Rarely Seen Photos Capture A Darker Side To Nature
By | October 19, 2020
If you're in North America then you definitely run the risk of coming across a grizzly bear, and as cute as they are they can turn you into mince meat within moments. Standing around 7 ft tall and weighing around a ton, the most ferocious fact about them is that they have a bite force with 1,200 pounds per square inch - meaning that they can bite through pretty much anything that gets in their way, be it a bowling ball or your bones.
As amazing as this is it's not great news for you if you find yourself in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by bears, that's probably not going to happen though.
However, if you do come face to face with a bear the best move is stand your ground and avoid making eye contact. Stay quiet and walk away slowly.
This shot of a lighthouse absolutely being walloped by the force of Mother Nature may look like a still from a film, but this is far from CGI, it's the real deal. The light house is on a rock called La Jument off the coast of the sand of Ushant in France, and in 1989 it faced a massive storm.
Taken on December 21, 1989, this photo shows what happens after a low pressure front comes down from Ireland. The gale force winds caused waves that reached heights of nearly 100 feet that smashed through the lighthouse's lower windows and ripped the front door down, washing away the furniture.
The lighthouse keeper, Théodore Malgorn, had to stay safe in the lantern room until he could be saved.
In many cases the scariest part of nature is just the normal stuff that happens every day whether it's an animal finding food or a mother giving birth. This is just a shot of the natural progression of life but it looks absolutely horrifying.
As gross as this looks it's 100 percent natural. It's common for a wolf spider egg sac to have anywhere from hundreds to 1,000 babies, which is, you know, not ideal for people who are afraid of spiders.
Baby spiders clinging to their mother are a definite illustration of the terror of nature, but as long as you don't go looking for something like this you should be safe.
This lava pit looks like it's sucking the souls of the damned into Hell
In Kamokuna, Hawaii awaits the portal to Hell. Not the real deal portal to some netherworld, but a close enough approximation. Known as the "Portal To Hell," this mass of lava resembled twisted and charred bodies surrounding a swirling fiery vortex.
In order to strike this nightmarish pose, different lava flows had to form at different times and drip around the natural skylight, forming a crust due to the loss of heat.
The "skylight" as its known is actually a tube of molten lava traveling beneath a patch of volcanic earth, something that's only visible when part of the roof collapses. It may look terrifying, but it's a rare thing to experience.
As humans we believe that we're the apex predator of Earth, that we're standing proudly at the top of the food chain, but photos like this show that in a one on one scenario humans may not be as capable as we believe.
People share somewhere between 95 and 98 percent of the same DNA as chimpanzees, but we're also hanging out in the air conditioning and sitting behind a computer all day, the same can't be said for our family in the animal kingdom. They're struggling, working, and fighting for survival all day every day, which makes them freakishly fit by human standards.
The similarity between chimpanzees and humans is exactly why this chimp looks like he's been rise and grinding in the gym, however there's one difference that helps them look more shredded than the average person. Their muscles fibers sit closer to the bone than they do in the human body, which allows for a larger muscle density. As freaky as that is, you can sleep well at night with the knowledge that you're not going to run into a chimpanzee in a dark alley any time soon.
This photo shows that the one thing that we all fear, something crawling up through the sewer and nestling in our toilets, is absolutely possible. One of the most recent incidents of a snake making its way into a person's bathroom occurred on August 28, 2020, in - you guessed it - Australia.
Sofie Pearson, from North Queensland, was having trouble flushing her toilet when she noticed that there were four snakes in her cistern, the longest coiled up at three feet. While speaking with Newsweek she seemed more bemused than anything:
I went to the toilet and then I went to flush it and I really had to push down on the button to get it to work, so I was a bit confused.I sort of looked at them for a second and thought... that's not right.
There's nothing quite as horrifying as waking up in the middle of the night and realizing that you're not alone. The only thing more jarring than that sensation is realizing that you're being watching... and watched by a family a raccoons at that.
Raccoons are omnivorous and opportunistic. If there's something to be eaten they'll do it. In nature they eat everything from plants, to nuts, to eggs and insects, but decades of city dwelling and campers traveling to the wild with "people" food has shown us that raccoons will literally eat anything.
If raccoons were day time creatures they wouldn't be as creepy, but the fact that they're nocturnal makes them closer to phantoms that move through the ether in search of souls to feast upon, or at least your leftovers. Weirdly enough, as small as these animals are they have few natural predators. It seems like everyone and everything is freaked out by a raccoon.
