19+ Randomly Fascinating Pics That Are Hard To Ignore

I was never one to actively tune out during class — well, maybe certain mind-numbing trigonometry lessons, let's be honest — but there's still oh so much more to know about the world. And one of the best entry points to learning more is the internet, where boredom tends to lose to fascination.

If you know where to look, you can always find what other curious folks have shared around and learn from them. Careful, though, once you get going, it's hard to stop!

Another remnant from a massive sea creature, this ridiculous 6.55 inch megalodon tooth was found in North Carolina.

Instagram | @cityofgoldmegs

Thankfully, the creatures bearing these incredible fangs are long extinct. But, when they did live, megalodons surely would have dominated Shark Week, and everything in the ocean, too. They could grow up to 60 feet long and weigh in at a staggering 50 tons, three times as large as the biggest great whites.

But, considering that they were made largely of cartilage rather than bone, and that they went extinct a couple of million years ago, teeth like the one above are one of the few ways scientists can study them.

In parts of New York City, where the asphalt is worn down and split enough, you can catch a glimpse of history poking through, but note that these are bricks, not cobblestones.

Reddit | msbteach12

Rather than cobblestones, Belgian blocks — not actually from Belgium — covered most of the streets in the Big Apple when horses were king. The blocks were actually sized to accommodate horseshoes, about four inches wide by seven inches long — a size that came to be known as the "Manhattan standard."

However, asphalt didn't replace the bricks because of cars — it was quieter, easier to maintain, and safer to walk on than the bricks.

You'd think that Brussels sprouts would grow like the lettuce or cabbage they so closely resemble, but nope, they grow on a big stalk.

Reddit | sherryisme

They're still a member of the same family as cabbage, and if you hate the taste of them and other veggies from the same tree, like broccoli, cauliflower, and turnips, you're not alone.

About 20% of people are "super-tasters," who pick up on the bitterness in cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts far more than the rest of the population.

Funny enough, sensitivity to bitter tastes is thought to be a life-saving evolutionary trait which helped to identify potential poisons. Do with that what you will.

No, this is not a crashed UFO being cleaned up in Area 51 — but it is from outer space.

Back in 2001, NASA launched a spacecraft called Genesis on a mission to collect samples of solar wind. Three years later, Genesis had the samples and dispatched a capsule containing them back to Earth. Unfortunately, re-entry to the atmosphere didn't go smoothly.

The capsule's parachute didn't deploy, so it hit the Utah desert at about 300 kph, or what NASA dubs a "hard landing." The good news is that the samples survived, helping to shed light on some mysteries about the sun.

There is a species of frog in Ecuador that has largely translucent skin.

Reddit | -Ops-guy_wit_a_goat

Scientists didn't waste much time naming it the glass frog after they discovered it. Although it's related to other frogs with transparent underbellies, this one exposes its heart, which seems like an odd thing to do — just in "survival of the fittest" terms.

Mind you, high school biology classes would be much less icky with these guys around. Unfortunately, their habitat is under threat from expanding human activity in the region.

Although it's obviously not possible to walk with dinosaurs, it's at least possible to walk in their footprints.

Reddit | The_Gaming_Raptor

And as this good husky shows, they're awfully big footprints to fill. Out in the backcountry of Moab, Utah, there are hiking trails devoted to tramping the same ground as the dinosaurs.

Most likely, that footprint belonged to an Allosaurus, which were commonly found in that area. The Natural History Museum of Utah has the world's most comprehensive collection of Allosaurus remains, and it's the state fossil of Utah.

Ping pong balls are important for more than just ping pong.

Reddit | j_Wlms

In fact, in a surgical suite, a ping-pong ball serves a critical role as a pressure gauge. Basically, you don't want outside air coming into a surgical suite because germs can come along with it, so you keep the space pressurized and air flowing in the proper direction.

This can also be used in negative pressure situations, where you don't want contaminated air escaping a room, as with a patient with a serious infection.

Leaf-tailed geckos aren't handsome, but that doesn't make them any less incredible.

Although they don't have eyelids — instead, they lick their eyes clean — their eyes are 350 times more sensitive to light than ours are, making them absolute beasts at night — they can see in full color even with only dim moonlight to work with. And they're geniuses at camouflage, both blending into the background against trees and flattening their bodies so they don't cast shadows during the day.

However, most surprising of all, they're known to scream when they're disturbed.

When fully grown, Gouldian finches are one of the most colorful birds you'll ever see in nature, but as chicks, about the only interesting color you'll see is bright blue at the edge of their mouths.

Twitter | @Nnedi

Those blue stripes serve an important role, allowing their parents to see them better in their dark nests and making them easier to feed.

The other odd thing about how Gouldian finches breed is that the females can choose the sex of their babies, depending on the head color of the partner they choose to mate with.

In Guangzhou, China, there's a building that's basically a big, golden donut.

