Perspective, Pareidolia, And Perfect Timing: 45 Oddities Caught On Camera
The world is full of magnificent creations. From humans to plants, every living thing on the planet’s surface is a wonder to behold. When you look around, something will always catch your attention. From colorful birds to exquisite aquatic species, the list is seemingly endless. In fact, some of the things in nature we find fascinating are actually just defense mechanisms in some plants and animals — mimicry is a great survival tactic. And it’s not just naturally occurring things. There are some man-made structures that are stunning, either done on purpose by a genius architect or just a happy accident in perspective. We’ve put together just a small selection of images that will leave you in awe of what oddities can be found in this world.
The smoldering tree
Lightning is a fascinating phenomenon, but it’s a danger to everything it comes in contact with. We’ve heard about lightning striking humans, but what about plants? Check out this tree that was hit during a storm. Before you ask, this is not Photoshopped. It’s just nature being awesome!
Despite the mini fire happening within the trunk, the tree seems to be in good shape overall. Then again, given that the fire is still lit, this picture was likely taken shortly after the lightning strike, and time hadn’t caught up with the tree yet.
Half-full and half-empty
Although keeping an open mind and remaining objective is important in life, some things are best viewed through a certain lens. It’s all a matter of perspective. Like, the age-old question “Is the cup full or empty?” Your response will be influenced by your point of view.
So, what do you see? Is the cup empty or full? The answer to this doesn’t have to do with your attitude towards life — an optimist and a pessimist will fall for the same illusion. That isn’t a shadow in an empty mug, but a filled to the brim cup of coffee.
Corn with a twist
Unless you’re a farmer, we bet you’ve never seen anything like this before. Apparently, though, this isn’t rare. This is what happens when fungi grow on maize, causing gall growths on the plant. We might think this is gross, but some people consider it a delicacy!
In Mexico, it’s known as Huitlacoche, which can be used in all sorts of recipes, like tortillas and soup thickeners. It might not look appetizing, but we bet that many of your favorite foods don’t look all that tasty at first sight.
Extra claws, more lobster
We’ve stopped counting how many times we say “if only we had more hands.” Humans are always looking for ways to increase their efficiency, and extra hands seem to be the default answer. Well, this lobster answered the call, showing up with some extra hands to help out.
We’re not sure what caused the extra appendages — it was some genetic anomaly, that’s for sure. We’re not fans of seafood, but we bet that any lobster fan who got that on their plate would be thrilled. Though, this rare specimen is probably best for release.
A giant spider
Speaking of extra limbs, many people are repulsed by the sight of spiders. They would flee at the sight of even the tiniest spider or creepy insect. How do you think they would react to a meeting a spider that’s bigger than a bunny?
In Australia, spiders can grow to enormous sizes, such as the monster huntsman spider depicted in this image. Given the size of this spider, we have to ask if they do anything to get their critters to grow so big, or if that’s just a side effect of life down under.
Walk on water or stay indoors
Tourists are known for walking around, camera in hand, ready to capture moments of life around them. Of course, locals are sometimes spotted taking pictures, too. When you live somewhere picturesque, it’s hard not to want to capture every second.
Venice is famous for being a canal-based city, with gondoliers paddling about the watery pathways. However, this isn’t a unique thing. This picture comes from Giethoorn, a Dutch town with over 55 miles of canoe paths connecting canal-side residences, restaurants, and hotels.
Animal Medicine Advancement
Technological advancements don’t just affect our phones and computers, medicine has come on in leaps and bounds. You’ve probably seen a few examples of these with advanced limb replacement for humans, but we’re not the only species in need of some aid.
When an animal loses a limb or a beak, prosthetic medicine can now be used to replace it. Animals, veterinarians, and animal owners alike will be relieved by the advancement, as it is always heartbreaking to see animals suffer. It’s also incredible to learn that ongoing research is being conducted to improve animal comfort.
The fist/rose pepper
We see two different things here. First, let’s get some background. This is a pepper plant someone grew. Or, attempted to grow. At first glance, we can almost see the layered petals of a rose. But a closer look, we see something even funnier…
This pepper was so determined to grow that it broke free with a powerful fist. Imagine the surprise this plant parent got upon discovering a defiant pepper in their garden. This odd formation could have been the result of a number of environmental factors, such as temperature and humidity.
