Thanks to technology, the pace of life seems to be getting faster each day, and it’s easier than ever to get caught up in it all and forget to stop for a moment and appreciate the world we live in.
But on the other hand, one of the amazing results of advancing technology is the increasing power of photography, and how now we are able to capture amazing wonders of the world in new and incredible ways.
Here are 45 completely unaltered images that capture a surreal moment that happened here on earth, but seem to be from another dimension!
#1 Where the Namib Desert meets the sea
#2 Waterfalls off the edge of a glacier in Svalbard, Norway
#3 The Verzasca river, Switzerland. Its water is crystal clear, so you can see right to the bottom
#4 After rain
#6 Lenticular clouds over Mount Damavand
#7 A thunderstorm in South Dakota
#8 A helicopter approaching the surface of the water
#9 The colors of autumn reflected in water
#10 A deep-sea jellyfish that looks like it came from another world
#11 Windows in the sky, or is the sky revealing its hidden windows? The Chrysler Building, New York.
#12 The Northern Lights, Norway
#13 A wonderful view, Sardinia
#14 A dragonfly covered in crystal clear raindrops
#15 Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Russia
#16 A surreal long-exposure photograph of a merry-go-round
#17 A whale on the beach
#18 Electric Volcano
This is an incredible moment where an erupting volcano in Chile was engulfed in what seems like bolts of lightning. It looks like some pretty heavy-duty special effects, but it turns out that it’s just mother nature creating awesome scenes captured by talented photographers.
One commenter explained, “The volcanic ash, some of it rising in the plume, some falling, rubbing against one another, produces enormous amounts of static electricity that have to be discharged.”
#19 The Floating Mountain
Is that a mountain floating on a cloud? If you look a little closer, you’ll see that it’s just an optical illusion courtesy of mother nature. This image depicts Mount Rainier seemingly floating above Seattle, Washington, USA.
Although it’s easy to get swept away by its awe-inspiring beauty, this mountain is actually considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. It’s a reminder of the humbling fact that we are at the mercy of nature.
#20 Phoenix Of Light
Whoever captured this incredible shot really lucked out, capturing the moment when a flying phoenix made of colorful light seems to be projected in the sky. But this is no Photoshop trick – it’s one of the wonders of nature: the Northern Lights in Iceland.
Between September and March each year, disturbances in the magnetosphere caused by solar wind create these beautiful auroras in the sky that can be seen in high-latitude areas, and watching them is said to be a life-changing experience.
#21 The White Raven
While this image is likely to make you look twice, you can be assured that what your eyes are seeing is real. This is a white raven – a phenomenon that occurs as a result of a condition called leucism, which leads to a partial loss of pigment in the animal and leaves a pale shade of cream all over its body.
It looks like something out of a fantasy novel, but these ravens are completely normal in every other way.
#22 Lilypad Forest
This dreamy image looks as though it has captured a strange, otherworldly forest on a different planet. But as it turns out, you don’t have to fly into outer space to see some of the strangest scenes in the universe.
Just go below the surface of any body of water and you will witness scenes that can only be described as magical. Here, what you’re actually seeing are lilypad stems underwater, with a giant school of tadpoles swimming by.
#23 Desert Magic
No, this isn’t a scene from a new installment in the Star Wars franchise. What you’re seeing here is happening on planet Earth, and it’s much closer than you might think. This is an image from the Burning Man festival, an event that happens every year in Black Rock, Nevada.No, this isn’t a scene from a new installment in the Star Wars franchise. What you’re seeing here is happening on planet Earth, and it’s much closer than you might think. This is an image from the Burning Man festival, an event that happens every year in Black Rock, Nevada.
During the festival, participants band together to build an entire temporary “city” in the desert, comprised of all kinds of fantastical and innovative structures like this one. After a couple of weeks, they take everything down and it’s like nothing ever happened.
#24 Photo of a Magnificent Blue Iceberg
At first glance, this seems to be a totally fabricated photo; a computer-generated scene representing life on some imaginary blue planet. But in fact, this is an unretouched photo of a rare, magnificent blue iceberg, which was shot from a ship near Antarctica’s South Sandwich Islands.
This “cathedral of ancient ice” has given this flock of penguins the perfect resting spot. They probably have no idea how shockingly beautiful their natural habitat is from a human’s point of view.