You wouldn't want to get lost on this country road in Northern Ireland
This spooky, tree lined road straight out of an Edward Gorey book didn't grow this way because it's on cursed land... it was actually planted to look like this. In 1775, James Stuart planted more than 150 beech trees along the entrance to his new estate, Gracehill House, because he wanted to created an imposing approach, and boy did he accomplish his goal.
Legend has it that the hedges are haunted by a spirit called the Grey Lady, a ghost who moves between the trees at night. Many locals believe that the spirit was originally Stuart's daughter or one of the house's maids who died under mysterious circumstances.
Of the 150 original trees, 90 remained as of 2016 and are in various states of health and are at risk in bad weather. While you can no longer drive on the road, tourists can visit the hedges while in the UK.
These birds may look like adorable stuffed animals, but that's exactly what makes them such impressive and frightening predators. As far as the rain forest is concerned the Harpy Eagle is at the top of the food chain, preying on tree-dwelling mammals including sloths, monkeys, and opossums, as well as large birds and snakes.
Without natural predators, these massive birds are free to do whatever they like. Unfortunately, harpy eagles are naturally curious and don't really fear anything, which makes them easy prey for poachers. Bennett Hennessey, who directs ABC's Brazil Conservation Program explained:
I have spoken with hunters who have killed Harpy Eagles out of curiosity. Unlike many other large raptors, Harpy Eagles will sit on a perch and allow people to approach them. Unfortunately, they are not afraid of humans, so are easy to kill.
A baby Elephant Stuck in Manhole
This truly upsetting photo of a baby elephant stuck in a manhole is just one instance that proves that the animal kingdom is often besieged and beguiled by the world of man. The last thing an animal expects is to fall into a part of the sewage system. After all, they don't even know what that is.
In 2017, this three year old elephant spent three torturous hours stuck in a drainage shaft, but thanks to some helpful guys with a digging apparatus it emerged safe and unhurt... although it's going to be scarred for the rest of its life.
It's odd and a little frustrating to think of the way that humans are able to harm animals even when we don't mean to.
While this photo makes it seem as if beluga whales are hiding a pair of gams beneath their skin, the truth of the matter is much more unsettling. These marine animals that live in sub-Arctic waters need something to keep them warm, and the things that we perceive as leg-like bones are actually "rails" of extra fatty insulation.
So why do we see a pair of legs? According to Carey Richard, the supervisor of cetaceans and pinnipeds at the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut, we're just catching a "weird camera angle." He told Mashable:
The position of the camera is just such that they caught that blubber moving. I’ve never seen blubber looking like human anatomy.
Some of the most spectacular images that we've ever seen are of natural phenomena, and undoubtedly long exposure shots of lighting are right at the top of our list, but not every shot that purports to be real is actually what it seems.
Case in point, this photo that claims to show the awesome and destructive power of nature. This shot isn't actually a long exposure image of a lightning bolt hitting a tree, but a form of light painting created by Darren Pearson. The artist explained the concept behind this photo to Snopes, saying that he combined a photo that he took of a tree, with a shot of lightning from the NOAA webpage. He said:
My image is a long exposure, 619 seconds, taken at night. During this time, I used ‘el wire’ to create the blue smoke-looking effect, and a color-gelled spotlight to give the tree a pink glow... I never intended it to be taken for a real photo of lightning striking a tree. It was meant to be an artistic expression, but turned into an internet misinformation fiasco.
Good luck sleeping after catching sight of this giant, human sized bat, otherwise known as a flying fox. Even though they're not as big as this photo would have you believe - their wingspan can grow up to 5.5 feet but their bodies are only a foot long - they're still freaky freaky freaky.
These megabats are found in parts of Africa, India, Asia, and Oceania, and lucky for us they're not all that interested in humans. Like smaller bats, they're nocturnal, but they're also incredibly sleepy during the night.
Aside from their vampiric look, the scariest thing about flying foxes is their chatter while they figs and fruit as the sun sets. Still, you wouldn't want to get one in your hair.
Australia in the 1950s was a place under siege with one of the biggest crocodiles known to man, however, this is not that crocodile. This is actually a croc of undetermined size that was killed in 1914 on the banks of the Roper River in the Northern Territory of Australia.
While it's been captioned to state that it's the giant crocodile from 1957, it's actually a crocodile who was most likely gunned down by "Miss Cross" and "Mr Joynt."
Mislabeled or not, it's horrifying to think that crocodiles of this size are out there roaming free, waiting to gobble us up like candy.
Visitors to the Oregon Undersea Garden were likely as taken with the animals as well as by the creepy art all around the aquatic zoo. And as puckish as this sculpture may seem, it wasn't put there by pranksters, but rather ordered by the people in charge of making the aquarium look beautiful.