Let’s thank nature for providing us with such unique and interesting plants. Nature has repeatedly demonstrated that it follows no rules and can do whatever it pleases. We need to learn to expect the unexpected. A tomato usually has a round shape, but that’s not what’s happening here…
This Redditor was preparing food in their kitchen when they stumbled upon this odd duck-shaped tomato. What a find! This must have been difficult to cut, given that it looks like an animal. But it wouldn’t make for a good rubber ducky. After a few weeks, it’d start to stink.
In school, we learned about the food chain, but it’s honestly more of a web. All species are interconnected, and when you factor in bacteria and fungi, there’s no one living being that’s at the top. One of the most well-known interactions in this “web” is that of predators and their prey.
This is the perfect example. A human (predator) captured a batch of clams (prey). But in the ocean, the clam (predator) was looking for a tasty meal and ate a crab (prey). Good thing the person checked their food before eating, or they would have been in for a nasty surprise.
The camouflaging bug
Speaking of predators and prey, many animals have adapted to blend in with their surroundings, in the hopes of avoiding detection from potential predators. This bug is the perfect example! Even knowing that it’s a bug, one could easily mistake this for a leaf.
We can see the bug-like qualities when held in someone’s hand, but if we tried to spot this creature in the wild, we’d have a hard time picking it out amongst the real leaves. We just hope that the person in the photo didn’t find this guy in a salad. Yuck!
Scary velvet shedding
Shedding is a regular occurrence in most animals. Snakes, for example, are known to lose their skin on occasion. The deer in the photograph below is shedding the velvet-like layer that covers its antlers. Despite the fact that this is a natural occurrence, it seems frightening and unpleasant.
The antlers give the impression that the deer has been through a lot of hardship, but this is not the case. When mating season arrives, this deer will be mature enough to breed, and the newly exfoliated antlers will be a point of pride.
Let’s start a family
Within this fruit, a new strawberry family is developing. It normally takes time, and the fruit must be in a developing condition for it to happen. Nature, on the other hand, occasionally breaks its own norms and moves at its own pace. It decides to take a different path than everyone else.
We don’t have a strong explanation for this, but you’ll agree that it’s a stunning phenomenon. The fruit appears to be dressed in a lovely ruffled gown. The colors of the leaves and the fruit complement each other well. You can expect the sprouting fruit to produce more tasty treats in the future.
The road untaken
When we talk about the road less traveled, this isn’t what we have in mind. This road isn’t just empty, it’s abandoned. It’s been left long enough that mother nature is reclaiming her territory. This picture is too beautiful to be terrifying.
The moss growing along the concrete, and trees growing up under the barriers are a piece of artwork. This whole scene looks like it belongs in a post-apocalyptic movie, where cityscapes are overrun by plant life. We hope that no one tries to pave over this road again.
It’s safe to say that people don’t like having their photos taken when they’re asleep. Sure, we do it with our pets, but we bet they’d be freaked out if they saw our phone galleries. We bet that these whales would feel the same way.
Whales are photogenic even when they’re sleeping. Even if the whole scene is a bit creepy, the concept is too fascinating. Yes, this is how whales get some shut-eye. The first diver who saw this was probably very freaked out before they learned the reason behind this scene.
Let’s play ball
When you see certain colors or patterns, your brain immediately associates them with a specific thing. You can see this with mainstream companies and how their brand themselves, but it’s true for mundane things, too. For example, a round object with black and white hexagonal shapes is a soccer ball, right?
Well, most of the time. This angry cat is not a play toy and wouldn’t appreciate getting kicked around. Unlike the leaf bug, this is an accidental case of camouflage. The cat doesn’t seem too happy about it, but we love it. What are the odds, right?
It’s not a painting
This image is giving us an existential crisis! What’s important to note is that this is not Photoshopped (according to the person who posted this). So, what on Earth could have made this? It’s just a matter of perspective and a good prop.
This image isn’t some unnatural circle of limbs, but in fact, it’s just two people and a mirror. Do you see it now? Their hands are clasped and laying over and around the perfectly clean mirror. We give the photographer all the credit for getting the right angle!
