13+ Fascinating Pics That Actually Taught Us A Thing Or Two

I am old enough to remember a time when we all thought the internet was going to make education accessible to everyone. It was supposed to be a utopia of learning and information sharing, once upon a time. How wonderfully naive we were!

Mind you, the potential is still there. We can actually learn things on the interwebs. Even know-it-alls like me can find new and fascinating facts while scrolling through the memes and the cat vids. And here's the evidence!

1. Only one photo was ever taken of the Concorde supersonic passenger jet flying at Mach 2.

Twitter | @Rainmaker1973

An RAF Tornado met up with this British Airways Concorde for four minutes over the Irish Sea and snapped this image, at an altitude where you can clearly make out the curvature of the Earth.

2. Not only is this not a hornet, bee, or wasp, it won't even sting you.

Wikimedia Commons | Wikimedia Commons

It's a variety of moth that happens to look an awful lot like a hornet, so much so that it took its name — it's a lunar hornet moth.

3. In extremely cold areas of open water with little wind, small, delicate formations of frost flowers can form.

Reddit | Reddit

Frost flowers bloom when ice vaporizes and then refreezes, creating this stunning landscape.

4. After just over a century's use, these stairs have worn down noticeably from all the people going up and down.

Reddit | Palifaith

And it looks like more people choose the inside track than the outside.

5. Just for some historical perspective, here's what Mount St. Helens looked like before and after its eruption in 1980.

Reddit | TripTripHooray

It lost more than 1,300 feet of height in the eruption.

6. Who knew a cactus could ever grow to be so massive?

Imgur | improteon

It's not unreasonable to estimate an absolute unit of a cactus like this to be about 150 years old.

7. The nightmarish cordyceps fungus is best known for taking over ants and turning them into zombies.

Wikimedia Commons | Wikimedia Commons

Yeah, for real. However, here, cordyceps have completely consumed a tarantula.

8. Wildfires scorching the coastline of Ireland laid bare a sign that had been buried since WWII.

Twitter | @GardaTraffic

In the Second World War, Ireland used large "EIRE" signs to alert any lost German pilots that they were over Ireland, not England.

9. This F-22 Raptor created its own rainbow.

Facebook | Bernardo Malfitano

Low air pressure over the fuselage during a high G maneuver cooled the air enough for water vapor to condense, and the sunlight shone through, making a bright, colorful display.

10. Some mushrooms have much more colorful interiors than exteriors.

Reddit | verluci

This one "bleeds" blue when you cut it open, and if you're more used to seeing the kind of mushrooms that go in omelets, it's a pretty crazy sight.

11. Not only are Gila monsters one of the few venomous lizards in the world, but they have scales that go right down to their bones.

Reddit | Xavimoose

At least, they have bony scales on their skulls, anyway, as this one shows.

12. This tree has managed to survive quite well despite being planted on a sidewalk, and it shows how it has done so.

Reddit | StuffyUnicorn

It's just amazing to see how its roots have followed the grid pattern of the sidewalk bricks around it.

13. This round rodent shows what it looks like when a guinea pig gets pregnant.

Reddit | oligarchyoligarchy

Turns out you could put a pic of a pregnant guinea pig next to "rotund" in the dictionary.

14. Note to self: If you ever encounter a flying fox asleep, let it sleep on.

Reddit | sakundes

The motorcycle at the bottom right of this pic gives an incredible sense of scale. Even if this thing only eats fruit, I wouldn't want my head mistaken for a cantaloupe.

15. If you ever look up and it seems like you're underneath a wavy ocean, you're probably seeing asperitas clouds.

Reddit | jacka24

It's still a bit of a mystery how they form, but they most often show up after thunderstorms and seem to require unstable atmospheric conditions.

16. This incredibly intricate scene wrought in metal is a door lock.

Reddit | singleladad

The artist who created it, Frank Koralewsky, spent seven years working on this lock, which depicts a scene from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

17. This car's moon roof took an absolute beating during a hail storm, and although it shattered, it didn't fully break.

Reddit | p511

The lamination on the glass held it together, causing it to sag from the water and hail instead.

18. Some chickens are black, inside and out.

Reddit | FirelordSophie

The Ayam Cemani breed hails from Indonesia, and it has black feathers, black skin, black flesh, black organs, and black bones. Some people call the Ayam Cemani "the Lamborghini of poultry."

19. This plane isn't flying over a mountain range — that's the city of Dubai below. Those things poking through the clouds are buildings.

Reddit | Meunderwears

Pretty sure you can figure out which one is the Burj Khalifa.

20. Ammonites, those ancient fossils that you'll find as swirly patterns in stones that resemble the modern nautilus, could be surprisingly massive.

The Iron Ammonite | The Iron Ammonite

This is a polystyrene replica of a huge ammonite fossil, and specimens up to two meters in diameter have been found.

21. Just a friendly reminder not to take your phone on a roller-coaster if you can help it.

Reddit | cloudform

This one got lodged underneath a roller coaster's wheel for a few hours after a passenger dropped it.

22. In Germany, when highway traffic comes to a stop, drivers are required to pull off to the side to create a lane for emergency vehicles.

Reddit | st0px

Because if traffic is stopped due to a collision, lives could very well be on the line.

23. Wearable tech has been around longer than you might think — for example, this 300 year old abacus ring from China.

Reddit | SirT6

I guess students have always been looking for an edge in exams.

24. The title of world's largest lily pads belongs to the Victoria Amazonica, which can support the weight of a human.

Reddit | terrakins

They've been known to grow up to seven feet in diameter.