Ryan Bledsoe, owner of the Edge Art Gallery, explains that the museum came to him and asked ti help make the place a little weird, something that he was happy to do:
We were trying to figure out a way we could (display) weird animals... They said, 'We want, like Dr. Seuss crazy, underwater (sculptures)' and I said, 'OK, I can do crazy. We just got as crazy and as weird as we possibly could.
If the sound of Freddy Mercury is echoing through your brain, the refrain of "you're my best friend" may be a bit too saccharine for this seriously creepy relationship.
Microhylids are frogs that are about half an inch in length and somehow they've become the pets of tarantulas in Sri Lanka, Peru, and India. It's not entirely clear why the tarantulas don't just eat the frogs, but it's likely that the frogs keep small invertebrates from eating spider eggs.
The friendship between these two creatures is mutually beneficial and very creepy. As weird as this is, it shows just how intertwined much of nature really is with itself.
This incredible shot captures the terror and grandeur of the great white shark, and it also happens to be an amazing recreation of the Jaws poster from 1975. Captured by British photographer Euan Rannachan off the coast of Mexico, the picture was taken from inside a shark cage mere feet away from this frightening animal.
To get a once in a lifetime shot like this the conditions have to be perfect, and it's not just the shark that has to act perfectly. Rannachan told the Sun:
We have these people on the boat called shark wranglers and they throw these two-foot chunks of tuna and get the shark close to the surface. Sometimes when the wranglers play with the sharks, the sharks get p*ssed off and dive down under the boat and the bait so they can come rocketing up and get it. That’s exactly what [the shark] was doing here, she was fed up probably messing around on the surface and dived back down under the boat.
If there's one photo that shows just how terrifying nature can be it's this one. We often think of the animal kingdom as an ecosphere that works with itself in perfect harmony, but that's not always the case. This shot showing an eagle hunting a seagull and it's seagull friend heroically trying to save it's life.
Snapped by David Canales on Prince William Sound in Alaska while he was kayaking, this shot is proof of the terror that's in the great wide open, but look closer...
With a fight on its hands (or claws if you will), the eagle cranked up its vicious nature and fought off two gulls to keep its prize. While it was a heroic attempt of the seagulls friend to try to save it's life, the eagle won the fight.
Look closer...in the darkness stands this baby polar bears' mother and she will not hesitate to attack
Look closer at this photo... lurking in the background is a mama polar bear waiting to attack at the first sign that someone is bothering her cub. The best way to avoid becoming mincemeat is to never get close to one of these majestic creatures, but if you do you should stay cool.
Polar bears are naturally curious creatures, and like many animals if you stay calm and collected they'll leave you alone, but if you do anything to rouse their suspicion you're in trouble.
More often than not, a polar bear attack will happen at night. These animals like to wait until its dead quite before they investigate a campsite or a new person. If you're going to go into bear country, the best way to stay out of harm's way is to bring bear spray... or just don't camp around a bunch of bears, whichever way works for you.
One of the most magnificent creatures in nature is also one of the most deadly. Gophers, mice, shrews, squirrels, weasels, small birds, and frogs don't stand a chance as the Grey Owl hides in plain sight and attacks at will. The Canadian great gray owl is one of the few animals that's able to almost completely hide itself in its surroundings, disappearing into the forest as if it's not even there.
This rare photograph comes to us from Alan Murphy, and it shows just how sneaky this predator can be... good thing it doesn't eat people. Murphy wrote on Facebook how he snapped such an amazing pic:
While searching the forests of British Columbia for birds to photograph, I came across this guy. It's like finding a needle in a haystack. See if you can see the Great Gray Owl. Nature is amazing!!
Some may call it freedom, others a waste of bacon, but no matter how you look at it this is an upsetting shot of the final moments of a pig's life. As upsetting as this photo is, it's not the only time a pig has jumped from a truck on the way to the slaughterhouse.
More often than not these incidents are caused by trucks that are too heavily packed, which is a terrible way to treat such a sweet and delicious animal.
In some cases the animals survive with a little bit of road rash, but it's clear that if a pig escapes from a truck on a highway it's likely off to that pig pen in the sky.
Starlings obscure the sky over Rome in dystopia viral photo
The whole world can turn dystopic with only the flit of bird wings. The photo, taken in 2018, shows a flock of starlings covering the sky and blocking out the sunset, turning the sky into a static television gray. Try as you might to see through this horrific display you'll never be able to see the sun... or at least that's how it feels.
This isn't a once in a lifetime thing, it's actually something that occurs every autumn. Starlings return to Rome every year to escape the chilly temperatures of Eastern Europe.
An estimated 4 million starlings cover the sky, and is if that's not bad enough they defecate everywhere, creating a massive public health problem.
