but just a woman named Annie who drowned in the River Seine. One of the Frenchman who fished her out found her so beautiful, he decided to make a mask of her face.
Since the woman that the masks are based off of was named Annie, CPR dolls today are called Rescue Annies. Also, it creates a fun connection to the Michael Jackson song– "Annie are you ok?"
This Statue of St. Bartholomew
St. Bartholomew was one of Jesus's 12 Apostles and was martyred after apparently converting the King of Armenia to Christianity. The story of Bartholomew's death is a gruesome one, as he was apparently skinned alive before being beheaded. This is why in most images commemorating him, like the one down below, he is wearing his flayed skin like a robe. It's incredibly creepy, but also, how insane are the details on that statue?
We're not sure what we find more impressive here, the horrifying brutality that we commemorate and venerate when discussing these saints, or the artistic skill it takes to create something like this.
This Is A Sea Turtle's Mouth
You probably think turtles are all cute and cuddly, don't you? Sure, they've got a hard shell, but other than that they're probably just like sea puppies. Well, we felt the same way until we stumbled upon this next picture. What you're seeing is a leatherback sea turtle's mouth from down below– and isn't it insane? Those aren't really teeth, they're spikes curved inward that prevent food from coming out of the turtle's mouth. He still does most of his chewing with his beak!
With the amount of plastic pollution in the ocean, these spikes are becoming a genetic detriment to the turtles, as opposed to a benefit. They'll go to taste something, realize it's plastic, and then won't be able to spit it back out.