40+ Weirdly, Wacky, And Glorious Pictures Of What Lies Just Outside Our Backyard
Nature. It’s home to a diverse range of species of plants and animal life beyond number. It is both the great creator and the great ender, a paradoxical characteristic of nature that is not really that jarring. This trait is also reflected in much of nature’s denizens. Some tend to lean more towards one spectrum than the other, exhibiting a form of beauty devoid of danger or malice. Others embody forces of pure devastation without serenity. And yet, the majority of inhabitants, forces, or creations do not lean on the very extremes. But instead along the spectrum, and more often in the middle. Join us as we explore and gaze upon over 40 pictures that capture the pure beauty and terrifying potential of Mother Nature.
A Baby Chimp and Gorilla
Starting things off, we have an adorable, if surprising, little duo to show you. Here we see a baby chimpanzee and a baby gorilla interacting with each other while they inspect some plants. Plants they no doubt find quite tasty.
This picture is beyond adorable and makes you wonder what led to this remarkable playdate. What makes this scene so surprising is how rare it would be to see something like this due to adult gorillas’ aggressive and territorial nature.
A Muscled Hairless Chimp
We have more monkey business for you to see. Most of us know, or at least have some idea, how strong a full-grown gorilla can be. But just before you think you can take on a grow chimp, look at this first.
This image is of a hairless chimpanzee, but what you should really be looking at are its muscles. The sheer size and definition of those upper arms to forearm muscles are nothing to scoff at. Pure natural strength, no gym required.
Seals with Icy Whiskers
Seals, sometimes affectionately called sea pups, are quite remarkable creatures. Not only are they expert swimmers and efficient hunters, but they are also capable of swimming in frigid water. They can do this thanks to their thick layers of blubber.
How cold, you ask? Well, chilly enough to form solid icicles around the whiskers of these adorable little fish hunters. Whiskers are incredibly important sensory mechanisms for lots of animals, allowing them to sense movements, measure distances and determine dimensions.
A Flying Fox Mother and Baby
Flying foxes are part of the fruit bat family and can be found in Southern Asia, Australia, and East Africa. The flying fox feeds exclusively on various fruits, flowers, and plants. And, occasionally, they eat insects, like cicadas, if the need arises.
Here we see an adult Indian flying fox gliding in the air with her young pup tightly wrapped around her stomach. Their infants cannot fly on their own for the first few months, meaning they need their mom to get around.
A Dino-looking Baby Snapping Turtle
This scaly fellow is a baby Alligator Snapping Turtle, a fearsome name attributed to its impressive jaw strength and ridges. So no, it is not some kind of baby dragon or dinosaur. Well, technically, they could be classified as one.
It is believed that Chelydridae (the family that snapping turtles belong to) has been around for close to 90 million years. This makes them one of the few species that survived the mass extinction that wiped out all the dinosaurs.
This impressive beast is a harpy eagle, the largest and arguably strongest raptor species in the world. That said, it’s not as big as the image makes it seem. It’s just a bit of clever camera work and forced perspective.
The harpy eagle is native to South America (mainly large parts of Brazil) and has been known to target anything from snakes to monkeys and even deer! Its sheer size and power made it a clear choice as Panama’s national bird.
A Whale Photographed Between 35 Years.
Nature conservationists often work tirelessly to record and track the movements and lives of endangered animals. A tough job, but no doubt a rewarding one. One such example of a sense of accomplishment is pictures like these, documenting years of hard work.
What we are looking at are two photos of the same whale’s tail between a gap of 35 years. Minus the missing piece on the left side, the tail’s patterning looks almost identical. Did you know that humpback whales can live for over 90 years.
Just Two Goats Climbing a Wall
Yep, nothing to see here. Just a pair of goats climbing up a vertically straight wall with footholds no wider than a hair in size. Goats sure are weird creatures. While you might think this is photoshopped, it is, in fact, real.
This amazing spectacle is actually a very common sight for anyone who knows about mountain goats. The two Alpine ibexes were able to climb this wall in Piedmont, Italy, thanks to the unique design of their split hooves and rubbery padded feet.
Don’t Mess with Kangaroos
Kangaroos are one of Australia’s most iconic animals, along with koalas, platypuses, and a plethora of poisonous insects. It is also well-established that you really shouldn’t mess with them. That is, unless you don’t mind having a broken bone or two.
This photo is of an adult kangaroos hindfoot. The odd-looking giant middle toe gives the kangaroo traction as it jumps about on powerful legs. A kick from a kangaroo can deliver 800 pounds of force, enough to easily shatter bones.
The Jaw of a Prehistoric Shark
The great white shark might not be the largest fish in the sea, but it is one of the most feared apex predators of the deep. However, the great white is no shrimp either, measuring close to 5m in length and weighing 520-1000 kg!
