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Share to PinterestThe Weird, Wacky World of Stock Photos

The Weird, Wacky World of Stock Photos

By Sara Anderson
Share to PinterestThe Weird, Wacky World of Stock Photos

Whether it's through the professional world or memes, most of us are familiar with stock photos. People buy rights to these images so they don't have to worry about copyright infringement or other legal issues that could come with posting random photos found through an internet search. Many of these images are professionally created and edited, and the images are self-explanatory. But there are others that you can only describe as creepy, bizarre, or silly. They make us shake our heads and wonder, "Why?"


Forlorn dino man

Share to PinterestLonely dinosaur man sitting on the edge of the bed in a dark motel room

This photo of someone dressed in a dinosaur costume sitting in a depressing motel room may be a bit confusing, but it definitely depicts a mood. Maybe he's sad because all the other dinos made fun of his costume or left him behind. While the subject matter may be confusing, the photo pushes all of our sympathy buttons.


Watermelon helmet

Share to PinterestFunny woman with water-melon as helmet on head

Believe it or not, you can purchase a professionally manufactured BMX helmet that looks like a melon and offers real protection for your noggin. Maybe this woman couldn't afford one or was simply going for an alternative bob cut. We give her 1000 points for creativity, but we wonder what her helmet hair looks like once she removes it.


Alien fake out

Share to PinterestWoman with photocamera and alien behind her

Some stock photos seem to miss the mark completely. The photographer identifies this photo as "alien behind her." The first two photos show a wide-eyed woman who looks more impressed than afraid with a camera in hand. You can even see the reflection of a spaceship in the lens. In the third photo, we finally set eyes on the alien, who seems rather unbothered about the whole event. The photo is confusing, but kudos for the ominous mood lighting and Dutch angle.


Grandma with a machine gun

Share to PinterestGrandmother portraits on colored backgrounds

It's not just the photo, but it's the subject matter, "Grandmother portraits on colored backgrounds," that makes us scratch our heads. We aren't sure who (other than John Connor or ol' Arnie himself) would put this photo of a fierce-looking Terminator granny holding a machine gun up in their home.


Hand coming out of an occupied toilet

Share to PinterestThe Weird, Wacky World of Stock Photos
Kirk Marsh / Getty Images

This nightmarish photo hits every mark on the bizarre meter. If you didn't have a fear of an arm reaching up out of the toilet while you were taking care of business, you would after seeing this strange image. It would have been interesting to see the look on the model's face as the photographer was explaining this odd and disturbing setup before the photoshoot.


Jump rope strangeness

Share to PinterestWoman hoping over the rope held by two mysterious persons wearing white and black clothes

Photography is an art form, and art is supposed to make you think. But sometimes, an artsy attempt leaves more questions than answers. A woman is jumping rope, with robed, masked figures at each end, one in black and one in white. Whatever the intent, whether it was supposed to be scary or just strange, isn't clear. But, it would certainly be a conversation starter.


A woman and her fish

Share to PinterestThe Weird, Wacky World of Stock Photos
yulkapopkova / Getty Images

A woman, dressed in a retro bathing cap and a swimsuit, feeds a fish something out of a can that may resemble cat food. Perhaps this is the prequel to "The Shape of Water?" It's a weird photo, but it leaves behind so many questions. Her expression is full of hope, with a tad of excitement. What is she expecting? We'll never know.


A bride and her husbands

Share to PinterestThe Weird, Wacky World of Stock Photos
1001nights / Getty Images

The caption says this distressing photo depicts polygamy. We can only assume by the looks on the four grooms' faces and the bride's evil expression that the photographer doesn't agree with the concept of a woman having a collection of husbands. Alternatively, this is perhaps the strangest season of "The Bachelorette" yet.


Panda on toilet

Share to PinterestMen with animal costumes spending time inside the house

Honestly, what's more relatable than a massive panda browsing their phone while using the toilet? Everyone does it, even those who run around their homes dressed in animal costumes. However, the photo does raise some questions about the logistics of using the bathroom while dressed as a seven-foot-tall panda bear.


Goat head

Share to PinterestDressed stuffed animal with human hand sitting in a car

Look, Baphomet needs to pop down to the shops to pick up some supplies for his next ritual; what's so strange about that? But, really, there are way too many questions that come up with this one. It's an outlandish, freakish photo of a person wearing a stuffed goat head sitting in a truck cab. Though it still manages to be kind of relatable.


