Everyone has problems, both personal and with the world, to deal with. It always seems as though your own problems are the worst, which makes the most sense, as only you can truly understand everything you’re going through. A lot of the time, however, other people might look at your life and believe that you don’t really have any problems at all. When trying to compare other people’s daily struggles and difficulties, it can always be a challenge. Not everyone might think the same problem is a problem at all, and our pain is really only a matter of perspective, at times.
Someone who seems to have everything in the world might be living a miserable life, while someone who doesn’t have two coins to rub together might be the happiest person you’ll ever meet. It’s not always about what you have, just the way you view what you have. There are certain struggles and realities, however, that can be grim for everyone. The purpose of the next fifteen photographs is not to shame anyone for the way they live or make fun of the daily lives some people are forced into. Instead, it’s a look into a different world that seems terrifying to us, but for many people, it’s just another day in the neighborhood.
Do any of the photographs on the list frighten you, or do you believe them all to be normal? How different from your daily life are these photographs in comparison? Share with your friends to see what their thoughts are! Here are fifteen haunting images that are normal life for some but terrifying to us:
15. The Young Boys Who Supply Your Phones
If you own a smartphone, there’s a chemical in it called cobalt used for the lithium battery that allows you to play Candy Crush for four hours straight without having to charge your phone. The reality is that cobalt isn’t cheap, so in order to access the needed amount of the product, human lives are sacrificed in a war you probably haven’t heard about. There are only so many places to get cobalt, so many of the mines are protected by gangs who use slave labor to harvest the product to sell to various electronic companies. The mining is dangerous, and often, young boys are forced into dangerous situations to retrieve the product. It’s a terrifying reality looking at the faces of these young boys, knowing that they might die from this job at some point just to give a little bit of a product they’re unlikely to ever have the luxury of using.
14. Young Girls With Their Husbands, Not Fathers
Before marriage became the TLC-show capitalist nightmare that it is today, it was at one point all about the ownership of women. That’s why women take the last name of their husbands and are walked down the aisle by their fathers; it’s the passing of property from one man to the other. Though many people still follow those basic traditions, marriage, in Western culture, is more commonly seen as a unity of families instead of ownership. For many young girls around the world, however, marriage still has deeply disturbing purposes. The girls in the photograph above are both barely teenagers and are seen posing with their husbands who are easily 20 years older than them. The young girl in the pink dress in the back was only six years old when she was forced to marry her husband and stated that she would often hide from him when they were first married.
13. Being Taken To Her Wedding In The Middle Of The Night
A young girl is forced into marriage with someone much older than she is every two seconds around the world. For the most part, the girl is sold by her family and taken away by her husband, never to see her family again. Sometimes, they’ll be covered in cloth or blindfolded so they don’t know where their new home is in case they want to run back to their family. They’re then forced to try and carry children as soon as possible, many becoming mothers as soon as they hit puberty. They’re robbed of an education and forced into a life of ownership, with over 80 percent of such females being abused by their spouses. Carrying children at such a young age is terrible for their bodies, and many often contract STDs as well. These young girls deserve a chance to be normal teenagers but are instead forced into a life the rest of us will never understand.
12. Suicide Nets At Apple Factories
There’s a good chance you’re reading this from some sort of mobile device at the moment, perhaps even an Apple product. If that’s the case, there’s a good chance your phone was made in a place like a factory in the image above. The nets you’re seeing span across stairwells in order to serve as a suicide prevention for the employees who work in the factory. Hours are so long and conditions are so terrible that suicide rates among the employees are extraordinarily high, so much so that those in charge have been forced to install nets around the stairs and bars on the windows for those who want to take their own lives in order to escape their terrible jobs. Instead of improving conditions or offering more benefits to help make employees happier, those in power spend time and money making it as hard as possible for the workers to take their own lives.
11. Packed Like Cattle For The Long Commute
For some of us, the worst part of the work day is the commute home. If you drive, long hours and stop-and-go traffic can cause headaches and nightmares. For others, getting onto stinky train cars and buses is the horror we have to deal with. Hardly anything, however, compares to the ride home many are forced onto in the subway cars in Japan. People are literally stuffed onto the train by workers at the station, as you can see in the photograph above. Having to sit too close to someone in public is hard enough as it is, but imagine being smashed together like sardines! We don’t even transport our beef cattle this tightly sometimes! Some of these poor commuters are probably coming from long days at a company that doesn’t treat them right, making the entire day just awful. Next time you complain about a short commute home, remember how much worse it could be.
10. Living In A Polygamist Society In The U.S.
The photograph above displays a group of people who are part of the FLDS community, a strict polygamous group known for being religious fundamentalists who support the marriage of young girls to older men who already have wives. They live right inside the U.S. border and operate like a cult. They, too, participate in child marriage, but since they don’t legally document it, there’s no way to actually prove they’re marrying out children. For the most part, middle-aged men take as many wives as possible even though most are uneducated and unable to work due to how many children they’re having. This forces many into poverty, with some forcing their children to work on farms and in other FLDS-operated businesses. They use religion as the reason for everything they do, making us the outsiders as they believe they’re following some ultimate truth.
9. Traveling Through Garbage
The photograph above is a pretty disturbing sight; however, it’s a common one for those who live in the Pacific Northwest. There’s a system of currents that has forced lots of debris and garbage from ships into the same spot pictured above. The site is horrendous and dangerous to the wildlife of the area. What should be a gorgeous tropical sight is instead a watery wasteland. For many of us, pollution is an uncommon sight. We just throw our garbage into a can, empty the can into a bigger can, and some big stinky trucks come and pick up the trash once or twice a week. Then, we never have to see our garbage ever again. Not everyone can say the same, however, and are instead forced to look at disturbing sights like this. It’s one thing for us to have to look at our own mess; however, this is something that affects innocent animals all around the world.
