Have you ever wondered at the possibility of there being a terrifying shadow world that lurks just beneath the surface of our own visible universe? A place of gloom, doom, and death that only offers us occasional glimpses into its bone-chilling ways by twisting the shadows of everyday objects in order to represent the true horror that lies awake in the darkness.
If that sounds like something you believe in, we have two things to say. First, maybe cool it on all the LSD, okay? And second, once you have sobered up a bit (or maybe after you have taken another hit or two), you should totally check out this list of shadows that are not what they initially appear to be. Some are unintentionally hilarious, some are unnerving and creepy, and some, if we are being super honest with ourselves, are kind of cute. And look, we get it. If you're the kind of acid-tripper who believes in supernatural shadow worlds (and probably worships a soul-sucking smoke monster or something), then "cute" might not be your cup of tea. If that is the case, then just skip past the cutesy photos and focus your attention on the creepier kind.
Na na na na na na na na na Batcrab!
By day, he is a billionaire playboy crustacean who spends his time fraternizing with beautiful crabettes and dining on the finest algae that the ocean has to offer. But by night, he terrorizes the underbelly of the underwater. It doesn't matter if you are a Great White Card Shark or a Mobster Lobster, you cannot escape the dark justice of Batcrab. His large, pointy ears and sideways gait will both confuse and terrify you.
Or, you know, it's just a regular, old crab with a weird shadow. But Batcrab just sounds way cooler. Hey! They should turn that into a TV show! Or maybe just add Batcrab into DC's extended universe.
19 22A Backwards is...
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Apparently the designers of this address adorned gateway did not think about what shadow it would cast. And messing up this badly kind of makes you look like an A22hole. Whoops. Even a different font on the numbers would have prevented this from ever being an issue. Although if it was never an issue, then we would not have this picture, and that would just be sad for everyone.
If we are being perfectly honest, "ass" isn't exactly the most offensive word in the English language, (that honor belongs to the word "cilantro," because...ew), but it still has just enough juvenile vulgarity to illicit smirks from those passersby who notice the unfortunately shaped shadow.
18 A Toothbrushing Toothbrush
How many teeth can a toothbrush brush if a toothbrush could brush teeth? You see, it's funny because the toothbrush...never mind.
What is funny is this shadow of a toothbrush which apparently comes with its own stringent oral hygiene standards. Yeah, that's right--that right there is the shadow of a toothbrush that looks like a big-headed bald guy, who just so happens to be wearing an excessively long and wide cape, as well as a pair of oversized aviators, brushing his own damn teeth. It's like brush-ception or something. Toothbrushing inside of toothbrushing. Maybe if you look closely enough, you can see a reflection from the mirror that looks like a toothbrush using a big-headed bald guy to clean its bristles.
17 Donald J. Towel
This shadow is huge. It's fantastic. It's the best shadow this country has ever seen. Everyone knows that. Everyone knows. And it is the first shadow to ever come from a towel. No one has ever done that before. No one. Fake news might tell you that every towel that has ever existed before has cast a shadow, but they are wrong. SAD. Fake news. And if this shadow had hands they would be huge. HUGE. No problem in that department. We guarantee it. Also, this shadow has never been to Russia and knows nothing about its good friend, Vladimir Putin. He's a good guy. Great leader. Really knows how to dry someone off after a shower. It's fantastic. And dry. Drier than anyone has ever been. Everyone knows that. #MakeBathroomGreatAgain.
16 Tinker Bell Has Had Enough
It appears that this lovely, macabre decoration was supposed to be one of Tinker Bell, dangling from the ceiling, with the inspirational word "dream" casually swinging below her. How sweet and uplifting and all that crap. Unfortunately, (or fortunately, depending on just how twisted your sense of humor is), it casts a shadow that looks a whole hell of a lot more like Peter Pan's little fairy got sick of Hook, his crocodile, and those stupid Lost Boys, and just decided to end it all by hanging herself in your living room, while leaving the word "DIE" as her final, morbid message. Walt Disney is probably rolling over in his grave right now at the thought of his animated pixie shuffling off this mortal coil in such a ghoulish manner.
15 Big Ben's Little Bens
For those of you who are not so well-versed in major, global landmarks, that big ol' clock in the middle of this photograph is affectionately known as Big Ben. It was completed in 1859 and makes its home in England. For you film buffs out there, it's the big clock tower they always use in establishing shots of London.
For those of you who have never seen male genitalia before, the reason this picture is included in this list is because the shadow cast by the railing of the bridge in the foreground looks a whole lot like a long row of dicks. For those of you who have seen male genitalia before, which we assume is most of you...why are you still reading this? You know what you're looking at.
14 A Freudian Shadow?
Is there such thing as a Freudian shadow? This photo sure lends itself to the argument that such a thing just might exist, especially if the two people pictured here have, on the surface, a purely platonic relationship, but both secretly long for something much more...intimate.
Can you imagine a world where that was real? Where our shadows betrayed our deepest, darkest desires? We are pretty sure that most of our shadows would be severely obese versions of our current selves if that was the case, seeing as most of our deep, dark desires revolve around the shocking amount of junk food that is always on our mind. Of course, we would also be subject to moments like this one, when our more adult yearnings are displayed for everyone to see. And judge.
13 Creepy Dog Shadow
Holy crap. If you just saw this shadow without the actual dog in sight, most of us would probably run in the other direction as fast as humanly possible. That shadow has all the friendly demeanour of a rabid werewolf strung out on crystal meth, skittering through a war zone's back alleys looking for blood to quench its thirst and human flesh to quash its insatiable hunger. It looks more like mutant coyote and less like a household pet that wags its tail when it hears the words, "Good boy!" That shadow is not a good boy. That shadow is a very bad, scary, murderous boy. It is the kind of canine boy that waits until you are sleeping to sneak into your bedroom and feast on your eyeballs while you are still alive.
12 My Basement Minotaur
You have to wonder if they did this on purpose. Seriously. You just know that the kind of guy who hangs a pure white sculpture of a bull head above his fireplace, is also the kind of guy who positions a light above it in just the right way so that when the light is turned on, the aforementioned pure white sculpture of a bull head casts a shadow that looks like a human man's body is attached to it. Like a damn minotaur a.k.a. the carnivorous beast that patrols the fabled labyrinth in Greek mythology. Fun fact: the minotaur was born because one of the gods caused a queen to fall in love with a bull, which she then mated with. Yeah, Greek mythology is weird.
11 A Pixelated Shadow
It is hard to imagine a more perfectly placed shadow than this geometric shadow on a Macbook's power cable that makes it look awfully pixelated. If we understand the way shadows work, the boring truth is probably that a handful of lights in this room lined up well enough to create this humorous effect. However, there is still the ever so slight, but ever so real, possibility that it is a message sent to us from one of Satan's imps, known only as the Shadow Puppet, who desperately wants us to know that the forces of Hell prefer Apple over PC. Sure, maybe that seems a little far-fetched. But open your mind, bro, and consider all the possibilities before you go making any assumptions.
10 A Properly Labelled Dog
In case you were wondering, this creature here is a dog. And a dog, according to the dictionary, is "a domesticated canid, Canis familiaris, bred in many varieties," or "any carnivore of the dog family Canidae, having prominent canine teeth and, in the wild state, a long and slender muzzle, a deep-chested muscular body, a bushy tail, and large, erect ears." It looks to us, therefore, that this particular slumbering canine has been properly labelled. It is a dog. Not that this snoozing hound is in its wild state, but we can imagine that if it was, its ears would be more erect and its tail much bushier. Or whatever.
Also, just for fun, one of the lesser known dictionary definitions of the word dog is "a despicable man or youth."
9 Rambo Is Coming For You
This certainly is not the only time a creepy, shadowy figure has appeared on the facade on a garage door thanks to the way sunlight catches a nearby tree. But it is almost definitely the first time that Rambo has made his presence known on the same building you keep your 1992 Toyota Camry.
Honestly, that image could be any stern-faced, shaggy-haired dude with a bum chin. It could be Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Or Viggo Mortensen in Hidalgo. Or basically just Viggo Mortensen in everyday life. Or a young John Travolta. Or Aaron Eckhart in a greasy wig. But we prefer the idea of it being a Vietnam veteran with PTSD who leads police on a wild and violent manhunt.
