You’ve heard of the Seven Wonders of the World, but unofficially, there’s far more than that! There are incredible sights all around us. Among them are things you might not have considered, while others you probably take for granted every day. So, we’ve gathered 40 jaw-dropping photos – some you won’t believe – that might teach you something new about the fascinating world we live in.
40. Nintendo’s first headquarters
Nintendo has been a household name in video games since 1984. But it’s been around far longer than that. Founder Fusajiro Yamauchi actually conceived the business nearly 100 years earlier. In fact, it started out as a playing cards manufacturer! Here’s an amazing picture of Nintendo’s first headquarters in Kyoto, Japan. The business has since grabbed a powerup and, like its mascot Super Mario, has grown to new heights. Nintendo is now one of the most successful video game companies in history.
Whether you find it adorable or horrifying, this image of a mother scorpion with her babies is nevertheless fascinating. Remarkably, the arachnids can have up to 100 young, but they don’t come from eggs as you might expect. Instead, they climb on mommy for protection until they can grow their own defensive exoskeletons. Aww or eww? You decide!
38. Game of Thrones dragons
The finale of Game of Thrones left some fans cold, but few can deny the show’s dragons were awesome. And the effects were so well done that it’s easy to forget they weren’t really there. At least, not in all their fire-breathing glory anyway. Pictures from behind the scenes show they did have some stage presence – albeit as green blobs waiting for some post-production magic.
37. Oyster water
When you picture oysters, you probably think pearls – or possibly “yum.” But this amazing photo uploaded by a Twitter user shows that there’s more to these bivalves than meets the eye. Oysters have gills, which capture various particles in the water to filter for food and nutrients. In the process, they also strip sediments from the water – purifying it as they go.
If you’ve never seen moldavite before, you’re in for a treat. Crystal balls are used to look into the future, but the crystals in this picture are an insight into the past. Moldavite is believed to have been formed after a huge meteorite hit the Czech Republic around 15 million years ago and created these beautiful artifacts.
35. The Mangalica pig
Pigs come in all shapes and sizes: from miniature teacup pigs to big ol’ hairy warthogs. But have you ever seen a Mangalica pig? These animals – which hail from Hungary – look like the lovechild of a classic potbellied pig and a sheep. Their hair resembles wool – leading Reddit users to dub them “wooly hammoth,” “porcine parka” or, festively, “pigs in blankets.”
34. How dolls get their eyes
Have you had your daily dose of nightmare fuel? If not, here’s something that might keep you up at night. This image uploaded onto Gosocial.co shows a doll manufacturer implanting the toy’s eyes in their sockets – with the aid of something that looks suspiciously like a medieval torture device. And those eyes follow you everywhere, too.
33. Sunset from space
Who doesn’t love seeing a beautiful sunset? Though very few people get to witness one from this high up. And if you think it looks like the end of the world, hold on to your hats. Take a look at the red dividing line seen here from this picture taken on the International Space Station. Amazingly, it separates day from night and is fittingly called a terminator.
32. Homemade plasma
Some of us have pretty quirky hobbies, but this Reddit user’s father took things to another level. He created a ball of homemade plasma in the family basement. Plasma is an electrically conducting medium which contains around the same number of negatively and positively charged particles and is created when atoms in a gas become ionized. This is either impressive science or we have a supervillain-in-the-making.
31. Prototype color-changing dress
Remember when “The Dress” that people saw as either gold or blue went viral? Well, here’s another mind-boggling addition to your future wardrobe provided by the good folk over on Reddit. This prototype color-changing dress goes from white to black as you watch, which is pretty amazing. It would solve a lot of potential outfit dilemmas. We can’t help but wonder how you’d wash it, though.
30. Anatomy of a cat’s paw
Have you ever wondered what the anatomy of a cat’s paws look like when they’re fully opened? Well, Reddit appears to have the answer. And it’s actually both fascinating and terrifying. Don’t get us wrong, the little hairless Sphynx cat is lovely, but those are some crazy toe beans.
29. Great gray owl’s camouflage
Is it a tree that looks like an owl or vice versa? It’s hard to tell with the Strix nebulosa – or great gray owl – which is among the biggest of its species. This picture uploaded onto Reddit shows how well its feathers camouflage with tree bark – if you can spot the creature, of course.
28. Australia’s glowing forest
Watch out night-walking Australians: if you see a forest like this, it’s haunted! Well, sort of. The beautiful and eerie glow is caused by a kind of bioluminescent fungi called Omphalotus nidiformis. These so-called ghost mushrooms create their own soft light and actually glow in the dark. But don’t be tempted to taste one – they’re poisonous. This is Australia, after all, so what did you expect?
