They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes those words are a little strange. The Internet is often captivated by unusual images that seem to warp reality. Sometimes these pictures go unexplained, leaving conspiracy theorists to puzzle over them for eternity. And sometimes the explanations are so distressingly normal that it’s funny. Here are 10 totally bizarre photos that have completely reasonable explanations.
Truck in a Tree
It’s quite possible that this picture could have a natural explanation -- when the wind gets blowing, things can get pretty insane in the Midwest. But how to explain the totally badass dude standing in front of it, seemingly unconcerned that his truck has taken up residence in a tree? Well, because he put it there. That dude is Mark Madson, a native of Clinton, Wis., and the truck is actually a treehouse he built for his son, Luke. Madson hauled the half-ton 1959 Chevy Fleetside 50 feet in the air and wedged it in between two branches, where it fit remarkably well. And then he told his kid to climb up and go crazy. Cool dad.
Portal to the Endless Universe
One of the more recent utterly perplexing photos to hit the Internet was a seemingly innocuous shot of the sky over Norway. Oh, except for that huge, bizarre, glowing, geometric squiggle right there. The bizarre spiral shape freaked out residents and shutterbugs, with nobody able to offer an explanation as to exactly what it was. Finally, somebody fessed up: it was Russia. The country had test-launched a Bulava surface-to-air missile from a submarine in the White Sea, but the rocket failed in the third stage, creating the unusual atmospheric phenomena. Or maybe it’s a special kind of rocket that’s designed to induce LSD flashbacks. The world may never know.
When we see a picture like this, we frantically try to think of a scientific explanation for how it’s possible. Dogs need four legs to stand upright, right? Or at least three? Wrong, buddy. Meet Cute and Bambi, two dogs who live in Quezon City, Philippines. They were both born with only their rear legs, but they’ve adapted just fine to life as kangaroo-like creatures. Their owner, street vendor Lope Tulipas, has rejected multiple offers to buy the pair, and they seem quite happy.
Play Ball at Home
This is a truly bizarre one. At first glance, this seems like an urban renovation project gone awry, with a few stubborn neighbors holding out for a bigger payout against the stadium developers. But it’s actually the reverse. Osaka Stadium was built before the houses inside it. Located in the Naniwa-ku ward, it was opened in 1950 and served as the home field for the Nankai Hawks. But after the Hawks moved and admission declined, the space in the middle of the stadium was converted into a model-home showroom. Nobody ever lived there.
Creepy Creature in Teen High Jinks
Another photo that seems to pop up on the Internet every so often pictures a weird-looking humanoid creature hanging out with a bunch of teenage boys as they pour milk over a nubile young girl. The gangly, pot-bellied creature is frighteningly realistic but obviously not human, and the general sense of the scene is horrifying. So what is it? A series of photographs by Los Angeles-based artist Charlie White called “Understanding Joshua” that were first exhibited in 2001. Joshua is a puppet, designed by White to symbolize the discomfort we feel in human interactions. When in doubt, call it art.
Ronald McDonald Busted
One would think this would be a serious PR black eye for McDonalds, seeing their clown mascot hauled off by a pair of cops. However, the reality of the situation is that Ronald here is the victim -- and isn’t even alive. In March of 2001, unidentified pranksters loosened the solid PVC Ronald McDonald statue from a bench outside the Ronald McDonald House in Billings, Mont., and made off with it, eventually hanging it from a tree in Pioneer Park. Cops cut the clown down and returned him home, leading to this unforgettable picture.
Giant Apocalypse Cloud
This image seems to come up once every few years, with people attaching it to whatever tropical storm is threatening at the moment. Most recently, it was billed as being a front coming in from Hurricane Isaac. The real source of the photo, however, comes from a photographer’s trip to Brunei. Photographer Richard Seaman took a journey to the Southeast Asian nation to capture life there, and while working there, he spent some time on the offshore oil rigs that dot the coastline, capturing this stunning image before a storm came in.
Superb Bird of Paradise
In this very unusual picture of an ordinary-looking bird confronted by a funny-faced monster that looks straight out of a Japanese anime, you’d be forgiven for thinking that some shenanigans are going on. And, in fact, they are, but not in the way you think. That weird creature is actually another bird, the Superb Bird of Paradise. It doesn’t usually look like that, though. The small bird, native to New Guinea, is actually in the midst of a mating dance. The face effect is a result of the bird’s colorful plumage inflating as it jumps around trying to secure a lady to get it on with. Pretty impressive, no?
The Goat Man
The woods are a great place to look for bizarre creatures, and this photo taken in Utah was totally perplexing. It seemed to show a half-human, half-goat hybrid frolicking in the mountains of the Beehive State, and speculators started freaking out. Could it be a Bigfoot relative? Alas, the truth was less impressive. It was actually just a hunter who constructed an unusual outfit to help him blend into the mountain-goat population. He was doing homework for an upcoming goat hunt in Canada. Park rangers warned him that goats are territorial and could attack him if the males felt he was making a play for the does.
Next: Mind-Boggling Perfectly Timed Photos
U Mad? Hamad
This looks like a Photoshop project for a band’s album cover, but it’s really just an incredibly rich dude going nuts with Google Earth. Sheikh Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan is one of the incredibly rich royal family of Abu Dhabi. Nicknamed the “Rainbow Sheikh,” Hamad is reported to command a net worth of over a billion dollars, and he doesn’t mind spending it. In addition to his huge car collection (which he keeps in a pyramid-shaped museum), he also spent some serious cash on this vanity project, inscribing his name in letters so large they can be seen from space. Each letter is over half a mile high and fills with water as the tide comes in.