Ever since the camera was first invented, there have been plenty of incredible images snapped. Many years later, photography technology has progressed in leaps and bounds.
We’re travelling into the depths of space with amazing lenses and almost everyone has a camera phone in their pocket.
As a result, there are plenty of incredible photos to see if you have the time to look. We’ve collected a gallery of what we think are some of the most interesting that you might not have seen.
Jupiter viewed from its south pole
Here’s a view of Jupiter you’ve probably never seen before. It’s a map of the south pole constructed from 36 images captured by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft as it flew by Jupiter on the way to Saturn. Fascinating.
An award-winning atom
At the very centre of this image is a single atom caught in an Ion trap. It was photographed by David Nadlinger from the University of Oxford.
Both the image and the feat behind it are fairly awesome. As such it won the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s national science photography competition in 2018.
David Nadlinger, explained the wonder of this image in a bit more depth: “The idea of being able to see a single atom with the naked eye had struck me as a wonderfully direct and visceral bridge between the minuscule quantum world and our macroscopic reality. A back-of-the-envelope calculation showed the numbers to be on my side, and when I set off to the lab with camera and tripods one quiet Sunday afternoon, I was rewarded with this particular picture of a small, pale blue dot.”
A successful surgery
This interesting image from 1987 shows a heart surgeon sitting with his patient after a 23-hour-long heart transplant.
It’s a fascinating image for several reasons, one of which is the surgeon’s assistant slumped sleeping in the corner of the room.
The patient was Tadeusz Żytkiewicz, the former Minister of Health of Poland. He went on to be the longest-living person to have had a heart transplant in the country until he sadly passed away in 2009 from lung cancer.
The image is a testament to the incredible medical feats surgeons like this carry out every day across the world.
Sunset on Mars
There are plenty of brilliant images of sunsets taken across our home planet, but how often do you get to see a sunset from another world? This image was captured by NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Spirit in 2005 and shows a view of the Sun sinking below the Gusev crater at around 6 pm.
The gas mask wearers
This image is the subject of some debate. It has been suggested that it shows Viktor Bulla’s Pioneers in Defense Drill from Leningrad in 1937. A group of well-trained and well-equipped young fighters ready for anything.
An opposing view is that it shows inhabitants of the island of Miyakejima, Japan where an active volcano regularly spews toxic gas into the atmosphere and the residents are therefore required to carry gas masks. Whatever the truth behind the image, there’s no denying it’s awesomely interesting.
Underwater hotel rooms
At the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island owned by Hilton Hotels, there’s not only an underwater restaurant but also rooms you can stay in that give you a fairly epic view of the local aquatic wildlife.
These bedrooms are located 5 metres under the Indian Ocean and the view is something pretty special.
Queen Elizabeth was once a mechanic
Queen Elizabeth was once a truck mechanic. This photo shows her changing a wheel back in 1945. During wartime, the then Princess joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service where she helped with the war effort after learning how to change wheels, rebuild and repair engines and much more besides.
This fact makes her the only living head of state to have served in World War II.
The MGM screen credits
This image from 1928 shows the filming of the screen credits for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.
A terrifying health and safety nightmare that would probably never happen today, but a brilliant view of the history behind the imagery.
An upside down truck?
This truck looks like it has flipped and landed on its roof while pulling in for some petrol. It is, however, designed to look that way.
Take a closer look and you’ll see a windscreen on what should be the underside you probably didn’t notice before.
The human frame
This is a mock-up image to show the skeletal frame of Keith Martin. The man who claimed the title of “the fattest man in the world” before sadly passing away at the age of 44.
Keith Martin weighed 70 stone (980lbs) at his peak yet this image shows what his skeletal structure might have looked like. It also demonstrates how the human body is not really designed to take all that extra weight.
X-ray of a pregnant dog
This weirdly creepy but also beautiful x-ray image shows all the skeletal bones of the numerous puppies inside this pregnant dog. It barely looks like there’s enough room for her organs with all the room they’re taking up.
