Feast Like A Beast On 19+ Fascinating Pics

A full, robust, well-rounded understanding of the world we live in probably isn't 100% possible. There's just too much to know about too many things. But it's fun to try, isn't it?

The world gets weird enough that we can't help wanting to know more and find out why it's being so strange.

That's how it worked with these fascinating pics — we just couldn't help looking into them to see what the heck was actually going on, and highlighting some the cooler, weirder, more wonderful parts of the planet.

You can't question the devotion of these Hindu pilgrims, who have dipped themselves in the sacred waters of India's Yamuna River.

Twitter | @RohitDhyani

You could be forgiven for thinking they were taking a bubble bath, but that foam isn't from soap — it's pollution.

The Yamuna, which starts as a crystal clear stream fed by Himalayan glaciers, is right up there with the Ganges in terms of holiness in the Hindu faith.

However, it flows through New Delhi, where it picks up industrial waste, sewage, and garbage, making it one of the most polluted rivers in the world.

Just in case anybody doubts that birds are descended from dinosaurs, this baby blue heron shows off its strong resemblance to its ancestors.

Reddit | zero-skill-samus

That body structure looks remarkably similar to many of the displays you'll find at natural history museums. That's because, yes, birds are descended from dinosaurs.

In evolutionary terms, they branched off from a kind of dinosaurs called theropods, which included the famous Tyrannosaurus rex as well as the velociraptors. You can still see the velociraptor in the little blue heron, don't you think?

Dating from the 8th century, India's Kailasa Temple wasn't built so much as it was carved out of the area's rock.

Working with hammers and chisels, the temple's creators moved an estimated 200,000 tons of rock before they could even start adding all the beautiful decorative details.

It's only one part of the country's Ellora Caves, a huge holy site with 34 monasteries and temples devoted to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. It is, not surprisingly, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This almost looks alien, but it isn't even man-made or machine-shaped. The perfectly formed cubes intersecting in this mineral are naturally occurring.

Reddit | natasharas

It's a chunk of pyrite from the tiny town of Navajun in Spain, and it's the only place on Earth where you can find minerals like this.

Amazingly, the crystals harvested at Navajun's Victoria Mine require little, if any, processing to achieve a sharp, polished finish. Extracting them and doing that bit of processing is painstaking, however, because the crystals are quite fragile.

From the ground, it often seems like storms dump their precipitation pretty evenly, but this aerial view tells a different story.

Reddit | cthula-hoop

That line of white is hail on the ground, left there by a passing storm. So this is very much not an even distribution.

And when you think of all the hail storms you've been under, it kind of makes sense because they tend not to last very long — just a quick hammering of the rooftop and then, mercifully, it's over.

I'm not entirely sure why this is needed, but it's possible to tell a person's gender from a retinal photo.


However, doctors traditionally haven't been terribly good at predicting gender from a retinal photo, with about a 50-50 chance of hitting the target.

Deep learning, on the other hand, has a much better success rate — the weird part is that we're not entirely sure how it differentiates between male and female retinas. The deep learning computer brains also had success identifying cardiovascular risk factors from retinal photos, too.

Something you probably never considered when using a space heater like this one: How it will appear in a mirror.

Reddit | GoodShowGoodShow

I never considered it either, but now that I see it, clearly something funny is going on here. As it so often happens, it's down to the angles.

The heat dish uses a parabolic reflector, kind of like a makeup mirror, to focus and intensify the heat coming off the central heating unit. The light and heat it's generating is all going in a straight line, directed by that parabolic reflector, so the dish won't appear red in the mirror.

I can't imagine the patience it must have taken to set up these rocks so they're perfectly balanced on a bent nail.

Reddit | SagesFTW

It's one thing to stack rocks at the beach, but seeming to defy physics while you do it takes some serious skills.

Maybe it was actually a calming experience, finding the perfect rocks on the beach to create just the right balance, and then stacking them all with care and precision. Definitely worth taking a pic of your handiwork when you're done.

This building looks like it has been reclaimed by nature, but it's all by design.

Instagram | @centralparkmall_

This is a shopping mall — the Central Park Mall in Sydney, Australia. The exterior of the building incorporates 250 species of Australian vines and flowers and plants, positively draping it in vegetation.

Just to make sure the plants get all the light they require, there's an array of motorized mirrors above that can direct sunlight throughout the day. At night, the array becomes an LED display.

It's no secret that lizards can grow their tails back after losing them, but this little guy shows that it doesn't always go strictly according to plan.

Reddit | MinorityBabble

Sometimes an injury can be interpreted more severely than it actually is. As in, this lizard's tail got injured, and its body thought the tail was gone altogether, so it started growing a new one out of the existing tail.

Kind of looks like it has a fifth foot now, right? It's an unfortunate mistake, and it must be a pain to lug around that extra tail.

Just a reminder that Pompeii, which was buried under Mt. Vesuvius's ash in 79 AD, is still being excavated almost 2000 years later. And archaeologists are still making new discoveries there.

