Dublin Heritage Park & Museum

32 Interesting Pics With Backstories That Are Just As Cool

Sometimes a picture just doesn't do quite enough on its own. It's a tease, a hint, a clue — just enough to pique your interest, but still with enough of a mystery that you can't quite let it go.

Well, for these pics, we've got the backstories that fill in some of the blanks, and what you don't see is still pretty cool.

For many years, Lebanon Island was the only fully developed island in the World Islands.

Reddit | hominoid_in_NGC4594

The World Islands, a famous man-made island system off the coast of Dubai, was an ambitious project, but the troubles it has faced were made that much more stark by Lebanon Island's lonely appearance.

As of 2018, it was operating as a private resort and club with middling reviews that the owner was trying to sell.

This guy was born without part of his left arm, so he built his own.

Reddit | aqualocko

With 3D printing and an arduino, he can flex muscles in what arm he has to send signals that tell the electronics how to move the hand and fingers.

It's so well controlled that he can hold an egg without breaking it.

This colorful building is actually a Scottish castle that dates back to the 13th century.

Reddit | rockystl

Construction on Kelburn Castle is thought to have begun around 1143 AD with a wooden tower, but the stone structure that remains likely dates to the 1200s.

The color was added in 2007 when the Earl of Glasgow learned the concrete facing would have to be replaced and decided to invite four Brazilian graffiti artists to come liven up the place.

Although this photo is more than a century old, it hasn't been colorized.

Reddit | TheCrown64

It wasn't exactly taken in color, either. Rather, Russian photographer Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky took three different pictures — one with a red filter, one with a blue filter, and one with a green filter — and combined them to create a full color image.

Some of the produce this supermarket sells is grown on its roof.

Reddit | mayboss

The rooftop garden grows about 30 different kinds of produce, from tomatoes to eggplant to kale, and all of it is certified organic.

The store's co-owner said that the produce costs are a bit higher because the project is not large in scale, but it's sold for the same price as other organic produce.

This is why Constantine, Algeria is known as the "City of Bridges."

Reddit | Star-Eye

Situated atop a plateau, the city is almost entirely surrounded by a giant gorge that in some places plunges 1,000 feet down.

This means that on three sides, it's accessible only by bridges.

That's a good secret.

Reddit | cavallom

The Lockheed plant in Burbank, California had to be covered with a considerable amount of camouflage during WWII.

It was pretty effective at concealing the massive production facility, however, disguising it as a quaint, boring neighborhood.

Wartime ingenuity produced some truly incredible things.

Reddit | Bearcatsean

For example, playing card maker Bicycle partnered with the Allies to produce decks of cards that contained maps for Allied POWs to use to escape.

In the actual decks, prisoners had to split apart the cards after soaking them in water to access the map segments — this image merely shows what the maps would look like when pieced together.

Playing cards have been put to ingenious use elsewhere, too.

Reddit | Nightstar95

In many prison systems around the U.S., prisoners are issued "cold case" playing cards that contain information about unsolved crimes.

While no national stats are available, it's believed that dozens of cold cases have been cracked because of prisoners using the cards having their memories jogged, including a murder in Florida.

In Ukraine, a statue of Lenin was turned into a statue of Darth Vader.

Reddit | prelife14

The former Soviet republic decided to go through a formal "decommunization" process back in 2015, which saw Soviet monuments around the nation removed.

In Odessa, however, artist Alexander Milov gave that city's statue of Lenin a Sith Lord makeover. It now also broadcasts free wifi.

It's either a dream job or a nightmare.

ESA

A joint NASA-ESA program offered people $19,000 over 60 days to do absolutely nothing.

All you had to do was stay in bed for 60 days straight so that researchers could study the effects of limited movement as part of their research into long-term space flight.

The lace detail on this bust is all hand-carved marble.

Reddit | finemenyak

It's the work of Giuliano Finelli, who should, judging by his skill, be much better known.

However, he was an apprentice of Italian master Bernini, who was jealous of his student's skills. When this bust, a true masterpiece, had been completed by Finelli, Bernini wouldn't allow the younger man to present it to the Pope, who had commissioned it.

In Soviet Russia, this was how some people got their groove on: with X-rays.

Reddit | GeneReddit123

Soviet censors wouldn't let Western rock 'n' roll through, but those industrious music fans behind the Iron Curtain were determined to listen all the same, so they came up with a clever solution: making records out of old X-rays.

The bootlegs, rather fittingly, became known as "bone music."

The owner of a house found another house in their attic.

Reddit | CatchingWindows

It was long abandoned, obviously, so at least it wasn't a squatter's residence in their attic. In fact, it had once been a residence for a couple who lived over top of the store they ran.

That couple sold it to a church, who built around it, and now it's someone's home.

This is how broadcasters made their logos before graphics were a thing.

Reddit | SiniCatiX

It makes sense for them to have had to construct their logos physically when digital technology didn't exist, but it's also the sort of thing you don't really think about, is it?

Early in its life, the BBC used a mechanical spinning globe that broke down soon after filming, for another example.

In 2012, a fireworks display intended to last over 17 minutes accidentally went off all at the same time.