The incomplete design
It seems like there are two types of architects: practical and creative. We’re not saying that the former don’t get creative, but some designers like to build things that are meant to be weird enough to catch peoples’ eyes. Like this one, for example:
When you first look at this building, it seems more like a technical glitch in a video game. But upon closer inspection, it’s just a clever architect that wanted a funky-looking building. From the right angle, it appears to be just a flat surface, but it’s all about perspective!
Ancient transportation method
We didn’t always have planes, trains, and automobiles. Before cars, people had to get around by foot and by cart. Horses, donkeys, and oxen were used to pull cars, but they weren’t the only animals. One bird, in particular, was also used for this purpose…
That’s right. Ostriches were once used to cart people around. And, as we can see by the caption on the image, these birds had to be trained before being looped up and acting as pre-motorized taxi drivers. Well, at least they didn’t have to worry about their drivers flying away.
The Russian way of writing
One of the biggest lies in school was our teachers’ insistence that we’d need to use cursive in our adult lives. We don’t know about you, but the last time we wrote in script — other than a signature — was for the SATs.
The concept of cursive is to be easier to write, as you don’t need to lift your pen. No offense to the Russian language, but how is anyone able to read this? That’s right. This is what Russian cursive looks like.
Due to the obvious different economic systems in each country and continent, prices vary. What is inexpensive in your city may be prohibitively expensive in another. You’ll be startled to learn that what you can get at home is out of your price range in another city.
Venezuela’s inflation has gotten so out of hand that even a simple roasted chicken, which you can buy for under $10 — depending on the store — costs about 14,600,000 Bolivars! It sounds ridiculous, but if you consider that one US dollar is around 500,000 Bolivars, it makes a bit more sense, though it still rounds to just under $30!
The Red Apple
Everyone has a favorite color, animal, song, and even some have a favorite flavor of apple. Some prefer red because they’re sweeter than green Granny Smiths. Whatever type you choose, there’s no wrong answer. In fact, they all have one thing in common: a juicy white center.
So what happens when you bite into a crispy apple and discover that it’s not just the skin that’s red? Look at this apple; it’s one-of-a-kind, with a meaty, scarlet interior. It could be the result of a twisted growing process or simply nature’s own unique games.
Garlic is a spice that is used in a variety of cuisines all over the world. It has a distinct fragrance and flavor that makes it an irreplaceable ingredient in many dishes. Garlic comes as bulbs, with whitish fragments inside, as most people are familiar with.
However, garlic comes in a variety of colors that aren’t white. Did you know that there’s black garlic, too? It’s used in Asian and Korean dishes. Anyone who has tried their cuisine will attest to its distinct flavor and taste.
The Suspending Agent
Spider webs can be aggravating, especially when they seem to come out of nowhere. Even arachnophiles will admit to being annoyed by running into invisible webs. Given how easily we brush them away, you wouldn’t think that they would be able to hold anything heavier than a fly.
Spider silk is actually super strong! This picture is all the proof we need to support that claim. The odd-looking thing is actually an icicle caught by a spiderweb. We feel bad for the spider, but it must be commended for building such a strong web.
At any beach, you can often find at least one person hunting for seashells. But what about rocks? They’re just as beautiful, especially when washed up from the ocean. And if smooth pebbles don’t intrigue you, maybe gemstones and geodes are more your style.
This person shared a picture of Brazilian agate they found. It doesn’t sound like it would be anything special, but one look at the stone and we can see why. Do you see the sunset over the ocean inlaid in the rock’s surface? So cool!
An excuse for hard drug
Medications are arguable the most important invention in human history. Yes, we’ve been using Mother Nature’s resources, but the refined versions have improved the quality and length of human life. Most of us don’t look at the full label of ingredients, given that it’s just a list of chemical compounds.
The “one-night” medication resembles a party drink rather than a cough suppressant. Maybe the effect is that you won’t remember having a cough, and that’s how it works. We’re mostly just amused that things like this were mainstream medicine not so long ago.
You might remember those soda cap sweepstakes from the ’90s and 2000s. You know, the ones where you open a bottle of soda and find a message written on the cap? It was usually just for an extra bottle of cola, but the stakes used to be higher.
