20+ Interesting Pics Flavored With A Hint Of Backstory

We are a scanning culture. We love to pick up our phones and breeze down a list of headlines or flip through a bunch of selfies, but rarely do we take the time to look deeper at what we're seeing. We scan.

And hey, I'm guilty of it too. I don't want to get too involved in my phone before bed, but I do want some kind of distraction. But when you look beyond the surface, you can see cool things, so it is worth slowing down just a bit, just enough to get the backstory.

1. Lizards have a third eye on top of their heads. 

Reddit | PapaMancer

Located on the top of the head — it's that tiny blue dot there — the parietal eye isn't as well developed as a proper eyeball, but it's a light-sensitive patch that lizards use to navigate by the sun.

2. Some Japanese banks have these baseball-shaped balls filled with dye that doesn't wash off for staff to throw at thieves.

Reddit | JoeinJapan

They even have classic baseball stitch lines in them to make them easier to throw.

3. Bees can be blue!

Reddit | RobinsonDickinson

The blue carpenter bee sports a shock of blue hair on its thorax that's worthy of punk rock glory. These bees are native to Asia, and unlike the bees we're familiar with for making honey, they don't live in hives.

4. The green and orange light filling this space isn't from colored light bulbs, but stained glass.

Reddit | Majoranese

This is the interior of Barcelona's famous La Sagrada Familia at around 3:00 p.m., with the sun opposite the windows.

5. In China, you can buy hot wing-flavored Oreos.

Reddit | PoshPopcorn

The reviews have not always been kind — one said "it tastes like Oreo with a side of body odour" — but they might appeal more to the Chinese palate.

6. This book, published in 1949, shows some of the early ideas about outer space rocketry.

Reddit | ExtraTerran

"Raketen von Stern zu Stern" translates to "Rocketing from Star to Star" from the original German. You really have to admire those illustrations.

7. The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore made a wheelchair out of Lego for one of its box turtles.

Facebook | The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

A zoo employee found the turtle with a broken shell in a nearby park, and the zoo's veterinary team came up with the idea to build a wheelchair out of Lego so the turtle could still move around while recovering.

8. Back when safety standards were less robust, kids had their run of playgrounds like this one.

Reddit | BrokenMasterpiece

Back in the early 1900s, it's hard to imagine any mothers playing with their kids on this.

9. Among the many tools at the exterminator's disposal is a thermal imaging device — this one shows a massive beehive behind a wall. 

Facebook | The Bartlett Bee Whisperer

The big red area is the brood of the hive, while the smaller red dot on the left shows where the bees are getting in and out.

10. There is a variety of petunia that has been bred to look like the night sky.

Reddit | notGhxst

Fittingly called night sky petunias, this cosmically gorgeous flower featuring star-like white dots on a deep, velvety petal, was developed in Germany.

11. This Formula 1 car has a paint job that tells a story.

Reddit | Reddit

It's not a rainbow for any other reason than to show the relative intensity of the air pressure around the car that creates the down force to keep it on the road.

12. Fiat's Lingotto Factory, completed in 1923, featured a test track on the roof where all cars were tested when they came off the assembly line.

Reddit | Reddit

The factory's assembly line worked in an upwards spiral, with finished cars emerging at roof level for their big test.

13. With just the right combination of humidity and temperature, the structural components in this building are showing through the walls.

Reddit | Petersaurous

The steel girders under the building's skin must be affecting the way moisture collects on this wall.

14. You too can achieve this extraordinary lighting effect with little effort. 

Reddit | KOLDUT

What the poster described as "red bioluminescent algae" was created by placing a laser level on his lawn. Pretty neat effect, admittedly.

15. This incredible dress, featuring a medieval artwork theme, is the creation of French designer Sylvie Facon.

Facebook | Sylvie Facon

It might not be 100% appropriate to wear for every occasion, but it also might be.

16. There is a lake in Australia that is naturally pink in color.

Reddit | jackota

Lake Hillier sits remarkably close to the Pacific Ocean, and scientists still aren't entirely sure why it's pink — the most likely culprit is a particular kind of algae, but it could also be due to bacteria, or a reaction between salt and sodium bicarbonate in the water.

17. While we're all familiar with artful corn mazes, rice paddy art is another thing entirely. 

Reddit | cheekyasian

This scene from Roman Holiday was created in a rice paddy by planting different varieties of rice.

18. This wonderful mess of dots on a black background is a big mess indeed — each dot represents a piece of space junk orbiting the Earth.

Reddit | Ravernstal

There is a plan to clean some of that up, however, with a satellite designed to net space junk, called RemoveDebris, in testing right now.

19. A view few of us get to see, this warehouse is waiting for truckers to haul away all these cans.

Reddit | PilotSawyer

The brown cans are for Dr. Pepper, the silver for Coors, and the green ones in the back are for Sprite.

20. Playgrounds aren't just for youngsters, apparently, as you can see by the wear pattern on the bar above this slide.

Reddit | Willit_Blend

The scratches in the paint are all on the left side, the same hand wedding rings are worn on — so probably a lot of mothers joining their kids, or possibly adults who just want to have fun.

21. St. Pauli Health Center in Hamburg, Germany, has a tree growing through the middle of the lobby, but it's technically outside the building.

Reddit | FungorumEgo

Which begs the question: Is this actually good for the tree? Or for the building, for that matter?

22. Underneath a waterfall in Massachusetts, Reddit user BerkshireMtnSculptor built a stick man out of logs.

Reddit | BerkshireMtnSculptor

He said it only took him a morning to do, and that he carved the face in half an hour.

23. At a select few places in the world, you can find streets paved with wooden bricks.

Reddit | Peculiarhat

This is outside the former town hall in Derby, U.K., and it's been there since the 1800s, so apparently wood bricks are durable.

24. This has to be one of the few remaining gas lamp posts around, and for obvious reasons.

Reddit | zeviza

It can't be easy to switch this over to LED when it's part of a brick fence!