These Jarring Photos of Nature Will Make You Do a Double Take
You don’t need us to tell you that nature is beautiful. But the beauty of nature doesn’t just lie in its physical greatness. The beauty of nature also lies its mystery. These photos from photographers around the world are a reminder of just how incredible nature can be. From a storm that completely engulfed an offshore lighthouse to the couple who witnessed a grizzly bear chasing a cyclist, these jarring nature photos will surely make you do a double take.
You know you’re from the Midwest when you can look this calm, cool, and collected with a tornado ripping behind you. And no, Photoshop wasn’t involved! This woman, who was identified as Audra Thomas, is from Beaver City, Nebraska. Nebraska gets hit with, on average, 57 tornadoes each year, so this was probably the norm for Thomas.
While the tornado looks like it’s right behind her, the storm is actually miles away. Not that that makes it any less terrifying!
This Little Piggy Didn’t Make It to Market
This photo sure does stir up a lot of emotions. We can’t help but feel endless empathy for this pig, who clearly know they’re headed for the slaughterhouse and felt their only choice was to try to escape.
This pig reportedly was headed to a slaughter house in Guangxi, a region located in southern China. While en route, drivers behind the truck caught this pig’s escape. Incredibly, the pig wasn’t hurt from the fall. Better yet, this adorable oinker reportedly was adopted by the police officers who responded to the incident.
Old School Photoshop
Real or fake? While this one might be able to fool some, it’s a fake. This image was actually created for a political advertisement while Teddy Roosevelt was running for the presidency while representing the Progressive Party.
The Progressive Party’s mascot is a moose, so a photography firm known as Underwood and Underwood carefully cut out a photo of Roosevelt on a horse by hand and pasted in on a photo of a moose in the water. The image first ran in an edition of the New York Tribune. Old school Photoshop!
A Wolf Spider Carrying Her Young
Look closely! …Or maybe don’t. If you aren’t a huge fan of spiders, we wholeheartedly apologize for this jarring photo. While this is obviously a photo of a spider, further inspection reveals it’s a mother arachnid who is carrying her babies on her back. Cute! …In an absolutely terrifying way.
What’s interesting about this photo is that most spiders wrap their eggs in an egg sack and then leave their young to hatch and fend for themselves. The wolf spider, however, is the only spider species in the world that carries her eggs around, fastened to her abdomen.
Is That a Beluga Whale Or a Mermaid?
When the image of this beluga whale went viral, it had everyone questioning whether or not belugas have knees. From the image above, this whale certainly appears to be hiding legs under its skin (no wonder beluga have been mistaken for “mermaids” throughout history!).
But in reality, beluga whales do not have knees…or legs for that matter. The symmetrical, bone-like features you see above are actually thick deposits of blubber and are especially important since these beautiful creatures live in arctic waters. It the end, this is just a strange angle, but we can still believe that mermaids are real!
Storm Chasers Following a Tornado In 1898
This incredible photo dates back to 1898, which is incredible in itself because analog cameras were still a budding technology. What’s crazier though is the suspenseful moment captured on film.
This photo was snapped in Waynoka, Oklahoma in May of that year. Some claim that the two men in the photo were seasoned storm chasers, but David Hoadley — who wasn’t born until 1938 — is credited with being the first official storm chaser.
This Enormous 28-Foot Crocodile From Australia Was Shot and Killed By a Female Hunter
Nature is a lot of things…including terrifying. One look at this 28-foot crocodile proves it. This photo was taken in Queensland, Australia in 1957 after this enormous crocodile was shot and killed. What’s even cooler is that the croc was taken down by a female hunter named Krystina Pawlowski.
Pawlowski was a Polish immigrant who moved to Australia where she became of the most respected hunters around — female or not. But she didn’t gain international attention until she killed this crocodile with one shot, earning the fitting nickname “One Shot” and a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Would You Believe This Man Survived?
In 1989, Jean Guichard captured this incredible photo on the northwest coast of France. The lighthouse known as Phares dans la Tempete, la Jument, is almost completing engulfed by a massive wave.
If you look close enough, you can a man standing at the entrance. This man Theodore Malgorn was the lighthouse keeper, and he was eagerly awaiting rescue. Malgorn and his colleagues remained safely tucked away in the upper levels of the lighthouse during the storm and all made it out safely. Despite the severity of the weather, the lighthouse received little damage and is still standing today.
A Traveling Couple Captures Cyclist Being Chased By a Grizzly Bear
File this one under things you will probably only see in Canada. Cassie Beyer and her husband Donald Poster were driving down a scenic highway in July 2017 when they spotted a cyclist who was unknowingly being chased by a sizeable grizzly bear.
The couple started honking their horn in an attempt to scare the bear. Another drive did the same, catching the cyclist’s attention and yelling ‘You’ve got a grizzly bear about 25 feet behind you.’ Apparently, the cyclist is used to this as he reportedly kept calm and started pedaling faster. Luckily, the bear lost interest and wandered back into the woods! The next man wasn’t as lucky as this cyclist.