27. Brick-laying machine
Brick-laying conjures up images of workmen hunched over the road – artistically placing stones by hand. As it turns out, technology has streamlined this method with an amazing machine that lays sidewalks in an instant. Individual bricks go in the top, then the device joins them together and lays them out like a rug. That must save some aching backs!
26. Moving house in 1908
A lot has changed since 1908, but it appears people took things far more literally back then. Take moving house, for instance, which today is just a turn of phrase. If this picture’s anything to go by, though, older generations weren’t afraid to have their homes hoisted up on wheels and dragged down the road by horses. Yep, it brings a whole new meaning to the term “mobile home.”
25. Tongue-eating louse
These new Pokemon just keep getting darker, don’t they? Actually, the truth is far more disturbing. This crazy critter is a tongue-eating louse or Cymothoa exigua – a type of fish parasite that replaces their host’s tongue. Posing as the piscine’s organ, the crafty little creep snacks on whatever the fish eats. Though the hosts can apparently still live relatively healthy lives, according to the Futurism website.
24. Cleaning Lincoln’s ears
Have you ever asked yourself how you’d clean a huge statue’s ears? If you have and it’s not your job, that’s pretty weird. But the answer’s obvious, of course. You get a massive Q-tip and just go to town on those bad boys. At least, that’s how they clean the Abe statue in the Lincoln Memorial. Honest!
23. Firefighting drone
The military, the postal service and now firefighting – the career opportunities are endless for drones. Check out this clip originally posted on Imgur, which shows a drone tackling a blazing fire with jets of extinguisher foam. As one Redditor put it, “Drone tech put to good use?! Be still, my heart.”
22. Touchscreen from 1986
Naturally, touch screens are ubiquitous these days. Yet it’s easy to forget that they’re not actually new technology. In 1986 the car company Buick made a Riviera that came with one integrated into the dashboard. Check it out and bask in its retro-futuristic charm.
21. A 600-year-old gingko tree
Hayfever sufferers look away now – just seeing this photo is enough to give you the sniffles. Nevertheless, it’s worth the risk to witness the glory of this massive 600-year-old Chinese gingko tree. Gingkos have a natural yellow pigment known as xanthophyll, which appears as the chlorophyll found in the leaves recedes in the fall.
20. Tasmanian devil biofluorescence
It might not have had a lot going for it, but 2020 turned out to be an interesting year for science. That year, Ohio’s Toledo Zoo discovered that some Australian animals were biofluorescent under UV light. That means they glow! Scientists are still unsure why this is the case. Maybe it helps them read at night? Nevertheless, this is the first known picture of the phenomenon in Tasmanian devils.
19. A 2,000-year-old wooden chariot
Someone needs to feed those horses, they don’t look well. On the other hand, when you take into account that they’re from 2,000 years ago, that’s understandable. That’s right, you’re looking at a genuine Thracian wooden chariot that once belonged to a nobleman. It was discovered by Veselin Ignatov from Bulgaria’s Istoricheski Muzej Nova Zagora museum in 2008 alongside other prized possessions.
18. New Zealand’s glowing caves
New Zealand isn’t just known for its Hobbits, although this does look like a fantasy scene. What you’re seeing is actually one of the country’s other attractions: the Waitomo glowworm caves on the North Island. The stunning star cluster effect is in reality made by beetles commonly known as glow worms. So if you’re not a fan of creepy crawlers, maybe it’s best to appreciate it from afar.
17. Planthopper nymph
We can’t get enough of this fascinating YouTube video that seems to show a walking piece of popcorn on legs. But there’s more to this forbidden snack than meets the eye. The adorable little thing is the young form of an insect called a planthopper nymph. But as adolescents, they release waxy “tails” which bear an uncanny resemblance to fiber optics.
16. Four-hundred-million-year-old fossil
You have to admire the effort Moroccan preparators put into this ancient 400 million-year-old Middle Devonian fossilized trilobite Walliserops trifurcatus. The detail they’ve preserved on it is incredible and reveals a lot about what these things looked like. Some parts – such as the crazy trident protrusion at the front – even hint at things unknown to science. Indeed, its purpose so far remains a mystery.
15. Mirrorcube Treehotel
It might look like somewhere the sci-fi alien Predator would live, but the Mirrorcube Treehotel is a real place. Swedish architecture studio Tham & Videgård Arkitekter created the futuristic-looking domicile to blend in with nature – hence its mirrored walls. This semi-invisible living cube was the result. Also, the sides are coated with an infra-red material, so birds have no trouble seeing them!