This person found a vintage bottle of Mountain Dew. That alone is cool, but that wasn’t the most interesting art. Upon opening the bottle, this person discovered that they won a new Nintendo Super NES! Too bad the offer expired in 1992.
The Smallest Naval boat
Although not every aspect of a country’s government is common knowledge — we tend to forget these random details after graduating — most people know about some of the armed forces. The Navy, for example, is a maritime service branch, serving and protecting using a range of vessels of varied sizes.
Normally, we think of Navy boats as large vessels that can accommodate dozens of people, but we wouldn’t try that with this one. This is possibly the smallest “ship” in the entire US Navy. While it may not be able to perform the same tasks, it’s likely an invaluable vehicle.
An Agar plate explains it better
Kids are infamous for playing irresponsibly and without regard for coming into contact with pathogens. It’s difficult to persuade your youngster to be cautious. But not all adults understand this either. The image below shows just how “germy” kids get when they play outside.
Before you freak out, it’s worth noting that this plate does not distinguish between “good” and “bad” germs. Exposure to a variety of organisms outside of our home environment is healthy, especially for kids as their immune systems develop. Still, this should serve as a good reminder to wash your hands before eating.
The real horror movie
In 1975, Steven Spielberg made waves — pun intended — with the release of Jaws. It may seem cliche now, but it was a serious horror flick back in the day. We bet that there was an increase in galeophobia after the film’s debut.
What brave souls! It takes nerves of steel to float in the water while watching one of the most iconic ocean-based horror movies. Apparently, this picture was taken at a special event in Florida, advertised as “Jaws on the Water.”
We talked before about camouflage and how some animals use it to hide from potential predators. Let’s take a look at another example. The Araneus mitificus, also known as a kidney garden spider, is a species of orb-weaving spider found in Asia.
We’re not sure what natural element the spider is camouflaging as, but it reminds us of a Pringles can. Do you see it, too? The tiny eyes and big bushy mustache are unmistakable. Fortunately, Pringles are manmade, otherwise, some predators might get hungry looking at this spider.
Camouflage isn’t unique to insects, but there is undoubtedly a prevalence of this defense mechanism amongst bugs. Many species have such brief life cycles, any survival mechanism that helps them stay alive even a day longer is vital. Like this moth, for example…
The colors and lines on the moth’s back remind us of a chicken’s face. We’re not sure if it’s supposed to mimic that specific bird, or just another predator in general. Mimicry is an efficient deterrent against predators, but for us humans, it’s an efficient visual gag.
Have you seen The Shining? If not, you might still be familiar with the iconic image of a frozen-over Jack Nicholson, with icicles hanging off of his face. It was a simple way to show that he had passed away. After all, this frosty buildup doesn’t happen to living creatures…or does it?
Some “cold-blooded” animals undergo torpor, wherein they slow all biological functions to almost nothing. For example, this frog likely has a slower heart rate, takes infrequent breaths, and doesn’t make a peep during winter. It’s alive, but not moving enough to shake off those icicles. Come spring, it’ll warm up and hop away.
A scary wasp home
Apartment or house hunting can be stressful. Finding a new spot to set up your life that will become your safe haven from the rest of the world is a difficult endeavor. You need to find somewhere that is comfortable and will fulfill your needs. Animals experience this, too.
Birds build their nests using grass, twigs, and similar materials. Wasps, on the other hand, build on top of existing structures. These wasps found a new home in a terrifying place. They constructed their hive out of a broken doll. Could these wasps have made a creepier nest?
Survival lies in unity
When it comes to teaching lessons about teamwork, the finest example you can use is ants. They work together for basically every task. Just watch a line of ants and see how they help each other carry heavy items. Some species of ants even clump together to get through tough times.
In order to survive a massive flood, a colony of fire ants huddled together and formed their very own floating island. Nature teaches every species how to endure in the face of adversity. And people take lessons from other species. The ants can teach us a thing or two about unity.
The flowing lava
Humans have figured out how to survive certain natural conditions, but some forces of nature can’t be stopped. Volcanic eruptions, for example, cause widespread devastation. Although these are natural occurrences, and can be healthy for the environment, they’re still pretty terrifying.