Gorilla on a motorcycle

Share to PinterestThe Weird, Wacky World of Stock Photos
RichLegg / Getty Images

Imagine yourself driving down a highway, surrounded by a beautiful mountain landscape, and then you see this — a helmeted gorilla on a motorcycle. You'd wonder if you were seeing things. The photo is well done, but we think the setup and the process of creating it sounds like a much more interesting story.


An elderly woman moving a body

Share to PinterestThe Weird, Wacky World of Stock Photos
ProjectB / Getty Images

Sure, this photo seems extreme at first. However, if you look at the body, you'll see this man tucked a dress shirt into sweatpants, so who can really blame her? Honestly, we are more impressed with how she was able to keep her lovely white robe completely free of blood.


Sheep family portrait

Share to PinterestThe Weird, Wacky World of Stock Photos
Vincent Besnault / Getty Images

It's the oddities that we come across online that make us slow down to take a closer look, and this photo certainly achieves that goal. A portrait of a family wearing sheeps' heads seems more like the photographer's statement about how easily influenced humans are, mindlessly following the "herd," whether it be a political group, a religion, a cult, or mainstream society. Or, maybe the creator just loves sheep.


Unicorn on a couch

Share to PinterestThe Weird, Wacky World of Stock Photos
Sergey_T / Getty Images

Everyone has had those days that drain us of all joy, leaving us with nothing left to do but crash on the couch. But what could push this fantastical creature to his limit? The crushing weight of interoffice politics and endless hours in a cubicle? Too many children's birthday parties? Maybe we'll never know.


Wandering eyes

Share to PinterestDisloyal man walking with his girlfriend and looking amazed at another seductive girl

If you've been on the internet at all in the past few years, you probably recognize this photo. But did you know that it's part of a saga? If you look at the artist's gallery, you can find an ongoing story with these models, complete with twists and multiple endings to choose from.


Social media bullies

Share to PinterestFriends bullying to a sad boy and taking photos with a smartphone for the social network

The horror of living in the 21st century is that everyone, even your family members and closest friends, stand ready to grab a photo of you in your worst moments, then post it on social media. If you look closely, you'll notice that the crying man is the boyfriend from the previous image. The saga continues.


Feminist fighter with her cat

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Armando Alvarez Lopez / Getty Images

The meaning behind this photo is unclear, and the caption, "I'm a Feminist, A Fighter," makes it even more bewildering. We're not sure how a woman wearing an aqua-colored, full-face ski mask holding a cat against a pink background is a symbol of feminism, but to each their own. The lovely cat is the best thing about this stock photo, but it seems disinterested and completely over its role in this photo session.


Bakery Robbery

Share to PinterestThe Weird, Wacky World of Stock Photos
Claudiad / Getty Images

If this photo is anything to go off of, crime in France seems to be much stranger than any of us could've guessed. Wouldn't robbing a bakery with a piece of bread be pretty risky? Maybe the employee has a dangerous loaf of sourdough under the counter. You'd better get out of there quick! You wouldn't want the police to show up armed with croissants.


Party Hat among mounted hunting trophies

Share to PinterestThe Weird, Wacky World of Stock Photos
Orbon Alija / Getty Images

Do you remember having tea parties with your toy stuffed animals? This is like the terrifying, adult version of that. If the hunting trophies hanging on the wall are the only things in the room wearing party hats for your birthday, chances are, you have been self-isolating for too long.


Santa with his traditional flamethrowers

Share to PinterestSanta Claus with flamethrowers in an abandoned warehouse

Anyone who has heard the song "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" knows that Santa seems scarier than we like to think. Seems like Santa's done putting up with everyone on the naughty list. Somehow, the threat of dual-wielding flamethrowers is significantly more incentivizing than a piece of coal in the stocking. Who could've guessed?


Lockdown summed up nicely

Share to PinterestFunny shot of a man taking a shower and lathering his armpit with covid safety mask and protective visor on

We have to give kudos to the photographer for what could likely be their maximum opus, "Down playing on life during a pandemic." In all honesty, who among us can't look back at the hellscape the year 2020 was and not recall a moment when they also thought about bathing in a face shield and surgical mask? The internet is a weird and wonderful place, and we're thankful we were able to pay for all of these images.



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