These Incredible Pictures Look Like They’re Not Of This Earth

By: Lilli Keeve | Last updated: Oct 10, 2023

We live in an increasingly fast-paced and technology-driven world. It’s often that we are too busy doom-scrolling on our phones or binging the latest Netflix series to take a few moments and appreciate the wonders of our planet. 

These incredible images are unedited and represent a beautiful snapshot in time of events that don’t seem to be of this world, but somewhere else not in this dimension!   

Electric Volcano

This jaw-dropping image of an erupting volcano in Chile was showered in what looks like bolts of brilliant lightning. If you thought this was photoshopped, then you are wrong! It’s an actual photo of a volcano taken by an actual person who was lucky enough to catch it. 


Source: Imgur

Mother Nature is doing her magic yet again. 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.”

A Floating Mountain

Have you ever seen a mountain floating on a cloud? We sure haven’t! Upon the first glimpse of this photo, it seems that it’s an optical illusion – just a form of eye trickery! Well, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that this is a real image of Mount Rainier in Washington State floating above some cloud cover. 


Source: Kyle English | San Tan Hills Photography

It’s easy to be in awe of this mystical mountain, but be careful. Mount Rainier is known as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. This photo is a testament that we are at the mercy of Mother Nature at any given moment of any day.

Phoenix Of Light

The person who captured this wondrous image sure is lucky – the bird resembles something straight out of a fantasy movie. A flying phoenix made from vibrant lights seems to be imposed into the sky. 


Source: Reddit

The fantastical phoenix is the result of the Northern Lights in Iceland, which occur between September and March every year. This phenomenon is caused by disturbances in the magnetosphere that are the result of the solar wind and can be viewed in high-latitude areas. It’s safe to say that seeing the Northern Lights is definitely on our bucket list! 

A White Raven

Yes, what you’re seeing here is real. It’s a white raven – a rare phenomenon that’s caused by a condition called leucism, leading to a partial loss of pigmentation and thus leaving a pale shade of cream all over its body.   


Source: Imgur

We can’t help but think that this raven is something straight out of fantastical novel or film! That would be really cool, though. 

Underwater Lilypad Forest

This dream-like photo of tadpoles swimming in the forest of these lilypads is something to behold in all of its magical glory and beauty. It’s otherworldly and doesn’t seem like anything you would encounter on earth. 

Source: Eiko Jones Photography

Mother Nature once again astonishes us. These lilypad stems are beautifully floating in the hazy water while a large school of tadpoles glides through them seamlessly. 


Desert Magic

Oh, this isn’t from a new Star Wars movie? Could have fooled us! This magical desert backdrop could certainly be a scene out of a science fiction film, but it’s actually just the location where the world-renowned Burning Man festival takes place. 

Source: Philippe Glade

Every year in Black Rock, Nevada, the festival is home to participants who band together to build an entire “city” in the desert. There are all kinds of extraordinary and innovative structures.Unfortunately, the fun has to stop at some point. After a few weeks, everything is taken down as if nothing had taken place there. Weird!


A Blue World

When you first saw this image, you probably thought it was computer generated. While it looks that way, this stunning photo of penguins walking on a giant iceberg is real, folks! An extraordinarily blue realm like this does exist.

Source: Yo_Pierre-/Reddit

This photo isn’t retouched and is a totally organic snapshot of a rare blue iceberg, taken from a ship near Antarctica’s South Sandwich Islands. The “cathedral of ancient ice” has given this flock of penguins a pretty sweet resting spot. You can now actually see how gorgeous this part of the world truly is. 


The Frozen Lake House

Ok, though…this can’t be real! Wrong. This is actually a real house (not a yummy looking house made of icy frosting) in Lake Eerie, which was completely covered in snow, ice, and frost during a big blizzard.  

Source: u/insanezane777/Reddit

The intense winds and immense amount of frozen precipitation lended this house an effect which is very eerie and quite unbelievable. This house is a mysteriously incredible result of when the elements conspire to create real-life magic. 


Blue Lagoon

What you’re seeing here is a stunning scene that looks too flawless to be real, especially the clear-as-day blue water which adds an otherworldly effect on the image. The water actually contains high levels of copper sulphate, and is why the water is that blue. So, while you’d probably want to jump right in, it may not be the best idea! 

Source: Zzed4tw439/Imgur

This blue lagoon photo located near Ywan Ngan in Shan State, Myanmar, isn’t edited or retouched, it’s just pure beauty and serves as another reminder of how Planet Earth, once again, takes our breath away. 


A Folded World

We definitely did a double-take after viewing this image the first time. The mind-bending photo of a cloverleaf interchange in an unknown destination was taken by a drone hovering over it. The image is quite trippy because it’s hard to tell what’s really going on, and how one seemingly flat plane is intersecting at a 90-degree angle with another.

