Sometimes a beautiful photograph can give us a glimpse of a fantastic place we’ve never seen before. Other times it merely gives us a new perspective on a sight we thought was familiar. Here are 41 of stunning photos that fall into both categories and promise to add a sense of wonder to your day. (They’ve already filled the days of thousands of people across cyberspace).
1. A Face on an Iceberg
Pareidolia is the phenomenon where vague or random stimulus appears to have significance such as the very dignified man’s face that appears on what is otherwise just the side of an iceberg. This photograph was taken in Collins Bay, Antarctica.
2. Japan in Portland
3. Dissembly Line; VW Golf
In the photograph from Hans Hansen, we can see all the hundreds of parts that make up a Volkswagen Golf Mk2 (a car most population around 1983 and in production until 1992).
4. A Santorini Sunset
The Greek isle of Santorini as the sun goes down.
5. Far-off Storm as seen from an Airplane.
For those times when it feels like you’re the only one getting rained on.
6. Baby Musk Ox
These animals grow up to be so strange and intimidating, but they start out just adorable. The fur looks so soft, you just want to cuddle with it.
7. Also Fuzzy, Do Not Cuddle.
This lion looks so plush and it seems like he’s totally offering his paw to be cuddled. Don’t be fooled, he could totally take you down.
8. Lightning in the Grand Canyon
9. Brussels Flower Carpet
Every 2 years since 1971, the Grand Palace in Brussels, Belgium has been covered with a carpet of begonias. The area that is covered is approximately 253 feet by 79 feet.
10. Nature is my Hairstylist
This street art mural was photographed in Fort-de-France, Martinique; one of the major cities of the Caribbean. The artist, Nuxuno Xn incorporated the tree growing directly behind this wall into his work.
11. A Shipwreck with Unusual Passengers
The British-built steamship, the SS Ayrfield, was used to by the Australian government to transport food and supplies during World War II and later used to transport coal. Since it was wrecked in decommissioned in the 1970s, it has been overtaken by a new kind of cargo. It has become a floating mangrove forest situated in Sydney’s Homebush Bay.
12. New Meaning to an Old Adage
And you thought lighting a fire under someone was just a figure of speech. Photographer Kawika Singson took this photograph in Hawaii and said he could only stand the heat for a few seconds.
13. Abandoned Railway in Paris
Long before the Metro system, there were steam trains that carried people around Paris along the ancient walls. The line went into gradual decline and with the introduction of the metro, was abandoned altogether. These tracks run straight through the bustling city and are largely unseen from street level.
14. Understanding Iridescence
Beautiful and rare nacreous clouds billowing over the NASA Radome on Ross Island, Antarctica. Photograph by Deven Stross.
15. Albino Humpback Whale
This is the only known albino humpback whale. He is known to travel the coastline of Queensland, Australia and has been named Migaloo, which some say means ghost or spirit and others argue refers to a “white guy.”
16. City of Clouds
Dubai is home to the 2,700 ft-high Burj Khalifa; the tallest building in the world. It is a city of steel giants and much of the city’s skyline rests well above the clouds.
17. Aurora Australis from Space
Auroras are ever-shifting displays of color and light brought on by charged particles from the sun interacting with the earth’s magnetic fields. We thought the poles were the best place to view this phenomenon (Aurora Borealis in the North and Aurora Australis in the South), but apparently it’s best to skip the middleman and view it directly from space.
18. Cave of the Crystals in Mexico
980 ft below the surface in Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico lie some of the largest natural crystals ever found. The cave’s largest crystal is 39 feet long and 13 feet wide.
19. Roman Pool, Hearst Castle
The indoor, tiled Roman Pool at Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California.
20. Partial Eclipse of the Heart
Aptly timed capture as photographer Phillip Calais managed to catch an airplane flying by during a partial solar eclipse.
21. This Duck is Fly
This duck has more swag and more balance than the rest of us can ever hope to have.
22. Corporeal Transparency
This is a self-portrait of photographer Laura Williams, an artist from Cambridge, U.K.
23. Forces of Nature
With our powers combined….
24. Kamchatka Ice Tunnel
This tunnel in the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia was formed by a hot water spring flowing beneath the glacial ice fields of nearby Mutnovsky Volcano.
25. Earth from the Dark Side of Saturn
A view of what the Earth looks like as viewed from the dark side of Saturn, 900 million miles away.
26. Hong Kong Nights
27. Intricate Citytape
Japanese artist, Takahiro Iwasaki created this cityscape using only a roll of electrical tape and a precision knife.
28. Candy-Striped Iceberg
29. Rainbow Coming Full Circle
30. View From the Center of the Earth
This three-story, stained-glass globe in the Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston, MA gives visitors the opportunity to view the globe from a unique vantage-point; the inside of it.
31. Studley Tool Chest
Studley is actually the name of the man who created this tool chest, not just a term to make it seem more masculine and appealing.
32. Waitomo Glowworm Caves
One of New Zealand’s many natural wonders, visitors can take a boat ride under the thousands of glowing cave dwellers.
33. Beautiful Faceplant
34. This City is Steep
This photograph was taken on Russian Hill in San Francisco, California. Photographer Hkan Dahlstrm rotated his camera so that the street would look flat to illustrate how steep this city really is.
35. Orville and Wilbur, First Flight
If trying new and terrifying things made me look this cute, I’d probably live a bolder life.
36. Post-Flood Ice Effect
The after effects of a flood that passed through this forested area in Quebec, Canada.
37. Contrast in Krakow
38. Moon Jelly
39. Moonrise in the City of Angels
A time lapse of the moon rising over Los Angeles.
40. Living on the Ledge
Internationally acclaimed photographer Joe McNally snapped this photo of his old battered shoes from the top of the world’s tallest building.
41. An Out of this World Selfie
Somehow taking a selfie seems justified in this setting.