Missing child mock-ups
Sadly far too many children go missing each year. Computer tech is often used to make mock-ups of what those children might look like after months or years have passed. This image gives a surprising insight into how accurate these systems are.
The first image shows a photo from when the child went missing, then a “progression” mock-up of what they might look like after all the time they were missing for alongside the found image when they were finally rescued or found.
This image shows astronaut Bruce McCandless II, who in 1984 made the first ever untethered spacewalk using just his Manned Maneuvering Unit.
He gave his thoughts on the event:
“I was grossly over-trained. I was just anxious to get out there and fly. I felt very comfortable … It got so cold my teeth were chattering and I was shivering, but that was a very minor thing. … I’d been told of the quiet vacuum you experience in space, but with three radio links saying, ‘How’s your oxygen holding out?’, ‘Stay away from the engines!’ and ‘When’s my turn?’, it wasn’t that peaceful … It was a wonderful feeling, a mix of personal elation and professional pride: it had taken many years to get to that point.”
Ghost apples are made from a pretty interesting phenomenon whereby frozen weather coats an apple in ice. When the apple inside rots and falls out, the icy shell is left behind and you get an ice apple.
The world’s tallest statue
This image shows the Statue of Unity. It is the world’s tallest statue – said to be almost twice the size of the Statue of Liberty. It depicts Indian statesman and independence activist Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel a highly respected leader of India.
It is said to have cost $360 million to build and took five years to complete. Certainly a marvel of the modern world and a fitting tribute to a great man.
How babies get x-rays
This weird and slightly terrifying-looking device is known as the pigg-o-stat, an immobiliser designed to stop an infant from squirming while they’re being scanned. We’re honestly not sure how well this would go down with most children, but it’s certainly something to look at.
This photo from 1968 shows the view from Apollo 8 – the first manned mission to the moon. NASA astronauts aboard the Lunar Module managed to capture this view of our home planet as they emerged from the far side of the moon. The first incredible view of our planet from afar, as viewed by human eyes.
Thigh bone on Mars
In 2014, NASA’s Curiosity rover picked up some fairly interesting images from Mars, including this one which appeared to show a very oddly shaped rock that looked like a human thigh bone. Obviously, bones discovered on the red planet would be quite a big deal, but it was decided that it was much more likely to be a rock that had been eroded by the weather.
A fetus at 18 weeks
This image comes from Lennart Nilsson’s photo essay published by Life Magazine in 1965 known as the “Drama of Life Before Birth”.
These photos revealed to the world what a developing fetus looks like. A story of tragedy as most of the fetuses photographed were taken outside the womb having been aborted for a number of different reasons.
Years later, Nilsson’s photographs still give the clearest and most striking view of human life at its earliest stages.
A lighthouse before and after
This amazing shot shows a lighthouse in Michigan before and after a major ice storm. The aftermath is certainly incredible but probably not ideal for the poor person that has the man the lighthouse.
Lightning colliding with volcanic eruption
An incredible view of the power of mother nature, both on land and in the sky as an amazing lightning storm collides with the astounding power of a volcano erupting.
Some creative soul took the time to paint this large pointy rock and make it look like an angry shark. Jaws has essentially visited the seaside.
The world’s smallest computer and a grain of rice
This is the Michigan Micro Mote, the world’s smallest functioning computer, which, for the sake of size comparison, has been photographed alongside a grain of rice. Later in 2018, IBM went one better by making a device no bigger than a grain of salt.
Your face is full of nerves
There are many nerves in the human body and a surprising number of them lead into your face and mouth.
This is why headaches and toothaches often go hand in hand. There are many nerves in the human body and a surprising number of them lead into your face and mouth.
A hallway designed to stop people running
This hallway has been designed with a purposeful optical illusion.
It’s meant to stop people running in the hallway as they’ll be too worried about falling down the hole. Certainly bound to make you think twice about dashing between doorways.
