You can learn a lot from a photograph, even if there are so many freakin’ pics out there that you’re bound to forget what you’ve learned as soon as you view the next pic.
Regardless, these photos all have something to show us. Maybe you’ll retain it, maybe you won’t. But in the moment, these are pretty awesome.
1. When CD-ROMs were king.
Reddit | hyelins
Nowadays lots of people don’t even have CD players anymore, but back in 1994, compact discs were gamechangers. Here’s Bill Gates showing how much information could be stored on one little disc.
2. Wear your helmet.
Reddit | Grabapanda
The motorcycle rider wearing this helmet survived the impact. If he hadn’t been wearing the helmet, well, this is the damage that would have been inflicted on his skull.
3. Ingredients for a revolution.
Reddit | DoWidzenya
Brazilian citizens fought back against a dictatorial government in a unique way: by printing protest messages on Coke bottles. Because the messages were white, they weren’t noticeable until after the bottles were filled. This shows how to make a Molotov cocktail.
4. Hyper inflation in a picture.
Reddit | VerySlump
That looks like a fat stack of cash, and it is: 14,600,000 Venezuelan bolivars. Due to an unstable economy, though, this much money is about enough to buy a five-pound chicken and nothing else.
5. One (massive) ring to rule them all.
Reddit | Neweritonn
If you’re ever wondering what the ring prop used in Lord of the Rings looked like, here it is. It kind of explains why it looks so big and detailed in the movies.
6. Tiger bling.
Reddit | Here-For-The-Comment
When someone’s lost a tooth, they might consider getting a gold replacement. When this tiger lost a tooth due to an accident, it got the same treatment.
7. I can’t stop laughing.
Reddit | downriverrowing
Juvenile owls have big, heavy heads, which causes them to sometimes sleep like this. It looks like a toddler that just threw a tantrum and passed out on the floor.
8. An audience of thousands.
Reddit | JAlbert653
…thousands of plants, that is. The Barcelona Opera House re-opened recently, and this quartet gave an intimate performance to a crowd of more than two thousand plants.
9. It doesn’t look real.
Reddit | DoolingforSiberia
This is an Akhal-Teke horse. There are about 6,600 of these rare horses in the world, and they’re noteworthy for their high intelligence and metallic coat. They’re one of the oldest horse breeds still alive today.
10. Getting chilly.
Reddit | 5upple
In case you can’t tell, this photo of a flash-frozen bowl of noodles in Antarctica depicts some pretty harsh weather. It’s -60° Celsius, which works out to -76° Fahrenheit.
11. It’s like Banjo-Kazooie, kinda.
Reddit | uninhabited
This is how you transport a big Galapagos tortoise. This one, more than a hundred years old, is being carried back to his home after being in a captive breeding program.
12. Perfect fit.
Reddit | Blockbuilder01
The legs of this Ikea chair measure exactly four by four Lego studs. Ikea and Lego are both Scandinavian companies known for their meticulous design, so I’m not convinced this is an accident.
13. Tree circles.
Reddit | 5upple
You’re looking at the end result of an experimental tree planting program first undertaken in Japan in 1973. Researchers wanted to see how much growth would be impacted by the spacing of the trees.
14. Early morning.
Reddit | ToadEY911
Above the Arctic Circle, the sun will go months without fully setting. This is what a Norwegian backyard looks like at about 4:30 in the morning.
15. Never seen the light.
Reddit | Stripes247
This translucent snail is a member of a new species that was only recently discovered. It appears that this species lives exclusively deep underground in cave systems.
16. I don’t know what I’m looking at.
Reddit | 5hred
I had to look this one up, because I had no idea. It shows a dandelion shot with a macro camera. The lighting through the seeds creates a series of miniature rainbows.
17. Neon eggs.
Reddit | nabeelaaaaa
The cassowary is a big, weird-looking flightless bird that can be found in Northeastern Australia. As it turns out, it isn’t just a big flightless bird: it’s a big flightless bird that lays weirdly green eggs.
Reddit | NaiveBeast
This is a shot showing a butterfly wing underneath a microscope. It’s incredible not only that the wings are so multi-colored, but also that we can take photos like this in the first place.
19. A band of snow.
Reddit | Maahee_2
This pic of Ohio farm country shows just how localized weather can be. A snowstorm recently blew through, but it only affected a narrow band of the plains.
20. Bad graphics.
Reddit | Sberlaa
Near the equator, during certain times of the year, there are no lateral shadows to be found. This pic from Costa Rica illustrates how strange this can look if you’re not used to it.