Source: eBaums World

It appears as if the drone glitched and ended up capturing something that isn’t even comprehensible. Without a doubt, this makes us feel as if we’ve entered a new dimension entirely. 


Ghost Shell

While this image is mesmerizing, it does carry an important message and severe warning about the future of our planet. This photo is of a limacina, or sea butterfly, whose shell was exposed to carbon dioxide and dissolved over 45 days of being in the water. 

Source: Victoria Fabry Lab, California State University San Marcos

A disturbing phenomenon, this image serves as a testament that we must be more cautious of how we take care of our earth. The rampant effects of climate change are proven here: when carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere increase, its concentration in water also increases, which can lead to ocean acidification. Sadly, this type of activity forces some species into extinction.


Eerie Tree Hoels

These odd rows of holes lining the bark of this tree seem like some kind of coded message of aliens from that have taken over the planet! The actual reason behind this eerie phenomenon is because of one particular creature: woodpeckers. 

Source: u/Trojan_Pinata/Reddit

These perfectly straight and symmetrical holes are the result of the woodpeckers searching for insects. It’s truly a wonder how these birds can create such a remarkable sight. Ah, nature. 


Electromagnetic Mystery

On this sandy, deserted beach, long tube-like lamps are buried into the ground and mysteriously light themselves up. You must be wondering how this is possible? Well, the secret is electromagnetic radiation that forms in areas around power lines, which also makes hair stand on end and gives the air an ozone-like scent. What a magnificent sight!

Source: Imgur

Funnily enough, these young men used this fantastical backdrop to their advantage. They sure do look like they stepped straight out of a Star Wars movie!


A Magical Palace Of Books

Ok, what’s the deal here? Was this taken right from the Harry Potter movies? It certainly looks like it! Actually, these amazing endless rows of books is located in a real place. 

Source: u/tanzaniteflame/Reddit

In fact, this is a place where no actual magic is involved, and it’s called the Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This library that was established in 1887 has amassed the largest collection of Portuguese literature outside of Portugal. Today, the library is home to nearly 400,000 volumes. 


One-Sided Skyscraper

We definitely did a double-take while looking at this one! At first, it seems like the skyscraper only has one side, but looks can be deceiving. Was the second wall edited out or something? 

Source: eBaums World

Nope! This is a real yet illusory skyscraper that’s located in Singapore, called The Gateway. It was designed by famous architect I.M. Pei, and is in a triangular shape. The wild effect of the building looking flat happens when you snap a picture from a certain angle.  


Agate Invasion

So, nature really did do that! This awe-inspiring image becomes even more incredible when you view at it while whipping out a microscope. The photo is of a snail’s shell, which has been taken over by agate, and naturally grew into the spiral shape, “evicting” the shell’s previous inhabitant.  

Source: kayteeblue/Imgur

As a result, the gorgeous formation of purple, gray, and white stone with sparkling crystalline in its core allows you to marvel at nature’s incredible beauty.


Eyes From The Deep

Alright, well this officially scared us. A pair of mysterious eyes emerged from the underneath a sheet of ice, and it looks as if its from a foreign and undiscovered dimension. This mysterious creature is actually a sea leopard, or leopard seal. It’s the the second largest species of seal in the Antarctic. 

Source: Imgur

During the day, leopard seals are much less frightening, but the truth is that they are actually pretty ferocious predators, their only challengers on the food chains are killer whales.


Salt Swirls

These abandoned psychedelic salt mines near Yekaterinburg in Russia lie 650 feet below earth. This wild landscape is the result of mineral carnallite, which can be yellow, white, red, or blue in color. 

Source: youpetthatkittyrightmeow/Imgur

The carnallite deposits from the colorful swirls across the wall’s salt mine, a phenomenon that was created millions of years ago when a salty sea dried up and left behind the mineral deposits. In fact, the cave’s air is so salty that one’s mouth will feel permanently parched while being inside.  


Foggy Blanket

This photo shows a mesmerizing milky fog blanketing the city of Sophia, Bulgaria, at night. It’s beautiful how the bright urban lights are glowing underneath the fog and creating soft ripple that float over the city.

Source: Mikepants/Imgur

This occurs as the thick rog rolling in from the surrounding mountains gets stuck in the valley. Such a phenomenon has probably led to many frustrating situations such as flight delays and general transportation hazard. Despite these issues, it’s still an incredible sight to behold. 


Surreal Waves

This woman looks as if she’s seamlessly floating through a sea of colorful waves of fabric. What is actually happening here? We’re surely perplexed!

