45 Times The World Surprised Us With How Subtle It Could Be

For all the ways that humanity imposes its will on the world, the planet itself mostly just keeps doing its thing, humming away in the background.

Yes, while human beings might not be the subtlest beings on the planet, there's still plenty of subtlety to be found in nature.

No lawnmowers needed.

Reddit | C_Marjan

The grass in this park might look a bit ragged, but it's definitely not overgrown. This is because it's cut, not by lawnmowers, but by a herd of sheep that enjoy eating it for breakfast.

Stormy weather.

Reddit | Luckster321

It's incredible how storms bring out all sorts of weird types of light. A big storm can turn daylight into nighttime or even change the color of the sky. A yellow or green sky like this often means a tornado is imminent.

Anatomically correct.

Reddit | Grvs78

This little rock is shaped much like a human heart. Although it's fun, it wouldn't be particularly remarkable if not for the fact that coral has adhered to it in a way that makes it look like arteries.


Reddit | oswaler

I don't know what could cause a palm frond to develop these beautiful, wavy patterns. It's just another example of how nature continually finds little ways to surprise us.

Don't grow so close to me.

Reddit | designflaw2b

This user found that their plant wouldn't grow near or towards their wifi router. While some would jump to "it must be due to the internet waves" or whatever, it's more likely due to heat, which is strange because I gravitate toward heat like a cold-blooded lizard.

Well, that's a little rude.

Reddit | Brocoli4dinner

This bush looks like a thousand tiny hands flipping you off. A great thing to have in your front yard so you can start your day off with some positivity.

A long road ahead, a long road behind.

Reddit | MyDadVersusYours

In the morning dew on the car, you can see the tracks left behind by this ladybug, who took a really weird detour in the middle there but ended up back on track.

Nature's whiteout.

Reddit | exlo_e-the-unknown

This plant started growing a leaf instead of a branch, but then corrected itself halfway through. Just pretend it never happened and no one will notice.

A rock as old as time.

Reddit | machandcheez

This user and their sisters put this rock between these two trunks about 10 years ago, and the tree has since started eating the rock. Welcome to the family.

Where there's a wilt, there's a way.

Reddit | loubug

A lone flower grew out of a drainpipe in a concrete wall, and it looks awfully proud of itself. As it should be, too! Good job, little flower!

When worlds collide.

Reddit | DinksNDrinks

This tree is a mix between a Norway Spruce and a Blue Spruce, which you can see in the branches. This is called inosculation, and it happens when two trees graft together. They're also called "marriage trees," which is terribly cute.

A thin line.

Reddit | gap343

This rock has a perfect stripe of quartz going through it. It reminds me of those black armband tattoos you see gym bros with. What's up with those?

Flower dye job.

Reddit | Jeztyr

While running through the flowers on the hunt for some food, this seagull got a new 'do. Yellow is a great summertime color and this is very stylish.

It has layers, like a...rock?

Reddit | RodrigoMilos

A rock inside another rock? This must be the rock hatching process. It's so rare to see in the wild, even rarer to capture it on camera.

Out of style.

Reddit | CherryBlozsom

No big deal, just a duck with an afro. I wonder if it's just shedding its baby feathers in a weird pattern, or if something else is going on.

Snow or dandelions?

Reddit | theseaofdoubt

I love it when nature conspires to make things look like other things. This looks like a frost-dusted lawn, but on closer inspection, the white stuff is just dandelion fluff.

Wings with a view.

Reddit | ettore_capaccioli

This beautiful butterfly is known as a Greta oto butterfly, and lives in certain areas of Central America. Its delicate, transparent wings are a real show-stopper.

Mushrooms find a way.

Reddit | NutellaOreoReeses

Mushrooms have evolved to grow rapidly, in seemingly inhospitable conditions. I don't know what the conditions of this bathroom are, but clearly they're enough to encourage the growth of random mushrooms.

Those columns though.

Reddit | Thereaper29

If you looked at the top half of this photo, it would probably look like a regular cliff. But the bottom half shows a series of columns that were forged by ancient volcanic activity.

Its own ecosystem.

Reddit | andre-art13-anime

My computer chair is getting a little old, and I'll soon have to replace it after 15 years of good service. If there's any consolation, it's that it might be able to host life, just like this discarded chair.

Poking through.

Reddit | thetresident

Plants really find ways to do their own thing while they're growing. Case in point: This houseplant is growing new stalks through...itself.

Where do the roots go?

