Everyone’s always so busy worrying about getting the kids off to school on time and avoiding traffic on their way to work. As a result, we're sometimes guilty of not taking the time to experience the wonders of the world. In fact, many of us are completely blind to the unusual beauty that surrounds us.
But thankfully, these folks managed to capture the unseen side of life and they wanted to share it with the world. These photographs show the often unlooked at side of life that encompasses rare natural phenomena, unique human conditions and special experiences that few people are lucky enough to see.
The 150-Year-Old Cairo Tree
If this Cairo Tower Tree could talk, it would have plenty to say. In 1868, Isma’il Pasha, the Khedive of Egypt and conqueror of Sudan ordered that the tree be brought from India and placed in Cairo. The tree is also known as the Zamalek tree and it is the only banyan tree left in the city. And for over 150 years, it has withstood the test of time and has remained the only constant object among its ever-changing surroundings.
This Reddish-Colored Dragonfly
Dragonflies have been around since the time of the dinosaurs. They start as nymphs in the water before sprouting wings. They’re known for their crimson red color on their wings and tails. But next time one of these creatures lands on your head, don’t swat them away. This is actually good luck. Unfortunately, when a dragonfly passes away, the color from their wings start to fade away.
Nails Pushing the Chemo Out
Those discolored nails are not the result of a fungal infection or an accident with a hammer. It’s the visual result of the patient’s body pushing the chemo out of their body after a successful treatment. Although their appearance might seem ghastly to some, to this patient they symbolize that they have finally beat their cancer and will hopefully get to live a long, fresh and wonderful life with their loved ones.
A Pistachio Plant
They might look like grapes but you’ll be in for a disappointment if you try putting one of them in your mouth. This is actually a pistachio plant, which have a large tap root capable of growing up to 30 feet. This species tends to generally have a long life and is found in Centra Asia and the Middle East. Also, this is where we get pistachios from, so anyone with a severe nut allergy might want to steer clear from this plant.
Elsa, Was This You?
Anyone who has seen Disney’s animated films “Frozen” and “Frozen 2” will find the design on this truck door handle very familiar. It might seem like Elsa has come to town to bring winter a little early, but this was actually an ice pattern that formed all by its lonesome. The image simply shows how artistic and beautiful Mother Nature can be. But you’d swear this design was done using a stencil of some kind. It’s so pretty, it’s a shame someone had to touch the handle.
This Dragon-Scaled Glacial Ice
Are those dragon scales we see? No, but they look like them. Actually, this is glacial ice. The patterns are the result of seracs that are essentially big blocks of broken ice that look like dragon scales. But if this is Mother Nature’s way of creating natural art, then it’s a dying art because global warming is causing glacial ice like this to melt. So, enjoy these dragon-scaled glaciers while you can. They’ll be gone before you know it.
A Leucistic Alligator
Leucism is a rare color disorder that affects both vertebrate and invertebrate animals. The condition causes their skin to be white except for a series of dark patches, particularly by the eyes that make it seem like the animal is wearing makeup. Well, that’s exactly what this leucistic alligator has and yet he is the rarest and most gorgeous of its kind. But don’t even think about petting it because it still has powerful jaws that can rip you apart a limb at a time.
Horses on a Plane
Ever seen a horse that can fly? Alright, so maybe horses don’t have wings like in Greek mythology. But they can still fly the way most humans do— by airplane. That’s right! These horses are going on a joy ride aboard a plane and they have a veterinarian nearby to make sure they’re okay. In some cases, the veterinarian will give them a light sedative to keep them calm when the plane’s engines start up. This prevents the horses from having a panic attack and lets them better enjoy their flight.
Half-Blonde and Half-Brunette
This girl is known as a chimera, a biological creature that has a mix of genetically different tissues. In this case, the girl is half-blonde and half-brunette. But this characteristic isn’t simply prominent on top of her head but also on her eyebrows and eyelashes. And no, this isn’t thanks to Revlon or a hair coloring experiment gone wrong. This happened naturally. And there’s a theory that this process was the result of her absorbing her own twin in the womb.
The Glasswing Butterfly
This breathtakingly beautiful creature is a glasswing butterfly. In case anyone’s wondering, its wings are not some sort of genetic mutation. This specifies of butterfly all have wings that look like framed glass. This is actually nature’s way of giving these creatures a better means to camouflage themselves from predators. In fact, there are various other species that have similar wings like the broad bordered bee hawk moth.
The squid-like objects embedded in that rock may look like a bunch of rusty robots, but once upon a time, they were very much alive. This is a sample of a deep-sea species known as jimbacrinus crinoid fossils, but this plate actually contains various different fossilized specimens. Some online commenters have argued that they kind of look like the Sentinels from the sci-fi film “The Matrix.” Where’s Keanu Reeves when you need him?
