Instagram | @royalty_now_

16+ Pics That Are Just Plain Fascinating

The internet is great for scrolling mindlessly, watching lots of cute videos and sports highlights and all that, but for something that actually engages your brain, you often have to look just a bit deeper.

The good news is that it's out there, and we've put a bunch of it all in one place for you. Enjoy!

Okay, that's a bit close for comfort.

Reddit | Kriticxl

"Taal Volcano erupted just as we were about to take off," explained the uploader. "We were the last flight allowed to leave that day."

That's a once-in-a-lifetime view from your aircraft.

Heat bringing heat.

Reddit | mirandaleecon

Someone left a lamp on in their greenhouse on a cold night, and it attracted some unexpected guests: fire ants. They moved right in, happily building a nest next to the heat source.

The item on the left cost as much as all the items on the right.

Facebook | Judy Kerrison

This is Australia. That's right, one package of cigarettes Down Under will set you back $57 AUD (about $38 U.S.), which in turn would buy all of those groceries instead.

It's a good illustration of how smoking is literally burning money.

A hummingbird's nest is no larger than a quarter.

Reddit | unnaturalorder

I know, it makes sense given how tiny hummingbirds are, but have you ever seen one of their nests, with eggs inside, and to-scale like that?

Not waves on the ocean, but in the clouds.

Reddit | iwakan

Below the clouds are some islands, which are carving a path through the cloud cover that's moving overhead.

This is what Michelangelo's David looked like during WWII.

Reddit | Matheus-suetham

The precious statue was surrounded by bricks to keep it safe from bombs. It obviously worked, too.

If it was bright enough, this is what the Andromeda galaxy would look like in the sky.

Reddit | NineteenEighty9

Even though it's 2.5 million light years away, the Andromeda galaxy is our closest galactic neighbor. In the night sky, it would appear to be several times larger than the Moon.

Each of those little cells in this pic is about the size of Texas.

NSO/NSF/AURA

The world's largest solar telescope, the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope in Hawaii, caught the sun in never-before-seen close-up high resolution glory.

Some chickens lay blue eggs.

Reddit | Farlaven

Just like a robin! Three breeds — Ameraucanas, Araucanas, and Cream Legbars — lay blue eggs, and the blue color goes right through to the interior.

Whale fossils dating back millions of years have been found in the Sahara Desert.

Wikimedia Commons

The site where they were found, Wadi El Hitan — which translates to Valley of the Whales — in Egpyt, is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and fossils there demonstrate that whales once walked on land before moving to the ocean.

This is how your brain forms.

At a super microscopic level, of course. These little neurons, still in development, are just starting to build connections and pathways. It's pretty hypnotic to just sit back and watch.

Here's an indication of just how horrific it is to die in a volcanic eruption.

New England Journal of Medicine

Some poor ancient person caught in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD was burned so terribly that part of their brain turned to glass.

So, this is your teeth, without the rest of you.

Reddit | mak-nil

Eat your heart out, Cheshire cat.

Not that kind of red light district.

Reddit | MonkeyMcBucks

Areas that are home to sensitive, endangered animals like sea turtles will often use red lights at night because they don't disrupt the animals' lives as much.

This will make you appreciate the thumb drive in your pocket.

Reddit | SYLOH

Because back in 1959, this is what 4 GB worth of data looked like. Yep, that's a warehouse full of punch cards at the U.S. National Archives Records Service.

Speaking of old-timey revelations, this one threw me for a loop, too.

It's funny what sticks around when by all rights it should stay in the past, like the floppy disk save button, but who saw "upper case" and "lower case" going all the way back to days of yore?

It may be easy to get a hot knife through butter, but it's next to impossible to put a hot nail through a log.

Reddit | cynicannibal

At least, that's true when it's as red hot as this one is. That's because when this person tries to pound the nail down, the gasses released from the heating process keep launching it back out.

No matter how much this looks like a steak, it's not a good idea to try and eat it.

Reddit | DisclosedIntent

That's because what we're actually looking at is a big rock that was apparently painted to look like a steak for some reason.

You may notice something a little different about this cat.

Reddit | kindaturnt

If you're having trouble figuring it out, the answer is that it has one extra toe on each paw. Yup, it turns out that polydactly doesn't just affect humans.

This would normally seem like some kind of terrible infestation, but these are supposed to be hanging out on the walls.

Reddit | Red_Adventure_Pants

So, what are they? Apparently, the owners of this seafood restaurant had them decorated in hundreds of oyster shells.

Yikes, I hope they cleaned them properly.

There's a chance that we could be looking at the future of how toilet paper rolls are made.

Reddit | communistboi222

Not only does it take less cardboard to make this roll, but the adhesive isn't as strong so there's almost no toilet paper on it that doesn't end up getting used.

When an ancient Egyptian city lies underwater for hundreds of years, there's bound to be some buried treasures among its ruins.

Reddit | Porodicnostablo

As CNN reported, the cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus were discovered by French archaeologist Franck Goddio in 1996 and offered a good look as to what an ancient city looks like when it's conquered by the sea.

Apparently, the cities sank due to a combination of rising sea levels and a series of earthquakes that resulted in massive tidal waves.

This is an average glue stick, but based on what's stuck to it, it's clear that it works pretty well.

Reddit | Anthrax_Host

What we're looking at here are a whole bunch of tiny water particles that apparently condensed on this stick when it was left sitting around with the lid off.

Although nobody really looks forward to flying in weather like this, this would still be incredibly cool to see.

Reddit | GraveBreath

After all, many things in this world are cool and terrifying at the same time, right?

And we'd much rather have lightning strike close enough to get a photo of it if the other option is to come even closer. No, thanks.

This kind of looks like the Tasmanian Devil went nuts in the sky, but it's actually a Lenticular cloud formation.

Reddit | Entr0py01

According to the National Weather Service, these clouds form when fast-moving, stable air is forced up and over a large piece of the local topography, like a mountain.

It's for this reason that while they look stunning to us, these clouds are usually bad news for a pilot because they signal an area that's likely to cause a turbulent flight.

You never know when your place might be the site of a vibrant, colorful rainbow.

Reddit | ojaxx

If the sunlight hits a window the right way, it might lead to the kind of refraction that beams a rainbow like this onto an otherwise dull surface.

Although a lot of bugs can make most people uncomfortable, some of them look way prettier than others.

Reddit | Human02211979

For instance, even those who don't like the look of praying mantises will likely find something to appreciate in the bright, majestic flower mantis.

Some stores in South Korea offer packs of bananas that work by a specific schedule.

Reddit | DannyHallam

The banana furthest to the left is the ripest and the rest have varying patches of green depending on how far along they are.

The way this design works, you can eat a banana a day and you'll always hit one at the perfect level of ripeness. Pretty clever.

A very patient contortionist posed for this image.

Reddit | SomeAccountThatIs

As if it wasn't impressive enough to see someone so flexible wrapping their bodies around in odd ways, seeing the stresses they put their bones under is something else entirely.

You'll seldom see the streets of a major metropolis as empty as this.

Reddit | sairohit21

But this is Wuhan, China, and it's completely shut down because of the coronavirus outbreak, leaving the sprawling city a virtual ghost town.

If you've ever wondered what Julius Caesar would look like in the modern world, here's an estimation.

Instagram | @royalty_now_

Instagram user @royalty_now_ has worked up several CGI versions of historical figures like this.

There's a good reason why these villagers are wearing masks backwards.

Reddit | AnantaSheshanaga1

By appearing to have a face on the backs of their heads, they can prevent tigers from attacking them from behind.