#25 The Frozen Lake House
Did you first look at this picture and think it was a miniature house made out of icing sugar? Guess again! This is a real house, on the shore of Lake Erie, which was completely encased by snow, ice, and frost during a blizzard.
The high winds and immense amount of frozen precipitation gave this house an effect which can be described as, well, eerie! This is a great example of what happens when the elements conspire to create absolute magic!
#26 Blue Lagoon
This beautiful forest scene looks almost too perfect to be real – especially the incredibly blue water, which gives this forest an otherworldly quality. However, this picture was absolutely taken on planet Earth, and not edited or retouched whatsoever.
This lagoon is located near Ywan Ngan in Shan State, Myanmar, and the deep blue color is caused by high levels of copper sulfate in the water. So while it looks inviting to jump right in, doing so could have some unhealthy consequences.
#27 A Folded World
This image is something that boggles the mind. Captured by a drone hovering over a cloverleaf intersection in an unknown location, the effect is rather mind-bending.
It’s hard to tell exactly what is going on here, and how one seemingly flat plane is intersecting at a 90-degree angle with another. Our best guess was that there was a glitch in how the drone captured the image. Nevertheless, it makes you feel as if you’ve entered another dimension!
#28 Ghost Shell
This image may be beautiful, but it carries with it a severe warning for the future of our planet. This is a limacina, or sea butterfly, whose shell was exposed to carbon dioxide and dissolved over a period of 45 days in water.
This phenomenon shows the widespread effects of climate change: when carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere increase, its concentration in water also increases, which can lead to ocean acidification and, sadly, force some species into.
#29 Eerie Tree Holes
These mysterious rows of holes lining the bark of this tree seem like a coded message from an alien race that has invaded the planet! But the real reason behind this strange phenomenon is quite understandable, once you think about it: this is the work of woodpeckers, who make rows of holes as they systematically search for insects in the trees. Nevertheless, it’s almost magical and quite a wonder how straight and symmetrical the patterns are.
#30 Electromagnetic Mystery
On a sandy deserted beach, long tube-like lamps are burrowed into the ground and mysteriously light up by themselves. How is this possible? The secret is electromagnetic radiation that forms in areas around power lines, which also makes the hair stand on end and gives the air an ozone-like scent.
These three young men have humorously used this backdrop to their advantage, effectively pulling off a scene that appears to have been stolen directly from Star Wars.
#31 A Magical Palace of Books
You wouldn’t be the first for thinking this was a part of the set of one of the Harry Potter movies. The endless rows of books climbing infinitely barely look real.
But this is, in fact, a very real place with no magic involved: The Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This incredible library, which was established in 1887, has amassed the largest collection of Portuguese literature outside of Portugal, and today contains nearly 400,000 volumes.
#32 One-Sided Skyscraper
This one is sure to make you do a double-take. At first glance, it appears as if this skyscraper has just one wall, or that the second wall is invisible or has been edited out of the photo!
But it’s just an illusion: this building in Singapore, called The Gateway and designed by renowned architect I. M. Pei, is in the shape of a triangle. The mind-boggling effect of the building being flat occurs when you take a picture of the structure from a specific angle.
#33 Agate Invasion
Nature can be awe-inspiring on a large scale, but when you whip out the microscope you can often see even more dazzling phenomena. This incredible sight is a snail’s shell, which has been taken over by agate, which naturally grew into the spiral shape and “evicted” the shell’s previous inhabitant.
The result is this beautiful formation of purple, grey and white stone with sparkling crystalline in its core that makes you marvel at the beauty of nature.
#34 Eyes From The Deep
If this isn’t a little spooky, we don’t know what is. A pair of mysterious eyes peer out from underneath a sheet of ice, as if from a foreign and undiscovered dimension. This creature is actually a leopard seal, also known as a sea leopard, the second largest species of seal in the Antarctic.
In daylight, leopard seals look much less threatening, but the truth is that these creatures are quite ferocious predators – their only challengers on the food chain are killer whales.
#35 Salt Swirls
These abandoned salt mines lie 650 feet below the earth, near the city of Yekaterinburg, Russia. This wild psychedelic landscape is the result of the mineral carnallite, which can be yellow, white, red or blue.
The carnallite deposits form swirls of color across the walls the mine, which was created millions of years ago when a salty sea dried up and left behind the mineral deposits. The air is so salty inside this cave that one’s mouth will feel permanently parched when inside.