Reddit | i-lack

This is just a tree, much like every other tree in this leafy neighborhood. But a closer look reveals that, somehow, it's managed to grow its thick trunk using nothing but a garage roof for support.

Nice camo.

Reddit | AccomplishGreatness

Owls are generally nocturnal, and can rely on the cover of night to stalk their prey. But when they're resting during the daylight hours, it's essential to be able to blend in.

Weird flex, bro.

Reddit | legoyas

This mossy, primeval forest probably has all kinds of secrets, but one of them has been revealed right here: a tree that's sprouted an arm, seemingly just to flex.

Smoothed over.

Reddit | Troy_McClure2020

The passage of time has made this landscape grassy and green again, but the World War I trenches are still readily apparent. They're smoother now, but they're still there.

Are those...mouths?

Reddit | TheEdgeOfDawn

These Gouldian finch chicks have weird-looking mouths, but it's actually a super smart design. The opalescent beads effectively highlight their mouths so their parents can easily feed them in the dark.


Reddit | tylersefa

Once upon a time, a train carrying a bunch of seeds sprung a leak. Some time later, the path of the spilled seeds can be seen by the plants that have sprouted from them.

The tiniest branch.

Reddit | serifpersia

Cherries don't normally grow low to the ground from tiny little tree branches. But this cherry deviates from the norm and has defied the odds to grow up to be plump and juicy.

Love in strange places.

Reddit | ArgentinaMalvina

A cactus shaped like a heart! Imagine giving this as a sweet gift to a partner. Seeing this prickly, hard to handle, awkward thing made me think of you... Okay, maybe it isn't as sweet as I thought.

The circle of life.

Reddit | Dragonslayer6942069

There's a brand new apple tree sprouting from this old apple that rotted. I was going to make some clever remark but then I remembered that's just how seeds work.

An insanely tall dandelion.

Reddit | Epicminecrafter69

A weed's a weed: It wants to spread and it can't do that tucked in between all those bushes.

A daisy of nightmares.

Reddit | jessmaymartin

With the stem and that broad center, this flower looks like it hits the gym. How much do you think it bench presses?

Trees on trees.

Reddit | austinkh_

Trees do well in decaying, organic material. Since trees eventually become decaying, organic material, it stands to reason that an old tree will sometimes become home to a new sprout.

This bike is slowly being eaten by nature.

Reddit | GeneticallyZero

Hey, the plants were nice. They waited a few days, looked to see if there were any lost bike reports, and eventually decided it was okay to take it. After all, it is on their property.

An earthly rainbow.

Reddit | HailYurtle

For some plants, newer leaves appear different colors due to an abundance of anthocyanin which fades as they mature. What we're looking at here is a leaf family spanning generations!

Not enough mushrooms for you? How about mushrooms on your mushrooms?

Reddit | LolaXdoll

As a certified mush-lover, this has to be the greatest thing I've seen in a minute. How much deeper can we go? Mushrooms on mushrooms on mushrooms?

A wasp nest was found inside a walnut shell.

Reddit | Koolbreeze88

It's a little small, but its the wasp's first time living on his own, so he's excited about it!

Chaos controlled.

Reddit | Jesper90000

This uploader captioned the photo with the story behind it: "Lightning strike outside our house after a big thunderstorm. It created 8-inch holes in the sidewalk and turned the concrete into chunks of glass."

When left in the woods, any object can become a new habitat.

Reddit | Nasobema

I'm sure many a bug have made a home out of this shoe, maybe a bird or two. It's gotta be prime real estate in the forest.

Can't go around, so nature's helping you go through.

Reddit | Ratmast_er

Or over, rather. This bridge is seemingly naturally formed, helping people cross this creek without getting their shoes wet!

A stowaway.

Reddit | slugfeet27

Apparently, this little guy hitched a ride in a boy's croc while he was out kayaking. He'll be sure to leave you a five-star review and a tip.

Sea to sky.

Reddit | davelol90

It makes sense that the sky changes the color of the water. But it's highlighted extremely well in this pic. This pic, importantly, also includes a bonus doggo.

This tree has a natural camouflage pattern.

Reddit | SYHR101

Wait, what tree? I don't see anything, wink wink.


Reddit | The_Mozzie8

This user found a clover with a natural hazard design. You know how in nature when an animal or plant is dangerous, they usually advertise it through color and pattern? Well...

Beauty in design.

Reddit | watersigns

This amethyst geode was found to have a heptagram pattern, making it all the more rare and beautiful!

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