A Dingo Eating a Shark On the Beach While Two Snakes Are Intertwined Is So Australia
Go to Australia they said. It’ll be fun they said. Australia is undeniably beautiful, but the land down under is unlike any other place on the globe. Despite Australia’s beauty, there are more things that will kill you there than not! Jokes aside…
This is about as Australian as a photo can get, but this photo had a little assistance from Photoshop. While the photo of the dingo eating the shark is real, as is the photo of the snakes, both images were superimposed together.
A Great White Shark Next to the Mouth of a Megalodon Shows Just How Massive the Extinct Shark Was
Normally, animals going extinct is a bad thing. But one look at the jaws of a megalodon and we can’t say we’re sad they are no longer in existence. These behemoths existed somewhere between 2.5 and 28 million years ago but went extinct due to lack of prey.
Female great white sharks can grow up to be 21 feet in length, so they’re not exactly on the small size. But that’s no match for the megalodon, which could be as long as 59 feet.
You’ve Goat To Be Kidding Me
Your eyes aren’t fooling you! This photo is 100% real. You already know that goats are skilled climbers, but what’s special about this photo is the tree. This is an Argania tree and it’s often found in Morocco. What makes the Argania so special is the tasty nut that it produces. Goats go nuts for these nuts!
Goats love them so much that they will scale the trees for a snack. Goats are cute. So are raccoons…But we’re not sure we’d be excited to see this many raccoons outside of our tent.
Next Time, Stay In Your Tent
Cute? Or what nightmares are made of? We’re going with the latter! This creepy photo looks like it could be a behind-the-scenes snap from the set of a Stephen King movie, but it’s completely real.
Decades ago, a woman was camping in the middle of the woods and heard an excessive rustling outside of her tent. She didn’t have a flashlight on hand so she stuck a disposable camera out of her tent and took a photo, hoping the flash would help her see. Considering raccoons are solitary animals who prefer to keep to themselves or small groups, this is quite shocking to see. We can’t help but wonder what her reaction was when she saw all of those beady eyes!
Star-Nosed Moles Are Almost Too Weird to Be Real
The star-nosed mole is one of the most interesting animals on the plant — if only for its look! This odd creature is actually a small rodent. The star-nosed mole has 22 appendage-like structures surrounding its nose. Although this physical feature may look surreal, it actually serves a very important purpose.
Without its unique nose, the star-nosed mole would have a difficult time with its senses. It’s this organ that helps them smell, feel touch, and sense temperature changes.
This Crab Seeking Refuge In a Skull Is Eerily Beautiful
Isn’t this photo is eerily beautiful? Crabs like the one pictured above seek out abandoned shells to make into their homes. So this unexpecting crab probably thought he hit the lottery when he came upon this skull on the shore.
While we would be very taken aback to find such a thing on the beach, this crab was just happy they were about to find a safe space. Now, as for how this human skull ended up here…we’re not sure we want to know.
Tippi Hedren Posing For a Photo On the Set of Roar
This photo would be much scarier if this tiger were alive! While this tiger may be real, this photograph is actually a shot from the set of Roar. The film, which starred Noel Marshall, and his then-wife, Tippi Hedren, premiered in 1981.
Roar told the story of an American woman and her children as they travel to America to visit a scientist that lives with numerous wild animals. While the movie was supposed to be filmed with tame creatures, this wasn’t always the case. Roar has since been deemed one of the most dangerous movies to make. In total, there were 70 injuries that occurred on the set — some of which were life-threatening.
Qizai Is the Only Brown Panda In the World
Born with brown fur thanks to a genetic mutation, Qizai was outcast by other pandas and abandoned by his mother when he was just two months old. Although he was found weak and neglected by a nature reserve in the Qingling Mountains in Central China, the talented team was able to help him.
Today, Qizai is healthy and happy after being rehabilitated. Now seven years old, the nature reserve employees say he is thriving. They are even looking to find a mate for Qizai!
These Mammatus Clouds Following a Tornado Look Totally Photoshopped
Mammatus clouds, also known as mammary clouds, get their name for their resemblance to udders. These strange clouds are formed when cold air is pushed down and forms pockets within the warm air. A man named Wiliam Clement Ley was the first person to record this phenomenon in the late 1890s.
You are most likely to see them following a thunderstorm or tornado. This photo was taken in Nevada after the latter.
The Irwins Pose With a Croc In Their Zoo
This picture is jarring for a few reasons. For starters, anyone that calm, cool, and collected while posing with a large crocodile is crazy. But when you realize this is a photo of Terri and Steve Irwin, it becomes a little different.
Steve Irwin, also known as The Crocodile Hunter, was more than just a zookeeper. He and his wife worked tirelessly to conserve species and wildlands, educate the public, and entertain as many as he could. When he passed away in a freak stingray accident on September 4, 2006, the world was shocked. We miss you, Steve!
Two Against One
Two against one typically wouldn’t be fair, but this eagle is clearly running the show. Eagles love to prey on small mammals like prairie dogs, rabbits, raccoons, and squirrels. Another one of their favorite delicacies? Small birds.
The eagle saw this seagull on the bottom and snatched him up during a moment of vulnerability. The seagull looks pretty firmly clasped in this eagle’s talons, but who knows? Maybe the other seagull triumphantly rescued his friend!