#36 Foggy Blanket
This photograph shows a milky fog blanketing the city of Sophia, Bulgaria, late at night. The bright urban lights are glowing through and coloring the soft ripples that float over the city.
This occurs as the thick fog rolling in from the surrounding mountains gets trapped in the valley. While such a phenomenon doubtless leads to many inconvenient situations such as frequent flight delays and general transportation hazards, it looks like a beautifully surreal dream when looking at it from above.
#37 Surreal Waves
This image looks like it’s from another world where colors have been inverted and this woman is floating in a sea of pink and orange until you realize that these are actually fabric-covered structures. What exactly is going on here?
These are greenhouses protecting strawberries in Turkey, and the woman is harvesting them. Whoever had the delightful idea of making greenhouses in such vibrant colors, clearly knew that ordinary things and everyday activities can be made joyful when you just add some color.
#38 The Magical Kuro-Tamago
These strange black objects look like the eggs laid by some alien species at first glance. Well, the egg part is right, but they are actually just regular eggs, which have been boiled in the sulfurous hot springs of Owakudani (“The Great Boiling Valley”) in Hakone, Japan where a volcano erupted 3000 years ago and left the hot spring-filled crater behind.
Local tradition holds that for each black egg – or kuro-tamago – you eat, seven years are added onto your life.
#39 Bubblegum Lake
This is an untouched photo that definitely looks like it’s from an undiscovered planet. However, this is actually an aerial view of Australia’s Lake Hillier.
Nobody knows for sure why it is this bright shade of pink, but most scientists agree that it probably has to do with the presence of a species of microalgae called Dunaliella Salina. These photosynthetic microorganisms produce beta-carotene (also found in carrots), which is what gives the lake its bubblegum hue.
#40 Rabbit Rex
These beautiful black rex rabbits look as if they are white rabbits that have been photographed and this is the negative of the film. Their special coloring is a result of breeding which occurred when, in 1919, a Catholic priest received a genetically mutated rabbit and decided to try and create a new breed.
The breed, which was originally called Castorrex, as it was the color of beaver (castor), and it was known as the King’s rabbit (rex being ‘king’ in Latin), it later came to be known simply as Rex.
#41 Another Planet, Right Here On Earth
The Danakil Depression in Ethiopia is found in the Horn of Africa, and it sits at the junction of three tectonic plates, which has produced a long history of volcanic activity and geological shifts.
The strange geological formations in otherworldly colors make it look like it’s on another planet entirely, which is all the more emphasized by the fact that it’s one of the hottest places on earth. Lucy, the famous old humanoid fossil, was found in the area, leading many to dub it “the cradle of humanity”.
#42 Mind-Bending Art
While this may seem like a photoshopped image at first glance, if you look really closely you’ll realize that this is actually an incredible work of art. Georges Rousse is a renowned artist who creates architectural illusions inside old abandoned buildings.
Rousse meticulously paints architectural features in a way that tricks the eye, so when he presents his work with a single photo taken from the correct angle, it makes everything come together and creates this startling effect.
#43 Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
This image was caught at quite an amazing moment in time, and it looks like something out of someone’s wildest dream. It turns out that it was actually someone making their dream a reality. This image shows climber Remi McMurtry as he reached the top of the 4,744-foot high volcano Snæfellsjökull in Iceland.
Apparently, he and a friend decided to go on this adventure after picking the name out of a hat full of destinations, and they reached the summit as part of a 27-day hike.
#44 The Magic in a Millisecond
This image is almost too perfect to be real, but it turns out there are some very dedicated photographers out there who are perfecting their craft without using Photoshop.
German artist Markus Reugels uses colored water to create different shapes and forms, such as this bubble, which he photographed using a high-speed camera to capture the millisecond in which a splash occurred inside. The result is so magical, it looks like a beautiful piece of glass art.
#45 The Effect Of The Nighttime Haze
At first glance, one can’t really tell what is going on here. Perhaps an alien society on a distant planet, encapsulated by its own atmosphere? What this actually is, though, is much closer than a distant planet in outer space.
It’s right in our own backyard in Sausalito, California, where the effect of the nighttime haze and the rolling mists over the hills create this eerie effect across the landscape. Although it’s due to the unfortunate effects of pollution, it’s still hauntingly beautiful.