A Rainbow Road
So you thought that rainbows only formed up in the sky? Guess again. When the sun hit this tarmac, it resulted in a surprising visual effect. The paved tarmac became a rainbow road. Unfortunately, it’s not visible to the naked eye. So how can you see it? Easy. You would need to wear a pair of polarized glasses to witness this effect caused by the sun. Now imagine how many other rainbows you might discover while wearing polarized lenses in the great outdoors.
Crystal Clear Periodic Table
The periodic table of the elements isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But even if you aren’t a science geek, you have to admit that this is a pretty cool periodic table. Take a good look and you’ll find that samples of most of the elements are contained within the see-through table. The only elements that are clearly missing are the ones with the radiation symbol on them because no one wants a piece of radioactive plutonium hanging on their wall.
Highway to Heaven
That definitely looks like a highway that seems to extend from the surface of the city all the way up to the sky. It actually curves to the left beyond the frame of the photo. But there’s no actual road to it. It's simply the exposure of an airplane shortly after it took off. And it’s a lucky thing someone had a camera handy because the exposure only lasts 30 seconds before it fades away into nothingness.
The White Forest
This might seem like a screen capture from a film taking place in the forest in the middle of winter, but there’s more to it than that. This forest in Colorado is full of Aspen trees, all of which are native to regions with cold weather like the northern hemisphere. These types of trees are about 20 to 80 feet tall and have primarily white-colored trunks. It’s why these trees represent purity. They are however terribly sensitive to fire.
Shoreline Full of Ice Eggs
It’s not surprising that people would undoubtedly assume that these are eggs. After all, there are plenty of animals that swim towards the shore to lay their eggs in the sand such as sea turtles. But these objects aren’t eggs at all. They’re actually pieces of ice found in Northern Finland. When bits of ice are rolled over by wind and water, they become these oval shaped egg-like ice balls that litter the shore.
Sweden Representing Fatherhood
In Sweden, putting fatherhood front and center is a big deal. This process is applied to various situations, including advertising. So, it’s not surprising that the photo on this diaper bag shows an adorable dad admiring his newborn baby who’s resting comfortably on his bare chest while his wife sleeps peacefully next to him. Now that’s a nice way to show that men do indeed have a kind and gentle side to them as well.
Blue Bioluminescent Water
This photo taken in the Persian Gulf shows what appears to be bright blue water crashing against the shoreline. Spoiler alert! This isn’t an alien world, a digital trick, or food coloring in the water. The blue is caused by bioluminescent phytoplankton, which only luminesce when they are disturbed by someone throwing a rock in their vicinity or a human dipping their toes in the water. Sometimes, even the waves crashing can activate this color change.
The Whitest Peacock Ever
Peacocks are well known for their colored tail feathers that reportedly make up over 60 percent of their body length. Now generally, female peacocks have gray or brown feathers while males have blue and green feathers. But this peacock is unique because it is an albino. In other words, all of its feathers are completely white. Now some would say that it's in a class on its own, but that’s sadly the case as most other peacocks tend to steer clear of albinos.
Sunset From Outer Space
When the sun starts to set over the horizon, it creates a hue of orange and pink that blankets the sky. Most people find this phenomenon to be both beautiful and soothing. But while most folks have experienced a sunset on Earth, they’ve never seen how beautiful it looks from outer space. Fortunately, NASA and its astronauts, in their infinite wisdom, have managed to capture this beautiful border where light meets the dark.
This Cybernetic Hand
Alright, so it’s not exactly a cybernetic limb with wires and cool electronic microcircuits, but it is a futuristic-looking prosthetic designed to replace this man’s three missing fingers. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t be able to use it if he were climbing on monkey bars. But with a little help from his biological hand, he is able to move the artificial digits in a way that allows him to hold a bottle with ease or grip on a bicycle’s handle bars.
The Bluest Iceberg Ever
Most icebergs are white as snow, but this one has an eerie blue color to it. To top that, it doesn’t have any of the usual jagged edges that look so sharp that they could sink ships. But this isn’t some elaborate digital painting of an iceberg with penguins walking out the water and exploring the massive landmass. This is actually an iceberg that has somehow flipped upside down. And yet it looks so otherworldly.
This Rainbow Cloud
Generally, a rainbow is like a multi-colored arch with both ends seemingly landing on Earth. There are even some legends that state that the person who gets to one end will find a pot of gold waiting for them. But finding the end of this rainbow will be hard since it appears to be streaking across the sky above that cloud. Some might even say that it looks like an alien spacecraft hovering above the clouds. Either way, it’s very pretty.
Bird Blowing Smoke
Everyone knows that blowing smoke rings is an art mastered by many long-time smokers. Of course, the only time birds are able to smoke is in cartoons. However, it was so chilly one morning, that this photo captured this bird’s breath escape its body. It’s not technically smoke. More like condensation, but it looks pretty cool anyway.
In that bag are a series of white blood cells that doctors removed from a patient and genetically altered them so that they can fight cancer cells. This process is known as T-Cell immunotherapy. Once the white blood cells were enhanced, they were re-introduced into the patient’s body. And fortunately, they were able to do the job that chemotherapy couldn’t and now the patient is cancer-free.
These Scaly Fish Legs Serve an Incredible Purpose
At first glance, one might assume that this is a mermaid transitioning back into human form after leaving the sanctity of the sea. But this is actually a patient who had fish scales grafted onto their skin after suffering severe burns throughout their body. Once applied, the fish scales merged with the patient's flesh and allowed the healing process to begin. This technique has also been applied to diabetic patients suffering from skin conditions as a result of their disease.
Penguin Feathers Are Super Dense
Look through your closet for the thickest coat you own. It’s a safe bet that it’s not nearly as dense as penguin feather, which is what’s in this photo. Penguins have approximately 100 feathers per square inch of their skin. No wonder they always seem so comfortable in the chilly weather. And don’t worry, this piece of penguin skin was taken for scientific study after the penguin passed away of natural causes.
Pencil Wall in Iran
This Iranian shop owner might appear to have a series of elaborate art pieces hanging on his wall, but they’re not, at least not intentionally. This is actually a pencil store in Tehran, Iran and those are shelves stacked with thousands upon thousands of pencils. And in a world where everyone seems to be typing on keyboards, it’s kind of refreshing to see that there are still people in the world writing the good old fashioned way.
Man Floating in Space
This is Bruce McCandless, a man who has done it all. He’s been a United States Navy officer. He’s been an aviator. He’s been an electrical engineer, and he’s also been an astronaut. In this image, he is seen floating above Earth’s atmosphere without a tether to his ship. What kept him from floating away into the dark reaches of outer space? He had a Manned Maneuvering unit that allowed him to navigate anywhere he wanted to go.
The Effects of Three Months of Chemo
The photo on the left is that of a man right before starting his first round of chemotherapy. The photo on the right is the same man three months into his intense treatment. As you can see, he has lost all of the hair on his head and most of the hair on his eyebrows, lashes, and beard. But there’s one thing he hasn’t lost and that is his beautiful smile and look of determination.
This Giant Screw
Think you know all there is to know about screws? Guess again. This is one of the biggest screws anyone has ever seen. It’s used to secure solar panels. But its size isn’t the only thing that is interesting about it. These types of screws are generally made out of anodized aluminum because they are highly resistant to corrosion and light. This guarantees that they won’t degrade when exposed to the intense elements required to power a solar panel.
This Wavy Brick Fence
This type of wavy brick fence is quite common in England. They’re also known by several other names such as crinkle crankle wall, sinusoidal, serpentine, or ribbon wall. They were originally used in ancient Egypt but are now built as a structural or garden wall. And while they use less bricks than conventional brick walls, their curves provide the necessary stability to keep them from falling over.
414-Pound Gorilla Undergoes Surgery
Meet Barney, a 25-year-old silverback Lowland Gorilla who developed a series of skin rashes and a cough that simply wouldn’t go away. Left with no other alternatives, the veterinarians decided to put the 414-pound gorilla under the knife to determine what was wrong with him and hopefully help him. Don’t worry, he was zonked out on anesthesia and was in good hands the entire time.
$12,000 Cancer Pills
Gleevec is a medicine used in the treatment of various types of cancers such as chronic myeloid leukemia and gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Unfortunately, it is so expensive that not every cancer patient is able to afford it, even with medical insurance. Sadly, this leads patients and their families to make difficult decisions like stopping treatment and putting the patient into hospice.
The Apple That’s Red All Over
Apples have a white fleshy interior regardless of whether their skin color is red or green. Right? Well, that’s the general consensus. So imagine this person’s surprise when they bit into their apple and found that the flesh was just as red as the skin on the outside. It turns out that there are apples known as The Lucy that have a red flesh interior but they get whiter as the person bites closer to the core.
Kitty Has a Furry Pocket
When this adorable kitty cat was spayed, the veterinarian had to shave the area first. Well, the hair eventually grew back, but it was a different color. Now this chocolate patch on its lower side looks like a hairy pocket. But fur color changes with the temperature, so it’s likely that the shaved area was colder, which is why the hair grew so dark. The fur will eventually get lighter as the weather gets warmer.
The Two-Thumbed Koala
Koalas are these tiny adorable bears and like the average bear, they have paws. In some cases, they even have two thumbs. But there is one thing they have in common with humans. They all have unique fingerprints and if a cop were to find these culprits’ prints at a crime scene, they wouldn’t be able to tell them apart from human fingerprints. But visually, Koalas have sharp claws, but they generally don’t use them on humans.