Well... this is terrifying. While bees are fairly docile insects, they will attack if they're disturbed. It's not clear where this photo was taken, but the same thing happened in Indiana in 2019 it was because a swarm of bees were looking for a new place to populate. Megan Abraham, an entomologist with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources explained:
[In spring] it’s not uncommon to find swarms of honey bees looking for a new area to populate. Most likely this was a new queen that was displaced from her original colony or is starting out new. Beekeepers are interested in collecting these swarms to add to their own colonies or create new ones.
Don't worry, the biker got their ride back and the bees were taken to safety by a local beekeeper.
Well this is just horrifying. The Barn Funnel Weaver is also known as the common brown house spider, but that shouldn't make you any more relaxed. These spiders aren't just amazing web artists - which they clearly are - but they move quickly to snatch their prey.
One of the most agile spiders out there, the BFW is able to use its unique eye configuration, with six of their eight eyes looking forward, to keep an eye on the smallest amount of movement out there.
In order to defend themselves these spiders tend to hide inside the most concave part of their web, although if the web is destroyed they'll curl up in an area that looks and feels similar, so if you see one of these webs its best to leave it alone.
Meanwhile in Yellowstone...
Thanks to the majesty of photoshop we can freak ourselves out with nature even more than we could when humans were just being chased by bears without the help of technology.
While this photo doesn't actually capture a biker being chased by a bear (the guy hauling butt out of harm's way was added later) it does actually show a bear running down a highway in Yellowstone National Park, something that's just mind boggling.
Grizzly bears can run at up to speeds of 35 miles per hour, so if a bear were chasing a guy on a bike it's likely that the biker would end up as grizzly food.
More so than any other creature, turtles have a long shelf life if they're allowed to live uninterrupted by predators or just bad owners. In 2019, Sylvester Stallone revealed that the two turtles that he introduced in 1976's Rocky, Cuff and Link, are still swimming with us today.
Stallone not only showed off his long living turtles on Twitter, but he put them in another one of his movies, which is pretty good for a pair of 44 year old turtles. He wrote:
In CREED 2 with my original buddies from the first Rocky … CUFF and LINK, now about 44 years old!
It's disheartening that the worst predator on Earth is man. For proof, look no further than the last white rhino in Kenya, an animal that has to be guarded around the clock while it grazes beneath the African sun.
Sudan the rhino is under 24 hour guard along with two females - Fatu and Najin - on a conservancy, where experts are doing everything they can to make sure the subspecies does not go extinct.
Aside from being under 24 hour surveillance, the rhinos are tagged with radio transmitters, and the conservatory has secret park rangers who are constantly gathering information on poachers. The life of the last white rhinos is not pretty.
One of the rarest animals on the planet, the Black Jaguar
Sadly, the black jaguar is an animal that's near extinction both due to its rarity in the animal kingdom and because of its desirability to collectors and poachers.
These beautiful and dangerous creatures live in the lowlands and tropical areas, most often near heavily wooded savannas. Unlike a lot of animals, black jaguars cover a lot of ground during the day, which means that spotting one is pretty tough. They cover miles and miles of their habitat on foot, hiding in the brush, so if you see one it's best to be cool about it.
They tend to eat other mammals, large reptiles, and fish, but as farmers encroach on their land livestock has also been added to the menu.
Here's a 20-foot wide, 5,000 lb. manta ray that got entangled in a boat's anchor line
Caught by Captain A.L. Kahn in 1933, what we're looking at in this picture isn't the actual manta ray that he pulled in, but a taxidermist's preservation that Kahn displayed at events around the country.
The giant manta was caught off the coast of New Jersey when Kahn's anchor line accidentally snared it up. It took hours to bring the manta in, along with help from the Coast Guard, and a few gunshots. Kahn later said of the excitement surrounding the fish:
Fishing is a lot of fun when you catch the fish. And sometimes its fun even when you don’t. But when the fish catches you... Phew!
This shot of a Soviet soldier feeding a polar bear may look staged, but it's very very real. Taken during a routine expedition in the Chuckchi Peninsula in the 1950s, the shot shows soldiers helping out some of the areas many polar bears who were starving due to the sub-freezing temperatures.
In the '50s, food rationing was serious business in the USSR, but the one thing that there was plenty of was condensed milk, making it a common desert in the military.
When these soldiers saw a group of polar bears starving in the -40 Fahrenheit temperatures they were happy to unload some of their condensed milk for these polar sweeties. In most instances the mother would lick the milk out of the can and then feed her cubs with it.