All in all, that is a serious beast you do not want to swim into unprepared. That said, they come nowhere close to the size of the ancient megalodon. A prehistoric shark that reached 18 meters in length and weighed 18,143 kg!
A Washed-up Horror of the Deep
This frightening monstrosity is the body of an anglerfish that washed ashore. This photo alone is odd, considering that angler fish can only be found in ocean depths below 900 meters. This one was found along a shore in California.
The bizarre handlike appendage that juts from the angler’s head is a type of fin ray called an esca. The esca is luminescent and acts as a lure to attract nearby fish into the waiting fang-filled mouth of the angler.
The King of Big Cats
The lion might be known as the “king of the jungle,” but they certainly are not the biggest wild cat. No, that honor goes to the Siberian tiger, a powerful hunter that reaches lengths of 1.6-2 meters long and weights of 100-300 kg.
However, even they are small when compared to Jaipur, the largest living Siberian tiger according to the Guinness World Records. Jaipur had a length of 3.3 meters and weighed over 420 kg. If his picture isn’t enough to scare you, his size definitely should!
The Battle of Wild Dogs
This next image might be a bit unsettling or frightening for some. It seems that a pack of African wild dogs spotted and pounced upon an isolated and ill-looking hyena. What is odd about this picture is the lack of other hyenas.
Hyenas, like wild dogs and other canines, normally move, live and attack together in packs. But this one is all alone. If it was just a one-on-one fight, then any hyena would make short work of an attacking wild dog.
Nature Vs. Man
Most people probably know just how powerful a raging flood can be. Floods often have so much power and speed behind them that they can easily overturn cars or smash down walls. Only it seems some trees have them beat.
Apparently, a small New Zealand town suffered a reasonably strong flood that managed to drag this 12-meter-long container with it. The container was washed against and smashed into this giant three that just refused to budge. This picture shows the result of the collision.
The Skeleton of a Pufferfish
Tetraodontidae is a family of coastal fish; some of its species include the well-known pufferfish. Like most of their relatives, pufferfish are some of the most poisonous animals in the world. However, they are considered a luxury delicacy in places like Japan.
Most pufferfish get their name from their ability to puff up and turn their bodies into round spiky balls. They do this to shoot up their spikes and intimidate would-be predators. This pufferfish skeleton shows you how spikey they can be.
That is One Muscled Roo
We have already seen the size of an average kangaroo’s big toe, but we haven’t really seen much else. Well, surprisingly, kangaroos are quite muscled, too. They kind of have to be with all that jumping about. However, none of them come close to Roger.
Roger is a particularly jacked red kangaroo (the largest kangaroos species) who stood over 2 meters tall and weighed 90 kg. Roger was actually quite sickly and small when first brought to the Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs. That’s quite the glow-up!
Hawaiian Jungle and Lava
Hawaii is often thought of as an enchanting destination; an idyllic location surrounded by clear sandy beaches and pristine waters. What is often forgotten is the fact that Hawaii is still home to six active volcanoes, with Kīlauea being the most active.
Much of Kīlauea’s lava flows were often contained in the Halemaʻumaʻu pit crater, situated at the summit of Kīlauea. Kīlauea has erupted no less than 50 times over the past century. The most recent eruption began in September of 2021 and is still ongoing.
The Mouth of the Deep
While the humpback whale might be considerably smaller than the massive blue whale, they are still a very impressive animal. The average humpback reaches lengths of 14-17 meters and a weight of 40 metric tonnes. Its diet is also quite surprising.
The humpback whale needs to consume an estimated 1360 kg of krill and fish per day to sustain itself. To catch this many fish, a group of humpbacks force the fish to the surface, using their open jaws to scoop them in.
Belugas still have legs?
We’ve seen one of the biggest whales, and now we’re going to take a look at one of the smallest species. Yep, we are talking about the iconic and all-white beluga whales who only reach between 3-5.5 meters in length.
This next picture of a beluga with something looking like legs made the scientific community briefly lose their minds. While these were not legs, they were instead rows of fat called blubbers. These blubbers act as a kind of insulation.
The Irrawaddy Dolphin
Speaking of small water mammals, this is the extremely rare and endangered Irrawaddy dolphin. It is a species of ocean dolphin native to Southeast Asia, specifically India’s Chilika Lake and Songkhla Lake in Thailand. Their closest relative is actually the orca.
The Irrawaddy is quite a bit smaller than the beluga, only reaching lengths of 2-2.75 meters. The most distinctive feature of the Irrawaddy is its large forehead and rounded head. There are believed to be less than 4000 of them still alive.
Quite the Striking Duo
Nature can not only be weird, but it can also be very unpredictable. What we have here are two baby crocs (called hatchlings), each with a pigment coloration of their own. The black one has melanism, and the pink one has albinism.