Better known as the Guangzhou Circle, it was intended to be a more distinctly Chinese building, rather than being influenced by Western skyscrapers — although it was designed by Italian architect Joseph Di Pasquale. The big hole in the middle, spanning 50 meters in diameter, is the key feature — when the building is reflected in the river below, it makes an "8," which is a lucky number in China.

One of the more creative attempts by smugglers attempting to bring contraband cigarettes into Poland was foiled by a simple X-ray scan.

Reddit | ars-derivatia

The crew behind this caper thought it would be a smashing idea to put a truck full of illicit smokes into another, larger truck, and send that through customs. However, like an ultrasound tech waving around their magic, gooey wand, Polish border officials took a look below the surface and found the surprise hiding in the truck's belly.

Smugglers trying to get beer into Saudi Arabia had no better luck with their cans, disguised as normal, harmless cola.

Twitter | @KSACustoms

The smugglers had gone to the trouble of sticking the phony baloney labels on 48,000 cans, only to have their clever ruse exposed during a routine inspection by customs officials.

It was a slightly more convincing plan than three kids standing on each other's shoulders under a large coat trying to sneak into an R-rated movie, but no more successful.

Some downright ridiculous skill and forethought by a street artist takes into account the filters people use on their phone cameras.

Instagram | @sepc_

Painted in the negative, this mural of a woman using a Polaroid will show its true colors when you run a picture of it through the negative filter.

The artist is based in Colombia, where street art has colored the cities, especially the capital, Bogota. In Colombia, street art is completely legal, so artists can and do let their creativity soar.

In Japan, police cars have their roof lights on scissor lifts, which lets officers raise their lights up in an emergency so they can be seen better.

Reddit | sand500

They'll often raise their lights during routine traffic stops, too.

It's all part of Japan's culture for being polite and considerate and punctual. Just look at their train system, where the operators had to issue an apology when a train left the platform 25 seconds early, causing commuter headaches when travelers hoping to hop on were left behind.

Have you ever seen a horse with a perm before? Me neigh-ther.

Reddit | kryskiller


Anyway, this handsome unit didn't need to spend even a minute in rollers to get this look — it's definitely born with it, it's not neigh-belline. Okay, I'll stop.

The beautiful breed with naturally curly hair is fittingly called the Bashkir curly. Strangely, despite the horse-breeding community's obsession with lineage, nobody's entirely sure where the Bashkir curly comes from originally — and even their direct offspring only get the curly hair half the time.

Okay, you are right to wonder what the heck is going on with this thing.

Reddit | popopomimi

Even though it looks like a rock, the rock is playing the role of host here. The gooey orange-y red stuff is a marine organism called a piure. And yes, you're right to wonder what the heck that is, too.

Piures are from a family of creatures called tunicates — weird, barrel-like ocean dwellers commonly known as sea squirts. They typically attach themselves to things like docks, boat bottoms, or rocks.

Even if your office is lucky enough to have such vibrant glass panels, you might not know how that effect is created.

Reddit | nyxo

But you've probably spent some time staring at it and trying to figure it out — or just staring and enjoying. This office space gets its trippy look from dichroic glass.

Dichroic glass uses layers of metal oxides within the glass to create gorgeous, rippling colors as light hits the layers from different angles. Although it looks super futuristic, dichroic glass technology has been around since the 1880s.

What could cause such a bright glow out in the middle of nowhere? Most likely a state-of-the-art greenhouse.

Reddit | icantredd1t

Although hydroponic farming has been around for a while, the technologies being used to grow crops round the clock haven't. These high-tech greenhouses are changing the landscape with artificial climates and 24 hours of LED lights, the next best thing to daylight.

Even with shades drawn, the amount of light these greenhouses use can still overwhelm from the outside, and from above it's easy to see why neighbors are having some issues adjusting to them.

For those of us who have always wondered, this shaved dog proves that fur patterns like brindle go right down to the skin.


Sort of, anyway, and it's not necessarily true of all animals with interesting spots and stripes on their fur, however. The zebra, for example, has black skin underneath its coat, not stripes. Giraffes have a light tan beneath their spots, and cheetahs don't have spots under their fur either.

When you see a pattern beneath the fur, like that brindle, it's not because of the skin, but the hair follicles themselves — it's like a five o'clock shadow.

Pressing leaves and flowers in a book is a time-honored hobby, but this photo is proof that there is a very wrong way to do it.

Reddit | bowb4zod

When you don't press your flower between something like parchment paper or wax paper, and you don't dry them well enough beforehand, bad things can happen. In this case, it looks like the water content in the flower and possibly some mold got in there, ruining both the flower and the book. So much for that!

Remember when director James Cameron drove a submarine to the deepest part of the ocean back in 2012? Well, this is one of the things he might have seen down there.

Reddit | sunkid

What can survive at a depth of 30,000 feet? A variety of shrimp called Hirondella gigas. Specimens were collected from the same location three years before his dive, and they've been seen in swarms at that depth, which had scientists wondering what they were all eating to survive.

Turns out the little creatures love to eat wood, and any wood or plant debris that happens to sink down to that depth becomes a buffet for them.

Filed Under: