Every so often, it’s nice to get out and about and see different perspectives on life. We may know our hometowns and rural roads like the backs of our hands, but what about the next town over…or the next state…or the next country?
Whether you have a budget to jet across the globe, or if your sightseeing is taking place from your laptop screen in your living room, you can enjoy these fascinating photos found from far and wide. Each one is a glimpse at our world like we’ve never seen it before.
1. Knolling: It’s a good day when the fire department has no emergencies to attend. It’s even better when they’re so bored they take all their equipment out of the truck for a flat-lay, as was called for in a viral emergency-services trend in 2019.
ville_de_geneve / Instagram
2. Strength in unity: Those gigantic cables that keep the Golden Gate Bridge from crashing down into the San Francisco Bay are actually made up of thousands of individual steel wires, making it more difficult for the bridge’s suspension to fail.
jaykirsch / Reddit
3. Behind the curtain: When you go out to a night at the theater, the actors up on stage look like they’re performing in a little box. From backstage, where the magic happens, it’s the other way around.
kiaall / Reddit
4. Billiards engineering: How a pool table returns all the pocketed balls so quickly has been a mystery to many, but no longer. Underneath the felt top, the pockets are connected by a series of inclined planes, all carefully arranged to make sure lost balls don’t get stuck.
Duckman296 / Reddit
5. Flip: Unless you’re a koi or a goldfish, you’ve likely never seen the underside of a lily pad. This one is flipped over as part of a botanic exhibit, allowing visitors to see all the veins that deliver carbon dioxide to keep the plant healthy.
Hotbreadsy / Reddit
6. Trimaran: You’d think a massive warship like this one would have an equally massive hull, but it turns out this unique design — called a trimaran hull — enables the ship to maneuver quickly in the shallower waters close to land.
Crowe410 / Reddit
7. Split: This photo, taken near the Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park, shows the striking split between a metropolitan cityscape and the biggest green space in the Big Apple. In a city renowned for its skyscrapers, a view with trees is priceless.
8. Avoid at all costs: There are plenty of fish in the sea, but not one of them wants to come near a shark. Fish work together in schools like these, moving like a current to coordinate and evade predators.
Lowcrbnaman / Reddit
9. Central operations: This looks like it could be the hub of NASA’s mission operations, or even a futuristic movie set, but it’s really the traffic control center in Beijing, China. The black-and-white image on the screen is zoomed-in on the Yangfangdian district of the massive city.
10. Satisfying: Often called “road printers,” these bricklaying machines allow a for more efficient assembly process. Instead of having to bend over on hands and knees in the sun, bricklayers can stay standing and place bricks right in front of them, letting the machine do the rest.
lordsleepyhead / Reddit
11. Bright and loud: This isn’t the inside of a toilet paper roll — it’s actually the hollow interior of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The structure was constructed as a bell tower, and the emptiness on the inside would allow the bells to reverberate and be amplified.
Wicked_Aviator / Reddit
12. Blastoff: This long-distance photo, taken by one of NASA’s satellites, shows a U.S. space shuttle blasting through Earth’s cloud layer on its departure to orbit. A space launch is a momentous event for humans, but on the grand scale of the universe, it’s tiny.
13. Microchip: That’s the world’s smallest computer, there on the right. Next to it isn’t an ice chunk, but rather an uncooked grain of rice. A computer this small must be assembled by robotics, as human fingers are just too large.
willburn61 / Reddit
14. Rubber confetti: Golf balls can be filled with a variety of materials, all of which react a certain way to a golfer’s swing, the spin put on the ball, and the speed at which the ball is hit.
15. Log: Never underestimate the power of the sea. This giant sequoia tree washed up as driftwood on a beach, and with that adult human for scale, we figure it must’ve been a pretty strong tide.
9w_lf9 / Reddit
16. Hollow: If you find yourself in Juneau, Alaska, make a day trip to the Mendenhall Glacier. You’ll be able to hike up inside it and see these overhead formations where the ice was carved away by rocks as it crept down the mountain.
Travoli / Reddit
17. Rings: We don’t recommend slicing and dicing your family heirloom necklace, but if for whatever reason it must be done for science, you’ll get an interesting look at how an oyster protects itself by coating any invasive debris particles with layers of nacre, or mother-of-pearl.
thegodofbigthings / Reddit
18. Bunched up: This handful of what looks like colorful plastic bread-bag ties is actually a cross section of a bundle of telephone wires. Those bits of plastic and metal are what allow us to make landline calls.
19. Spotting an eagle makes for an exciting moment in any afternoon, as long as they stay at a distance. This image shows you how gnarly it could get if you ever found yourself on an eagle’s bad side.
Reddit / ItsMoJam
20. At 7’7’’ and 5’3’’, Manute Bol and Muggsy Bogues had the most noticeable height gap of any players in NBA history. They were teammates on the Washington Bullets in 1987 and proved height isn’t a determining factor for basketball excellence.
Getty Images / Focus On Sport / Contributor
21. If you need a reminder of the sheer wonder of the Great Pyramids, you only need to see a person stand right at the base. The Great Pyramid of Giza is composed of 2,300,000 individual limestone and granite blocks.
Getty Images / Matt Champlin
22. Well, he’s certainly much bigger than the back of the penny makes it seem. For those of us who haven’t visited the Lincoln Memorial, it comes as a surprise that the Honest Abe statue is larger than life. If he could stand, he’d be 28 feet tall.
Getty Images / Mark Wilson / Staff
23. Forever worry about the safety of your feet now that you know the lion’s mane jellyfish is lurking in many of the world’s oceans. To make matters worse, they hang out in the shallows and can grow up to 120 feet long.
24. Usain Bolt might exist in a parallel universe where time functions differently. There’s several finish line photos where he’s several body lengths in front of his competitors, all while grinning and breaking his runner’s form. These snapshots make his speed appear easy, when it’s anything but.
Getty Images / Cameron Spencer / Staff
25. Michelangelo’s David is regarded as one of the most masterful artworks ever created, and for good reason. This guy is 17 solid feet of marble, carved expertly in the 16th century, back when the scaffolding and every other aspect of life was much less stable.
Getty Images / Stuart C. Wilson / Stringer
26. If you thought a hermit crab pinch was unpleasant, stay clear of the coconut crab. They have the same amount of power in their pincers as a lion’s jaw.
27. Giant: When wrestling star and The Princess Bride icon André the Giant traveled by plane, he had to buy two seats. Flight attendants from the time agree he was a really pleasant guy to fly with.
28. Nope, that’s not a very convincing Halloween decoration. It’s a bat that’s so unbelievably gigantic that they named it after a much larger animal by calling it the giant golden-crowned flying fox.
Twitter / Welcomet0nature
29. Believe it or not, these two dogs are of the same breed. The little scrappy pup grew up to look just like his goliath dad, a full-grown Tibetan Mastiff. It may resemble a lion, but these cuddly giants are patient and good-tempered.
Instagram / Venicetibetanmastiff
30. Even the most mammoth human hearts pale in comparison to the ticker of the great blue whale. This to-scale diagram shows how several people could comfortably fit in there and still have room to spare.
Reddit / Woahdude
31. Innards: CT scan machines look smooth and streamlined on the outside, but don’t be fooled. When repairs are needed, the outer shell comes off to reveal a mind-boggling matrix of wires, fans, and other circuitry.
Adderall / Reddit
32. Australia is home to several animals that exist primarily in theory to people who’ll never visit. Wombats are imagined as tiny cute critters, but the truth is, while very cuddly, they grow big, heavy and larger than some dogs.
Facebook / Patrick the Wombat
33. “Crikey!” is an understatement. It’s a colossus of a saltwater crocodile, make no mistake about it. However, this photo does mess with perspective, since the croc is closer to the lens.
Reddit / _Waffleiron
34. Trigger warning for the people who like to condense their small bills. This is the crazy reality of what ten thousand dollars in $1 bills contrasted against the same amount in $100 dollar bills.
Reddit / Zombienm
35. The Easter Bunny doesn’t seem that farfetched in comparison to this Flemish Giant Rabbit. If you can handle an arm’s full, these fluffy angels make wonderful patient pets. Plus, they’re lighter than they look, at the most about 22 lbs.
Twitter / Natureslover_s
36. A washed-up tree in Washington state might be the largest piece of driftwood ever. The sight of it tells a tale of extreme age, where it grew from a seedling, fell into the ocean, and was pushed by waves to shore.
Earth Science Picture of the Day / Phillip Lachman
37. Pumba is much more intimidating in real life. Yep, this is a wild boar looking for snacks in a Chinese trash can. Grubs can only satiate hunger for so long, and this big mama has two baby piggies to feed.
38. Check out this amazing photograph of a church by a riverside shrouded in mist. While this is just an ordinary church, something about the way it looks against the setting sun transforms the entire scene into a moment straight out of the King Arthur legends.
39. This photograph goes to show you that the only thing cuter than a sleepy bunny might be a sleepy bunny on a bunny-shaped cushion. Look at the way this little cutie is snuggling and try to imagine anything cuter!