Source: Leyla Emektar

These are greenhouses protecting strawberries in Nazilli, Turkey, and that woman is harvesting them. Clearly, everyday activities can seem a bit more joyous when there’s color added. You certainly don’t seen any greenhouses this vibrant anywhere in the United States, that’s for sure. 


The Magical Kuro-Tamago

What are these odd-looking black objects? They look like they’re from an alien planet. Well, the egg part is right, and they actually are just eggs, but have been boiled in the sulfurous hot springs of Owakudani (“The Great Boiling Valley”) in Hakone, Japan. Hakone is where a volcano erupted 3,000 years ago and left the hot spring-filled cater behind.

Source: eBaums World

According to local tradition, each black egg – or kuro-tamago – you eat, seven years are added onto your life. In that case, we want some of those eggs! 


Bubblegum Lake

Well, folks! Here’s another untouched photo that will make you again think it’s unreal. This one looks like it’s from an undiscovered planet that’s very, very pink. It’s actually an aerial view of Lake Hillier in Australia. 

Source: Luke Shadbolt

It’s not known for sure why the lake is such a bright pink shade, but most scientists agree that it probably has to do with the presence of a species of microalgae named Dunaliella Salina. These photosynthetic microorganisms produce beta-carotene (also found in carrots), which is why the lake gets such a brilliant bubblegum hue.   


Enchanted Alleyways

You may recognize this magical alleyway from Game of Thrones, but only true fans would know that. This image was taken in Dubrovnik, Croatia, which was the filming location for most of the scenes from King’s Landing. 

Source: Transliterator/Imgur

The marvelous stone streets, buildings, and alleyways, terra cotta tiled roofs, and picturesque scenes make this alleyway the perfect backdrop for the fictional ancient city of the historical fantasy series. The only difference is that you can actually visit this place! 


Rabbit Rex

Wait, these are real rabbits? Hard to believe, but yes they are. It look as if they were originally white rabbits that have been photographed and this is the negatives of the film. In fact, their unique coloring is a result of breeding which occurred in 1919 when a Catholic priest received a genetically mutated rabbit. He decided to try and create a new breed. 

Source: u/1pramos/Reddit

Called Castorrex, this breed of rabbit was named after beaver (whose scientific name is castor), and it was known as the King’s rabbit (rex being “king” in Latin), it later became known as Rex.


Another Planet, Right Here On Earth

The Danakil Depression (also known as the Afar Depression) in Ethiopia is found in the Horn of Africa sitting on the junction of three tectonic plates. These plates are known for producing a long history of volcanic activity and geological shifts. 

Source: Stephan Gladieu/Getty images

These odd geological formations in otherworldly colors make it seem as if they are on another world entirely, which is fitting considering it’s one of the hottest places in the world. Lucy, the famous humanoid fossil, was discovered in the area, causing many to call it “the cradle of humanity.”


Mind-Bending Art

At first, this image may seem like it’s Photoshopped, when, in reality it’s just a fascinating piece of art. Georges Rousse is a famous artist who creates architectural illusions such as this one inside abandoned buildings.

Source: Georges Rousse

Rousse is known for meticulously painting architectural features that deceive the eye. When he presents his work with a single photo taken from the correct angle, it allows every aspect to come together, creating this startling effect. 


Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

This image simply took our breath away, and whoever took it caught something serenly beautiful. Somebody sure made their dream a reality! Pictured is climber Remi McMurtry reached the top of the 4,744-foot high volcano Snæfellsjökull in Iceland

Source: HBH91/Imgur

Allegedly, he and a close friend decided to embark on this adventure after picking out this location from a hat full of destinations. They reached the summit as part of a 27-day hike. Wow, talk about extreme dedication! It was sure worth it in the end.


The Magic In A Millisecond

This photo is nearly too flawless and perfect to be real, but there are photographers out there who have perfected their craft without the use of Photoshop. One such person is a German macro photographer named Markus Reugels.

Source: Markus Reugels

Reugels’ speciality is droplet photography. He used colored water to create different shapes and forms, such as the bubbles pictured, which he photographed using a high-speed camera to capture the millisecond in which a splash occurred inside. The final product is beyond magical and presents itself as if it’s a magnificent piece of glass art. 


The Beauty Of Smog

Smog usually gets a bad rap because of the horrendous effects it has on the environment, not to mention the fact that it’s a harmful pollutant. Here, photographer Terence Chang managed to capture its beauty. Truly, the scene is something out of the ordinary, and looks like an image from a distant world. 

Source: Terence Chang

Actually, it’s in Sausalito, California, where the effect of the nighttime haze and rolling mists over the hills produce an eerie presence across the landscape. It’s unfortunate that something so mesmerizing is caused by pollution.