17 Pics No One Would Believe Were Taken On Earth

Diply 14 Feb 2018

Earth is awesome. Just when you think that you've seen everything, a photo pops up online that reminds you how much variation there is in nature.

Imagine what it was like before photography, when the first explorers would come across incredible new vistas or wildlife. No wonder unknown places were said to be marked "here be dragons" on ancient maps.

1. Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand.

Instagram | @shaun_jeffers

These glowworms are native to New Zealand and turn the inside of these caves into a starry field. Tours consist of a boat ride through the caves.

I'm definitely adding this to my bucket list of places to visit.

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2. The Spotted Lake, Canada.

Mykola Swarnyk | Wikimedia Commons

The spots in this lake in British Columbia only appear in the summer after much of the water evaporates. This reveals dense deposits of minerals, especially magnesium sulfate, which crystallize and form walkways between the "spots."

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3. Fly Geyser, Nevada.

Jeremy C. Munns | Wikimedia Commons

This rainbow formation at the edge of Black Rock Desert was created by accident when a test well was dug in 1964 and hit 200-degree water. The formation keeps growing every year and is coated with thermophilic algae, giving it the rainbow colors it's famous for.

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4. American Sweetgum seeds.

Reddit | Dracosphinx

Not all otherworldly things in nature are large. These spiky things look like some sort of alien pod, but are actually a way for the plant to spread their seeds far and wide.

So next time you're annoyed while picking them out of your pet's fur, take a moment to appreciate them, too.

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5. A strange object found on the beach in San Diego.

Reddit | Slip3rySlime

It's not some alien pod, though. It's actually a chunk of recycled trash from a Navy ship where garbage is melted and compressed into big plastic disks.

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6. Grandidier's baobab, Madagascar.

Bernard Gagnon | Wikipedia

These endangered trees look like they're upside down, with the leaves sprouting from the roots instead of branches. The massive trunks allow the trees to store lots of water to help survive dry seasons.

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7. Chocolate Hills of Bohol.

Wikimedia Commons | P199

More than 1,268 of these cone-shaped hills cover a portion of the Philippines, and during the dry season, the brown grass makes them resemble chocolate Kisses. They are made up of limestone, but scientists still aren't sure what caused them to form originally.

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8. Sea Pork is one of the weirder things to wash up on beaches.

Reddit | posierahraaa

These blobs are invertebrate sea creatures called tunicates. They usually glide on the sea floor and live off the nutrients in the water.

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9. The Sea of Stars, Vaadhoo Island, Maldives.

Tripzilla | Tripzilla

A moonlit walk on the beach is always romantic, but this island makes it extra special. Bioluminescent phytoplankton in the water emit a shimmery blue glow at night.

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10. Mammatus Clouds   

Craig Lindsay | Wikimedia Commons

Yes, these round bumps that hang from clouds are named after mammaries. They form when the air at the top of storm clouds is cold enough to form ice crystals, and their weight then causes them to sink down and hang.

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11. Needle ice is strong enough to lift grains of soil. 

Reddit | rieboldt

The ice forms when the soil is still warm but the air is freezing. Moisture that's rising from the ground freezes and keeps freezing, causing needles of ice to grow out.

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12. The Red-Lipped Batfish.

Flickr | Ibolya

Between the bright red lips and the fins that let it "walk" across the ocean floor, this is probably one of the weirdest fish I've ever seen. It looks like it's judging me.

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13. Axolotls are the cutest little alien creatures.

Wikimedia Commons | Wikimedia Commons

On the other end of the spectrum are these guys. These adorable members of the salamander family are unusual amphibians because they remain aquatic for their whole lives.

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14. Sea Elephants seem like a bit of a misnomer.

Reddit | atreides

Apparently these pterotracheoidea have a proboscis that can extend out like a trunk, giving them their colloquial name. These clear, slimy slugs definitely look like aliens.

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15. The Rainbow Mountains of China.

Flickr | Enzo

At the base of these mountains is a red sandstone, but trace minerals in the different layers of rock change the properties of the oxides and result in different colors being revealed.

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16. Rainbow Eucalyptus trees.

Flickr | Thomas

These trees get their rainbow colors thanks to the shedding and aging of their bark. Old bark falls away to reveal bright green bark, which changes into blues, purples, yellows, and oranges as it grows older.

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17. This might be the most sinister thing I’ve ever seen. 

Reddit | gDisasters

I can only imagine someone said “I swear to God,” and here he is, coming in close to listen to all our lies.

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