It has become increasingly difficult to distinguish between what is real and what is not. Computer graphics enables us to manipulate color and distort reality any way we want.
You will be excited to know all the photos shown here are the result of hard work. This article will not make your trust issues even worse.
1. City In The Clouds
You probably wonder why they call tall buildings skyscrapers. Seeing Dubai’s impressive urban landscape from the top of Burj Khalifa offers some clues.
This unbelievable pic shows low clouds that permit only the tallest building to emerge in the sunlight. The 200m giants made out of steel and concrete look like dwarfs from the 830 meters of the world’s tallest building.
Our unexhausted ambition to build higher and bolder is set to make all big cities look like this in the future. However, pollution might spoil everything for us by covering everything in persistent smog.
Scenes like this raise some ethical aspects. Will there ever be a real-estate feud with God for the best clouds?
2. Extreme Rooftopping
Skyscrapers create an incredible fascination for photographers, one that can turn deadly.
Rooftoppers are urban outlaws that risk everything for a chance at social media glory. Their unusual vantage points score thousands of like and re-posts, making them heroes without a cape.
However, there is one downside to the job of climbing high-rise structures and taking photos from there. Accidents do happen, and roof toppers die due to powerful winds, altitude sickness, or because they push this form of art too far on the unsafe side.
Buildings under construction are excellent for roof topping photography because they allow easy access. Nevertheless, unfinished structures and temporary scaffolding often represent a less obvious danger.
As all the main cities of the world are projected to grow vertically in the decades to come, roof topping will continue to deliver the same mind-blowing photos that challenge your common sense.
3. Atlantic Road
Do not let yourself fooled by the calm and serene waters. Severe weather can bring waves splashing even in the tallest sections, threatening safe passage.
This oddly shaped bridge is part of a bigger road that connects the mainland with nearby islands on Norway’s rugged coastline.
Contrary to popular belief, Norway is no longer the fiefdom of bloodthirsty Vikings. They have evolved in one of Europe’s wealthiest country, able to fund exciting infrastructure projects like the 8.3 km Atlantic Ocean Road.
Before going to the doctor to report your déjà vu, you should know that the road is familiar to you because it appeared in countless auto commercials. Dubbed “the best driving experience in the world,” it helped many cars win your heart despite tight budgets or emission scandals.
4. Salt Flats Reflection
Salar de Uyuni is the name of the world’s largest salt flat, one that stretches far enough to make the horizon line uncertain.
Walking or driving in this weird world is a once in a lifetime experience, as traditional special boundaries are rendered useless.
At the height of the day, the surface reflects the sky so perfect that it is impossible to tell one from another. The phenomenon originates in the crystalline geometry of the salt and its optical properties.
Getting lost in the Salar is not something you want to experience. Although the landscape might offer the best rendition of how we imagine Heaven, there will be no Morgan Freeman there to sooth the soul with explanations about one’s purpose in life.
5. Psychedelic Mountains
Looking at China’s rainbow mountains from behind a computer monitor might make one suspect communist propaganda joined hands with some talented Photoshop artists.
Nevertheless, the landscape capture in the photo above is real and is accessible at the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in Gansu.
The mountain range formed over millions of years and the colored layers occur because of the various minerals that emerged at the surface.
With the hippie movement still alive and well, the psychedelic mountains of China might just ruin the drug industry. The lower levels of oxygen and the incredible chromatics are enough to confuse the brain in taking a “trip” outside the beaten path.
6. Amazing Iceberg
A kayak trip in the Newfoundland are of Canada brought a Reddit user close to one of the most unusual occurrences in the natural world.
We all know how an iceberg is supposed to look. However, it seems that some like to toy with nature’s creation and manipulate the result. Or, at least this is what most people would think after seeing the above shot.
The different colors are due to ice forming at various points in time and under different conditions. The diagonal position shows how dramatically an iceberg can evolve since its inception.
People believing this is the sight of the alien laboratory trapped under ice since the last glaciation will certainly be disappointed.
7. Fairytale Photo
You should know that this photo is real and that there is no optical manipulation whatsoever.
As you probably guessed, this unique composition is the work of a Russian photographer. Katerina Plotnikova had nothing better to do than putting wild animals and gorgeous girls in the same photos. The result is a unique journey back to a time when we let the stories we read make the most of our life.
Before you appreciate the brown bear’s manners and even before you imagine other strange possibilities, you should know that these animals did not stop their forest routine for a quick photo session.
Professional trainers took all needed measures for the gorgeous redhead to keep her right arm. It doesn’t end with dismembering!
8. Guatemala’s Sinkhole
This picture might look like an elaborate prank to place the hell’s gate in an urban context. The photo is, in fact, real.
Guatemala City has an unusual geological context that makes such incidents very probable. The 2010 sinkhole was the direct result of acid leakage that cut its way through the soft layers of volcanic ash underneath the city.
15 people died when a three-story factory was completely sucked hundreds of meters below the surface together with any other buildings, roads, or utilities existing in that part of town.
Like all sinkholes, this also required a massive effort just for filling. The hazard remains because no one can tell where and when the next one will form.
9. Namibia’s Painted Landscape
For the last time, this is not a painting of the French Impressionism.
Dead Vlei is the name of the place that created just the right context for this unusual combination of colors and textures. The orange background is not an artistic view of the starry sky, but a dune that faces the sun early in the morning.
The white material in the shade and the patches on the slope is white grass adapted to survive the harsh desert condition in the Namibian wasteland.
Seen from different angles and at different moments of the day, the area where the photo was taken shows the importance of composition.
10. Shark Inside a Shark
Research might sound boring, but those thick glasses often scratch their heads in amazement when the camera captures gems like this one.
Sharks are at the top of the food chain in the aquatic environment, but this does not stop them from eating each other. Size is essential, and the smaller dogfish shark jumped for the bait just seconds before a much bigger sand tiger swallowed it.
The mind-blowing scene occurred while researchers at the University of Delaware’s Orb Lab tried to recapture tagged sharks.
According to sources, the bigger shark was released unharmed. There was nothing they can do for the smaller one. Nature is harsh, and we can only pay our respect.
11. The Goat Tree
Yes, the title is a pun. Even though modern science has made the impossible possible, trees that produce goats as fruits would push genetics too far out its comfort zone.
There is one good reason for Moroccan goats to seek refuge so far up and resemble Chrisman tree decoration. With no local predators except the men that heard them, the animals climb the Argania trees for the delicious nuts they produce.
You will be surprised to know that Argan oil comes from the seeds of the fruits. The same fruits attract these gentle creatures to attempt daredevil climbs.
12. Dangerously Close Landings
Maho Beach on the small island of Saint Martins attracts hordes of tourists for one unique reason.
No, they do not come here to see people get slaughtered in their sunbeds by careless pilots. Although the moment the photo was taken makes the aftermath uncertain, you should know close landings are a constant in the landscape.
Maho Beach is positioned directly in the flight path of planes landing on what is one of the world’s shortest runways.
What scared many visitors experiencing it for the first time is now the main attraction of the place. Local pubs and restaurants display exact hours of landings.
Takeoffs are also unique because they create a jet blast across the beach. Adrenaline junkies love getting blown out of their crocs.
13. The Eye Of The Earth
Strange colors are the first to raise suspicions regarding the authenticity of a photo. However, the above picture is real, and it depicts the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park.
With a diameter of 110 m and a maximum depth of 50 m, the spring unleashes more than 2,000 liters of water per minute. A bath in this extravagant swimming pool will boil you alive at a constant temperature of 70°C.
What is not good for you is just perfect for others. Believe it or not, the vivid colors are given by microbes living in hot water that emerges from beneath the earth’s surface.
As you probably guessed, the name “prismatic” comes from the colors which are similar to the ones you see in a rainbow. Light diffraction was suspected until microbiologist stole the show with their explanations.
14. Dead Whale Coming Ashore
This picture broke the Internet some time ago, with speculations ranging from a strange animal that came ashore to elaborate Photoshop.
This is, in fact, a whale photographed from an unusual angle. The dead animal was washed ashore, attracting a crowd that was apparently not used with such a sight.
The massive marine creatures are often victims of ocean pollution and overfishing. Nevertheless, it seems that a failure of the sense of direction brings them in shallow waters from where they can no longer return.
This particular photo still raises eyebrows because it was photoshopped a couple of times to replace the whale with something more sinister. Internet trolling is a known fault of today’s news and mind blowing real photos have to suffer from this.
15. Independence Day Thunderstorm
When clouds take unusual shapes, the human mind is set to search for meaning.
For most people, seeing such a cloud while traveling has the potential to trigger doomsday goose bumps. We all remember the “Independence Day” ships that destroyed all the major cities of the planet in one of the most successful sci-fi movies.
The photo was taken in eastern Colorado in 2013 and managed to win the 2014 National Geographic Traveler Magazine Photo Contest. The UFO phenomenon has deep roots in US culture and seeing a mothership instead of a storm supercell is common sense for Trump lovers.
As far as we call tell, this is an early stage of a tornado. As the rotating clouds reach the earth, the structure of the storm narrows down to form the classic tunnel shape.
16. Half Brain
Some say that you cannot survive without parts of your brain. However, the photo is real and rank as one of the most mind-blowing cases in medical history.
Carlos ‘Halfy’ Rodriguez certainly deserves the nickname after surviving a horrific car accident that saw him pushed through the windshield and hit the pavement head on.
The surgeons that cut out the damaged part should be praised for leaving Carlos alive and well. The boy was only 14, and he was driving a stolen car. His story became the topic of a campaign against drinking and doing drugs while driving.