The display, planned for the city's annual 4th of July Big Bay Boom festival, had been nine months in preparation and had taken days to set up properly.

However, a computer glitch set them all off at the same time — 17.5 minutes worth of fireworks exploded in about 30 seconds.

Suiting up to treat an Ebola patient is Dr. Anthony Fauci, who was 74 at the time.

National Institutes of Health

Despite his role as head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Fauci personally spent two hours per day treating Ebola patients in 2015, at least in part because he didn't want to ask his staff to do anything that he wouldn't do himself.

These decommissioned cooling towers have been re-purposed as a pretty cool playground for adrenaline junkies.

Reddit | limgly

The formerly drab, gray towers at Orlando Power Station in Soweto, South Africa were given a colorful paint job and the towers have become known as a hot spot for bungee and BASE jumping from the narrow bridge running between the towers.

This 13-year-old boy just got adopted by a single father, Peter Mutabazi.

Mutabazi has spent years fostering kids, but was particularly moved by the boy's story.

At 11, he had been abandoned at a hospital by his family — and it wasn't the first time that he'd been abandoned — his birth mother also abandoned him when he was two. Now, they're officially father and son.

This cancer fighter looks elated to be in the middle of recovery, and this day in particular had an added bonus.

Reddit | flexilexi22

She wrote on this photo, "A few months ago, I had a top post that I was just starting chemo. Today I found out that my tumor shrank to about half its size and the cancerous nodules in my lungs are gone! Also, I got to play with adorable kittens. It's a good day."

Online friendships have an immense strength behind them.

Reddit | millertime166

Like this group of boys, who'd known each other for over five years but were just meeting for the first time in this picture, including Joe who was terminally ill with Ewings Sarcoma. They met through online gaming, and remained friends for years to come.

Such small and simple gifts can really mean the most sometimes.

Reddit | WilliamHarry

This user wrote the rather simple story behind this bowl. A tree in their yard had been cut down recently, then a few days later, when walking their dog, a man stops them and gives them this bowl that he had carved from one of the logs of the tree! A cool, small gesture that's unique and practical!

This picture shows off not only her hard work, but the work of her parents.

Reddit | gangbangkang

This college graduate is standing with her parents in the fruit fields they worked in in order to give her a better life. Thanks to their effort and dedication, she was able to pursue her dreams!

This person's kind actions really paid off, literally!

Reddit | foofighter16

They wrote that they work at a bar, and that night a deaf man sat alone in their section, so they chatted with him in sign language. Another one of their tables saw what they were doing and left this tip!

Household tidying can sometimes bring back the fondest of memories.

Reddit | robtheirishman

In cleaning out his grandmother's shed, this man found this tiny benchpress his grandfather had crafted for him when he was five so he could work out alongside his dad. The piece was over 20 years old at that point, and represents what a great person his grandfather was.

One person's passion can make a real difference.

Reddit | PatFlynnEire

Tammy Waddell was a school teacher for over 25 years. When she passed, she had in her obituary that instead of flowers, people should bring backpacks filled with school supplies that would then be donated, so she could continue helping students even after she was gone.

Encouragement (and a bet) can go a long way!

Reddit | RevWoo

This user wrote the story of how he ended up with pink hair by encouraging a camper of his: "One month ago I challenged one of my campers who had just been diagnosed with dyslexia. I told her that if she could read 10 chapter books in the month of July, I would let her choose any color she wanted to dye my hair. Well, she finished her challenge and I now have pink hair."

An important reminder regarding plasma donations and the real-life effects it has.

Reddit | crazyt123

The bottle pictured contains immunoglobulins from anywhere up to 10,000 donors! For this person, it provides them with a substitute immune system, which helps them live. Donors do actively save lives, so if you can, go do it!

During the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918-19, people went so far as to put masks on their pets.

Dublin Heritage Park & Museum

Just as today during the COVID-19 pandemic, there were those who resisted wearing masks, and those who believed they were the key to stopping the disease's spread.

It's not known if cats could even get the Spanish Flu, but even if not, images like this must have at least provided some levity during dark times.

Recovery of any form is incredible to see, especially when expressed through such talent.

Reddit | ItsRainingBoats

The user who uploaded this photo is this man's brother. This painter was homeless for a while and struggling with addiction, but he's since clean, recovering, and using his artistic skills to paint the experience. According to someone in the comments, he used to do tattoos too, meaning he has years of skill and practice to support his artwork!

The man on the right is the highest rated Uber driver in NYC for a reason!

Reddit

Not only is he very kind, but he's also incredible in every way. His name is Mustapha, he speaks four languages, spends his nights studying computer programming at college, and during his days he's driven over 10,000 people through the city. I'm sure all the kindness he's shown others will come back to him in the future.

Small changes make a big difference, as they did for this man.

Reddit | ChilliHat

Upon uploading this photo, he added a very simple caption: "After years of depression, today I started my day with a beach walk." What seems like a small action could be a huge feat for someone struggling with depression. Judging by the look on his face, he seems pretty proud of himself for getting up and doing it, and I'm proud of him too!