40. The Greek island of Zakynthos is a secluded destination best known by locals. Its mammoth cliffs and crystal blue waters make it feel like the ultimate escape from the outside world. It’s such a flawless oasis from the rigors of daily life!
41. Even people who hate bugs would probably feel comfortable around caterpillars. However, this gigantic green creepy crawly would make the bravest soul scream if it crawled across their shoulder. This 5-inch creature is aptly called a hickory horned devil.
Reddit / Sh3dinja
42. At first glance, the old woman in this photograph might seem unremarkable. But do you notice the one thing that she’s doing that the others aren’t? Among this throng of people gathered to see Johnny Depp at a movie premiere, she was the only one who didn’t take out her smartphone. She was content enough to savor the moment like a true fan!
43. While this might look like something scientists would unearth on an alien planet, it’s actually an aloe vera leaf! The broken leaf reveals all of the rich goodness inside the plant that people use to treat burns and moisturize their skin.
44. These seagulls all lined up in a row are probably just resting and socializing with each other during the early hours of the morning. Still, it’s fun to pretend that they are lined up for inspection by their two feathered commanders.
45. When you think of an Arctic fox, you probably conjure images of fleet-footed, nimble creatures hunting their prey or frolicking in the snow. This particular fox looks a whole lot more like an overfed pet dog than he does a wild animal, which only makes him all the more lovable for it!
46. These sweet-faced puppies are a study in contrasts. The first is curious, but too nervous to get very close; the second, with his head popping through the fence, is eager; while the third has seen what there is to see and is in the middle of trying to free himself from the clutches of the fence. Three different takes, but all adorable.
47. There’s no need for this father to run a DNA test to find out whether or not this newborn is his. The proof is in the pudding—and plain for all to see! This father-and-son duo shares more than a faint resemblance; they share a unique and unmistakable birthmark.
48. If you thought this was a painting when you first looked at it, you aren’t alone. The picturesque beauty of the Heavenly Mountains in China have inspired artists for thousands of years. Looking at the varied textures and surreal colors, it is easy to see why.
49. Usually you aren’t supposed to mix your darks with your lights when it comes to doing a load of washing. However, if you’re talking cats (and not T-shirts), then an exception can definitely be made. Look at these cute bath-time companions!
50. The bond between dogs and their owners is special and unique. Some dogs love to wake up their owners first thing in the morning, while others—like these two sweethearts—relish any chance they get to stay cozy with their person.
51. They say that many hands make light work, and this photograph is a perfect example of just that! These local women enjoy the time they spend preparing meals together, catching up about the news of the day, and sharing a laugh.
52. Sometimes you can find all the peace of mind you need in contemplating the setting sun. This photograph of an empty boat moored in shallow waters gives the optical illusion of the vessel floating in the sunset itself. It’s all at once peaceful and inspiring.
53. In this day and age, it’s all too common to focus on the things that make humans different from one another. Photographs like this one remind the world that, while differences exist, things like love, friendship, and respect transcend nation, color, and creed.
54. These two bullets actually collided at the battle of Gallipoli during World War I! It is all at once a painful reminder of a bleak and violent time and an awe-inspiring artifact that totally defies the odds. There’s nothing quite like it.
55. Courtyards like the one where this was taken can feel oppressive if you forget to turn your eyes upward and look to the sky. This photographer managed to capture the feeling of freedom that the sky provides while never letting the viewer forget just how small they are.
56. Normally you don’t get a chance to see such sharp, detailed photos of baby kangaroos like this long-lashed fellow. They spend so much time gestating inside their mothers’ pouches! This rare opportunity to contemplate a baby ‘roo in all his cuteness is one that should be cherished.
57. Mount Assininiboine in Canada might have a confusing name, but what it lacks in a lovely moniker it more than makes up for with nearly fantastical beauty. From the glacial lakes to the craggy outcroppings of stone, it’s a location like no other on Earth.
58. The Papua province of Indonesia is known for its verdant landscapes and amazing conflagration of wildlife. The stunningly clear waters of the region make it one of the best places in the world to explore marine biology without ever leaving your boat.
59. When autumn finally arrives each year, it comes and goes so quickly that it can be easy to miss things like the changing colors of the leaves. This amazing photograph of the fiery shades of fall in a forest make the season impossible to miss.
60. The ginger tomcat might still be a kitten, but he’s already all personality! Look at him standing back on two legs just to wave hello. This little guy is further proof that tiny, fluffy animals are almost always the cutest, even when they’re doing nothing at all!