8. Kowloon Walled City
For many of us, the idea of living in a city can be a turnoff. Most won’t have backyards to escape to or gorgeous sights that living in nature can sometimes offer. There’s one city, however, pictured above, that takes the idea of city life to an entirely new and terrifying level. It’s known as the walled city and was given the name because of how densely populated it is. Over 30,000 residents all live within just a few blocks of each other, piling high on top of each other in hundreds of compact apartments. This site alone gives us an idea of what living in a city like this might be. Imagine navigating your way through a place with so many people! The noise and pollution would also be pretty unbearable. This isn’t as common all over the world, but with the rising population in many cities, it very well could be the normal life for some of us city dwellers one day.
7. Water In Flint, Michigan
One of the biggest things taken for granted in first world countries is running water. At any point in time, you can walk into the kitchen or bathroom and turn on the faucet in order to get cold and clean water. It’s something most of us have never given much thought to, but for many, it’s magic. Unfortunately, not even everyone in the U.S. is granted this privilege. In the photograph above, you can see some of the samples of water taken from inside Flint homes in Michigan. They’re mostly poverty-stricken homes in lower-class areas. The pipes are rusted and cause lead to poison the water they’re supposed to drink and bathe with. The harshest reality of this sight is that many government officials have seen this photograph and have yet to do something about it. If this were happening to the pipes of the White House or those who live on Park Avenue, they’d have new pipes the next day, probably.
6. Constant Attacks In Syria
Most of us have heard about the horrors that are happening in Syria, but many people choose to turn away when it comes to helping these innocent people. Syria hasn’t always been as terrible of a place as it is now. People who were living normal lives just like you and me are being thrown from their homes by terrorists in a war-stricken area. The photograph above is a common one for those who are still in Syria at the moment. This father was like many of ours, just someone who loved his daughter. Now, he’s forced to carry her lifeless body from a crumbling building. The saddest reality is that many of our neighbors might see a photograph like this and still choose to turn their back on the innocent people who are living in Syria who never chose to have any of this happen.
5. The Only Time To Sleep While Working Long Hours
Is there anyone who actually likes their job? Even if you say you do, everyone has a bad day now and then. Maybe your boss gets on you too much or maybe you’re not given enough break time. But for the workers in the factory above, the conditions are so horrible that they’re forced to take breaks literally at their work desk as they’re barely given enough time to breathe in between making different appliances. This factory is where Microsoft makes many of their products, and the girls pictured above are forced to assemble various electronic accessories like webcams and mouses. They work over 15 hours a day seven days a week and don’t even make $1 an hour. They aren’t allowed to use the bathroom while clocked in, so many wear diapers. They also aren’t given long breaks, so when they do get to stop for a moment, they use the time to rest their arms and their eyes, often skipping meals altogether.
4. Navigating Through Garbage In Mumbai
India can be a gorgeous country, but that can’t be said for one city: Mumbai, pictured above. Many of us and our children won’t have the experience of the young girl in the picture above who must walk through these living conditions every day of her life. The people who live here don’t choose to, and no one gets to decide what country and what time they’re going to be born! In Mumbai, the majority of the people live their lives on less than $1 USD a day! That’s not even $1,000 in a year! Some might say if you work hard, you can achieve anything, but how are you supposed to escape a city that you can barely afford to feed yourself in? These people are forced to work in dangerous jobs to provide wealthy people with the luxuries they have while getting paid very little to do so.
3. Harvesting Grass To Eat In Korea
North Korea might be one of the worst places to live on the planet, but the leaders there would never want you to know that. They’re a very secret society that hardly provides any insight into what daily life there looks like, but one photographer was able to smuggle out some pictures that show the daily horrors some have to live through. The man in the photograph above is actually harvesting grass in order to eat. Many people live in poverty and barely make enough money to eat, so they’re forced to eat whatever they can find, which includes grass. Strict laws send many to concentration camp-like prisons where most starve to death or eat rats to survive. A sight like this is startling to us, but for many, it’s extremely common to see people picking grass just to have a meal for the night.
2. Selfie Nation In The U.S.
A picture like this is a normal life for many of us who live in the U.S. or other capitalist countries. After reading the rest of the entries on the list, however, it might be a terrifying sight. Others who don’t have the luxuries we do might also look at a picture like this and see the vain and greedy lifestyles we live. Many argue that there’s nothing wrong with taking a selfie or two and that it’s a great way to practice self-love. What do you see when you look at a picture like this? Most of the phones that people are using to take the pictures were probably made with slave labor, some possibly even losing their lives in order to create the product. They’re all taking the same photograph with someone who might as well be a wax figure at that point. If some of us met our idol, however, we might try and take the same picture. It’s all about perspective.
1. Insane Temperatures In Arizona
If you ask a lot of people what the worst place in the U.S. is to live, a lot might say Arizona. It’s hard to argue that after these pictures surfaced just this year. Apparently, temperatures rose so high that many plastic products actually started melting! The garbage can above is just one example, and the plastic wall next to it is another terrifying reminder of the power of the sun! For those who live in Arizona, however, this isn’t all that surprising, considering how horribly hot things can get. If things get any hotter, what might start to happen to other products? You’d never think that your garbage can actually just start to melt, but that’s definitely a reality for those who live in one of the hottest states in the country. What do you think was the most haunting picture on the list? Could you live in any of the conditions pictured throughout?
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