Large and incredible ice crystals
We know how incredible snowflakes and ice crystals can be. All you have to do is see some of the awesome macro photos of these natural formations to appreciate them. But this one is something special. A massive ice crystal caught in the hand from the icy depths of Switzerland, complete with amazing patterns and shapes.
A re-purposed piano
When one Redditor happened across a piano that was broken and beyond repair, they decided to give it a new lease of life by converting it into this snazzy shelving unit.
A dash of LED backlighting and some careful plant/belongings placement and they’ve created a practical work of art for their home.
Read more about how it came together here.
A ceiling full of ducks
The Voyage of Buck is a pub located in Edinburgh, Scotland. That pub has an interesting talking point built into its ceiling – a glass box containing 750 rubber ducks.
This fascinating and quirky lighting installation was designed and built by Splintr and makes for a brilliant view for local drinkers and visitors too.
3D printed brains
What you’re seeing here is essentially his and hers brains.
These wonderfully detailed 3D-printed brains are based on MRI scans of a husband and wife that were then turned into physical printings that can be held. Fairly cool when you think about it, how often would you get to hold your own brain in your hands? We’re not sure why they’re blue, but aren’t knocking how interesting they are.
Sunset on Earth seen from above
This photo from European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst shows just how impressive a sunset is when viewed from above.
You thought they looked amazing from our height, they’re even more impressive from this angle.
An interesting shockwave
This awesome, perfectly timed photograph gives an unusually impressive view of an explosion. But it’s not the explosion that’s interesting, rather the shockwave that’s clearly emanating from it. The clear shockwave seems to look like an invisible shield protecting the surroundings from the blast.
Eerie Halloween costumes from the 1930s
We see your Halloween efforts and raise you this remarkably creepy photo from the 1930s with children wearing all manner of oversized masks and adornments. Oddly the stuff of nightmares.
Politicians discussing global warming
Perhaps one of the most fitting images of the last few years, this sculpture by Issac Cordal is located in Berlin and depicts a group of politicians chatting about global warming.
They’re no doubt denying it’s a problem. Despite the waters rising up around them.
Sentinels of the Arctic
This photograph looks like something from another world but is actually taken in Lapland. In winter, the temperatures there sink as low as minus 40 degrees centigrade and the now that engulfs the local trees often freezes into weird and wonderful shapes.
The result of this winter chill is certainly something to admire.
The longest exposure photograph ever taken
This image was created using a pinhole camera made from a beer can lined with photographic paper.
That isn’t what makes it interesting though. It’s interesting because it’s a record-breaker – the longest exposure photo ever taken. Eight years in the making, it’s an impressive work of art showing the rise and fall of the sun over those years.
Near the end of 2020, a number of weird monoliths appeared around the world which had people questioning their purpose and origin.
The original monolith had been discovered in Utah in November, but was actually thought to have been placed in 2016. The monoliths that mimicked it and that appeared around the world were either hoaxes or adverts. They certainly resulted in interesting photos though.
This image is a colourised electron micrograph of the Ebola virus. Magnified 20,000 times the particles of the virus are oddly beautiful.
This image is of one of many beautiful but deadly things on our planet.
The Aurora Australis
Taken at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, during a full moon on a long Antarctic night, this photo shows an awesome view of the local power plant backdropped by the green hue of the Aurora Australis.
Interestingly, the red light seen nearby is purposely present to allow people to see, but also not to ruin the night’s sky with light pollution. This means that scientists can carry on astrophysical studies without hindrance.
This is a satellite image of Great Britain captured in 2010 during the winter storms of that period. It shows almost the entirety of the country covered in snow. Quite a view.
Snowflake under a microscope
Under the gaze of a low-temperature scanning electron microscope, snowflake crystals are even more impressive. This image is what happened to a snow crystal as it passes through supercooled clouds and ultra-low temperatures and rime ice is formed. At a glance, it almost looks manmade.
The Sun in ultraviolet
This is an image of our Sun shown in ultraviolet light where energetic jets and flares can be seen bursting from its surface. Beautiful and incredibly deadly.