Albinism is an absence of melanin within the body’s skin cells, while melanism is an overabundance of melanin. Both conditions are extremely rare when seen in crocs, with the consensus being that there must be fewer than 300 in the whole world.
Mother Wolf and Her Cubs
The wolf. The ancestor from which all of our domestic dogs descend — which, in itself, is incredible. Imagine taking a vicious apex predator and turning it into a goofy 30 cm tall Jack Russel. Just remember to never confuse the two!
Wolves, regardless of location or breed, are all known for their iconic howling. Wolves howl as a form of communication with other packmates or as warnings to possible intruders. Here we see a mother wolf teaching her cubs the family tradition.
A Mola Mola
The ocean sunfish, also known by its equally popular name, mola mola, is one bizarre and oddly flat fish. Besides their peculiar shape, they are also one of the heaviest bony fish in the world, weighing anywhere between 250-2000 kg!
The mola is normally found in tropical waters, specifically around the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. They are considered a delicacy across the world and mainly in Asia; however, this has made them increasingly endangered. Don’t let their size worry you; they feed on small fish and various crustaceans.
Giraffe vs. Lion
When it comes to wild animals, most people only think they have to be careful around predators, not herbivores. But we’re here to set the record straight; you shouldn’t mess with any animal, especially a griaffe. Something this lion learned the hard way.
This lion decided to try his luck by taking down a giraffe, only to have the 5-meter giant fight back. The giraffe managed to land a kick right in the lion’s face — a kick with a force of 2000 psi.
That’s One Tough Impala
The impala is a species of antelope that is native to southern and eastern Africa and is another iconic representative of African wildlife. The impala doesn’t have the easiest life, often being the prey of choice for Africa’s big cats.
This poor impala is living proof of the dangers of living in the African savannah. Those ghastly cuts were made by a lion who tried to make a meal out of the impala. Fortunately for the impala, she lived to tell the tale.
Careful That Thing Bites!
This terrifying creature is not a giant mutant snake, no. What it is, is a wolf eel, a member of the wolfish species. The species gets its name thanks to the strength of their canine and teeth that can crush crustaceans.
Funnily enough, the wolf eel, which can grow to 2.5 meters long, is more of a fish than an eel. And while they might look dangerous, they are actually not that aggressive. That is unless you were the one to provoke it.
That is Just Disturbing
What you are looking at is a disturbing image of the rotting skull of a pike fish. Not only is it bizarrely stuck in a tree, but it is also being used as a nest for a family of birds.
We have no idea how the remains of this dangerous carnivorous fish ended up in a tree. We can only assume that some predator or scavenger dragged it from a lake and left it there. Creepy, yes, but the birds seem to like it.
A Four-Limbed Chicken
This little fellow is a baby chicken that suffered from a rare disorder known as Polymelia. Polymelia, from the Greek words for ‘many’ and ‘limbs,’ results in one being born with more than the correct number of limbs or appendages.
This chick grew two extra legs, both of which remained non-functional throughout its life. There is no one definitive cause of Polymelia. Sometimes it is caused by a genetic mutation, and other times due to exposure to harmful environmental toxins during pregnancy/development.
Beware the Deep
For those of you who couldn’t sit through the movie Jaws, perhaps it’s best if you skip this one. Why do you ask? Because this terrifying picture perfectly captures the haunting poster of the film, only now making it more lifelike.
This picture was apparently taken by a daring British cage diver who was far bolder than we could ever be. While we don’t know exactly how this guy was so calm, that shot of its open jaws already sets us on edge.
That Coyote Has One Big Furball
The coyote might be much smaller than its relative, the wolf, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t skilled hunters — a fact that this unfortunate squirrel learned a little too late. The coyote certainly looks pleased with itself, even with that tail hanging out.
The coyote is native to much of North America, roaming the area in large numbers. So much so that they are classified as of “least concern” by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). They generally weigh between 7-20 kg.
What happens When Lightning Strikes a Tree
Lightning is a pretty destructive force; it is a concentrated discharge of built of electricity, after all. If you have seen Sith Lightning from the Star Wars films or real-life lightning strikes, then you know the damage it can leave behind.
If you haven’t seen either, well, we have just the perfect picture for you. No, this isn’t some movie set. A bolt of lightning struck this tree right down the center, even making it catch aflame. This phenomenon can commonly be seen with hollow trees.
That’s One Strong Bison!
While that tree was not so lucky, this poor old bison fared far better. Back in 2013, a lightning bolt struck this American bull bison right on the back and above the shoulder. The wound might look bad, but he survived.
The bison was named Sparky afterward in recognition of surviving the ordeal, becoming a symbol of vigor and strength for the area. Sparky lived a long and happy life in the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Jasper County, Iowa, USA.