The Opisometer Measures Map Lengths
An opisometer is a device that measures lines, particularly curved lines on a map. It contains a screw with a wheel-shaped nut that rotates along the curve and then back to its original position. So, anyone curious about the distance from one end of the road or location to another can roll this device along a map. Think of it as a precursor to today’s GPS. But it won’t tell you which way to turn or when a road is closed.
Ants Made Almond Flour
Ants are known for being efficient little workers. They also have a hive-like mind and a queen that they answer to. Well, it looks like their queen was craving some almond flour because these ants somehow dug into the almond and started turning its insides into a white powdery substance. This just proves that anything can be accomplished with a lot of dedication and teamwork.
This Giant Mushroom Ball
A mushroom is often identified by their umbrella-shaped bodies and thin stems underneath. So, no one initially suspected that this massive round ball was in fact a mushroom, especially since it looked like a giant snowball. But as it turns out, it’s a fungi and anyone who loves mushrooms would enjoy making a nice mushroom soup or fried mushroom platter with this.
These Centuries-Old Mosaics
While digging around in a vineyard in Negrar, Italy, just north of Verona, someone uncovered an astonishing series of mosaics from a Roman Villa. After clearing up some of the dirt, people were surprised to find just how well-preserved the patterns were given that it had remained buried for several centuries. Archaeologists believe that the mosaic floor dates all the way back to the 3rd century A.D.
Human DNA in a Test Tube
There are plenty of illustrations of what the human genome looks like, but the reality is actually quite different. Floating within this test tube is a clump of human DNA. But you don’t need to be a scientist to make DNA visible. Simply add two cups of water to a glass, add a tablespoon of salt and garble for approximately 1 minute. Then spit the water back into the cup, add 2 drops of dish soap and stir. Then add ½ cup of rubbing alcohol and stir for a couple of minutes. And voila! Your DNA becomes visible.
The Back of the Mona Lisa
The Mona Lisa was one of Leonardo da Vinci’s most incredible works of art. Over the years, there have been many theories regarding this painting. Some claim that there is a hidden code in her eyes. Others claims that the Mona Lisa is da Vinci’s interpretation of what he would look like as a woman. Regardless, have you ever wondered what the back of the painting looks like? Unfortunately, it’s not that impressive.
Lizards Can Walk on Water
Everyone’s heard legends of mythic figures walking on water but no one was around to record it or snap a photo of those events. But there is one creature capable of walking on water— lizards. The scaly skin on their feet has the ability to spread. They also contain skin flaps between the toes that catch air bubbles. So, if they move quickly enough, they can cross a body of water like a lake or a pool without drowning.
A Close-Up Shot of Spider Feet
These adorable paws are neither adorable nor paws. They don’t even come from a house pet like a dog or a cat. This is actually an up close and personal look at the foot of a spider. Notice the coarse hair on the top of the leg and the spiky hair under its foot. It’s like a freaking porcupine. It also has some rather sharp claws that it uses to climb up walls, furniture and people.
This Emerald Cayuga Duck
Most Cayuga ducks tend to have an emerald-colored head, but that jade color rarely goes beyond the neckline. But this duck is rare among its kind and has shimmering emerald feathers all over its body. This undoubtedly makes it far more attractive to other ducks during mating season. But they aren’t always born fully jaded. Sometimes Cayuga ducks are fully black, too.
It’s Not an Alien Plant
This odd-looking cactus with that weird looking flower might look like something an astronaut would encounter on Mars, and that pistil is so creepy as if it has the power to drain the blood or soul out of someone. But this plant can’t do any of that. It’s actually known as a Stapelia and it is indigenous to South Africa. But don’t go smelling it because it stinks like rotting flesh to attract Carrion flies that help pollinate them.
The Red Rainbow
Generally, a rainbow has red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet within it. This phenomenon occurs when sunlight strikes water droplets in the atmosphere. When this happens, the light is refracted and then reflected by the back of the droplets. This results in various colors. But in this particular photo taken in Finland, the rainbow is only one color— red. This only happens if the sun is setting by the horizon.
Goddess Statue in Japan
Sendai Daikannon is a massive statue of Byakue Kannon, which translates to “White-robed Kannon” and it is one of the largest statues on the planet. It also has what is known as the cintamani gem in her hand that symbolizes Nyoirin Kannon, the goddess of compassion. At the time that it was completed back in 1991, it was considered the tallest statue in the world, but other statues have since taken on that role. But to enter the statue, visitors must pay a fee first.
The Chimera Cat
This cat is a chimera, meaning that it has incorporated two separate genetic traits. In this instance, the color of his foot is half black and half white. And you thought that cats couldn’t get any more adorable! But wait until you hear how he likely became this way. For this to have happened, this kitten likely absorbed one of his fellow kitty siblings while they were still developing as embryos inside their mom.