Parco Archeologico Di Pompei

A prime example is this well preserved fresco depicting the myth of Leda and the Swan.

An ancient Roman citizen had this fresco in their bedroom. Given its steamy subject matter and proximity to other, equally racy frescoes, that should tell you something about the emphasis this homeowner put on fertility.

Here's a unique view of the Moon few of us have seen: That bright green slash through the lower right is the Milky Way.

NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

Well, a reflection of the Milky Way, anyway, and the radio waves it emits. Researchers at the Murchison Widefield Array in Australia were conducting an experiment to measure the brightness of the sky, as it appears in radio waves, and they used the Moon to get a baseline.

To get an accurate picture, they had to filter out all of the radio waves coming from the Earth, and when they had, they were left with this cool image.

If you thought that the Sahara Desert would look like a sand ocean from above, well, you're partly right.

Reddit | fredecup

I mean, those dunes below could be wave caps, but there's a startling regularity to them, like they've simply been copy-pasted as far as the eye can see. However, it's not quite that simple because the Sahara goes on much farther than the eye can see.

In total area, it's only slightly smaller than the entire U.S. And it's not even the largest desert in the world!

No, this hasn't been heavily shopped, nor has there been CGI added after the fact. This is a long exposure shot of a climber wearing LED lights.

Reddit | shatteredankles

This was shot over 11 minutes for an ascent of about 140 feet, for the record. The climber changed the colors of the LED lights with a pocket remote.

Where the light is brightest, in the orange section, the climber had the most difficulty, so the shot started to get overexposed while he found the way upward.

California's Sequoia National Park has never looked so sparkling, pure, or downright ghostly.

Instagram | @samuel_lethier

The park's majestic trees haven't gone albino or been covered in flour or anything like that. This is an infrared shot of the gentle giants of the West Coast. Only the person standing in front of them has been colorized.

This is part of the weirdness of infrared light and trees — the infrared wavelengths reflected by them are so bright, they appear as a brilliant, almost heavenly white.

For all the young folks out there, here's some graphic proof of the debt we owe to the development of flash memory.

Reddit | novartistic

That guy is holding what would have been used to hold a whole 10 megabytes of data back in the 1960s. Just think of that.

Your phone almost certainly holds more than 1,000 times that much data, and it fits into your pocket. Heck, think of the size of thumb drives, and you could fit a handful of them into your pocket.

It's a dizzying look for both us and the dog in this picture, but there's a perfectly rational, if still kinda weird, explanation.

Reddit | NinjaStarAtNight

See, this is Norway in winter. This dog looks like it's on a branch-strewn field, but it's a frozen waterway. Yeah, those are all frozen fish around him — given it's Norway, probably herring.

It must have been a serious cold snap to catch all those fish in one spot, so close to the surface, don't you think?

Another strange and unexpected effect of winter is on display in this bucket, too.

Reddit | savantmedecine

It's really unexpected because this is windshield wiper fluid, which isn't supposed to just freeze. And yeah, it's true that it hasn't exactly "just frozen."

It has frozen in the strangest, bubbly way, most likely because the antifreeze component to it got diluted at some point, so it didn't freeze evenly. Definitely not the sort of thing you see every day, even in northern states. Well, maybe Alaska.

Here's a fun trick if you ever want to keep your written work accessible, but still confidential.

Reddit | Seallhawk

When you write in the same color of ink as the translucent plastic folder you keep it in, the paper under the plastic will appear to be blank.

It's like magic — or at least some novelty disappearing ink — but it's just light doing what light does. I don't know what exactly you'd want to hide under a translucent folder, but hey, you do you.

It's hard to even know what is supposed to be in this eerie image from one look.

Reddit | Mass1m01973

And there's a good reason for that, because it's not something humans have ever actually seen before: a black hole. Rather, it's the first simulation of what a black hole would look like.

Created back in 1979, it was drawn by hand based on observations done at the Paris Observatory and calculations done on a computer that still used punch cards. We sure have come a long way!

This lava field represents one of Earth's more unusual areas: A continent that's in the process of splitting apart.

Reddit | blackjack_oak

Located in Ethiopia's Danakil Desert, the lava you see is fresh, new land bubbling up to the surface. It shouldn't be much of a surprise that the Danakil is one of the hottest places on the planet, with an average year-round temperature of 34.4 degrees C (93 F).

Visitors to the Danakil sometimes say it's like visiting another planet, but considering the way the land is forming here, it might be more accurate to call it a new planet.

Norway's Navy discovered the hard way that all the advanced navigational equipment, construction techniques, and materials don't make a ship unsinkable.

Reddit | casualphilosopher1

KNM Helge Ingstad, one of only five Norwegian frigates, hit an oil tanker and was then intentionally run aground in hopes of preventing it from sinking altogether.

Attempts to tow the crippled ship failed, leaving just the radar tower above the surface. Whether it ever sails again remains to be seen, but if so, repairs will almost certainly run into the hundreds of millions.

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