Abandoned by his mother in a Chinese forest, Qizai is the only known Brown Panda in the world
Abandoned as a baby, Qizai the world's only brown panda was discovered in a nature reserve in Qingling Mountains in Central China. While scientists are unsure of exactly what gives Qizai his interesting coat, they know he was abandoned because of the color - his mother was black and white.
Scientists believe that Qizai's coloration comes from a genetic mutation and they hope to breed another brown panda out of him if all goes well.
Early on in his life, this brown panda was bullied by the other bears, but now he lives at the Foping Panda Valley and weighs more than 220 pounds and eats around 44 pounds of bamboo every day. Even if he doesn't mate, Qizai is living the good life.
Terri and Steve Irwin with a croc at their Australia Zoo in 1996... Steve sadly died after being pierced in the chest by a stingray barb while filming in Australia's Great Barrier Reef
Anyone who puts themselves into dangerous situations, be it dealign with deadly wildlife or a fire fighter, understands that the risk of death or just straight up bodily harm is higher than average, but Steve Irwin wanted to save the wildlife of Australia and educate people. To do that he had to go to places where danger was all around.
When Irwin passed away in 2006, witnesses stated that he realized that his time was coming to an end, which is one of the most terrifying things that we can think of. Justin Lyons, a regular underwater cameraman for Irwin, described Irwin's final moments:
He was having trouble breathing. Even if we'd been able to get him into an emergency ward at that moment we probably wouldn't have been able to save him, because the damage to his heart was massive. As we're motoring back I'm screaming at one of the other crew in the boat to put their hand over the wound and we're saying to him things like, 'Think of your kids, Steve, hang on, hang on, hang on.' He just sort of calmly looked up at me and said, 'I'm dying.' And that was the last thing he said.
The same whale found after 35 years in the west coast of Mexico
This is honestly wild. We don't think about how much longer some animals live than we do, especially animals that live under the sea, but there are some whales that live for hundreds of years. As the world goes on around them, as technology grows and falls by the wayside, they remain consistent.
What's fascinating about these long living animals is that they stick around the same spots for generations, turning the water into their own fortress of solitude. It's honestly strange that we don't see more of these animals.
Scientists believe that larger whales have evolved a kind of natural mechanism that protect them against cancer and aging, although the secret of their longevity is still a ways from being discovered.
The bearded vulture, the most metal bird of prey
More than just a colorful animal, the bearded vulture is as fearsome a creature as Mother Nature has ever created. The Lammergeier, meaning "lamb vulture" in German, gets its majestic coloring from the blood of its victims. No two bearded vultures are colored alike, and the deeper read one of these birds is the more victims its notched into its belt.
80 percent of the beard's diet is made up of bones and bone marrow, and in order to digest such... unsavory meals, the bird's stomach acid has a pH of around 1 that breaks down dense material in less than day.
Scavenging its meals, the bearded vulture eats by picking up a carcass and dropping it from extreme heights in order to break it into swallow-able pieces.
Underwater Waterfalls of Mauritius, where the sands from the shores are carried into the depths of the ocean
This baffling phenomenon in the Indian Ocean occurs year round on the island of Mauritius. Once home to the Dodo bird, this majestic island is the kind of place where a person can lose themselves. Beneath the island runs an underwater waterfall... sort of.
The waterfall is an optical illusion that can only be seen from above the southeastern coast of the island, an area called Le Morne Peninsula. When peering through the crystal clear waters you can see sand and sediment falling into a gradual slope that's just above sea level, because of this movement it actually looks like there's a waterfall beneath the surface.
It may look like you can fall off the face of the Earth in the Le Morne Peninsula, but that's just Mother Nature playing a trick.
One of the most endearing urban legends of the 20th century is spurred on by this photo. Was Michio Hoshino killed in his tent by a bear? And is this his final photograph?
While Hoshino was mauled to death by a brown bear on the Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Russia in 1996, he didn't take this photo. It's actually an entry into a Photoshop competition where, get this, contestants were asked to make a "last-photo hoax." Mission accomplished.
Hoshino's photography is honestly stunning, which makes it all the more sad that this shot is attributed to him across the web.
Some times you've just got to climb a tree, or if you're one of Morocco's tree climbing goats you can change that to all the time. The goats are drawn to the Argania tree of Morocco, a gangly, crooked plant that produces an annual fruit crop that the goats in the area are absolutely addicted to.
Rather than try to keep the goats at bay, local farmers release the goats at just the right time, making sure that the animals feast on the ripe fruit in order to pass clumps of seeds in their bowel movements. These seed clumps are pressed in order to make Argan oil.
Portrait of an American Buffalo
It's hard to imagine anything as brutal as the slaughter of the American Buffalo (or bison if you prefer), but in the 18th and 19th centuries, as Americans pushed west they did everything in their power to wipe out nearly all of the 300 million buffalo that once roamed the plains.
At the time, the buffalo were a major part of the Native American way of life, by enacting a campaign to wipe out the buffalo the American military also dealt a major blow to the indigenous people of North America.
In order to get the numbers of bison back to something resembling normal, the U.S. Army brought 21 bison from private herds and deposited them in Yellowstone where they mated with the buffalo who roamed the area naturally. They numbers are back into the hundreds of thousands, and maybe one day they'll be back to the millions.
This shot taken in the Cromarty wetlands of Queensland shows the brutal truth of life in the wilderness - it's eat or be eaten. Snapped by photographer Clarke Espie, the shot is harrowing. No one likes to think about baby feral pigs being turned into a meal.
It's a terrifying visual, one that many people hope would end with the pig escaping. However, Espie spoke with Australian Geographic and noted that the story behind the photo doesn't have a happy ending:
The sea-eagle regardless of its powerful wings struggled to gain altitude before landing its prey upon a small island within the wetlands, where together the eagles shared the prey.
President Theodore Roosevelt riding a moose across a river in 1908
Theodore Roosevelt was a man of adventure, aside from being the 26th president of the United States he was a hunter a naturalist, and a writer, and according to this photo... a moose rider?
As cool as this photo is, it's not 100 percent natural. This shot was actually put together for the 1912 presidential race when Roosevelt ran as a third party candidate as a part of the Progressive Party. The party's mascot was the Bull Moose, so what better to have Roosevelt riding than a big ol' moose?
Photography firm Underwood and Underwood doctored a set of photos for all the candidates to show them riding their party's mascot, and Roosevelt's photo is the only one that looks cool enough to keep kicking around. Pieced together by taking a photo of Roosevelt riding a horse and placing a moose over it, you can see the edit just above Teddy's knee.
This moose may have survived a lightning strike ⚡
This photo of a moose taken in Alaska in the 2010s has many people wondering exactly what happened to it. Was it struck by lightning? Is it some kind of zombie? With its missing patches of hair and red patches of skin, it's not clear what happened to this animal.
The woman who took the photo believes that it was mauled by a bear, but not everyone is in agreement with that decision. There's a contingent of the web that thinks the moose was struck by lightning, while members of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game think that it's suffering from winter ticks, something that's rare in Alaska.
Unfortunately, no one has seen the moose in years so it's not likely that this mystery will be solved any time soon.
Anyone making their way to Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada, will receive a visual treat no matter where they look. As cold as it can get in Banff, there's so much to take in that it's mind boggling to think about all of the natural amenities that you can find.
From the glaciers that stretch out along the mountains to the snow capped peaks, and the crystal clear water. This shot shows everything that's possible at Banff, and the way that Mother Nature can be jarring in the most amazing ways.
There's nothing like realizing the beauty of Earth, even if it's tricking you.
Hyena matriarch fighting off pack of African wild dogs
It's strange to think that the same genes and DNA that meld together to create our best friends, house dogs, can also create the most vicious of carnivores across the African plain.
While hyenas are known to be brutal scavengers, when their children are in danger they become incredibly protective. Getting between a hyena and their pups can spell danger for anyone that foolhardy.
Even though they look like mad dogs, hyenas are more closely related to cats, but they're the closest to mongooses and civets. Female hyenas are bigger than the males and much more aggressive, and while the males are happy to be graveyard scavengers, the females fight it out for supremacy.
Seaweed infesting a wave
There's nothing creepier than something mysterious in the water. It's impossible to really know what's going on under the waves, so when you see vines reaching out through the water this close to the beach it's terrifying. Why on Earth would something like this exist?
Beginning in 2011, sargassum began to fill up the shores of the Caribbean, leaving massive piles of it on the beautiful beaches. In 2018 it started showing up in larger quantities than ever. Professor Hazel Oxenford told the BBC:
It came as a complete shock and no-one had a clue what to do with it... On satellite images the quantity that's being picked up is greater than ever before.
The environment minister for Antigua noted that the country has to prepare for sargassum in the same way they prepare for a hurricane.
The drop in air pressure, the eerie silence, the gray sky that warns of disaster... there's nothing quite like the moment before a tornado twists out of the sky and swirls towards the ground, dragging everything into its orbit.
Anyone whose spent tornado season in middle America knows the real terror of this destructive weather pattern. Although, if you've been around enough tornados then you're likely to get used to a twister, maybe you can even get so bored by a tornado that you take a picture in front of one.
As freaky as this photo is, keep in mind that tornados are quite big so the young woman in front of the twister is probably far away... maybe.
While many people online claim that this photo shows two men standing on a road in front of the Waynoka tornado in 1898, you can't believe everything you read online. It was initially published in the Philadelphia Press in May 1898, and today it's believed that it's one of the first photos of a tornado.
However, the truth behind this photo is much more twisted. The original version of the photo was sent to the Monthly Weather Review by someone named "Mr. Connor," and the folks at the paper were rightly suspicious. They realized that the twister actually a very well made illustration and decided not to run it. One year later the Monthly Weather Review received another photograph of a tornado, this time it was the one pictured.
As amazing as the photo is, the folks at MWR realized that the photo was actually a composite of the drawing they received in 1898 and a photo of two men on a road. They wrote of the photo:
The job is well done. There is no particular fault to be found either with the conception or the execution, but it pains us to think that people will take such liberties with the business end of a tornado. Only to think, 'It was taken at 100 yards.' We sincerely hope that the pioneer who 'took it at 100 yards' will some day meet a real robust tornado.
If there's one thing you need to know about rhinos it's that they charge anything they don't know. Their indiscriminate attacks are somewhat mysterious, although when you think about the fact that they're constantly being hunted it makes sense that they'd try to ram down anyone who gets in their line of view.
Some researchers believe that rhinos are a little nearsighted, but have a wonderful sense of smell and hearing, so when something seems off they charge in the general direction of the unfamiliar scent.
The rhino most likely to charge is the black rhino, which are most likely found in Eastern and Southern Africa. The least likely rhinos to charge are the Javan and Sumatran species. Why? They're so sweet.
King cobra bites python. Python constricts cobra. Cobra dies of constriction. Python dies from venom.
This striking image is one that's hard to scrub from your mind. It not only shows a cobra and a python fighting to the death, but it proves that nothing about nature is gentle and kind. These snakes are freaky enough on their own, but seeing them locked in battle is absolutely horrifying.
No one is entirely sure how this battle began, but many experts believe that the cobra went after the python. They have a reputation for attacking other snakes so it's possible that the cobra was just being itself. Frank Burbrink of the American Museum of Natural History said:
It looks real, it doesn’t look photoshopped or anything. This is a weird encounter, but a lot of stuff that happens with snakes is never easily seen.
This impressive specimen is Roger, a kangaroo was orphaned as a joey when his mother died while he was still in her pouch. Roger nearly died along with her but he was rescued by a man named Charles Barns who brought him to a kangaroo sanctuary.
He may have started his life as a joey in danger, but he quickly grew to be the alpha male of the sanctuary. Standing at 6 feet, 7 inches and weighing nearly 200 pounds, Roger was a buff physical specimen who refused to be pushed around.
While Roger was alive he was known for beating up anyone who got in his way, something that's normal for red kangaroos, the largest living marsupials in the world. Months before Roger passed away, his son Monty took over as the pack leader.
A stunning 50-ft blue ice monolith in the Antarctic
This stunning ice "wave" captured in Antarctica is actually not a wave at al, but what happens naturally when ice compresses, forcing trapped air bubbles out. As the sun hits these two slabs of ice that are slammed together, blue light waves are visible but the red light is absorbed making it look like waves of ice are coming.
While the photos make this look like a wave that was trapped in ice, it's nothing like that at all. Interestingly enough, even if you get to the Antarctic you probably won't find one of these. Scientist Tony Travouillo said:
It’s very rare that you see them in this position, where you can actually see the blue part of the iceberg completely uncovered with ice... It’s like literally looking at a large ice cube, and you can see where the cracks define the ripples in each of those waves, by the melting and the re-icing of the iceberg itself.
The craziest thunderstorm photo ever
There's something about this thunderstorm that makes it different from many of the shots we've seen. It's as if the very gates of Hell have opened and let this deadly weather pattern out into the world. It's pure terror with a science experiment on top, it's kind of hypnotic.
It's rare to see a thunderstorm photo that captures the beauty and grandeur of something so terrifying. Doesn't it make you want to sit outside on a summer night waiting for a storm? We'd definitely love to see something like this in in the real world, but we'd probably get pretty wet.
The honey badger can survive through the worst of conditions due to their super power... thick skin
They may look like furry little cartoon characters come to life, but Honey Badgers are some of the most fearless creatures on Earth. They may not be the biggest animals on the planet, but they're a menace to Mother Nature.
These angry little creatures have 1/4 inch thick skin, that's so rubbery and tough that it's more or less impervious to any kind of implement that you'd use to bring it down. Arrows, spears, neither of those things can hurt the Honey Badger.