14. Maned wolf
You’d be forgiven for thinking that this is a photoshop fake, but the maned wolf is a real animal. They’re wonderful and unique creatures in species as well as appearance. You see, despite its name, the creature isn’t a wolf at all. It’s not a fox, either. It’s a species called Chrysocyon brachyurus, and it’s the only known member of the genus.
13. Leopard contrast
This looks like the easiest spot-the-difference picture in history. But what you’re seeing here is actually two leopards. Panthers aren’t a unique genus but rather members of the big cat family with an excess of melanin, according to Big Cat Rescue. Humans also have this pigment, which is responsible for making our skin color change when we tan.
12. Water giving life
Over 70 percent of our planet’s surface is covered in water, and it composes up to 60 percent of our bodies, the United States Geological Survey notes. There’s no life without H20, and this picture really hammers that point home. The image was shot in Kakadu National Park in Australia, and it captures a beautiful forest winding alongside a river through an otherwise desolate landscape. The contrast is stunning, isn’t it?
11. Kiwi comparison
Kiwis are adorable, but they’re also strange little birds with many quirks. The creatures are flightless and their hair-like feathers and beak-tip nostrils mean that they share some qualities with mammals. But arguably the weirdest thing about them is the massive size of their eggs. Here’s a photo of a kiwi skeleton compared to its egg and how it fits in such a tiny body. Yikes!
10. De-icing a plane
You’d think that since planes fly so high they’d collect quite a bit of ice on their bodies, right? Well you’re not wrong, and this is how they’re de-iced. Airplanes are sprayed with a mist that looks like fire extinguishing fluid. But it’s really a mixture of heated glycol and water. They have a special compound to prevent future ice build-ups, too.
9. Inside a bowling ball
Bowling balls are round, they’re heavy… how surprising can their construction be? Well, you might be bowled away if you saw the inside of one. In some cases, the spherical exterior of the ball is a façade. The interior weight that makes them so heavy isn’t even round, but rather cylindrical with a balancing extension.
8. Airborne Newfoundland
Sure, dogs aren’t exactly known for their aeronautics. It does happen though, especially in the case of Newfoundlands. This picture shows a big boy getting ready to rescue refugees off the coast of Italy. Don’t worry about the dog, either. Their breed is strong as an ox and is very happy in water. Apparently, they even have webbed paws!
7. Berlin Wall graffiti
The Berlin Wall formally came down in 1989, though parts of it remain in the city and in historical collections. Of course, it’s easy to imagine the wall as being a plain, unadorned symbol of dark segregation. Yet this photo of a broken piece uploaded onto Imgur shows that it wasn’t quite so plain – at least under the surface. It actually hides several thick layers of graffiti and perhaps indicates some physical evidence of opposition.
6. Taiwan noodles
The noodle market in Taiwan is enormous. So how would you even go about making the sheer volume of the foodstuff that people there consume every day? Well, it’s mostly all automated now. But in a few rare places like the city of Lugang, they’re still traditionally handmade and suspended from wooden struts to dry. Yep, that’s using your noodle.
5. Theater backstage
Unless you’re a theater connoisseur, chances are you haven’t been backstage very often. Take a bow then, because that’s what you’re seeing here. This is the exceptionally grandiose Cuvillé-Theater in Munich, Germany. One commenter said that it’s “like the audience is the theatre and the backstage is the real world.” And we’d struggle to disagree.
4. Doggy donor
Not all heroes wear capes, and this grinning canine has every right to look proud of himself. Owner Jennifer Fowler posted this picture of her dog Jax on Facebook after he donated blood to save a small pooch. What a good boy!
3. Colorblind pencils
Perception’s a funny thing, and it’s hard to imagine how other people see the world with no example to go on. As such, trying to picture a world devoid of certain colors is a difficult task. So use this picture uploaded onto Gosocial.co as a reference. It shows colored pencils side by side with how a colorblind person sees them.
2. Pillars of light
Before you see this photo and buckle down for an alien invasion, you can relax. These amazing beams are actually a phenomenon called light pillars. Atmospheric Optic explained that they’re an illusion caused by light reflecting off millions of tiny grounded ice crystals.
1. The Tasmanian tiger
There aren’t many genuine photos of extinct creatures, but you’re looking at one right now. Or are you? The thylacine was also known as the Tasmanian tiger, but it was in reality a marsupial wolf. It apparently became extinct in 1936 – its demise largely attributed to humans aggressively hunting them. Though Australia’s Department of Conservation and Land Management recorded over 200 reports of sightings over the subsequent 60 years.