Mistakes Were Made
The name moray eel does not refer to one specific species. Instead, it refers to a family of eels that number over 200 species that are found all over the world. That said, they all share something in common. Pharyngeal jaws!
A pharyngeal jaw is a second jaw-like structure located further in the moray’s throat. This, plus their first jaw, already makes them dangerous enough. However, even with two jaws, it couldn’t clamp down on that pufferfish that proceeded to choke the eel to death.
Snakes on a Roof
While the moray eel might not have been very lucky, this snake was. The bird, not so much. After hearing a lot of frantic racket on their roof, this Australian homeowner soon saw that a carpet python was behind it.
The carpet python was not only hanging off of the roof but was tightly wrapped around and holding its prey. The bird that the 4-meter-long python was constricting was actually a rare species of Australian bird called a currawong. Apparently pythons don’t have access to IUCN lists.
Birds of a Feather, Fight Together
The American bald eagle is a fearsome predator who often feeds on small animals, fish, and even other birds. This fact is no better illustrated than in this picture where the eagle has its talons embedded in a helpless seagull.
What makes this picture really amazing is that another seagull was frantically trying to rescue its captured relative. A counterattack that did not seem to bother the eagle at all, mind you. We, unfortunately, do not know how this story ended.
This Elephant Just Wants to Play
We cannot imagine that this driver expected to have their car become a bed on that day. Especially not for an elephant! It is hard to say where this happened or why it did, but we do know that it was, at least, in Asia.
How do we know that? Well, the elephant in the picture is an Asian elephant, a subspecies that is physically different from the African elephant. The main identifiers are that Asian elephants have much smaller ears, double-shaped head domes, and are generally smaller.
A Star-nosed Mole
Moles really are some funny-looking and interesting creatures, especially the star-nosed mole. The star-nosed mole gets its name from the bizarrely shaped nose that looks like a star. If you ask us, it looks more like a group of worms.
Their noses are extremely sensitive thanks to the 100000 nerve fibers contained within them, allowing the moles to sniff out anything! They are also skilled swimmers and are even capable of smelling underwater. They do this by blowing out bubbles before breathing them back in.
The Marmot and the Fox
This next picture was almost too bizarre and absurd-looking to seem real, but it was! The respected Chinese nature photographer, Yongqing Bao, captured this incredible moment when a very startled marmot realized it was being hunted. Its face says it all.
The unlucky marmot was being targeted by a Tibetan fox, commonly found across much of the Tibetan Plateau. The Tibetan fox has a jaw and set of fangs that are the most dangerous out of all foxes. The marmot, unfortunately, did not make it.
A Lighthouse Withstanding Giant Waves
This astonishing picture was taken in 1989 by the famous French photographer Jean Guichard. Guichard is most known for his photos of lighthouses surrounded by strong waves. His most famous work is a series of photos of the lighthouse, La Jument.
La Jument, the lighthouse we see in the photo, is a French lighthouse found west of the region of Brittany. The man you see standing in the doorway was the lighthouse keeper, Théodore Malgorn. Guichard took the photo by helicopter.
A Whale Between Pregnancies
Orcas, at times, don’t get the best reception, as seen when people prefer to call them by their other name — the Killer whale. That said, the tale behind this particular orca is one of sadness, pain, hope, and in the end, happiness.
On the left, you’ll see the orca swimming across the ocean with its calf behind her. Sadly, that calf did not live for long, leaving the mother alone. But not for long, as seen on the righthand photo, showing her to be pregnant.
Birds, the Descendants of Dinosaurs
When people are talking about dinosaurs, we often first think of crocodiles or lizards because they look similar. This isn’t accurate, seeing as how many dinosaurs actually had plumage. Related to that, we often forget that most birds descend from dinosaurs.
Biologists often jokingly but factually state that the chicken is the closest relative of the great Tyrannosaurus Rex. Taking a look at this waterfowl, you can see a bit of that resemblance that evokes memories of long-dead pterodactyls and pterosaurs.
A Tiny Baby Swordfish
The swordfish is an odd oceanic creature for two very different reasons. The first is, of course, because of their long sword-like bill that juts from their faces. The second is because of how much they grow as they mature.
What do we mean? Well, in the picture, you can see someone holding a baby swordfish the size of a grain of rice — a grain of rice that can grow to a length of 3-4.5 meters and weigh well over 650 kg.
That is One Giant Catfish!
The catfish is probably one of the largest species of freshwater fish you will ever encounter. Don’t believe us? Well, take a look at this picture of an absolutely giant carnivorous creature that managed to eat a poor river turtle!
This particular catfish looks like a Wels catfish, a breed native to large areas of Eurasia. They can be found in the Caspian, Baltic, and Black seas and can reach sizes of 200 kg. They are the second-largest freshwater fish in the world.