We learned about unity from fire ants, and this tree can teach us about resilience. While a beautiful yet destructive magma flow covers the earth around it, that lone tree refuses to budge. The trees on the side are also tough, flaunting their green leaves despite the oppressive heat.
Fishes have teeth
One of the biggest disappointments of adulthood is learning that things we were taught in school weren’t entirely true. Exceptions to the rule in chemistry and English are letdowns, but biological oddities are downright terrifying. For example, fish anatomy isn’t what we assumed it was…
That’s right. Some fishes have teeth! The creepiest part of it is that the teeth look just like a human’s. If we didn’t know any better, we’d think that this fish swallowed someone’s dentures. Even stranger yet: this fish isn’t unique. This is a sheepshead fish, and they all have teeth!
Love no matter the weather
This couple seems to have taken some advice from the tree we saw a few pictures ago. They seem completely unconcerned with what’s going on in the world around them — including the volcanic explosion in the forest just behind them.
Was this a well-timed photo, or was it planned like a picture in front of Old Faithful? We hope that this wasn’t just a work of Photoshop like you’d see in an action movie poster. Doctored or not, this is a meme-worthy picture.
A canoe ride in the sky
There are some things you may find difficult to believe, even when presented with photographic evidence. One example is this picture. Canoes are supposed to float on water, not fly in the sky. Sadly, we don’t have that technology yet.
Okay, technically, the canoe isn’t flying. It’s just floating on a crystal clear body of water. The water is so clear and still that this person looks like they’re flying over the land like Aladdin on his magic carpet. We’re so jealous of this person! What a beautiful moment.
Depending on where you live, you may experience a drastic difference between the four seasons. And, though some may blend into each other, like a cold spring morning, there’s a clear distinction between them all. They’d never coexist in a single day.
We don’t know what time of year this image was taken, but this person managed to capture all four seasons at once! Why wait an entire year for fall to come around when you can visit this spot? To be fair, this likely a rare occurrence, and this spot isn’t usually such a work of art.
With optical illusions, the angle is everything. Remember the empty/full coffee cup from earlier? Well, we have another example of a confusing image. This time, it’s a matter of lighting that makes this such a perplexing image. Do you see the small pallet of wood on the right side?
Is this a magic floating wooden pallet? Nope, it’s just regular wood resting on the grass. However, a perfectly placed shadow captured at the right angle makes it look like it’s hovering a few feet over the grass. This must have been confusing for the person who first spotted this.
The Ancient Tree
World War II took a lot of lives and destroyed a lot of property. The United States chose to utilize a revolutionary weapon that was extremely harmful to both animals and flora. They dropped these weapons in a few Japanese cities. It’s rare to come across structures or flora that have survived it.
This bonsai tree is 400 years old and it survived the bombings of World War II. Nature has a way of enduring and we can only marvel at its beauty. Knowing the history behind it, you’ll agree that it’s critical that it be preserved.
The Magnolia Blossom
Earlier we saw a few examples of insects that camouflage themselves as plants or other creatures, but plants also utilize this defense mechanism. This image isn’t a pair of birds perched on a tree but in fact some magnolia blossoms.
They really do look like birds. The petals even have black lines and a dot where the eye would be! Nature’s witty sense of humor is once again demonstrated. It’s safe to assume that nature is more intelligent than humans give it credit for. The plant’s resemblance to a bird continues to perplex us.
The art of photography is a fascinating subject. When you capture pictures at opportune times, you’ll get great results. The spider appeared as the individual attempted to capture the bird, as shown in the image below. Instead, they got a one-shot image of the circle of life.
This photograph was taken at the time when the spider appeared to be assaulting the bird. It’s an incredible capture that’s also a little perplexing. You might be curious as to how the spider was able to pull off this maneuver. It’s a mind-boggling vision.
A world in a tube
Scientists see a lot of things in the lab, but most of it escapes the public’s view — mostly because it’s boring out of context. But this lab technician wanted to share something cool with the world. Can you guess what’s inside the test tube?
The whitish clump inside the test tube isn’t a contaminated sample. What you see is actually a clump of DNA! That’s right. The building blocks that make up every single one of us is held in a tube in the scientist’s hand.