8 Death Tree
We are not going to lie: this shadow is just badass. Seriously, how often do you look up from hand washing dishes because your girlfriend told you that non-stick frying pans can NOT go in the dishwasher and since she cooked the vegetarian dumplings you get to clean up, glance out your window into your backyard, and catch a glimpse of a shadow on your fence that looks like a freaking skull? Never. That's how often. Maybe just pray to whatever higher form you believe in that it isn't some sort of deathly omen, eerily predicting your gruesome and untimely death at the hands of a demonic warlord sent from Hades to bring everlasting pain to your sad, scared, human soul.
7 What A Friendly Sign
Oh, hi friendly sign! How are you doing this fine, sunny morning? Good to hear it. What have you been up to? It looks like you're doing a really great job of keep this one side of the road blocked off. I bet you are doing that, not just because it is your job and your duty, but also because you really care about the safety of others, don't you? Of course. You are such a sweet and kind sign! Also, I'm digging the way you only use one sandbag, bro. It's probably just for show too, isn't it? You don't really need a lazy sandbag to weigh you down. And you sure as heck don't need more than one. Great job, friendly sign. Keep up the good work.
6 Traffic In The Curtains
There appears to be quite the traffic jam in the shadows of this curtain. Some jackass truck driver was definitely following the car in front of it way too closely and ended up kissing its rear bumper with far too much force, and now every other shadow vehicle behind them on the shadow highway is stuck, waiting for the whole mess to get cleared up. They are going to have to exchange numbers and insurance information and probably file a police report. And you just know that one of them, probably the jackass truck driver at fault, is going to want to bypass insurance and just pay for the damage under the table. Ugh. That shadowy traffic jam isn't going to clear up anytime soon.
5 Batman Perched On A Gas Cap
In the darkest hour of the darkest night, he will be there, perched on your gas cap, overseeing all that you pump into your tank. He will fight for fuel justice, demanding premium unleaded gasoline instead of that cheaper junk that your wallet always prefers. When you stop for a quick top up before a long road trip, he will be there. When you really just want to pick up beef jerky and Red Bull from the gas station, but decide you might as well put in half a tank while you're at it, he will be there. When you empty light goes on and you cruise around in a panic looking for the nearest pump, he will be there.
4 Crazy Optical Illusion
It is hard not to shrug this picture off as being something rendered out of Photoshop. But the face of the matter is that when the sun strikes the ledges on those windows just right, it creates a freaky optical illusion that looks strikingly similar to something that M.C. Escher might create. If you squint and tilt your head and stare for a couple of minutes, you can see the building for what it really is. But at first glance it definitely appears to be a brick building with windows sticking out from one of its sides. And while it may be just an optical accident, it actually looks cool enough that we might just use it as the background on our phones. Goodbye, photo of mom. Hello, photo of random brick building.
3 Trees + Lamppost = Lion
This basic shadow arithmetic, is it not? It's like one of those dreaded word problems they give you in high school math tests and probably makes just about as much sense: suppose you live in a warm climate that has palm trees. In front of your place of work are two palm trees. Also in front of your place of work is a tall street lamp with two lights on it. If it is 2:43 in the afternoon on a Sunday in October, what shape will be created when the sun casts a shadow on your place of work. The answer is, of course, a lion. Like we said, that is just basic shadow arithmetic. Trees + lamppost = lion.
2 The Watchful Eye
This is the kind of photo that makes people believe in the Illuminati. For real. That right there is an indisputable Eye of Providence. What the hell are you supposed to think if you see that shadow cast by a lampshade in your cozy, little living room? The only reasonable explanation is that there is a conspiratorial world power with vaguely supernatural powers that has taken a bizarrely strong interesting into what is happening in your home. And instead of spying with something inconspicuous, they sent a brazen image of their supposedly secret group to hang out on your ceiling and keep an eye on you (pun intended.) Only a madman would believe anything else! A madman, we tell you!
1 A Dirty Landscape
God, this seems way too artistic to be what it really is. According to the user who posted it, this landscape styled shadow was simply created by the dirt on his windshield. If nothing else, it seems like a really great excuse for not wasting your time or money on a car wash. "Sorry, honey. If I soap up and hose down our beautiful, old Cavalier sedan, I will be washing away a genuine artistic masterpiece, depicting the majestic Rocky Mountains in all their glory. You wouldn't want me to destroy something so beautiful, so rare, so undeniably wonderful, would you? For the love of all things good, holy, and lovely in this cruel world, honey, don't make me wash the car."