Not just thick skinned, Honey Badgers can wriggle free from most predators. Couple that with the fact that it doesn't feel much pain and you've got one devil of a creature on your hands. Hopefully you don't ever have to deal with one in real life. They must be a pain to get out of your house.
Thankfully we don't have fire breathing polar bears on the loose in the Arctic, just photographers with an impeccable sense of timing. Photographer Josh Anon captured this amazing shot, catching the reflection of the rising sun off of the bear's breath, making it look like the bear is a miracle of Mother Nature.
This photo is proof that some of the most exciting and strange things can be found right here on the planet Earth. Doesn't it make you want to go out and explore the world to see what wonders you can find? It's definitely giving us those feels.
If there's one thing that nature has taught us it's that time marches on with us and without us. This tree swallowing a headstone is proof that no matter what man makes that the Earth can take it back.
Headstone absorption isn't all that strange to be honest, but it looks absolutely horrifying. It's as if the Earth itself is taking back plots of land reserved for burial and reminding us who really runs this planet.
In many cases once the tree's roots take over the grave plot and cover the headstone it's near impossible to remove the stone embedded in a tree.
The ultimate staring contest with a giant crocodile
While crocodiles can grow to a size that makes us uncomfortable, finding a giant crocodile is harder than you'd think. One of the largest saltwater crocodiles on the planet is named "Maniac," he was born in captivity in 1970, and he's grown to 16 feet 2 inches long, which is a big no thank you in our book.
What's truly frightening about giant crocodiles is that they can grow larger than Maniac. George Craig of Australia notes that crocodiles can grow up to 22 feet long and to live to be around 100 years old.
Imagine staring one of these bad boys down. Even if it wasn't your final moment, it would be one of the most frightening moments of your life.
In northern Italy, along the face of the Cingino Dam you'll find something curious sticking to the bricks jutting out from odd angles - Alpine ibexes. The goats don't just climb the walls because they're daredevils, the walls have something they want.
Ibexes climb the walls because they're searching for a salt rich mineral that they love to lick, so much so that they risk life and limb to walk down conspicuously steep walls just to get a taste. How do they do it? According to writer Ellen Meloy, it's all in the buns:
The rump carried all the muscle ... with nothing beneath their hooves but air and a foothold barely larger than my lower lip.
Found throughout the world, black wolves are some of the most malleable creatures to ever exist. They can survive in incredibly varied temperatures throughout the hinterlands of North America, Europe, Asia and North Africa, although red wolves are less likely to appear in the woods, they prefer swamps, coastal prairies and forests.
More often than not, wolves travel in in packs that are about 10 deep, although some packs have been known to swell to about 30. They eat up to 20 pounds a meal, and they mostly eat meat. If you run afoul of a pack of these babies in the middle of the woods and they're hungry, they'd likely turn you into a delicious meal.
When upset, baby elephants throw themselves into the mud like a child having a temper tantrum
If there's one thing that every baby does - whether it's a person, a puppy, or an elephant, it's throw a fit when things don't go their way. Much like human children, baby elephants will throw themselves onto the ground and roll around when they don't want to do something.
It's fascinating to know that creatures all across the animal kingdom, humans included, act so similar. It makes you think about how we're not all that different from the creature that we look at in the zoo, or watch on YouTube. Do you remember throwing a tantrum like this? Did you think that you were similar to an elephant? Or was that not on your mind?
A house encased in ice after a blizzard
No, this isn't a shot from an end of the world film, but rather a picture of what can happen when strong winds and waves come off a freezing lake - they completely encase homes in ice. In early 2020, home owners at Hoover Beach in Hamburg, New York, woke up to find their homes frozen totally solid, some families couldn't see out of their windows because the windows were frozen solid.
This kind of phenomena is unnatural to say the least, but it's not impossible. Unfortunately, these homes aren't safe for exploration. The ice is incredibly unstable, and you could end up impaled or at the very least slipping or falling through the ice if you're not careful.
As beautiful as these houses are, you wouldn't want to have to deal with this in your own home.
Crazy bird tornado
It's honestly terrifying to see so many birds in one place at the same time. Why does such a large amount of animals make us feel internal horror? Is it just seeing so many things together? Or is it seeing something that our brain doesn't know how to understand that fills us with terror?
Starlings, like the ones who take to Rome every year, are know for gathering in massive flocks that can have up to 4 million birds. Starlings don't just form a birdnado like this randomly, they create murmurations, flocks of six or seven birds, and are able to track each other's movements.
If you take 4 million birds with the ability to track one another you've got a recipe for forming a huge funnel cloud. While this may be creepy, the worst part of the birdnado is the amount of droppings they leave everywhere.